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You read that right. This is a good, old fashioned, “can’t make this one up” story.

On an otherwise typical Friday morning outside Planet Fitness in Torrance, California, a shirtless man was, according to witnesses, engaged in a “ritualistic dance” with a snake in one hand and a knife in the other. When police officers ordered him to stop, he made threatening moves in their direction.

“He decided he had enough of all this and he gets up and starts amping himself up, and then turns around and goes walking straight at the officers with no intent to stop as far as I’m concerned,” said witness Brandon Hallock.

After their commands were ignored, the officers shot him with a non-lethal round. Unfortunately, that didn’t work. He got up and began moving toward the officers once again. At that point, the policemen opened fire with real ammo, and the man died shortly after.

Mental illness is sad, and no one should have to die for it. That said, any one of the videos captured by witnesses (several are cut into the news segment below) shows that the cops had only moments to react to an unstable man in a potentially life-threatening situation.

Public service announcement for armed ritual snake handlers: Don’t do it in a public parking lot – or, at least, stop when cops tell you to.

An empty aquarium was found at the crime scene. As far as we know, no snakes were harmed during this defensive gun use.

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  1. Suicide by cop. Too bad the dems closed all the insane asylums. Let all the mentally ill out on the streets. I guess every life doesn’t matter to the political establishment in the U.S.

      • Can’t even amongst us in this place at least admit that it was both R’s and D’s?

        The D’s came up with the stupid idea of emptying the nut houses and the the R’s said OK if you’re gonna empty them then obviously we need to get rid of the staff and related expenses.

        • Everybody had a hand in it but the philosophical underpinnings came from the new Ls. The primacy of personal autonomy and all that.

        • Yes 100% right. Both sides contributed.

          I’m a lifelong Republicans , NRA life member, military veteran, in the financial industry, pretty much check all the usual “conservative” boxes and I’d be willing to pay more taxes to bring back mental health care. We could even pay for it with being a little smarter on military adventures too.

        • Partially correct. The Democrats and Republicans helped get rid of the asylums and replaced them with mental health treatment centers focused on treatment and ideally reintegration of people in their communities. Republicans have since pushed to defund the treatment centers in many states which kind of flies in the face of politicians complaining its not a gun problem its a mental health problem (that we helped create). They are right. Mental health is often the bigger issue, but in the last several decades members of the GOP have pushed to defund mental health and other social services that help keep these people off the streets and what not.

    • It was Ronnie Reagan who shut down the asylums in California, in order to save money. (He also banned the open carrying of loaded handguns. So much for a dyed-in-the-wool Republican.)

      • not exactly true. the effort to close down asylums started several years before Reagan was governor. it was actually started by mental health “professionals” who thought it would be more humane to let the nutbags go free.

      • Shooting people in the legs does not STOP them; It may only slow them down if they are ‘normal,’ and may have absolutely NO effect unless bones are shattered if they are ‘motivated’ by madness or drugs. Shatter bones or destroy major joints, and people die in short order.
        Legs are a SMALL target, and they are moving; Centre mass is a LARGE target, and it is relatively motionless.
        Shooting people ANYWHERE in sufficient amounts to make them STOP will virtually always make them DEAD.

        If you have some idea that shooting someone in the legs is not applying lethal force, then you are sadly misinformed. If you believe that police officers, or anyone else, should ‘shoot to wound,’ in a lethal confrontation, you are sadly misinformed as well.

        • they had time…there were several guns present…it’s what I would have done…and I would have done it as soon as he stood up…you’re right about running out of options as soon as he started forward

        • Aim for the legs!

          Why? So you can hit a femoral artery and have him bleed out?. People cite the legs as if they’re somehow more human, when in reality they’ve been watching too many movies. Solid Snake had his chance to sit the f*ck down with the non-lethal rounds. Once the real thing comes out, nobody is aiming for the legs.

      • Shoot him in the legs? You sir, are a complete dumbass who obviously has zero training or experience when it comes to gunfights.

        The legs are smaller, and the move, therefore harder to hit. Shooting at a real person is not like shooting at a piece of paper. If you miss you now open yourself to attack, and your round has to go somewhere.

