stick

A Sudanese refugee named Omer Ismail Ali found himself rapidly and promiscuously perforated by a police officer in Kelso, Washington recently. Ali assumed room temperature shortly after storming into a convenience store with a four-foot long stick and beating everyone in sight.

His rampage didn’t last long. A police officer happened to be in the back of the store reviewing a videotape of an earlier assault…by the same perp.

The video below shows the incident as it unfolded. There’s also a second video showing the Sudanese immigrant’s approach from the exterior view. Inside, viewers can see a female getting repeatedly thumped after failing to notice the erratic behavior (clue #1) of a stick-wielding (clue #2) man approaching and then entering the store.

The police officer emerged from the rear of the store and engaged the suspect a gunpoint, issuing commands. But the cop allowed the suspect to close the distance, hesitating before using deadly force. That hesitation caused him to be struck across the brain housing at least twice, maybe three times before he fired, ending the violence.

Watching the video, you can see how the first blow momentarily stunned the officer. He seemed to regain enough of his wits to fire repeatedly just as the suspect landed blows two and possibly three. The suspect struck the cop hard enough to break the roughly two-inch thick stick.

The stick used in the attack.

Situational awareness and the reactionary gap

Here’s a game for you to play when you’re out in one or more busy public locations. Find yourself a place to people-watch and play the imaginary role of criminal. “If I was a bad guy, who would I pick to victimize today…”  Robbery, sexual assault, etc.

When you see an ideal candidate, ask yourself what attributes that individual displays that makes them an attractive victim.  Then objectively look at your own behaviors and habits in public.  Do you share any of those attributes you found that made a person an ideal candidate for victimhood?  Do you have issues with task fixation (texting while walking, for example), submissive body language, oblivious situational awareness (texting while walking while wearing earbuds), indecisiveness or looking lost?

If so, it’s time for a personal intervention.

The best way to win a confrontation – or a criminal attack – is to not be there.  “Failing” a violent criminal’s victim selection process because you don’t exhibit behavioral attributes that make you an attractive potential victim is a win for you every time.

Now take a look at your friends and loved ones.  Do they exhibit those characteristics?  If so, it’s time for an intervention with them as well.

The customer in this video failed to notice the man armed with a large stick approaching the store or walking in.  If she had better situational awareness, she might have noticed him.   She might have kept an eye on him and ideally given him some space and put something between herself and the erratically behaving individual armed with a long club.

Her first indication of trouble was when the first blow landed from behind.  By then it was too late to avoid getting hurt.  Both the woman and possibly the clerk as well received blows before escaping the onslaught.

The police officer appeared moments later from the rear of the store, challenging the attacker.  The attacker had already practiced his thumping skills on two innocents moments before, yet the officer still allowed him to approach with little in the way of obstacles protecting him from the lunatic.

The Tueller Drill tells us that an attacker can close 21 feet in 1.5 seconds or less to hurt a good guy with a blunt force instrument or edged weapon.  When armed with a stout 4′ stick, that’s just almost two less steps the bad guy has to cover to inflict serious injury.

If you encounter a violent criminal actor in public that’s armed with a blunt-force instrument or an edged weapon, the first order of business is to put distance and obstacles between you and the bad guy.  Concealment and cover make excellent choices as well.

Distance (and obstacles) gives you time.  Time gives you options.  Options mean safety.

Who knows if the officer hesitated in part because of some of the recent social unrest following black suspects getting shot by police officers.

In any event, his justifiable use of deadly force almost came too late.
KOIN TV has the background behind the video:

KELSO, Wash. (KOIN) — The man who was shot and killed by a Kelso police officer has been identified as Omer Ismail Ali.

Ali was shot after attacking the clerk, a customer and the officer at the Fling K convenience store in Kelso at 8:15 a.m. on August 17. Ali was an immigrant from Sudan and had been living in Spokane, Washington since September 2013. He was known to be a transient.

Ali was a one-man crime wave.

Ali was well-known to Kelso Police after several encounters with law enforcement in the days leading up to the shooting. There were also 2 misdemeanor warrants for Ali from Spokane and Blaine, Wash.

On August 13, Ali was arrested for driving with a suspended license and deputies later learned he was driving a stolen rental car.

After he was released from the Cowlitz County jail on August 15, Ali reportedly trespassed at house on 8th Ave.

 

46 Responses to Defensive Gun Use of the Day: Mind the Reactionary Gap

  1. I’m at a loss why that cop let himself get smacked before he fired. I would not have been nearly that tolerant.

    The progs/marxist appear to be winning at shutting the cops down.

