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“The shooting played out in front of the Funky Buddha Lounge at 728 W. Grand Ave. in the early hours of Nov. 30, 2014 as the [off-duty] deputy responded to a fight,” reports. “The deputy was not hurt and the wounded gunman survived. The other gunman was later arrested and was sentenced [to ten years] this week after pleading guilty.” Let’s go to the tape . . .

Michael Raines, the off-duty sheriff’s deputy, is down the street and races toward the suspect with his own gun drawn, the video shows. Raines shoots Lopez, who then runs to the sidewalk in front of the bar, clutching himself.

Raines rushes toward Lopez and grabs him when a second man, identified by police as Mario Orta, walks toward them with a gun, according to the video. Raines crouches with Lopez, holding a gun to the suspect’s head and using him as a shield, the video shows.

Raines keeps the wounded suspect in front of him and ducks when Orta points his gun at him, according to the video and police. Raines points his own gun at Orta, in a standoff, as the wounded man tries to push the deputy’s arm away.

Orta eventually gets into a parked car, then jumps out and runs away, the video shows.

I hate to say it — armchair Monday morning quarterbacking being of questionable value — but using a bad guy for a shield may not be the best possible solution. Even if the BG is wounded and you have a gun to his head, it raises the possibility of his sudden escape. Cover (leverage?) gone.

Equally worrying, at least for me, is the eventual arrival of the Boys in Blue. I wouldn’t want to be pointing a gun at someone’s head when the cops drive by/arrive. Or waving a gun at passersby.

To his credit, Officer Raines eventually put his gun down, gets his badge out and puts his hands up. And, of course, result.

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  1. Cops use bad guys now as human shields?

    There’s got to be some ethical questions in there somewhere.

    Maybe that’s why cops shoot dogs so quickly now. Instant cover as-needed.

        • How about if the officer is transporting you in the back of his squad car after you were wrongly arrested for some crime. Then he runs into an ambush on the way to the local jail. Can he use you as cover?

          I know, not exactly analogous, but indulge me.

        • “Can he use you as cover?” – Yes; though, I’m going to fight him at that point. May he? That’s another question entirely.

        • @The Gray:
          If my buddies were the ones doing the ambushing in an attempt to set me free / kill him, then yeah. I don’t have even the slightest moral/ethical problem with that.

          Essentially he’s out-strategizing them in order to survive. He would burn in court if he actually shot me, but if the alternative was near certian death I think that’s a risk he’d be willing to take.

          Honestly if I as a CCW’er ended up in this situation somehow, I’d have no problem doing that if it was my best option for survival. Accordingly I won’t hold it against a cop for doing it – all other things being equal.

        • Rule 0: Avoid the gunfight, particularly when it is disadvantageous (i.e. outnumbered, outgunned, unknown variables…)

          As to the ethics, I share the immediate sentiment but at the same time let’s remember that he had not even secured the first suspect first. The guy is not searched, could easily have a(nother) weapon, and is not handcuffed. Not the same as someone who has been shaken, roped up and put in the back of a squad car.

    • At that moment it was more of one guy doing whatever he had to to survive.

      I don’t think he had any illusions that had he executed his “hostage” he would have landed him in prison for life.

      Once he ran after suspect #1 out into the open, and knelt to apprehend, he was a sitting duck.
      I don’t think he was aware that there was another gunman until that point.

  2. Without sound and since I didn’t see a reload it looks like the officer and the second gunman pointed guns at each other several times without shooting. Is that what happened?

    • Yeah, looks like it was kind of a Mexican standoff until the guy gives up and leaves his buddy behind.

  3. I don’t know how he gets his pants on over those big brass balls. That’s one shrewd mother f**ker right there.

    He made a some tactical mistakes to get into that situation, but once he’s in it, he goes hard to get out.

  4. The officer had to keep suspect 1 from fleeing while dealing with suspect 2. I’m not really sure what better options he had.

    Come to think of it, this footage is a good example of why you need follow up shots. If suspect 1 was dead instead of wounded the officer would have been free to deal with suspect 2. Suspect 2 would also be slapped with felony murder and actually stay in jail.