        The femoral artery is in the leg. Exsanguination only takes a minute or so if that gets severed. Guns are lethal force. Aiming elsewhere on the body does not negate that.

        I’m sorry, I am just so tired of idiots espousing nonsense like that like it is a fact. Like the idiot who would go baton vs. knife. If you ever have seen someone carved up by a knife, trust me, you would not want to go baton vs knife.

        • I said it might be fatal..the odds are better of killing him in center of mass…the target was stationary and not that far away …there were several officers there any one of which could have elected to choose that option…

      • Shoot I him in the legs? Wow. Been awhile since I’ve seen that level of ignorance posted here.

        • yeah just kill the sucker…no point in putting yourself at the slighest risk….this is how you wind up with 45 shots into the puerto rican reaching for his cell phone…50 shots into the bridegroom the night before the wedding…and 90 shots into that couples car up in cleveland….

  2. Suicide by cop, the way it’s described.

    They had plenty of time to pick from 4 options when he slowly and deliberately walked towards them:

    1. Stand their ground and engage him baton to knife.
    2. Stand their ground and engage him from a distance with less lethal weapons (bean bags and tasers).
    2a. Tried it, pissed him off.

    Now we’re stuck with options 3 and 4:
    3. Stand their ground and shoot him dead at Tueller drill range.
    4. Retreat and see if any other options become available.
    4a. Not so easy when you’ve just bean bagged him and it turned him into the human equivalent of a mad bull.

    Once upon a time, it would have been option 1 every time, which requires them ‘laying their lives on the line’ as is often falsely claimed that they do every day when they now do it almost never, but 1 isn’t unacceptably risky when you outnumber him 4:1.
    But hey, this is Torrance, where it takes 130 rounds to stop a couple of middle aged ladies from delivering the LA Times.

    One last comment: could this have been avoided with non-aggressive conflict management at the beginning, before he took a look at them, said to himself ‘**** them’, and deliberately walked towards them holding a knife? Sounds to me like they managed to piss him off pretty good, whatever they were yelling at him. (and did they already have guns drawn on him when they started communications? That’s not conducive to peaceful resolution)

    • I usually hate the phrase, but in this case,

      In any other civilized country, this messed-up guy would not have been shot dead. Just like Fed Up said, they’ve got many tools for stopping a man armed with a knife and a snake.

      Hell if he was #FloridaMan he probably wouldn’t have been shot dead. Admittedly, down here, cops are a lot more used to dealing with just this sort of thing.

    • Hold it, the cops say he ‘got up and charged’ them, which was what I based my earlier comment on. Now I read that a witness says he ‘got up and started walking towards’ them after they beanbagged him for non-compliance.

      Which was it?
      A charge would be good cause to open fire.
      A walk, which so often turns into a charge in cop-speak, is not an immediate life or death emergency.

      Again, remember this is the same department which would claim that slowly driving away from them while weaving around throwing newspapers is a life or death emergency that requires multiple mag-dumps to resolve.

      • Whatever happened to the officers involved in that debacle? In a perfect world they would be tried for attempted murder and spend the next 30 years on fed row. I know it isn’t perfect and cops are more equal than we mere civilians. What’s even more sickening is that the city, aka taxpayers, had to pony up the bill instead of the officers involved.

    • “One last comment: could this have been avoided with non-aggressive conflict management at the beginning, before he took a look at them, said to himself ‘**** them’, and deliberately walked towards them holding a knife? Sounds to me like they managed to piss him off pretty good, whatever they were yelling at him.”

      Likely pissed him off with one cop yelling “GET DOWN!!!” and another cop yelling “HANDS IN THE AIR” while yet another cop yells “FREEZE! DON’T MOVE!”

      • I have seen that scenario in any number of videos, and complying with the wrong one will get you killed. I wish officers would agree in advance who was in charge, who would be giving commands, and what phrase they would all use to that they would be consistent.

