This police body-cam video shows Coeur d’Alene [Idaho] Police Officer Spencer Mortensen ordering Eric Byron Johnston to drop two knives before shooting him. [Click here for spokesman.com’s story.] Yes, the Tueller Drill tells us that there’s precious little time to shoot a quick-moving assailant. But Mr. Johnston doesn’t appear to be rushing Officer Mortensen. More to the point, why didn’t the officer retreat? Couldn’t the cop have backed out and waited for some non-lethal resolution? Nope. As our commentators point out below, retreating would have exposed the officer to additional danger. Suicide by cop? Mentally unhinged? Or just plain dumb? Either way, our condolences to both the family of the perp and the policeman who ended his life.

266 Responses to Question of the Day: Good Shoot?

  1. Retreat would have exposed a potential victim/hostage to the suspect (the woman in the porch). The suspect was advancing from a relatively short distance and holding a deadly weapon. The cop didn’t have many options, and they were all bad.

    Good shoot IMO.

    • That woman was already semi-cooperative for not sitting down after being told. If she was in a position to become a victim herself, or worse, another potential aggressor, it’s only because the officer failed to secure the scene and place her in cuffs in the car. He left both her exposed to the suspect and himself exposed to her. Combined, that probably heightened in anxiety over the situation, resulting in his unnecessarily shooting the suspect.

      • And what is more, the officer turned away from the suspect and toward the yard for more than 1.5 seconds. Actually it looked like slo-mo suicide by cop, and it worked but shouldn’t have. With no one else in the house the officer should have retreated and yes, cuffed the woman and put her in the cruiser. There was no one else in the house, no back door. What was the cop going to do, prevent a suicide? There was no other apparent goal. So instead of leaving the kid to stab himself, the officer loads the kid with lead. Have I missed something?

        And the Tueller drill pertains to a holstered gun, not one up and on the perp, at which point the serious danger is about 14 feet?

        • It seems to me like confronting the suicidal man with a knfie is a bad tactical call.

          He wants to die, he is armed with a knife and you are putting yourself in a situation to shoot him.

          Seems like the better call would have been to get the woman out of there, seal the house off and bring in a negotiator to try and talk him down; or at least go in and try something less than lethal like Tear Gas or a bean bag round.

        • We don’t know the facts. For all we know, the woman could have played this out as a “he’s not really gonna hurt himself he’s just being stupid…but come anyway.”
          Had he KNOWN he was gonna be advanced upon by an uncooperative perp, he might have done it differently.
          I can’t judge this at all having never used a gun to kill anything (I would love to go hunting SOMETIME SOON) so I can’t even say I would done it the way he did. I might have hesitated and OH SO THATS WHAT MY INTESTINES LOOK LIKE!
          Its easy to judge from the outside.

      • I fail to see the value of putting police in danger in an attempt to prevent a suicide.

        I also fail to see the value in putting police in a situation where they become the de facto weapon in the person’s suicide (suicide by cop).

        However, once the cop was in the situation, and the man advanced on him with a brandished knife, I fail to see how the cop did not do him a favor by accepting the challenge and putting him down. Tough call, but them’s the issues that come with taking the job.

        Five shots to center of mass, however, maybe a bit of over-reaction. One to the hip would stop the advance and might not have killed him. (Easy to QB after the fact, ain’t it?)

      • Look, you may argue that the cop had no other option at that moment. I don’t think I agree with that, but I’ll accept that argument.

        However, he had many better options up to that point, which he did not take. He bungled this contact, pure and simple. And a kid, perhaps an autistic one, is dead because of his choices.

        • Looking forward would you say this shows a need to better train the police for similar circumstances or that sending the police to do these jobs if improperly utilizing the police in a way they are not suited for?

        • To the first part, yes, I think it would be beneficial. For the second part, I don’t think we have a viable alternative to the police doing the sort of thing we see in the video. Maybe we do need another option to the police there, but it’s very much worth thinking about.

    • I live in Spokane, although this happened in Coeur d’ Alene, ID. A lot of cop shooting have been happening over there. This video wasn’t much help for the uniformed and those unaware of police training.
      Spokane Police shoot people all the time! Heck, they just had another shooting where a cop shot a 29 year old homeless man with a knife. We want the Spokane Cops to have body cam, but the police guild is fighting against it.
      “If you have nothing to hide……” yes, I’m sure I’ve heard that before.

        • MATT: I tried for over ten minutes to find the original exchange. Would you help?

          Or not. My brief sentence does NOT need a comma.

        • I was referring to this sentence: “Heck, they just had another shooting where a cop shot a 29 year old homeless man with a knife.”

          Your response would have been appropriate if the sentence had read: “Heck, they just had another shooting where a cop shot a 29 year old homeless man, with a knife.”

          See that comma in the second version?

        • A wrong one. The phrase “shoot him with a knife” does not need a comma. In fact, it’s wrong.

          Okay, did you really get it? You were reading the sentence instead of the phrase. That’s the difference.

        • Um, ballistic knife duh. Spetsnaz style? Breaking: police bored with impersonating US infantry then US special forces now imitates foreign special forces. By this time next year we expect them to be running around in pajamas and their wives good towels. Taliban style.

    • If this was a civilian shooting another civilian who had a knife, everyone here would be applauding the display of self-defense with a firearm. All that was needed was insurance information after a car crash, yet the guy with the knife chose (for unknown reason) to take that knife and approach the officer. If you follow the recipe for suicide-by-cop, that is exactly what you will get.

      • Maybe. I also know plenty of people (i.e. anti-gun) that would say that being stabbed is not usually fatal, so shooting someone with a knife is wrong.

      • Chris, why would people be applauding if a CCW entered another person’s house and, when the person appeared with a knife, shot them? The only danger the LEO was responding to was self-harm by the guy with the knife. Given that, why not back out of the house and cuff the ambivalent woman?

        What sense does it make to drive cornered people to react, when the option is to stay outside, cover the only exit, wait for backup, and procede slowly. I wouldn’t let my town follow such SOP. He knew the kid had a knife, as the woman told him. He knew there was no back door. Insurance information can wait, eh? Why was the cop still in the house?

        • Well shit, next time the cops should tell the complainant suicide is none of our business, if he wants to off himself that’s on him. Sound good to you bubba?

        • He did not KNOW there was no back door – he had been told by the woman he did not know that there was no other exit. How many residences have you ever encountered where there was only one entrance/egress point, especially a free-standing house?

        • Yes, leaving a person said to be contemplating suicide until backup arrives, until the area around the outside of the house, sounds very good to me. It increases officer safety. It reduces the speed pressure on the upset person. It allows better technique to be used both in working the guy’s psychology and applying less lethal means.

          But if you think a fast shooting is a good way to speed up a slow suicide, advocate that policy.

          Yours truly, Bubba.

        • I’d be interested to know if there is any training specifically geared towards confronting suicidal individuals. If not, perhaps there ought to be. Perhaps they could come up with some kind of protocol that would discourage going it alone with unknown and unsecured possible unfriendlies to your rear, especially when there are no exigent circumstances involved (other than the possibility of self harm by the subject). Either way, I’d be willing to bet there was little if any high fiving going on in the aftermath, and that cop probably wishes he hadn’t shot that guy.

        • agreed why go in, why not secure woman and give it some time, cop was inept and crapping himself despite the victim not being particularly aggressive so fired in panic, shouting bloody pointless keep calm, take a grip on your balls/courage and try to talk him down, what if you just shot and killed a deaf man for being deaf, tax payer and voter dead for no good reason

    • Agreed, officer was calm on first approach, suspect repeatedly failed to obey orders to drop the weapon and was approaching the officer. The officer couldn’t retreat in that situation without exposing himself and the woman on the porch to an unacceptable risk.

      • I saw a different film. I saw a cop looking completely away from the threat for more than two seconds, looking outdoors. I saw a woman who easily could have been and should have been dragged away from the entrance and cuffed if she didn’t immediately respond to orders to retreat from the area. This is another case of cop-in-a-hurry refusing to think of alternatives to pushing the clearly distraught (by the woman’s report) kid.

        This is not a typical response where I live. Is this normal in most of the country? Just push and push when you can instead contain the situation, seal off the house, and move more slowly, and with a bean bag shotgun or shotgun taser round from a greater distance. This is stone age no-tech.

        • Jerry, you clearly haven’t been reading my comments before if you take me for anti-LEO.

          The question isn’t about cops, its about this officer in this video. I can just say “this wouldn’t be OK in my township or county. I’m surprised it’s OK other places.” Don’t let that stop you from thinking otherwise. Lone demented and off-meds people are not rare subjects of a 911 call. Handling them with low risk to the LEO is important, because if he acts in a way that stacks up the risk, he’s more likely to end up feeling cornered, at which point, as so many here agree, shooting seems the only safe option. One leads to the other.

          As for what I can do, law. Everybody has to do something.

    • How about one shot, then back up and see? Five shots (like that) is murder. If I were related to the dead, he (the officer) would not be long for this world.

      • I don’t believe the cop should lose his job over this. But I do think he handled this poorly. Shoot somebody who was possibly going to kill himself? Waste of ammunition.

  2. Good shoot, no doubt.

    Had the officer tried to leave, the bad guy could have decided to charge him-and that would still require deadly force to resolve.

    Given the realities of the Tueller drill, the officer waited as long as he could before pulling the trigger.

    BTW: this video is why I think the prevalence of recording devices is a bad thing.People who weren’t there and with no understanding on self defense get to play God and say “LO! He did evil, for he could have executed a hard to calculate under stress manouver and avoided shooting that man.To the stockade with ye!”

