Self-Defense Tip: Keep Shooting Until You Don’t Have To [NSFW]

There’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to shooting someone who poses an imminent, credible threat of death or grievous bodily harm: shoot until the threat stops. (And keep moving!) We’ve said it here many times: it can take a person up to a minute to die even if you shoot them straight through the heart. And what are the odds of that happening? Despite the Hollywood depiction of gunfights, a bad guy can kill you dead before he dies of fatal wounds. This video illustrates the point. After a 90-minute standoff, Brisbane’s SERT team drills Lee Matthew Hillie, center mass. With rubber bullets. Would the death-by-cop Aussie still manage to get off a shot before collapsing if he’d been ventilated with lead? Yup. You have been warned.

comments

  1. avatar jdb says:

    Hmmm. Liveleak says the cops sprayed him with Rubber Bullets – and having lived for several years in a common wealth country, this sounds EXACTLY like what they would have done (stupid, I know). So, COM shot maybe, but probably not with lead.

    Otherwise, I totally agree. In the Old West they didn’t call it the “dead man’s ten” for nothing – even a “dead” man still has ten seconds or so of adrenaline, oxygen, etc in their brain.

  2. avatar utdmatt says:

    Yeah, pretty obvious they were using non-lethal. They might have shot him AFTER he started shooting.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      My bad. Text amended.

  3. avatar Jan Andersen says:

    The District Court heard Hillier’s 90-minute stand-off with police in March last year ended when he was shot several times with non-lethal rounds.

  4. avatar kenpm says:

    The cops used non-lethal rounds. He didn’t die.

    1. avatar Robert Farago says:

      Again, d’oh! Text amended.

      1. avatar Matt in Maine says:

        This is one of the best things about TTAG. Seriously.

        1. avatar Matt in FL says:

          Yeah, I’m spoiled by being around here. I go to other sites and see a problem and leave a comment (or even send an email to the author, if there’s that facility), and when I happen back across that article again a month or more later, the error, and my comment, are still there.

        2. avatar Bob says:

          Yes, it’s called respecting the truth.

  5. avatar Chad says:

    My general rule is shoot til they fall. If they continue to be onerey shoot til they don’t twitch. If that means I have to shoot $5 to $10 of hp’s in them I consider it money well spent.

    1. avatar C says:

      Where are you getting defense ammo that cheap? =P

      1. avatar Casey says:

        Not sure what he’s using, but I paid under $1/rd for full power 10mm hollowpoints.

        1. avatar peirsonb says:

          Really depends on what you shoot. I keep my EDC mags loaded with hydrashok at about $1.50 a round (stocked up pre-shortage, no idea what it runs now). But I have several boxes of PMC bronze hollow points that came out to about $0.50 per.

      2. avatar Chad says:

        I picked up 2 500 round cases of 9mm HST and 1 500 round case of 45 HST a couple years ago and it figured down to $22 to $25 per 50 round box. Ya snooze you lose on ammo.

      3. avatar Hal J. says:

        I still remember reading a science fiction short story (by Larry Niven, IIRC) written in the ’70s, but set in the near-future from the point of view of the author (the early 21st Century), in which the protagonist used a Gyrojet. Someone’s reaction when they found out was, “Are you crazy? That ammo costs a quarter a shot!”

  6. avatar Xanthro says:

    Did he actually get a shot off?

    I see around 5 rubber bullets that were fired at him and these are on the ground around him. At first I thought they were his shell casings, but closer examination shows they are rubber bullets.

    1. avatar tfunk says:

      It looks to me like he did, up in the air at :29

      1. avatar Xanthro says:

        I see what you are describing, but I’m not 100% sure it’s him actually firing. It does look like a discharge, because there is some kind of material in the air, but coming from the left of the screen, it looks like there a bird, and it hits him in the hands right at the 29 second mark, or is right behind his hand.

        He could be firing just as that object hits him in the hand, but it’s a pretty big coincidence. At first I thought it might be a bean bag round, fired very slowly, but it appears to flap wings and fly upward right at the 29 second mark.

        1. avatar Sovereign says:

          Gun was empty according to the article I read about this incident.

  7. avatar tron says:

    Came here to non lethal, but I thought they were beanbags.

  8. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    I think this video is a hoax. They don’t let their subjects have handguns in Australia.

    1. avatar Adam says:

      You’re correct in saying that Australian civilians don’t have the right to bear arms, and that legally obtaining a handgun is extremely difficult and generally is only allowed for target shooters. However, Australia has plenty of illegal handguns on the streets, and they aren’t difficult for criminals to get their hands on.