    • Police defenders are going to back cops (even Cali cops) at every opportunity yet complain about 2nd Amendment infringements. The other side is going to attack cops for everything and vote for more infringements on the 2nd Amendment. It’s very rare to have someone with a balanced opinion.

      It’s kind of an embarrassment that U.K. cops can deal with knife combatants better than U.S. cops. Some U.S. cops were in the military, some are on performance enhancers, most are better trained than U.K. cops. I assume the reason they don’t have the same success rate at disarming and/or de-escalating has to do with the culture and leadership/law.

      U.S. cops have hard body armor and shields. When is the last time you see them go Captain America on a knife combatant? The Frenchies take on terrorists armed with full auto AK-47s using their shields. U.S. cops can’t take on a fat drugy with a pocket knife?

      I know Americans are okay with cops escalating and not retreating or using better tactics. Unfortunately, the populace has let it get out of hand to the point the cops can do whatever they want while the citizenry are likely to get punished for doing the exact same thing (the whole vigilante thing). The public will attack you for pointing out the double standard and criticizing.

      Sorry, I turned on the no harmful blue light feature on my monitor, consequently I can’t see that special line on that bastardized U.S. flag.

      • The Metropolitan Police have had knife problem of late. They aren’t so good at dealing with a serious knife wielding adversary lately. In fact, the last time they did an officer was stabbed to death.

        The UK does not have a tradition of suicide by cop. What is the Bobbie going to do, talk you to death? Since the Metropolitan Police switched from a traditional night stick to a light weight collapsible baton the Bobbies no longer have the ability to knock down a serious threat at standoff range, hence the dead Bobby.

        You are making the same mistake the antis make when comparing the US an other countries. Suicide by cop is only available when the police are armed. The real Crocodile Dundee committed suicide cop. He was able to do this because Aussie polie are armed. Any place with armed police will have individuals who will take this option as an exit strategy.

        • I thought the real Crocodile Dundee refused to hand over his rifles to his “betters” after the laws passed in the wake of the port Arthur massacre. I remember that he simply engaged the fascistic cops in a gunfight and was killed. I could have gotten that wrong.

        • I was down there when it happened. He was drunk and shot a couple of cops. Dundee was a Fudd. His gun weren’t the kind that got confiscated.

        • That’s too bad. Australia is not even a shadow of its former self. The nuts down there have turned their collective attention to “hate speech.” They don’t believe that you should be able to insult someone without serious legal repercussions. I read a twitter posting by a professor that actually said allowing people to throw around racial slurs, profanities or anything that they think of as hate speech is the same as allowing someone who that is prone to assault someone to do just that, assault someone. That gave me a headache when I read it. America, to my limited knowledge, is unique in this regard, considering all forms of speech are protected. On a side note, what led you to take a trip down under?

      • “Some U.S. cops were in the military, some are on performance enhancers, most are better trained than U.K. cops. I assume the reason they don’t have the same success rate at disarming and/or de-escalating has to do with the culture and leadership/law.”

        Put yourself in the position of the cop closet to the guy with the knife. Forget about him being a cop. If he’d been a regular CCW armed shopper suddenly rushed by a crazy guy with the knife what should he have done in the seconds he had to make a decision? It’s kinda hard to “de-esclate” a situation where a guy’s doing his level best to get close to you with a knife. As far as I’m concerned he didn’t have much choice but to shoot the guy.

        • That’s not what happened though. The cops were there talking to him for awhile and they were able to get their less lethal guns out of their cars. They already knew what they were getting into before they got there.

          They have attack dogs, tasers, mace, batons, beanbags, rubber bullets, pepper balls, hard armor and shields to use for this situation. I noticed that cops don’t want to risk a dog being killed nor risk getting hurt by a bladed weapon in order to prevent sending bullets through the neighborhood or killing someone they could disarm by other means.

          Being a non professional enforcer — as a victim with no powers/duty of arrest — if you are going to be attacked by an armed person you should attempt de-escalation (good for court), retreat as much as you safely can (good for court), then shoot to stop the threat when there is no other way out of the situation. You have to be overly careful due to the government frowning on self defense by non government workers.