    • I couldn’t disagree more with your statement. This video shows an officer who waited longer then he needed to. It’s a good shoot and after reading some of the comments in the linked article, the video collaborates the officer’s recall of the event which greatly differs from the “eye witnesses” on scene.

      There will always be people who think he didn’t have to shoot him, video or not.

      • +1. The video proves the officers story.
        Short of having a crystal ball, what was the cop supposed to do? No good options.

      • But the man with the knife was an aspiring rapper who was going to turn his life around and save orphans and puppies. They might even have a parade in his honor, complete with rioting and looting, to show the peaceful support of his law-abiding community. /sarcasm

    • I’m a prosecutor — these recordings are essential nowadays. When I first started out, juries routinely took the word of a cop over that of a suspect, but those days are long gone. Juries want to see and hear for themselves what happened, and with the ready availability of digital recording devices it’s easy for that to be done. When officers don’t record their contacts, defense attorneys are quick to argue that the officer had it within his power to provide the jury with a front row seat to the events, but decided instead that it was good enough for the jury to take the officer’s word for what happened.

      Case in point: Confessions and admissions. I’ve gotten phone calls from defense attorneys looking for the recording of the client’s confession. They say, “Look, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if my client’s telling the truth or was too drunk or high to remember — but he claims he never ‘fessed up. Give me a copy of the interview to play for him and the case’ll plead out.”

      When the tape is produced and played, the defendant pleads guilty; it’s hard to argue to a jury that the recording of the suspect admitting he did the deed should be discounted. Without the recording, it’s a matter of interpretation, and of “who do you trust?” more, the cop or the suspect.

      Furthermore, these recordings often protect an officer from accusations of misconduct. In addition, just because an officer isn’t recording doesn’t mean that the suspect or a bystander isn’t capturing the event on a smartphone and uploading the recording simultaneously. Officers are well advised to conduct themselves as if they’re on tape — and I believe all parties benefit.

      • As a defense lawyer, I couldn’t agree more. Police body-cams are incredibly powerful tools for both convicting the guilty (your job) and protecting the innocent (both our jobs.) This poor officer–and that’s a phrase that I don’t utter very often–didn’t have any other choice. My prayers to both families.

        • Agreed. The police officer clearly stated who he was and what he was there for. It looks like he was let onto the premises by consent or otherwise was pursuing a suspect fleeing from a crime (i.e. leaving the scene of an accident). The suspect could plainly see the officer. The officer gave multiple warnings that he would use deadly force if the suspect didn’t drop his weapons. Being so advised, the suspect took steps toward the officer with the knives in his hands. The officer had no duty to retreat, just like any other citizen (at least that is the case here, in Texas). I think that the suspect got what he wanted out of the situation and the cop had no idea how violent the suspect would have gotten in order to force him to shoot. I think that the TTAG law bar is in agreement that this was a good shoot.

          Nonetheless, it is tragic for everyone involved.

        • No duty to retreat, just like any other citizen, at least in Texas? If you go into someone else’s house in Texas you have no right to force a shootout.

          Is the officer’s job to repeatedly demand a suspect comes out, and shoot him if he comes with knives, or is his duty to figure out how to bring the guy under arrest without a shooting. It’s a very simple question, really. Is this all people are asking of LEO’s? An old woman with alzheimers comes out with a knife, no other exit, lots of time for the officer to back out of the house, his gun already drawn, and all we are asking him is to shoot her down? Shoot this kid down? Really?

          And yes to cameras, always.

        • “Is the officer’s job to repeatedly demand a suspect comes out, and shoot him if he comes with knives, or is his duty to figure out how to bring the guy under arrest without a shooting.”

          The officer’s “duty” is to enforce the law, not to protect any individual from harm, unless there has been a prior agreement in place to that effect. (various court rulings I cannot cite specifically at this time)

          The officer did his duty and figured out how to bring this guy under arrest without shooting. He announced that plan clearly to the suspect and advised him what he needed to do. The suspect ignored the officer’s plan and forced the encounter that ended his life. He did not need to die and would not have died if he had simply followed instructions.

        • I obviously disagree as to whether the officer did the right thing. That isn’t to say, and I haven’t, that the Mortensen was culpable. It is to say that the SOP’s in Coeur d’Alene should be changed if the actions here were SOP.

          The woman called 911 because she feared the guy was going to cut himself. Not because he had. Not because he threatened her. And the LEO was not there as a direct follow-up of the accident, but because of the woman’s 911 call, at which time the woman’s information led to the accident tie-in.

          I don’t think LEO’s should feel compelled to risk themselves without need in order to prevent a possible suicide when there is no harm to others threatened, and should use slower means. If they choose to risk themselves, and you ascribe to them altruistic motive, it shouldn’t end as a suicide by cop with five shots. Nothing altruistic about that. This isn’t a new issue. Intervening in calls of a possible suicide is a highly studied action, as much as intervening in domestic arguments.

      • So riddle me this, why do so many police departments fight against the use of cameras? In my own state, the State PD and the AG in particular. They are also against citizens using cameras to record police activity even though the SCOTUS has said it is constitutional.

        • Because false accusations against cops, while a major headache, ultimately will fall apart when it comes out that the officer has a solid record and the accuser is a known flake. The benefit of having the cameras is to avoid all that headache. Set that benefit on one side of the scale.

          Because true accusations against cops, which will strip them of their careers and possibly send them to prison, will very likely be substantiated when we all see the video. The benefits of not having the cameras is to avoid responsibility for an officer’s crimes. Set that benefit on the other side of the scale.

          Overall, cops who are against cameras are so because want to get away with murder, literally and figuratively, more fervently than they want to get out of the occasional bureaucratic b.s. brought on by some complaining citizen who has no proof.

        • Because bad cops are like cockroaches. Wherever you see a good cop, there are plenty of others who abuse their position (not to imply that this occurs only in law enforcement).

      • I agree with you on recording, and the protection it provides to the officer (if they are doing the right thing, anyways) as well as to the public. A good recording offers excellent evidence. However, our department does not purchase or reimburse the cost of body cams. We just use what is in the patrol car, which I try to position in a manner to record the vast majority of my contacts. I’m not strapping on a Go-Pro on my own dime, or storing the contacts on my own computer, which would subsequently open up all of my electronic devices to the subpoena process. Screw that.

        • There’s a motor cop for a local police agency who bought himself a helmet-mounted camera (his PD wouldn’t spring for the cost). He’d look at the red light, then look at the limit line to show a motorist rolling through the red light without stopping. When he showed up at traffic court, he’d offer to let the motorist view the DVD of the incident on his portable player before going to court trial. They ALWAYS opted to plead guilty before trial for a reduced fine — after watching the video.

          With regards to your concerns about subpoenas for your computers, our local agencies seem to allow officers to download the data to their work computers and then burn the files to CDs or DVDs for discovery to the defense. I’ve never seen a defense request for the officer’s privately-owned camera, phone or computer, just for a copy of the recording itself.

          Digital media is such a bargain for the officers. When I first joined the DA’s office, everyone used micro-cassettes, which required agencies — or cops — to purchase replacements for originals booked into evidence. Now, with the ability to download the recordings, nothing needs to be purchased by the officer, other than whatever recorder his agency is too strapped financially to provide. The peace of mind, on the other hand, is priceless.

    • “BTW: this video is why I think the prevalence of recording devices is a bad thing.”

      I couldn’t possibly disagree with you more on that point. EVERY officer should be forced to wear a cam + mike on their person while on duty at all times. It should be integrated into their badge, hat, or thru a tie pin, and ideally uploaded to a secure tamper-resistant server in real time, duly timestamped and admissible as evidence. It should be illegal for officers to tamper with or intentionally obscure their devices.

      Honest cops and their unions should be clamoring for this, and as a libertarian it’s one of the few things I think local governments should spare little expense for. In the long run, it should result in more professional behavior, less brutality, fewer civilian complaints, and much lower liability on the taxpayer for settlements or fines.

    • “Had the officer tried to leave, the bad guy could have decided……….”

      Irrelevant. Judge based on what choices they each made and their consequences. You don’t get to justify what did happen on the basis of your own speculation about what “could have” happened.

      Moreover, the realities of the Tueller drill include a HOLSTERED firearm, a defender who first has to detect and determine that an attack is even underway before responding, and an attacker running in an unobstructed, straight line.

      An officer called to the scene of domestic disturbance, advised of an unstable man inside with a knife, and who enters the dwelling with firearm fully presented against a known potential attack, who would have to run around a corner, dodging a bicycle and other obstructions en route to the officer, hardly qualifies as a valid Tueller drill comparison justifying this officer’s criminal homicide.

      • I probably should clarify.

        When the officer discharged his weapon, the man with the knife had already come around the corner and cleared the bicycle. Additionally, at around 1:50 in the video you can see the man raise his arm and point the knife at the officer, while still advancing.

        • 1. Speak for yourself. Nobody here elected you to represent them. So your little “watching the same video as ‘us'” bit is just more irrelevant nonsense, with snideness thrown in for good measure.

          2. Tueller Drill refers to a holstered weapon, a surprise attack with the attacker coming in a straight line. You conveniently ignored the holstered weapons and surprise attack part, which are the thrust of the entire argument, to what end? So you can quibble about at what precise point on the tape he finally rounds a corner and clears a bicycle (which you got wrong on the timing, by the way, unless “about” is your infinitely elastic get-out-of-a-mistake free card).