    • Not knocking cops here. Want to say that up front. There’s a reason you and I would have done things a little differently. We’re not held to the same “standards”. O(ish)FWGs are gonna O(ish)FWG.

  2. “Now take a look at your friends and loved ones. Do they exhibit those characteristics?”

    No, and neither do I. But that fact that so many people do actually warms the cockles of my heart. Because when BGs are targeting them, they are not targeting me and mine.

    Somebody has to feed the jackals.

    • Now, take a look at the hundreds of thousands of people that the president, hillocrap, and the evil empowermg POS (D) have imported for you and your loved ones to potentially have to deal with in a similar fashion. In Sudan, this is merely called Thursday. Fn no thanks.

  3. Just one of those peace loving immigrants Obama and Hillary want to invite to this country. Aloha Snackbar folks! Vote Trump!

    • Sorry, not buyin’ that. He’s that bad a shot? The guy was measurably (by the sitck) 5′ away and he can’t double tap the center of mass? It was a strategy to fall on his ass before firing? Not the kind of cops I want in my town.

      I just finished the book “Meditations of Violence” by Rory Miller a career correctional officer. He explains why these in-the-moment hesitations happen and how to train for them. This officer didn’t.

      Even if your assertion is true, he waited about two seconds too long to fire even after his gun was deflected from the front.

  4. It looks like he was struck once in the head region and the second time on the arm (breaking the piece of wood). Then he shot…

  5. Situational awareness? Like when someone walks down the street carrying an AR 15? Legally/illegally they can’t do that in Illinois (but they CAN in close by Indiana). I live on a busy street and have ample opportunity spotting crazy types. Maybe living in Chicago had it’s benefits…lota’ Ali’s walking the streets. I’m trying to instill in my sons(both college students) to always be aware of what the he!! is going on around them…

      • JWRM, I did review the article and there is absolutely nothing mentioned about the second officer who appears to arrive from the inside front of the store. The officer who engaged was reportedly in the rear reviewing video from the perp’s previous robbery. So where was the officer and what was he doing?

    • Next question: Where did he buy his weapon? Was it “legal” for him to possess it? Did he pass a background check or did he get it through the “big stick” loophole?

      Inquiring minds want to know!

  6. From hundreds of hours of longsword training I am finally coming to understand not to make the mistake that officer did. I am getting better at knowing when someone is in unarmed or handheld weapon “all but certain to hit you range”. You just cannot react fast enough to defend yourself if you let someone within that range and they attack first. I have been beat like that officer (albeit with protective gear on) so very many times….

        • I should take this a step father, I posit that non-firearm martial arts training still has self defense utility. That cop sure would have known when he needed to fire and how much damage that stick could do if he had had historical fencing training, for instance. For me it is also useful because I had never had experience with facing someone trying to beat me in fight before – not even in grade school. The type of training I do, historical European martial arts, also teaches knife fighting, unarmed fighting, wrestling, stick fighting and such. Longsword fights can also quickly turn into wrestling and brawling matches. A gun fight can also turn into a brawling match. Sometimes a stick might also be the only weapon you could get your hands on. That said I have a pistol withing reach 99% of the time and fighting rifle ready at home. I spend much time training with those as well. A well rounded education is good thing.

  7. I thought confrontations like this were what night sticks were for. Second, retreat is the wrong thing to do against a stick–close the distance (i.e., rush the perp) so he can’t hit you and then put him on the ground. (Knives and machetes are different, of course.)

    • This is where we say “Holywood is not reality”. A blunt weapon is a deadly weapon. Sure, a baton is often used by police for non-lethal encounters, but that same weapon, if used improperly can easily cripple or kill someone. In Hollywood, the action star’s stuntman will duke it out for the final scene of the episode. In real life, he will either end up seriously injured or dead.

      • Hollywood has nothing to do with it. It is a question of physics. Getting hit with the long end of a stick is far worse than getting smacked with the short end. NThe leverage and the velocity at the end are substantially higher, imparting more force. Nightsticks can, and officers used to be trained (and probably still are) to use the stick to deflect blows. Therefore, charging the perp with a stick and putting him on his back is far less likely to result in serious injury. It is the opposite side of the Tueller drill. And we are talking of closing at most a distance of six feet.

  8. I have to think that cop couldn’t believe what he was seeing in person, but it certainly looked like his “flight” kicked in before “fight”. I would have expected him to shoot after the man advanced on him (and after he had drawn his gun). As it was, after he went down, he would have been in a world of hurt without his gun.