          I don’t care if a normal citizen — trying to put his/her groceries in their car — shoot and kills a man who is armed with an assault snake and assault knife that is coming at them with ill intent. I prefer that over a police state.

        • So it’s ok for a private citizen to shoot people who are acting in threatening manner but not thr police, got it.

          So tell me how does the armed citizen know that the threat real and imminent or is like video below, where the knife wielder wasn’t actually going to kill anybody.

          By the way, the UK is effectively a police state.

      • your premise – that UK cops are better at dealing with knife wielding perps – is not supported by any evidence. For example, Lee Rigby is a counterfactual.

        • Correct. UK cops only “deal” better with knife-wielding suspects by not dealing with them at all. Sometimes that works out to no body count whatsoever- but sometimes it also ends up with bystanders getting stabbed while the cops wait for special armed constables to arrive.

        • I actually watched two “bobbies” defuse a situation when confronted with two wild-eyed muslims…..and send them away muttering….those guys have a special knack for it…out of necessity, perhaps….but it was impressive….

        • Hardly an example of a determined attacker. He could have easily killed several people if he chose to. Try to show us what happens whe the knife wielder actually wants to kill people.

      • A ballistic buckler and 24″ baton in the cruiser toolkit would be more than enough to dominate a knife-wielder.

        • I’ve seen several people carved up pretty good. Two men disembowled. A human’s intestines look like really big grey worms. I was in a foot pursuit once. At about 15 feet the suspect turned and produced a knife. I raised him a 1911. I was justified in using deadly force and would have if he had taken one step toward me. Instead he tossed away the knife and ran again. I pursued and we ended up in a little hand to hand. Always stimulating. After a leg sweep I took him into custody. Enjoy your time in DOC! Anyone who would close within impact weapon distance of a knife wielding individual should go ahead. We need you out of the gene pool before you breed.

        • This is an interesting bit of history. In old time Memphis a citizen could carry a .36 caliber Navy Colt. However, it was illegal to carry a bowtie knife because the wounds were so devastating.

        • nah…you don’t want to let him get that close…and their vests won’t stop a knife..shotgun to the legs probably would have taken him down…should have tried at least one low shot before going “center of mass”…

        • “…a cruiser toolkit.”
          Which part of the body are you referring to? I know from experience that a 24″ baton on the “cruiser toolkit” on top of my neck will knock you out, but a 24″ baton on the “cruiser toolkit” between my legs will make you wish you werel knocked out!

    • You anti cop people always seem to be looking for these magical police officers who have gifted hands on abilities, and are gung ho ready to die at a moments notice while enforcing the law, and then go on to yell about how back in my day police always just went hands on. Guess what, those people don’t exist. And they never did. Not in policing, not in the military, not in firefighting. There’s not some huge wealth of people out there willing to lay down their lives for you, and there never has been. This is a media created lie. The only people throughout human history with these characteristics you think are so common are martyrs. And what happens to them? They get their wish and die, quickly. Throughout all of human history policing and other civil service jobs are made up of just normal everday regular people, who want and expect the same things you do, who happen to do it in that chosen profession. You can cry and demand that they then choose another profession, but then there would be zero police officers. If you want to then argue in favor of anarchy because of this, well by all means do so. But short of an apocalypse that isn’t going to happen. What you need to accept is the true human nature and stop putting idealistic terms in place for mere mortals to aspire to.

  3. “1. Stand their ground and engage him baton to knife.”

    I’d like to see YOU go one on one baton vs knife.

    You sir, are an idiot. Cops (NOR LAW ABIDING CIVILIANS) are under NO OBLIGATION to restrict their response to some mythical minimal level when some amped – up, obviously-prison-trained moron is advancing on them, jumping up and down with a knife.

    • I said it was one of four options.
      You said it had to be done one on one, when the pictures show several cops on the scene, which makes YOU the idiot.

        • always being confrontational in a prison environment is likely to get you hurt sooner or later…the best way to calm somebody is to remain calm yourself….