          Well golly gee, at *some* point, even if an attacker had to run the gauntlet of an “American Ninja Warrior” obstacle course, at *some* point he would finally be in a position to strike in a straight line, even if that point comes at the final step in front of the defender’s face. Duh. But that scenario doesn’t begin to characterize a Tueller Drill.

          So, no, you don’t get to ignore what the Tueller Drill is and specifies, just so you can fast forward to the point in the tape when the path might finally be kinda sorta clear. That’s so intellectually dishonest as to be asinine.

        • Paul? This isn’t about me or what I would do. The question posed was whether this was a good shoot.

          But since you’re so interested in me, I invite you to go find my other posts here where I did mention some alternatives I suggested the officer should have taken. It’s not fair of me to clutter the board with reposts of my same material.

        • Paul, the officer turned away from the room for much more than Tueller Drill time. He wasn’t rushed by the kid, but repeatedly demanded the kid come out to the living room. Why? The officer hadn’t even made sure his back was covered. For all he knew the woman could have pulled a gun or knife and rushed him.

          He knew the kid wasn’t rational, agreed? He knew he had not secured his six o’clock, yes? His duty is to preserve life, not to preserve it unless he’s in a hurry. Had he cuffed or cleared the woman from the scene, had he secured the house but then been rushed by the kid on the run, the shooting would be good, not just good enough to get a pass from the review board.

    • How do you know? Actually, studies have shown that when police department have cameras like this on all their thugs complaints go down 80% and use of force goes down 60%. Look it up.

    • how this video ended up on the internet is the issue. I think the recording devices are good for evidence. The certainly will be used against you. Im not so sure they will be used to prove innocence since the footage could be “accidently” deleted.

      but since every Constitutional Lawyer wannabe is out there deliberately trying to trap cops into “infringing upon rights” with edited video on YouTube, having your own account is essential.

    • The cop put himself in that situation and allowed it to escalate. He fired five shots in quick succession, leaving zero time for assessing whether the first shot, or four, were sufficient to stop the threat.
      The officer should have withdrawn, waited for back up and let the trained professional negotiator talk the guy out, instead of going in gun blazing.

      If this had simply been an armed citizen who’d fired on this guy, most on here would castigate him as a “wish a MF’er would” kind of concealed carrier. However, because it’s a cop (the same one who would smash in your door with 15 of his buddies and trash your rights under the flimsiest of pretexts any other time), everyone’s oh so lovey dovey and eager to comp him one kill.

      • I gotta respectfully disagree.

        It’s the cop’s job to go into the situation. Unlike a citizen he’s paid by the community to investigate what’s going on, wade in and handle it, not avoid. Maybe he could have waited, I don’t know. From the woman’s description it sounds like the initial concern was the knife guy was intent on harming himself. Sure didn’t sound like the cop was amped up or looking for blood.

        If this had been a private citizen shooting many would have advised said private citizen to do exactly what the cop did “shoot ’em to the ground.”

        Looks like knife guy was about 10 feet away in that room or about 2.5 steps for a grown man. That’s pretty damn close. What are you proposing, he shoot once and then say “You okay buddy? You gonna drop the knife now?” Not realistic and we sure wouldn’t advise a private citizen confronted with a guy dual wielding knives ten feet away to do that, or to shoot to wound.

        The knife dudes chance to drop the knives was during the first few verbal warnings he received and as the officer was backing away from him. Knife guy decided not to drop the knives and to keep walking towards the cop. Knife guy got what he was looking for.

        A shame when things like this happen.

        Only caveat I’ll throw in is taser? But I dunno, I’m not a cop.

        • That’s fair. I don’t know what was in the cop’s mind when he showed up, either. From the video, it looks like he wanted to investigate is and resolve peacefully whatever he should happen to find. Unfortunately, the only thing that matters is what was going on at the instant he pulled the trigger (well, that, and the subsequent trigger pulls) and whether his actions were justified given the totality of the circumstances. It’s his decisions at that moment, his actions in that instant, that he’ll be judged on; not whether he clocked in that morning looking to take someone out that day.

          As for what I would propose, I’ve already posted that earlier before anyone asked me. Sorry, you don’t get to propose a response on my behalf, then conveniently disagree that faux response and discredit me in the process. Doesn’t work that way.

          As for what an officer is paid to do, well, it’s certainly not an open ended license to wade in and handle all of society’s ills. God help us all if the police ever consider carte blanche to be their mandate.

      • You preface many of your remarks with phrases like, “if this a been a….” You are obviously a slave to a great big bag full of preconceived notions regarding law enforcement, citizens, and the use of force. I submit that it disqualifies you from rendering an objective assessment.

        • You can “submit” whatever the heck you want. Unless you can intelligently refute anything I’ve written, instead of attacking me personally, it’s you who has forfeited credibility.

          Now, shall I give you another chance? Ok. Let’s hear from you how my exposing other people’s pro-police bias, somehow equates to an anti-police bias on my part. Go!

      • Jonathan, I don’t agree with the last aspersions, but I do agree that the officer should have secured his six before further action, should have waited for backup, and should thereby have slowed the situation down.

        There is much more to policing just as there is to self-defense. The standard for policing, though, is necessarily higher than for defense of self within the home. We don’t hire LEO’s to provide suicide by cop. We hire them to proceed with sensible processes to enforce the law without needlessly killing people, including people hiding in their bedroom.

        What’s going on? Is there an epidemic of “no backup available”? Who was the officer protecting by not backing up and clearing the woman from the area before proceeding? It just seems strange.

    • My thoughts exactly. He wanted to die.

      If I had someone advancing towards me like that with knives, I would have reacted the same way. Good shoot.

      • Someone who seeks suicide is pretty much by definition at the lowest point in their life. Judge a society by how it treats its weakest members. Apparently, it’s open season in that jurisdiction on its weakest members. What? Were there no widows, orphans and infirm that this twitchy, itchy finger cop could execute on that day?

        • Being suicidal and “low” is not a ticket to grab a knife and approach another person with that knife in hand, especially not in an already tense situation.

        • Agreed. Fortunately, nobody here argued that it was. Any other straw men or is that it?

          Now, to the point of what actually happened here, neither is being at the lowest point in your life automatically a license for a cop to kill someone. The totality of circumstances must be reviewed, just as would be the case were any private citizen to commit a homicide.

        • The cop here did not use the fact that this person was at their lowest point to justify firing, he used the fact that he was being approached with a deadly weapon. You simply do not get to continue approaching a police officer with a deadly weapon in your hand.

          To say that being at ones lowest does not justify lethal force is to suggest that this is what happened here, it is not.

        • Jerry, your use of epithets like “Big fella” and “bubba” is gratuitous and highly unusual on this site. It would be nice if you’d lay off that.

      • If cops can enter houses and push distraught residents to a confrontation when no other person’s life is at risk, I’m stunned. Assume your grandfather calls you because your grandmother with dementia is in her bedroom with a knife. Only one house entrance. Your grandfather is outside. You’re carrying. You push it, she comes out slowly with the knife taking steps toward you, and you have a clear doorway right behind you, do you then…shoot her five times? No. That’s absurd.

        If you hire LEO’s in your town and tell them they have no duty to retreat if they can safely do so with no risk to their own or other lives, I think you’re making a mistake. The fact that the LEO sounded calm when he came into the house has nothing to do with whether he actually did what an LEO should do given the same facts.

        • Sorry, this was not some decrepit old grandma hobbling into harm’s way, it was a distraught young man of unknown physical agility repeatedly refusing to comply with clear and explicite directions from the police officer.

        • Don’t underestimate those grandmas. Seriously, if it weren’t a 911 call suspecting the guy was going to harm himself, but was a warrant service or a hot pursuit of a violent criminal, the shooting would seem perfectly ordinary.

          There are enough loons who feel for a day or two that suicide-by-cop would be wonderful that I think it should be discouraged. An LEO’s actual job is to investigate crime and get those believed chargeable into a courtroom (or at least into a conference room with an assistant DA). I believe in slow-speed police procedure, cameras, and backup when a private residence is involved. Just me? Just my township?

        • I save those terms of endearment for those who deserve it. You seem to know an awful lot about police procedures and use of force policies. How long have you been an officer? Dealt with many EDP calls have you? I put the badge on 14 years ago and have dealt with a fairly large number of them. Some suicidal, some just delusional, all of them unpredictable. Fortunately, I have never had to use the deadly force option but the possibility is there. An officer’s responsibility is to protect life and property. That includes the lives of those who would end it. This officer arrived on scene, got the complainant out of the house to a place of reasonable safety and made entry. I was under the impression he was speaking to the second officer on the scene via hand-held, when he said” I need you in the house right now” The suspect advanced on the officer, who commanded him several times to drop his weapons all the while retreating. The suspect did not stop, he was shot. Could the officer have retreated outside? Yes. What if the suspect had followed? How many potential victims if he gets off the property? Less lethal options? Tasers and spray are used to restrain or control a suspect in a non-deadly force situation. This was not that situation. A lot of possible scenarios that we can envision from the safety of our lap tops, we were not facing a suicidal, possibly homicidal suspect advancing on us with a knife. Watching this tape, I saw a brave, conscientious officer attempting to save human life, and then being forced to save his own. In the ensuing investigation, an officer’s actions are not judged on whether his tactics were as crisp as Wellington’s at Waterloo, they focus on whether or not his actions were reasonable. Given the situation, any situation, were his actions reasonable? Apparently they were to the satisfaction of his superiors. Most people, except people like you, would see this as a justified use of force. I don’t really care what you think, I just get a little irritated by comments from keyboard commandos who will never face anything more dangerous than a trip to the grocery store.