      Also, Australia has pretty strange self defense laws only allowing people to use equal or lesser force, therefor if someone owns a firearm and uses it and kills to defend themselves, their property or their family they can theoretically be charged with premeditated murder (because they have had time to load a firearm)

      1. avatar DJ says:

        The Aussies I worked with were all good troops. And I never understood how they could bear arms for a government that would disarm them as soon as they took off the uniform.

        1. avatar Drew says:

          Did they ever stop being a penal colony?

    2. avatar Mike H in WA says:

      Crap, beat me to it. Was about to post the exact same thing.

  9. avatar Bryan says:

    One in the pipe 13 in the magazine.
    Another magazine on my hip.
    27 rounds of .40 to get the job done.
    EDC.

    1. avatar Accur81 says:

      Glock 23 mags in your 27? I’ve got the standard 9 round +2 Glock store style extension (pierce, I believe) and a 13 round mag from the G23 as a reload. Just a measly 25 rounds. Oh, well. Better than a .380!

  10. avatar Frank Masotti says:

    My rule of thumb is shoot until your out of ammo. Oh and aim for the head of course.

    1. Do you WANT to go to jail afterwards?

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      1. avatar Troutbum5 says:

        Officer: “why did you shoot him 15 times? You had to reload.”

        Me: “because he was still coming towards me after 14.”

  11. avatar Excedrine says:

    It’s SFW. Coppers used rubber bullets, silly.

  12. avatar Hannibal says:

    Just don’t narrate what you’re doing at the time. Remember how Bernhard Goetz apparently said “You seem to be all right, here’s another” before tapping someone a second time… didn’t do him any favors (he lost a civil suit to one of the “victims” to the tune of 40 some million dollars, as I recall).

  13. avatar One If By Land says:

    Maybe someone ought to spread this around to some Police Departments here in the states (like NYPD, for example)….In Oz, the PoPo managed to resolve a serious issue with no fatalities. In NYC, they would have donned OD BDU’s, mobilozed their MRAP, evacuated a 6 block area, put everyone in mandatory lockdown, and dumped 42 rounds (most of which would have missed their intended target and injured innocent bystanders) before 3 lucky hits dropped him, cold stone dead.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      In Oz, the gun laws are quite a bit different in general. If you want gun use to be acceptable for the public, expect for the police to use them too. Now if only all officers were a bit better trained, that would be better for many involved…

    2. avatar Marcus says:

      Exactamundo. That’s what I was thinking. This thing would’ve dragged on all day, with entire sections of the city shut down and news helicopters buzzing. When the cops rushed in on the dude as he rolled on the ground, the gun still within reach, it occurred to me that this had to be in a different country.

  14. avatar tdiinva says:

    Point taken but he seemed to be in a lot pain when shot with non-lethal rounds. I imagine the pain would have been greater if he took some lead. It’s true that most drugged up thugs are like zombies but those not so fortified bad guys generally can’t take the pain after taking a round or two. They may be physically capable of returning fire but usually they lose interest pretty fast.

  15. avatar ropingdown says:

    I actually had a different reaction to this video than most. I remembered the bizarre shooting of the man in Springfield, VA, featured here not long ago. With an armored vehicle and SWAT team in position, with him at the screendoor, with no gun in his hand, he made a fatal error: He moved his hand.

    With that kind of backup at the ready, and with no visible gun in his hand, it seems to me a rifle loaded with rubber bullets would have been a nice addition to the “domestic dispute SWAT team.” Really. It wasn’t a meth lab or a bomb-making factory. It was a guy alone, his girlfriend and kids having left the house.

    What the hell happened to beanbag rounds and rubber bullets in such situations? It was all the rage for a decade or so. No, it isn’t for the LEO responding in his cruiser, or for the apprehension of known armed and dangerous felons. But when there is time, a standoff, and no rifle in the suspect’s hands, the rubber bullet approach makes sense to me.

    1. avatar DJ says:

      I’m thinking it’s because rubber bullets can easily be lethal (close range, head shots, center mass shots that stop the heart) and the local government is averse to lawsuits.

      The situation you described doesn’t make me think “rubber bullet”, it males me think “we’ve established 360 security, now we wait.”

      Where the retard meter went to 11 was the “We’re SWAT, watch us approach a possibly armed and barricaded violent offender, because after one weekend at Bob’s Commando Camp we are all 1337 operators!!!!”