      • I feel like you’re a mouth breathing neckbeard who has never seen someone carved up by a knife. Or been in combat. But what do I know

  4. One witness reported: “He was sitting on the ground. They [the cops] were trying to talk to him, asking him to put down that knife. They must have talked to him for a good ten minutes.”

    This was before they bean-bagged him.

    Suicide by cop? Maybe. Drugs involved? Possibly. Cops do a lot of bad things, but sometimes they just take out the garbage.

      • Cali needs to stop ‘coddling’ them

        take away the free food stamps and other FREE money programs
        arrest on the spot for drug use and send to work camps like in the old days…work so hard you don’t have time for drugs and want out bad…PLUS don’t ever want to go back!

        do same above for all illegal aliens in all 50 states!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • if you want more of a behavior, subsidize it. Want less, penalize it.

        it works! Subsidize single motherhood with social programs and punish fatherhood with those same social programs, and voila! Single mothers become the majority in the black community!

        subsidize homelessness and drug use through social programs, and voila! It’s “Bums Gone Wild”!

  5. Imagine no cops and instead a mother and child. Or someone by themselves who is no match for this guy.
    Something bad might have happened. So this was unfortunately necessary.
    If he charged cops he was ready to hurt someone.

  6. And his family will show up soon, wanting to sue, you know, because they were taking care of him and whatnot…

  7. Hey, at least it’s not Flori-duh this time.

    Although I’m thinking we’re still winning (losing) the crazy-ass-shit race.

    • Makes me think that some sports stats guy should be keeping track of this kinda stuff.
      I mean ya got Flori-duh, Tennessad, Cali-crazyia as the front runners. But what about the rest of “the top ten”?

      Now for political stupidity and crazy-ass-shit, the field is wide open amongst the coastal states.

      Just Sayin…

      • don’t forget NYC, where some crazy homeless dude is pushing some stranger in front of a subway train. Probably the exact same subway train where some crazy homeless lady strips nekkid and starts washing her moldy azz with a sponge and bottle of water in front of the tourists.

    • The Trouser Snake is very deadly. Despite its diminutive size, it’s gotten a lot of guys into big trouble. Girls too.

  8. If you go toward a cop and threatened him with a lethal weapon, you get shot.

    Screw you and all the “save the crud” crap.

  9. The poor guy was just turning his life around, opened a new herpetology business and was about to cure salmonella or something.

  10. Brilliant tactics.

    Drive your cars up to the Tueller distance away from perp and then shoot him after taking a few steps
    toward you.

    Out of bean bags?
    Out of tasers?

    At least they didn’t shoot him when he was drunk and all fours.

    • “After trying to talk him down, police tell us they shoot the man with a non lethal bean bag gun multiple times. However, moments later, he gets up and continues toward them.

  11. Freedom…. Question, was the snake dancer sitter knife holder threating anyone? If not why did the Badges get involved? Freedom. Mr. Badge just go sit at your speed trap, do your thing and leave us people alone. Believe it or not We the People, if left alone could and would put a stop to crime a whole lot better then you and your judges and lawyers.

      • When open carry was legal in California it was common for people to call in a threat to public safety by a man with a gun. Just the sight of a weapon — without a badge pinned on the chest — made Californians go crazy.

    • Ironicatbest, nice to hear from you. Tell us about your many adventures of stopping crimes in progress. I’m sure they’re interesting, as well as entertaining. Probably many tactical lessons to be learned, also. One question though. Do you wear a cape while out there keeping everyone safe, or do you subscribe to the Spyderman school of attire?

  12. A shirtless man with a snake and knife is coming at me? He gets shot.

    Ain’t that a natural law or something?

    • Ok, so what triggers all this hostility? The knife, the lack of a shirt or the snake? What if it was a woman? Would you remember to flick the safety off, if your firearm had one? It’s pretty much a scientifically documented fact that most men can’t look at a woman’s breasts and think of something else simultaneously. Would younger, firmer breasts slow you down any. Conversely, would older saggier ones speed your reaction time up?

  13. Seems like a taser to the torso while the guy was sitting on his butt would have disarmed him PDQ. Maybe a poor choice to go with pepper balls, but I wasn’t there.


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