  3. Is this a serious question?

    The Officer went in to check the well being on someone who was reportedly in the process of cutting himself. He can’t wait because the guy can be bleeding out. He clearly identified himself and called for the guy to come out. He didn’t, further indicating that the man could have been in need of immediate medical attention. He goes in slowly and finds the guy standing in the kitchen with a knife. He gives clear and concise orders to drop the knife and even gives verbal warning that he will shoot if necessary. The guy chooses to advance on him with a knife from 10-12 feet after being told he would be shot if he didn’t drop it.

    As for retreating, it is neither legally necessary nor is it tactically advisable in this case. Once he is in that proximity with the guy, and he had to be due to the exigency of being told the guy already cut himself, he could be stabbed in less time than he could turn around. Backing up quickly without turning around and you can easily trip and fall, especially in an unfamiliar environment like someone else’s house. He did back up slowly while keeping his gun on the guy, which was his only option, but the guy kept coming.

    Of course it is a justified shoot, the officer had no choice. Advance on a uniformed officer with a knife in your hand, while being given orders to drop the knife, and you should expect to get shot. In point of fact, I believe the guy expected exactly that as this appears to be a suicide by cop.

    • I feel bad for the police officer. Even when he first calls into the residence, you can tell that he’s scared shitless.

      He took every opportunity to reason with him, and that guy got A LOT closer than I, for one, would have comfortable with.

    • Of course it was suicide by cop. As for retreat being risky when the guy appeared with the knife at the other end of the room, and slowly, I don’t by that at all. A minute before the shooting the officer was one step away from his location and at the door. For all his fear (which I didn’t detect) he turned completely away from the room and was facing outside the door.

      He never provided safety for himself. He did oblige the kid with the desired suicide. Is this normal across the US, to leave the caller, the woman, by the door, and to not await backup and not slow down the process? It sure isn’t normal where I live. Our LEO’s may never enter a domestic or ‘weapon involved’ without backup, unless they must to save life…and that does not mean save a self-harming person’s life.

  4. Coulda, woulda, shoulda, doesn’t matter. He gave him multiple orders to drop the weapons and stop, he did neither.It was completly justified, though it definatly could have gone down better. Cops are people just like the rest of us. He was as nervous as any of us would have been.

  5. I can’t say if it was a good shoot or not, I don’t know their policies or equipment, maybe if he had a taser he could have shot him with that, without one though a man with a knife was told eight times to stop and drop it but kept advancing on the officer.

    What is of interest to me, is that if this shooting was analyzed for one of those ridiculous stopping power studies. Whatever caliber it was would appear to be weak, needing five shots to drop the guy, but in reality the officer reflexively fired the five shots before it’s likely he could even see the effect of the first shot.

    Additionally every cop in the nation should have one of these cameras mounted to them, maybe better placed than this one though, so holding your arms up doesn’t block the view.

    • “Additionally every cop in the nation should have one of these cameras mounted to them, maybe better placed than this one though, so holding your arms up doesn’t block the view.”

      That’s the plan for a lot of PD’s around the country. Sooner or later it will be on every cop out there.

    • Equipment is a non-issue here because there wasn’t another Officer on scene. Tasers fail frequently because you have to get proper probe separation and contact with both probes. It is easy for one to miss or for something as trivial as clothing to block one of them and the Taser is useless. Trying to use a one shot device with that kind of probability of failure when your life is on the line is extremely foolish.

      Had their been two officers, one could use a taser while his partner maintained a lethal option if the taser failed, but that wasn’t the case.

      • That’s a strong point, about the limited and inconsistent effectiveness of tasers. I wouldn’t want to rely on a taser option alone, either, were I faced with an armed suspect. Having a second officer on scene ready to deploy another level of force prior to engaging the suspect would have been preferable and, given what this video reveals, was an option available to this officer.

      • Correct. It is standard use of force procedure to respond to deadly force, in this case the knife held by the suspect, with deadly force. The only exception would be when the suspect lacks the means to pose a realistic threat – which was not the case here.

        The fact the officer backed up, apparently to the door, gave the suspect every chance he could to drop the knife. As noted above, exiting the door would have exposed the woman on the steps to becoming a victim or hostage or seeing a gun pointed at her boyfriend, could have attacked the officer.

        I would not be surprised if his supervisor ripped him a new one for letting himself get backed up to where the woman was more likely to become a threat.

        • I’ll be amazed if his supervisor doesn’t rip him a new one for failing to cuff and car the woman. It is absolutely commonplace that women will interfere with the cop if they sense he’s going to actually shoot the guy. Why on earth does anyone watching this think it is good police work to leave the woman in close proximity as he enters the house. It simply isn’t. As for no backup at his side, what was the rush? The officer knew the guy had a knife and was distraught, and that there was no one else in the house. Who exactly was the cop protecting at that point by his presence alone in the house? Why not do the calling and ordering from outside the house? No reason whatever.

      • As a cop who has actually used a Taser X26 in the line of duty, I absolutely agree. My Taser worked perfectly because my partner literally threw it to me. The suspect was using a pillow to block the taser. A quick toss and shoot was able to overcome that situation. Since I had a partner, and didn’t need lethal force, that option was available to me. A taser would not be an appropriate force option in the scenario here. It is easily defeated by an intermediate barrier and offers only 1 or two shots.

        I’m not aware of any police for that uses an X3 (3-shot) taser. We use X2’s (two shot), an upgrade from the X26. Most departments use X26’s, X2’s, or the olde school M26.

        • I note you had a partner present. That is an enormous difference from the video. Tasers are unreliable, but they cause fewer lawsuits than less lethal shotgun rounds, which I think are a better option when the suspect is known to have a knife. Tasers fail even without pillows blocking.

          I think the disappearance of less lethal shotgun is a mistake. I think the officer’s entering the house without securing his six, and without backup at his side, was a bigger mistake.

    • I’d say that guy needs to go teach the NYPD some marksmanship. Can’t tell how many times he hit him, but from the camera angle and what looked to be good technique, he may have put all 5 in the 10 ring. I only hope I do that well if, God forbid, I ever need to pull the trigger.

    • The tragedy is that even with the camera this officer is going to be second-guessed and judged as a killer by people who have no understanding of these situations. I’m glad more and more police are wearing cameras, it’s in the best interests of everybody when they do.
      In this case it looks like the officer did all he could do under the circumstances and showed a great measure of patience.

      • “The tragedy is that even with the camera this officer is going to be second-guessed and judged as a killer by people who have no understanding of these situations.”
        I’d hardly consider that to be the tragedy here. Regardless, it doesn’t matter how much he gets second guessed as the only people whose opinion matters are those involved with prosecution/defense in a court of law.

        • Or those who try to spin emotional reactions INTO law. Remember, that’s what our President is trying to do with gun control.

      • The police should be questioned good shoots and bad shoots so that maybe they could avoid shooting all together. The police are supposed to work for us and If i am paying someone to do something i expect my question to be answered or i find someone else. All police should have the camera on every second they are on the clock. I think it could weed out the bad cops straighten out the borderline cops and reward the real police Plus it might get rid of a lot of the dead weight and save us all some money

  6. What’s the old song? “I fought the law, and the law won!”

    1. Ordered to drop knife…..fail
    2. See #1
    3. See #1 again.
    4. Advanced toward Cop with knife… fail
    5. Cop remembered 21 ft. Rule
    6. See #1
    7. Bang!

    • There is no 21-foot-rule once the LEO’s gun is up. There is no evidence for it, and it isn’t part of the Tueller Drill demonstration. People with lots of experience will look at this video and ask the cop “why were you in the house alone with an armed perp, without backup, without securing the woman, and given that there was no one else in the house to protect from the idiot with the knife.”

  7. When there are police abuses I am the first to stand up and say so. However, this is not one of those times, this was a “good shoot” (if there ever really is a good time to shoot another human being…..). The man was approaching him with knives and would not stop or back down when ordered. I feel sorry for the woman and the obviously disturbed man, but the cop did what he had to do to ensure his own protection.

    • After all, the officer had no other choice, right?

      Exactly. The officer had no other choice because he waived all other options and put himself and the suspect in that engagement. At that point, there may or may not have been another option; but the proper criticism of the officer is for failing to preserve additional option in the first place, some of which have been mentioned here already.

      • In these situations, it is the suspect that determines the options available to the responding officer, not the officer. The officer can only go one step at a time, making decisions based on what they know at that time. But, ultimately, it is the suspects response to the situation that determines the outcome.

      • Actually, that’s not quite true. The officer had plenty of options other than shooting. He could have withdrawn. He could have called for back up. He could have attempted less lethal forms of defense. He could have negotiated. He could have fired fewer than five rounds in rapid fire succession. Normally I wouldn’t ever suggest anyone “could have shot him in the leg instead of killing him”, because normally these events happen lightening quick and catch people off guard. In this case, no deal. That guy was zombie slow and the officer was well prepared to fire. He had other options at that moment, and many other options prior to that moment, but he allowed those options to pass him by. That’s on him as an officer.

        • Sorry you got spam filtered. Your misspelling of accountability was unfortunately placed.

          That said, I’d put A81’s accountability and integrity up against just about anyone’s here, based on the comments I’ve read from him over the past 18 months or so.

  8. I think the officer should have told the suspect 4 more times to drop the knives. If that failed, he should have pulled his skirt over his head and ran screaming from the house, pausing to tell the female complainant that she was on her own.

  9. A justified use of lethal force, in my opinion. Too bad. If Coeur d’Alene PD has a Crisis Intervention Team, they need to mobilize them pronto to deal with the young woman who can be heard in the backgroujnd asking, “You didn’t shoot him, did you? Tell me you didn’t shoot him.” Bad mojo here.