      1. avatar Drew says:

        It’s sad that legal concerns trump humane concerns but it is the same way in civil self defense situations. Many of us would rather end a conflict either without bloodshed or death. Pulling your gun early to deter is a crime while aiming to incapacitate May suggest you were not in imminent danger. If for some reason you shoot someone in the leg to escape that is NOT the story you tell the cops. All they need to know is you determined lethal force was needed, you applied it and the results were what they were due to circumstances.

  16. avatar michael says:

    the only thing that is 100% immediate is medulla oblangata. sever the brain stem and the brain can no longer control the muscles. second best is the aorta behind the manubrium. about 5 seconds to lose of consciousness from blood loss and hypotension.

    1. avatar Marcus says:

      Crap, I’m going to have to Evernote that because in the heat of battle, I’ll never remember it.
      For some reason, reading that message made me thing of the opening scene of Young Frankenstein. I even read it in black and white.

  17. avatar Noishkel says:

    When in doubt… empty the magazine.

    1. avatar Larry says:

      Or for those in strict gun control states.
      when in danger when in doubt, run in circles scream and shout.

  18. avatar Southern Cross says:

    The person was a known criminal with previous convictions for illegal possession of firearms in addition to numerous offenses pertaining to use and supply of narcotics. Also, he was a Meth addict and just before the incident had been using meth for the last week.

    When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.

  19. avatar Andy says:

    Worked as a deputy , was always taught to double tap perp , if they didn’t stop you fired until they did stop , even if that meant you take them out . The instance in the clip is not always the way it stops , very rarely does a situation end up like this , most times the perp is hurt very bad , or dead . This guy appeared to have some type of mental imbalance , plus the fact he did get off rounds , and yes even if he had been hit center mass he could have shot someone else , but if he was hit with a head shot it would have shut down his puter , dropped where he stood , but head shots are an iffy proposition , maybe even a miss .Be prepared and ready. Keep your powder dry.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      My only issue with the double tap is it creates a shooting cadence… Bang, bang, stop… Bang, bang, stop…

      That’s not the end of the world, but what if there are an odd number of rounds needed on targets, that’s out of cadence. Or, what if the first round ends up causing immediate incapacitation and the target begins to drop, you risk sailing the second round over the falling target, especially if you shoot a weapon with more recoil, which takes more time to get back on target….

      I like to think of it like an accelerator and brake pedal, you base the cadence on the environment, not a predetermined rhythm, accelerator, accelerator, brake… accelerator, accelerator, brake… may not be a good cadence in every situation.

      1. avatar Ardent says:

        I moved away from cadenced fire (other than the cadence that maximizes my accurate output) year ago for a variety of reasons. However overshooting a target dropped by the first round of a double tap isn’t among them. I submit that if there is sufficient delay between the first and second shot that the target falls below the original point of aim one is not firing a ‘double-tap’ but rather a pair of spaced single shots.

        That being said, the tactical solution to the problem of firing double taps and then hesitating is to fire as rapidly as accurately possible until the target drops which increases rather than decreases the likelihood of misses or firing over a falling target.

        The reality of the defensive use of firearms is much simpler than any of this; misses and over penetrating rounds don’t count and are not a consideration in a DGU and anyone who thinks he’s actually going to check the backstop/background before firing is a fool, and likely a dead fool if he faces a similarly armed opponent without such qualms.

        Accept that you’ll tunnel vision on the target, and learn to utilize this to put as many hits on that target as rapidly as possible. There is no counting rounds, no consideration of context, generally no movement, what people do at handgun ranges when they truly fear for their lives is shoot fast and dirty until they’re out of ammo or their target is below their sight line. Embrace it and train for it because it’s very likely what you too will do if you ever have to do it.

  20. avatar mdc says:

    Wonder how much ft lbs are coming from those rubber rounds?

  21. avatar Peter says:

    I think the Aussie Police did a stand up job.
    An obviously mentally disturbed individual with a gun is taken into custody with no one killed.
    There was certainly a risk to the officers but here in the US officer safety is paramount, to the point where people are killed by police when the threat was minimal or non existent.
    I don’t mean to bash LEOs but when one man is shot with his hands in the air and another is beaten to death by police, we may be seeing public support weaken as these stories gain more attention.

  22. avatar Michael says:

    If you shoot someone dead, either as a civilian, Police Officer or soldier you have to live with that. Would you prefer to put someone down with rubber bullets and arrest them? Think Zimmerman.

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