East Cleveland police responded to a call of an altercation on Sunday. When they arrived on the scene, they found a woman lying on the ground, calling for help and a man who threw his shirt at their cruiser yelling at them. As bodycam video of the incident reveals, when the suspect charged one of the officers, he was shot once in the abdomen.
But the bullet didn’t really slow him down. While the shot knocked the perp down, he bounced right back up and resumed his attack on another officer.
It eventually took
three four cops to hold him down and cuff him, despite the gunshot wound. News reports don’t reveal whether or not the man was under the influence or not, but that seems a good bet given how little consideration he gave to the gunshot wound.
This is an excellent illustration of the stopping power — or lack thereof — of handgun rounds. As Dr. Sydney Vail wrote at policeman.com,
The point here is that no single ammunition that is typically used by law enforcement officers today can reliably claim to have superior stopping power.
I have seen a .22 caliber bullet completely incapacitate someone and a .45 ACP fail to achieve that result. People and animals shot with 10mm rounds and .357 SIG rounds have continued to run from the police. I have been on scene as a tactical medical provider when a suicidal person shot himself in the head with a .45 Colt round resulting in instant death. And I have seen the same results in suicides that used smaller calibers, including .22, .25, and .32. I have also seen people hit with 9mm, .40, and .45 without so much as staggering or slowing their verbal or physical activities.
Just as when you’re evaluating real estate, the three most important considerations in judging any round’s stopping power are location, location and location.
The ultimate stopping power rests with your training with your weapon system. Accurate hits in any reasonable caliber will “stop” a person if that person has experienced enough brain or spinal cord damage to interrupt regular neurologic impulses from reaching vital areas of the body or the person has hemorrhaged enough blood to lower his or her blood pressure where the brain no longer is able to function well. You can also stop a person if a major bone shatters after a bullet injures it, but does that stop the fight?
Again, that depends. If your attacker is under the influence, he may not even realize he’s been shot. Which is why personal defense trainers tell you to shoot until you’ve stopped the threat. And as this video shows, dangerous circumstances can develop quickly and make that difficult.