  10. Sigh……20 years ago everybody would have said that was a bad shoot.

    ““I’m worried about him cutting himself,” Woods told Mortensen before the shooting. ”

    Why did the cop then further proceed deeper into the Apt where the only option he’d have was shooting?
    Why didn’t he just sit outside and think about things when the resident said there was no way out?
    They knew who he was, and he wasn’t going anywhere.

    So yeah, I think the shooting was legal but un-necessary.

    Just another reminder to never call the cops if someone you love has any kind of mental issue.

    • He had to go inside. The man was suicidal, if the cop had waited outside then he could have been bleeding out. The cop didn’t go inside to shoot the guy, he went inside to try to save his damn life.

      But, unfortunately, the man didn’t want to be saved.

      • “The cop didn’t go inside to shoot the guy, he went inside to try to save his damn life.”

        With civil servants like that, who needs criminals?

    • This was a no-win scenario all around. Had he waited outside and the guy (who is suicidal and now feels even more cornered and trapped) then killed himself inside, then people would jump his shit for not doing anything. There’s not much chance of a call like this ending happily, no matter what you do.

      • Totally agreed, this is a catch 22 and a shit sandwich of one at that.

        EDIT: @doesky2 +100 on never calling the cops about a mental issue, sadly people have not gathered this yet.

        • Yup. Absolute shit sandwich scenario and every body had a big goddamn bite. There was no good way out of that for anyone involved. Sucks.

        • Absolutely true. Call the cops over a mental issue, too often it ends in that person’s death.

      • That’s seriously doubtful. Except for wrist slashing, successful suicide by self-inflicted knife wounds is rare. Even wrist slashing is iffy. Suicidal attempts that include wrist slashing frequently also include some other method such as pills or hanging. Wrist slashing by itself is not a very effective means of committing suicide and few people actually die of it.

        This is especially true if the victim cuts laterally across the wrist. He or she may do substantial damage to the important tendons which control the fingers. He or she may even cut an important artery or vein, but the blood vessels will immediately draw back into the muscles surrounding them, effectively sealing off any major leakage of blood.

        It should have been obvious to this officer, as it was to everyone here commenting, that this was setting up to be suicide by cop. There was no exigent circumstance to engage the suspect or continue to engage him, as it was obvious he demonstrated no act of directly harming himself or the officer.

    • I agree they just make anything worse . Even know this policeman didn’t seem to have an attitude Most police could care less about people with mental issue’s they look at them as target practice. I have heard so many talk police down about people Mental Issues . If you get a policeman with that kind of attitude Low IQ macho man thinks he is God personality you can bet someone will die.It comes down n a lot of cases of Poor Training, Bravado complex and the distain for anyone who may not be as fortunate as them.

      • This shoot was reasonable. a taser would have been nice or maybe a way to deescalate the encounter you have to wonder what the girl who called is thinking now.

  11. I think this video will help to show that the cop’s actions were reasonable. He was beyond patient, and he retreated as the man advanced. Short of turning tail and running, what was he supposed to do? And is that what we pay cops to do?

    That said, it was still a fail. Two things:

    -He should have had a taser with the other officers who came in the door having trained weapons as back up. He could have tased him the moment he had eyes on him.

    -Five shots? He had time to calmly choose a non-fatal target area and fire once or twice to disable. Pulling the trigger five times until the guy hits the dirt is a bit overkill for a non-violent guy moving with all the speed of a Walking Dead extra.

    All the guy had to do was stop advancing on the cop. And put down the knives. He chose to die.

    • 1)Some departments don’t have tasers or keep them concentrated in specialized unit
      2) a non fatal area? Are you kidding me?? If you’re going to shoot shoot center mass every time. Even if you absurdly try to shoot in the legs you could still sever the femoral artery.

    • While it would be nice if no cop ever had to arrive alone on such a call it simply doesn’t happen. The resources aren’t available for every car to be a two man unit and without at least a second cop present less lethal options were simply not viable options. They fail easily and exceed a reasonable level of risk if a second officer isn’t there with a lethal option.

      As for the five shots comment, it demonstrates fairly clearly you don’t understand either physiological incapacitation of small arms or the psychology of deadly force encounters. You shoot to stop the threat. No half measures when your life is at stake. You aim for the most likely place to incapacitate (in most cases that will be the thoracic cavity) and you shoot until the threat is no longer a threat. It isn’t hard to get off five shots before your mind, under that kind of stress, can even perceive that the threat is neutralized.

      This officer performed quite well, actually, all things considered.

    • If you’re being attacked with lethal force you respond with corresponding force. People can and do fight through pepper spray (hell it’s part of most police academies–you get sprayed and then have to perform some police related task). Tasers malfunction frequently. They’re simply not as viable an option as a firearm

    • “He had time to calmly choose a non-fatal target area and fire once or twice to disable.”

      That is a really bad strategy Adub. First of all, what “non-fatal target area” would you suggest? A thigh? Clip the femoral artery in the thigh and the man will bleed out in a few minutes. Or break the femur (thigh bone) and that could release a fat embolism that kills the man in seconds. Furthermore, something like a person’s leg is a relatively small target area and we all know that many police officers are relatively poor marksmen. The chances of missing the thigh are quite high. Most importantly, such a tactic absolutely does NOT guarantee to stop the man from advancing. Heck, an attacker is physically capable of attacking for at least 10 seconds even after taking a perfect shot to the heart from a handgun.

      Perhaps you are confusing the lethality of a handgun with its ability to immediately stop someone. While handguns can certainly be lethal, only shots to the head or spine are guaranteed to instantly stop an attacker. And the spine is an extremely small target area. There is a reason that pretty much all training tells us to aim for “center of mass”.

      • I simply think that with the officer having the time to retreat against a slow-moving depressed person, he had the time to pick his shot(s) rather than panic dump. And while I think the shooting was justified, I think a gun is the wrong tool when dealing with a suicidal person.

        Note, he didn’t attack his female friend with the knife. He was only a danger to himself till the cop came inside.

      • How about the groin, then? I’m confident the two of us can settle on a non-lethal area that can be hit. Remember, “maybe death” is a preferable option to “shoot him full of holes”. If we shoot him in a “non-lethal” area and he dies, we at least tried to not kill him.

        As opposed to, say, shoot until he’s dead. Remember, the cop got off 8 shots in the span of time the “attacker” traversed a foot, at the most….

    • Non-fatal areas to shoot checklist:

      Head- nope.
      Neck- nope.
      Arms – nope.
      Chest – nope.
      Gut – nope.
      Groin – nope.
      Legs – nope.

      Looks like we’re left trying to score a hand or foot shot to ensure there is no possibility of a fatal wound. I recommend setting up an IDPA target with broom handles sticking out as arms and legs with attached balloons to simulate the hands and feet so the operator can practice getting hits on those target areas.

  12. The thing that impressed me most with the video was the tone in the cop’s voice. There was nothing Rambo-esque in it. He didn’t sound like a badged up peckerhead. He sounded like someone who did not want to shoot.

    He could have retreated outside the home, but then what if the guy followed him out? Clearly the cop was concerned about containment – he asked the woman if there was a back door. Any retreat once the cop realized the man was armed with two knives would have done little, other than delay the end result and potentially expose others to harm, e.g., imagine the guy getting out the door and then running away – harder to justify shooting him then – and getting into someone else’s house where he then kills innocents. I would never judge anyone for not using a less-than-lethal option on a man advancing on them who was armed with deadly weapons. What would he do? Taze the guy? Use pepper spray? Those are far from 100% effective. Now, if the guy was just sitting or standing, that might be different.

    I think this is a justifiable shooting. It is also sad and the dead guy was a scumbag for putting others – cops and his family – at risk because he was too chicken to just off himself. This is certainly suicide by cop. I feel for the cop and his family. This is one where there was just no good outcome available.

    • I noticed his tone of voice as well and you beat me to it! Seems like the entire time he was cool as a cucumber, I couldnt really tell if he was the only one or scene or not, but the radio calls suggest that I guess.

      So cutting doesnt necessarily equal suicide, and I think the lady is almost equally as responsible about the shooting as the officer is. The words she used and information she gave directly influenced him to enter, by suicide by cop is 100% accurate, it would be nice to live in “what if” land today but that is sadly not the case 🙂

  13. The insanity of the entire situation is what strikes me. “Stop trying to kill yourself, or I’ll shoot you!”

    Aside from the inherent contradiction in the scenario, it doesn’t look like the cop had much choice here.

    • On the surface, that seems ridiculous (because it is/would be). But that’s not what happened…he went to check on a suicidal individual. What he got was a threatening individual. And not defense threatening (stay away, leave me a alone), but offensive threatening (I’m coming at you). Had the man dropped the knife, not advanced towards the officer, or even retreated with the knife, then he would not have been shot.

      • Totally a suicide by cop. The guy was threatening to kill himself, then saw an opportunity to have someone else do it for him. Why cut yourself when you can get someone to shoot you?

        In the end, I agree that it was a good shoot. That cop did all he could with that situation. However, I think the takeaway here is that cops are not the people you want to call if you desire to help a suicidal individual. They are not mental health professionals and are likely to bring further distress to a suicidal person. Cops are like Dr. Kevorkian for suicidal people.

      • You’re right, I was oversimplifying the situation, and it doesn’t 100% apply here. But the point I was trying (and failed) to make was that the police aren’t really equipped to deal with a suicidal person. The police have a limited set of tools at their disposal, and all of them are backed by threat of violence.