  9. The biggest threat to your safety is familarity which leads to complacency. Most of us live and work in places where there is no threat present — ever — until there is. In theory that should make a threat easier to spot but it is also human nature to relax. You can pretend that you are always on alert but it ain’t necessarily so. In fact it is an impossible state to maintain.

  10. Confused by the title. Who is the reactionary in this incident? Was either the perp or the cop motivated by an opposition to egalitarian political movements and a desire to restore traditional, hierarchical social norms? I didn’t get that from the description of the incident, although I admit to not reading the linked article.

  11. A Sudanese refugee named Omer Ismail Ali

    The reactionary gap needs to exist at the border. Otherwise this sub-human shit will continue to flow into the country. Secure borders, repatriation, and net zero immigration.

    Otherwise we will all be shooting immigrants in the face.

  12. This man had already engaged in criminal activity, engaged in aggressive, violent behavior toward an armed LEO. This fool is shot to death for foolish behavior. An idiot “bites the dust”. The media whines because this moron assaulted people and was shot for his troubles. What else is new?

  13. If only WA I-594 had applied to the private transfer of firearms and sticks, this would have never occurred. We need stick control…for the children, of course.

    • In the North as well. Abner louima was beaten with nightsticks, forcibly sodimized with a wooden stick, leading to internal damage, had his teeth broken in with I belive the same stick, and was hospitalized for an extended stay as a result

      That is the kind of government rape of citizens I guess you are advocating there, though I don’t think of it as freedom

      The arresting officer later said louima was not the guy who had hit him, and that they I guess got him by mistake

      Oops

  14. For all those that criticise the officer for not shooting fast enough, what if he had? Then there’d be yet another “black man that didn’t do nuthin’ executed by police”. “He only had a stick!”, “He should have been wrestled to the ground!” etc.

    This video makes it much more clearly a “good shoot” as the officer “showed admirable restraint”.

    These are the days when it has to look good, not just be good.

  15. Man, this guy got around. Spokane, Blaine, and Kelso are almost as far flung you can get without leaving Washington.

    • He should have made a stop by Walla Walla, just to complete the tour, huh?

      In other news; Longview (of which Kelso is, essentially, a suburb) is such a fantastic place that Green Day wrote a song about it. It has not improved.

  16. The 21 foot rule assumes that the defender’s handgun is holstered. In this incident, the cop was smart enough to draw well in advance. He backed off hoping that the assailant would obey his commands. I agree that he waited too long to fire but the excessive delay was less than a second. A four foot stick at the end of a thirty inch arm makes the assailant a viable threat within seven feet. The way to think is, “If he gets within seven feet, I start shooting.”

    • And this is why you shouldn’t put too much faith in the conventional wisdom of the 3,3,3 rule for armed self defense. It is based on LEO data and often as not the LEO is approaching a suspect gun in hand. If the threat is not recognized until it is 10′ away you lose.

    • Doing the “1000-1” count and my observation that the first shot did not occur until the officer was on the ground, I make it a 4-second delay from where I would have pulled the trigger, especially since the cop had just watched a video of this guy doing the same thing earlier. It’s like if they gave your a preview in force-on-force training and you still screw up the exercise!

  17. This is how fast these kinds of events can happen. You have a split second to make the right decision. If you misinterpret the situation and fire your firearm, your career and perhaps even your freedom is gone. Lethal force is a last resort action. I suspect that the LEO thought that maneuvering to the next isle may have been that last less-than-lethal action available to him. Who knows, the crazy stick wielding bozo could have easily ran past the LEO from the inertia of his charge, which may have allowed the LEOs to talk him into giving up. I believe that given what the LEO knew at the time of the event, he made the right decision. If he was clairvoyant or saw the video through some yet-to-be-invented time machine, not so much. A few days ago, I spent an hour in a simulator practicing shoot/don’t shoot scenarios. Amazing training.

  18. 21 foot rule, the NYPD for instance does not teach it. Get within the distance so he cannot strike and put a few rounds right in the pump, end of fight.

  19. “Who knows if the officer hesitated in part because of some of the recent social unrest following black suspects getting shot by police officers.”

    How is John able to figure out the political implications of this cop plugging the “bad guy” just from watching the video? Oh that’s right, he is the smartest guy in the GunsSaveLife organization, that’s why they made him executive director. Plus he took Mind Reading 102 at U of I.

    Once again the not-so-subtle pro-cop ass kissing from John Boch. We get treated not only to an assessment of a force encounter, but a chance for John to buff his image as a police promoter. Perhaps TTAG can be a springboard for writing at PoliceOne.

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