  14. i am actually surprised by the officer’s restraint and calmness throughout. the person he was dealing with had a knife and was moving towards the officer, the officer was moving backwards the whole time and the guy he was talking to was not responding to commands or even saying anything. what’s interesting from a legal standpoint is what a homeowner is to do when he is facing a tumultuous entry. what if you are at home, did nothing, and maybe you are listening to your ipod in your own badly lit house, you are making a sandwich and you turn the corner and BAM, there’s a man pointing a gun at you. i think we would all have a few moments of disbelief and fear. all in all a bad situation, but one where from the officer’s point of view i think he behaved correctly, as well as possibly even the deceased from the deceased’s perspective. police have to make crappy judgment calls all the time. sucks.

    • I thought the cop did a good job of retreating several times instead of just blasting away. Everybody accuses cops of being Rambo, but this guy was more Andy Griffith.

      • Big time.
        Next comes the shakes so bad that you want to go hide somewhere so no one sees it. Then check yourself to see if you peed your pants.

        • As you probably already know it can go both ways. This kind of stress can cure constipation in a rush or, as in my case when I’ve been shot at, can pucker you up so tight that you can’t drive a knitting needle up your ass with a 16 pound sledge hammer.

          Like most military guys in the day I smoked. The simple act of getting a smoke out and working a zippo was beyond me, the shakes were so bad.

    • Is it just me, or is the officer actually crying after he clears himself into his radio?

      I feel bad for the poor guy (the officer).

  15. I am extremely critical when it comes to police misconduct. In my opinion this was a legally justified use of deadly force.

    Was it avoidable? I doubt it. All of a few seconds elapsed between the time the officer actually saw for himself that the man was armed (with one or more knives) and the time that he fired. The officer provided several warnings and the man with the knife kept advancing.

    If someone is thinking that the man with the knife was not a threat because he was advancing slowly, they would be wrong. That is a clever tactic when you are trying to advance on an armed person. In that scenario the man with the knife is gambling that the cop doesn’t have the conviction to actually pull the trigger if the man doesn’t seem to be too threatening. The man with the knife is also hoping that his slow advance confuses the cop.

    In the end a man with a weapon in hand was advancing on someone after that someone warned the man several times to stop and put his weapon down. When that man with a weapon continues to advance after four to eight warnings, it is time to stop the threat.

    Oh, and for you Monday morning quarterbacks, retreat was not an attractive option. The woman who stepped outside could be part of an ambush. The police officer was between two unknown people with unknown intentions. That is about as precarious and dangerous as a situation can get.

    • uncommon, the unknown woman’s presence, the failure to clear her from the immediate area, is the beginning of most criticisms here. I, for one, don’t think a guy advancing with a knife can or should be ignored. Clear.

      The question is, was the process leading to that risk good police work. I’ll just say no, and if people challenge it, I’ll simply point to your comment which correctly identifies the fact that the LEO had not made sure of his own safety before advancing into the room. I agree with you.

      • Yep. At this point, we have absolutely no evidence the kid was a “violent scumbag”. The cop, on the other hand….

    • It’s a bit disturbing that you think because a guy crashed into a utility pole, became upset and suicidal, and then when confronted by a cop took the opportunity to commit suicide-by-cop, that somehow makes him a “violent scumbag.”

      • Yeah; I see no justification for that. Hurt, confused and irrational is a far cry from “violent scumbag”. It’s entirely possible he’d never behaved in a violent manner (if what he did is “violence”!) before this incident.

        He could have suffered some kind of traumatic brain injury. Especially if he hadn’t been wearing a seat belt.

        Of course, if he wasn’t wearing a seat belt, that’s a good shoot!

  16. I don’t think this cop really wanted to shoot him, but he had that choice taken away from him when the guy didn’t decent.
    I feel sorry for all involved.

  17. have personal experience with excessive force by a police officer, this was not it. Tragic? Yes. Avoidable? Possibly, but it was what it was and something that will haunt the office the rest of his life. Not going to second guess the guy for doing his job. The victim had ample opportunity to comply with the police office. He choose his own fate. Learn from it and move on. Moral, never bring a knife to a gunfight….

  18. If any of you folks have had a simple self defense class besides the permit class.
    When its knife on gun and less then 21 ft.
    You shoot!!!
    That’s less then 2 seconds and 3 steps for a slow poke to stick you.
    Its also one of my personal biggest fear in life.
    Getting cut.
    Ive seen it more then once.
    Id rather shoot, to live another day.
    That cop showed more restraint then most given the same situation.
    From his breathing afterwards. He still maintained his cool.
    He remembered his training no doubt about that.
    Text book reaction to a given situation from a single cop with no backup in sight.
    Good shoot in my book.

  19. No offense to anyone, but if you’ve never been in a situation that involved firing a weapon at another human being you perhaps don’t realize the unintentional hilarity of statements like shooting at a non fatal area or shooting to wound.

    • Having not ever had to fire a shot at another human, I still find it odd that someone who is on TTAG enough to make comments, hasn’t come across the topic of shooting center mass during a DGU 🙂

      And then to think that there aren’t vital arteries in all appendages, a topic for another day.

  20. The shooting was justifiable. If people don’t want to risk their loved ones being shot by police when they are having a mental episode, they should not call the police. The actions of the man with the knife were inexplicable and the officer is obligated to protect himself, not take a stabbing for some random citizen.

    Locally there was an officer last year who did everything the right way, chasing down a guy who was breaking into cars, but when he got up to the dude he got his jugular slashed and bled to death. Horrible way to die.

    • “If people don’t want to risk their loved ones being shot by police when they are having a mental episode, they should not call the police.”

      If you’re suggesting that they call for an ambulance instead, the EMTs & paramedics are not going to go in if the scene is dangerous. They are going to wait until the police secure the scene.

      If you have suggestions on what a person should do instead, I would appreciate hearing them (in all seriousness).

  21. So here’s my question: did this officer have a non-lethal device (taser / pepper spray) on their person and why wasn’t that employed in this situation before using deadly force?

    I get that it’s a bit of a catch 22 because the man was holding a knife and moving towards him and he was in that critical danger distance of less than 20ft (ie. imminent danger) but, every opportunity should be given to resolve the situation without loss of life.

    It’s clear the man was mentally disturbed or confused and did not drop the knife at the sight of a police officer pointing a gun at him and he did ignore multiple commands and warnings.

    But, if the officer had pepper spray or some other non-lethal tool, why wasn’t that employed first? I would think non-lethal options are able to be used one-handed (off-hand) while he kept his hand on his firearm (in the holster) or in retention in case the person did end up charging him. And instead of continuously advancing, the officer could’ve put furniture between him and the person to buy time and the opportunity to go a non-lethal route (with lethal as immediate backup).

    I realize this is all computer-quarterbacking and hindsight, but bottom line is, if the option of non-lethal force is available, shouldn’t that be used first?

    • Because it is unreliable and impractical in such close quarters, that is my opinion at least.

      This guy had just fled a hit and run and was holding two knives. You want to spray him with pepper juice or hope the taser drops him? I sure don’t.

      • Ah, I skipped the back story on this before commenting. I was just going straight off the video which seemed like a knife vs. gun lethal force discussion.

        Well the back story simplifies things as there is a string of mentally unstable actions taken by this guy prior to the confrontation in the video.

        In that case, this was a justifiable use of lethal force against a dangerous and mentally unstable individual with a lethal weapon.

        • So if the guy was al altar boy just returning from mass, bad shoot. But since he may have been involved in questionable behavior prior to the incident, the shoot is good?

        • @Matt

          Background is important when it comes to context, intent, and motive. With the information that the suspect fled the scene of an accident, that already tells me they’re confused or deranged already. Most people may panic after an accident, but they wouldn’t generally leave their vehicle. They would just call and wait for the police to arrive.

          And even if they did leave the scene, going into a friend’s home to grab not one, but two knives, is a clear sign of deranged / confused thinking.

          It also tells me they have intent to do harm,either to themselves or others. Why else would you leave the scene of an accident and go grab knives? And to boot, the suspect displayed further irrational behavior by not dropping them when confronted by an officer with a gun. The average person with a healthy sense of preservation of life would have dropped the knives immediately.

          Had it been an altar boy (your example), then that just tells me that person is even more confused or mentally deranged because of the standard of moral responsibility / knowledge that goes along with that role. I think it’s not unfounded to be more disturbed to find an altar boy wielding two knives in a kitchen as it would be an average joe with no background information.

    • “I realize this is all computer-quarterbacking and hindsight, but bottom line is, if the option of non-lethal force is available, shouldn’t that be used first”

      Generally the standard for a private citizen is equal force. The standard for an LEO is necessary force to perform his duties. A knife is a lethal weapon and it only takes 1 min 25 sec for unconsciousness and a little less than 2 minutes until death from a single carotid artery cut. Cut both arteries and it takes half that time. I believe this case met the private citizen standard for equal force and the LEO standard was not needed and may not even apply here. Non-lethal force could have been a tactically poor and possibly fatal choice.

  22. what it looks like:

    cop willfully developing a situation where he is legally justified to do homicide.

    he knows the guy has a knife. so what’s the point of engaging him like that? threatening to kill a possibly suicidal man? the cop wanted to kill someone, what else makes sense?

    • gabba,

      The cop didn’t know that the man had a knife until he saw it himself. That woman could have been lying. So the cop investigated. Once he saw the man with the knife, the man was advancing on the cop within a two or three seconds. The cop really did not have any other options.

  23. We talked about it a couple weeks ago ( somewhere around there) about having body cams on all on duty officers, and this is one of the best example ever. How do you prove suicide by cop if the only 2 people there are shooter and shootee? Body cams are pretty objective evidence, even if they do have the potential to have “officer induced technical difficulties”.

    EDIT: I failed and didnt read the story ahead of time, but
    “Mortensen and other officers approached the apartment at 1422 E. Young Ave. shortly before 8 a.m. that Sunday looking for Johnston, who had driven his pickup truck into a utility pole, knocking it over, a half-hour earlier about a block away.”

    The fact that he just fled the scene of his own accident could definitely suggest some kind of substance being involved.

    • As far as I see it there is no excuse for an officer not to record every interaction he has on duty. Just like when you call a bill collector or utility provider and you are told “this call may be monitored for quality assurance.”

      We have the technology!

  24. Police should not and do not have a duty to retreat. The logical conclusions of such a duty would be that police would be useless.

    • Police, being citizens, have the same duty to retreat (or not) as other law-abiding citizens.

      If your government restricts citizens unduly, set about fixing that or going someplace else that respects the rights of the citizen.

  25. The deceased had full control of the outcome here. He created a no-win situation, a real-life Kobayashi Maru scenario, and the cop did what he had to do.

    A sad shoot, but not a bad shoot.

    As for the woman whining in the background, all I can say to her is: what the hell did you expect?

    • I’m sure she expected taser or pepper spray, or even the baton. But if the cop only had a gun, well, when you only have a hammer, everything is a nail.

      • Adub, if someone was advancing on you with a knife, which of the following would you choose? Pepper spray, taser, baton, or gun? Less/less than lethal levels of force are not valid options when confronted with a lethal force. Well, unless you don’t value your own life I suppose.

        • “Advancing” is technically true, but a better description would be “creeping”. There was definitely a little more time available in which the cop could make his decision.

          I don’t want the cop’s head on a stick; I just think he could have done better. Hopefully, he learns from this, and becomes a better cop.

  26. Police are not obligated,but it would be nice if tasing or shooting to injure was an option.We should not expect this if an officer is confronting someone with a weapon.

    Body cam seems like a good idea as long as it can not be turned off .

    I have talked about parents calling police when their schizophrenic child is violent.Police should be the last option.

    • Until there’s a sidearm with selectable lethality (such as a Lawgiver), this is not reasonable. It’s not reasonable to expect an officer in such a situation to cycle through their available equipment, “real-time weapon change” only exists in video games.

    • Shooting to injure is a non starter, but at that range it would have been easy to hold the gun in the dominant hand and attempt to tase him using the offhand. If that was unsuccessful and the suspect became dangerous it would have been fairly easy to make center of mass one handed. He could have also waited for backup (which was no more than 30 seconds away).

      I would call this a grey shoot. Not bad, but not the best possible outcome.

    • > Police are not obligated,but it would be nice if tasing or shooting to injure was an option.

      Whether or not to shoot to injure is a judgement call, but it’s usually a extremely poor judgement.

      Shooting somebody in the legs or the arms is extremely error prone and difficult. They are much faster and much smaller moving targets then the body. Also this is not the movies: Getting shot in the upper arm or upper leg is often just as lethal as getting shot in the chest. The reason for this is because you have massive arteries near the surface of your body on the inside of your your legs and arms that if severed by a bullet will pump out a lethal amount of blood in seconds.

      Also shooting somebody in the legs or arms is not going to stop them. Even if he shot out one leg it is still possible for that person to attack and kill you with a knife. Most of us have probably seen videos of people walking away from accidents or other situations with broken bones in the legs or arms before falling over moments later when they realize the extent of their injuries. Also drugs are a factor. A person high on meth or something like PCP can only be reliably stopped by destroying major internal organs. But even without that adrenaline is extremely powerful For short periods of extreme stress (just a few minutes) your muscles can operate completely without any form of oxygen instead it uses a internal store of energy that gets released by your stress hormones. This is were the stories of women lifting cars to get to their children come from.

      This is a dramatization, but it is fairly accurate account of the famous 1986 Miam Dade shootout between 2 armed men and the FBI. Both criminals were shot early into the fight, but one managed to pretty much single handily wipe out most of the FBI agents before he loses his ability to focus his eyes due to massive blood lose. They were not high or anything like that. This is just pure human physiology going into effect.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBGfKtuo2AM

      So, no, if you are going to shoot. Shoot to kill. You don’t have a choice.

      Shooting to injure implies that lethal force is not appropriate. If lethal force is not appropriate then you should not be using a pistol.

  27. Sad story. The officer is going to question his judgment to shoot for the rest of his life. Taking a life is hard to deal with. Yeah he could have used no lethal force but police officers are poorly trained. Most officers train by shooting paper and hand to hand combat in a gym. The problem is they don’t get enough stress training. As an instructor I love simulation. It hurts like hell and puts you under a lot of pressure.

  28. This has been on our local news for a while now, but never showed the entire video. This actually happened this last summer, the CdA police recently released this video, after it was deemed a justifiable shoot. And I would agree looking at the entire video.

  29. Never ever think that all cops are good cops….I know otherwise and I’m telling you straightup that there were many acop I knew years ago that would flat out agree with my view. Hence….I knew enough about the bad cops and who there were to avoid any contact with these.

    Sorry people….that is just the way it is. Hell…my ex brother – in-law was a cop and in his department…the same gig was evident.

  30. Officer: “Eric, it’s the police. Please come out. Eric, put down the knives. Eric put down the knives or I will SHOOT you. Put the knives down!”

    Eric: “LOL NOPE.”

        • How’s this for a creative response.

          I get a lot of heat for being anti-cop, and I’m damn sure I’ve sued more PDs than you have, and I think you’re being a useless twit.

          Oops, I misspelled that last word.

        • There are two entire separate issues presented in this video. One issue is “if a man approaches a cop with a knife, won’t drop it on command, is shooting appropriate?” Of course.

          The other issue is “should LEO’s enter a house with a suspected suicidal person reported to be armed with a knife and intending self harm, where the LEO does not have backup and has a person of unknown character at his back who has not been frisked and ordered away or cuffed?” The answer is no. It’s SOP in my township and Ralph, in yours. Why? For the obvious reasons. The shoot was justified. The SOP leading to the confrontation is not, which is the reason so many townships have a very different protocol.

          I thought the challenge of the post was “can the procedures used here be improved to reduced the likelihood of lethal confrontation?” Sure, and the subject is highly worth discussion. Who wants another LEO with the burden Mortensen now bears? Nobody. As for the global “cops are awful” and “you’re just a cop hater” comments, they both make discussion unrewarding.

  31. I played it both with and without sound and watched the time on when things happened. There was about 1 minutes 20 seconds between the time the LEO entered the house and when he saw the man with the knives. Roughly another 15 seconds went by before he discharged the weapon. This is not a lot of time to think of all the options and potentials. Some of the comments show a lot of deep thinking but I doubt this officer had the time to go into all that deep thinking. Also, I’m not sure that the man with the knives was as far away as 21 feet. It looks closer to me but that could be partially because of the fish-eye effect of the camera. Not having anything to do with law enforcement, my very amateur judgment is good shoot. I’m glad the camera was there too.

  32. While I understand why the officer shot the guy, situations like this are where I’d really like to see police using bean bag rounds from a shotgun instead of firing their handgun and killing someone.

    I understand that the guy was approaching with a knife, and that the guy was pretty close (I am surprised the officer waited as long as he did – credit to him for that). But it is not a good situation that people like this are able to successfully commit suicide-by-cop. Nobody wins in these situations.

    It’s not just the suicidal folks. You can have people who aren’t necessarily likely to harm a police officer but still present a potential threat, e.g. the guy with low blood sugar who is not in his right mind, the person who is drunk and stumbling around, the person who has mental issues and is refusing to obey commands, a person who is hard of hearing or deaf (for whatever reason) and can’t hear the commands, the autistic person who has no idea what you’re asking, a person who is having a seizure, etc. Using lethal force should be a LAST resort.

    Look at how in Vancouver, a bean bag from a shotgun subdued the suspect. Look at how some army guys took some rounds during training … certainly painful but not lethal. And yes, while I realize they are capable of being lethal, I suspect the probability of a lethal shot is far less (heck, the one soldier got hit right in the sternum and was still at least functional, even if his heart probably skipped a beat). Here is another situation where the cops used bean bag rounds – note that a police officer wholeheartedly supports the use of the bean bag rounds.

    In the situation in Idaho, the cop went into the house to try to save the guy (since there was a possibility he was going to cut himself up / commit suicide). The cop miserably failed in achieving that objective, and ended up killing the guy himself.

    The issue was not how the cop behaved once the guy started approaching him with a knife. I think the cop performed reasonably well, with quite a bit of restraint before he fired the shots. The issue is that he had no less lethal option available … and when a cop is attempting to subdue someone who may want to commit suicide, that really should be mandatory.

    FWIW, I’m not blaming him, because I’m presuming he followed his department’s procedures correctly … my problem is that the procedures should be different. The fact is that they didn’t provide this option for non-lethal force, and now this cop (who obviously didn’t want to shoot the guy) has to live with the fact that he killed someone.

  33. Had I been faced with a man with 2 knives who was acting out I would have dumped the whole mag into him. So I’m not going to fault the cop for doing what I would have done.

    As for not calling the cops on your mentally ill family member, don’t. When the neighbors call to report you crawling, blood soaked, towards the street and begging for mercy from your family member they can call the cops. The outcome will be almost the same. Your family member killed by police followed closely by you dying from the wounds he inflicted on you.

  34. Burgeoning militarized police state? yep,;No knock warrants- an obscenity,; Are there bad cops shooting defenseless people and their dogs?- Uhh, DUH.

    Good shoot? Hell yeah!

  35. Shitty situation, but justified shooting. Not much else could of been done. There is no perfect or correct ‘call’ in this situation. It just exists and at any time the man could of dropped the knife. It was his choice to get shot.

  36. Why is that I see people acting like adults in this thread…
    And complete ass cracks in the others? Selective posting I guess. Le sigh.
    Good shoot in my opinion. With his adrenaline dumping like a mad house, I do believe he acted reasonably. Plus he should get props for not emptying his gun, which most of us can’t say we wouldn’t do…

    • Could not agree more, when I saw the post and watched the video, my thought was, “Oh, boy, here we go, another chance for the police-haters who post on TTAG posts anytime the police are mentioned are going to have a feeding frenzy.” But, this time, so far, so good. Only a couple wholly idiotic comments about what the cop should have done.”

      • The video is the proverbial gag in the mouth for all the keyboard kommando cop haters. This officer hits EVERY SINGLE NOTE on how to avoid shooting someone, and he still had no choice.
        Its really hard to double talk video evidence.

  37. No Taser? No pepper spray? Put yourself between the possible deranged person and another possible adversary with no exit? Insert yourself into the danger zone instead of closing the door and waiting him out? [Hint for the deluded: You can’t be stabbed through a wall, no matter how many knives the perp is holding.]

    I see some REALLY poor decisionmaking here. I don’t need to hear the dramatic back story; the video is what it is on its own.

    Somebody gonna be rich later…

  38. Let’s start with getting rid of this ‘Magic 21′ distance; It’s complete fallacy, and will get you stabbed. If you are holstered, you will NOT be able to fire a sufficient number of aimed shots, if you can get off ANY, to stop a charging adversary unless you are lucky enough to hit the CNS with one, IF you shoot at all–it takes roughly 1.5 seconds to draw and fire if you’re GOOD, and anybody with working legs can close 21’ in less than 1.5 seconds given human perception and reaction time–you will stand there shocked and gaping for about .75 seconds before you even DRAW. If unholstered but not ‘pointed in,’, you will probably get off one or two sort-of aimed shots and will still most likely get stabbed–it takes a long time for 200 pounds of meat and muscle to stop doing what you don’t want it to do. ‘Shooting to wound’ is a non-starter–others here have covered it well, no use going over it again.

    Having participated in this sort of thing, on the LE side, several times, I was fortunate enough in each event that the knife-armed homicidal-suicidal guy really didn’t want to die nearly as much as he had earlier thought. I also was fortunate to be ‘pointed in’ on those occasions, had a specific plan on what to look for (tensing for the charge and the first forward movement) and where I was going to put the bullets. The distances were roughly 25-30′, and I remember being quite calm and talking to the knife guys rather matter-of-factly, explaining graphically what would happen if they decided poorly–which may have helped the events end as they did: yelling at excited, angry, upset people tends to make them a bit jumpy. It does the same for the person yelling, by the way.

    In this instance, I do not see the adversary ‘charging,’ which troubles me a bit, but not all that much. I also note that the officer DOES have a known path of retreat at least to the doorway, which I feel should have been his ‘point of decision’–pass that, knife guy, and you die. Stay inside, and we all back up and talk a bit. I also recognize that this person is only a danger to himself if he stays inside the house–so, yes, it was poor judgment to enter the house alone to find the guy. As others have mentioned, it takes some effort to off yourself with a knife unless you are truly dedicated to the task, and this guy wasn’t yet. Waiting, absent a threat to somebody else, is always a good choice.

    Some have mentioned poor training–I agree. This officer made many mistakes, was not properly trained to wait for cover, to back up safely, to secure an innocent out of harm’s way, to control his emotions and excitement, to not boldly go into the unknown for no good reason. He unfortunately created a self-fulfilling prophesy and put himself in harm’s way, and ended up shooting someone who maybe deserved to be shot, but didn’t NEED to be shot right then. It is never good form to kill the forest to save the trees, and not good form to kill a suicide UNLESS he really, truly needs shooting.

    Secondary weapons (Taser, OC)? Not applicable, not appropriate, and probably dangerous to boot for the user given the specifics–unfortunately, the officer got TOO CLOSE for those things.

    Did he shoot too soon? No, not at that distance–his mistake to be that close, but still. Did he shoot too fast? No, not really. He hit the guy, didn’t he? Did he shoot too much? No, not really. The idea is, if you intend to ‘stop’ a threat, to shoot until there IS no threat. There isn’t time to ‘shoot two and reassess’ at those distances. Think about what happened here: Five rounds in less than a second, probably, at about 15 feet = first round hits, next four hit as the fellow is responding to the first one. Furthermore, the fellow is no more dead from five than from two. In the immortal words of Hillary, “What difference does it make?”

    Put this all together, and I find this to be a LEGALLY-justified shoot, but not an inevitable and unavoidable one. However, there, but for the Grace of Whoever. . .

    • I love your step by step process here. No sarcasm intended. Having no police training WHAT SO EVER, its difficult for me to come to your conclusions. HOWEVER you properly explained yourself and now I understand. If I was an English teacher this would get an A.
      I’m glad you took the time to explain your reasoning.

    • I agree completely with the analysis and conclusions in paragraph three and four. Good SOP’s reduce the chance an officer will find himself with no options. Once at the point of “no options” though, the thing speaks for itself. There was no option.

      There will be and should be a difference between what the law, the force of the state, will punish and what people ought to do. The law must allow self-defense but it is opinion and knowledge which should encourage best practices. We see this in self-defense law as well. It is not rare that an SD shooting that is justified under law leaves room to critique the flawed procedures of a homeowner which, if changed, would reduce the likelihood of a the need for shooting “the next time.”

  39. Justified shoot, but I’m not sure why a taser wasn’t deployed first. Could’ve prevented the shoot, and if not then you advance to deadly force.

  40. I am not a lawyer or cop. I am just a casual observer who feels that many times cops are prone to unneeded overuse of force. However, this cop was polite, respectful, gave plenty of time, partially retreated and showed great restraint. I say good and justified shoot. I am sorry for both family for having to go through this.

  41. There is only an obligation to retreat if it can be done so *safely*.

    In instances such as this one, where someone in proximity is advancing on you with a knife, you cannot retreat safely (i.e. turn and run) because it requires you to turn your back on someone in close quarters with a melee weapon.

  42. Ignoring commands to drop a weapon.

    Advancing on the cop with a weapon.

    Cop was backing away and they guy was following.

    Using the furniture as a reference, I would say they were within 10 ft of each other and that guy could have lunged and been on the cop in a second if he wanted to.

    Cop shot until there was no longer a threat and then stopped.

    Good shoot.

  43. I always wince when, “He ignored the officer’s commands” is used as a partial (or whole) justification for a police shooting.

    It’s painful to see how few people understand their own rights.

    • Don’t be obtuse. No one said ignoring an officer’s commands in and of itself is a justification to be shot. Ignoring an officer’s commands to sit down on the sidewalk during a detention is worlds apart from ignoring an officer’s commands while advancing on him with a knife in hand.

      • While he was “advancing” on the cop, I feel this is not a totally accurate description of what happened. “Crept towards” is a more accurate description.

        In fact, the reticence with which the kid “advanced” can be taken to mean he didn’t intend to attack the cop – at the moment.

        I don’t want this officer fired or punished for shooting the kid dead; he didn’t show poor judgement, but he could have shown better judgement. He needs to be de-briefed about the incident, and helped to understand the other options he had, up to the point of the shooting.

        I doubt this is going to happen, however.

        • You are a funny guy burke, it klls you to not be able to condemn the officer. Crept toward him? Whatever.

        • One kill on this page wasn’t enough for you, Jerry? Had to throw in a proverbial just to keep the blood flowing?

  44. These are hard things to determine. However, I don’t see anything inherently wrong about what he did in the first place.

    Lets assume his actions were best case scenario; In that case, it was good shoot.

    Now lets assume, that he could have: restrained the woman, waited for immediate backup, and/or had the opportunity to back up a reasonable distance outside the house without endangering anyone else. We can also assume that most likely, the behavior of the man would either not change or increase in aggression. In such case, it was a good shoot.

    Now lets assume the above applies and and the officer has retreated, and the man has de-escalated. There are two more scenarios: re-escalation resulting in a good shoot, or further de-escalation resulting in compliance and arrest.

    Three out of four result in the man being shot. You could exponentially grow the number of possibilities and outcomes.

    What really needs to be done however, is to judge the intentions and action of the individuals involved. The officer showed adequate restraint in the situation as it developed. The man acted with no compliance.

    Was it the optimum action? No.
    Should the officer receive constructive criticism and learn from it? Yes.
    Was it a good shoot? Yes.

  45. Is the shooting justified? Yes.

    But I wouldn’t have entered the premises. Cops should not put themselves in situations where they’re used as suicide tools if they can avoid it.

    It would’ve been better had he tried to make the mother go in, get her son, and bring him outside since she seemed so nonchalant about the whole thing.

    • Yeah, that kid was barely moving; how that translates to “came at the (officer)”, I can’t understand. And when even small-town cops have Tasers and pepper spray, I doubt a Coeur d’Alene cops lack them. A zombie could have caught him in a couple seconds.

      • Yup, the kid was moving like a sloth. One shot, then back off and see what happens next was the thing to do if non lethal options were not available. Five shots on the sloth was piggy murder.

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