      Its truly laughable how much that SHOULD have been what happened in a sane world, but that’s not the world we live in.

    • Nanashi,

      Except how did the deputy know which people were attackers and which people were defenders? The guy that the deputy approached/shot may very well have been a righteous defender. Finishing him off at that point would have been second degree murder.

      • Defenders don’t point guns at people who aren’t attacking them.

        Its a pretty easy distinction really.

        That cliche scene from every movie where a standoff suddenly erupts and everybody points a gun at everybody else… yeah that doesn’t really happen. People don’t want to get shot, and most don’t want to shoot anyone. Accordingly they don’t generally point guns at every person they see.

        • Defenders don’t point guns at people who aren’t attacking them.

          They do when unknown people approach them with a drawn gun pointing at them.

          YOU know that the man who approached with a handgun in hand was an off-duty deputy presumably trying to intervene in a violent crime. That guy that the deputy shot most certainly did NOT.

          Furthermore, while those two guys that you presume are bad guys pointed their guns at people, they did not shoot anyone. Only the deputy shot a man who did not have time to process the fact that the armed person approaching him might be an off-duty deputy.

    • Wrong. He had no obligation to keep the second suspect from fleeing. He was off duty. He should have retreated to cover/safety inside that bar. I don’t like this behavior at all. Bad guys and/or terrorists put guns to people’s heads on a busy street. Not law abiding citizens. I’m not saying he deserves to be charged with a crime, but I f he ended up with a bullet in his head from a law abiding citizen, it would have been his own damn fault.

      • “I f he ended up with a bullet in his head from a law abiding citizen, it would have been his own damn fault.” – I can’t say I disagree with that, given the context.

        • Yah, that video truly amazes me. There are so many people running around pointing guns at each other, and so many other people running around chit-chatting with people who are waving guns at everybody. It appears this is pretty normal Saturday night in the area. Unbelievable.

      • “He had no obligation to keep the second suspect from fleeing. He was off duty”

        Yeeeah that’s not how that works.
        That’s not how any of this works.

      • Bad guys and/or terrorists put guns to people’s heads on a busy street.

        …and Cops and good guys with no other viable option. You just don’t like it because you watch a lot of movies where only “bad guys” do that. Get past the hollywood cliche and look at the pure tactics. It was his best option for survival.

        Rule #1 of a gunfight: Survive the gunfight.
        Rule #2 of a gunfight: See rule #1.

        • No way dude… His best chance for survival was to retreat INTO THAT OPEN DOOR TO THE BAR DIRECTLY BEHIND HIM AND CALL FOR BACKUP!

  5. What happened to the Funky Buddha? It was a place to listen to poetry, smooth jazz and where the community came together to exchange ideas. Sigh.

  6. Holy cow, so much fail.

    First of all, how did the deputy know whether the person he approached/shot was an attacker or a defender?

    Second, why would the deputy expect the person he was approaching to disarm when that person has no reason to think that the deputy is anything other than an accomplice coming to provide backup to his buddies?

    Third, why did the deputy stay stationary while another armed dude was marching all around him and pointing a firearm at him?

    Fourth, why didn’t the deputy fire at the second armed dude who kept marching around and pointing a firearm at him?!?!?

    Fifth, why did the deputy think it was a good strategy to point his gun at the injured guy’s head? Maybe that injured guy was the defender and the other armed dude was the attacker who WANTS the deputy to finish off the defender.

    Sixth, when the uniforms show up, the deputy keeps pointing his gun in the air. Then he eventually drops it and leaves it available for anyone to pick up … while promptly reaching behind his back for what could have been another handgun.

    • Seventh,

      What Vhyrus said below about the wounded dude pulling out a knife or another firearm.

    • Presumably the answer to most of your questions is that the officer Identified himself when he engaged, and was issuing verbal commands we can’t hear.

      From what I can see he didn’t realize there was a second gunman until he was already on the ground with bad guy #1. That being the case he did the best he could with what he had. I will never fault a cop for NOT shooting someone – its entirely his risk to take.

  7. I wouldn’t worry about the wounded guy getting up, but I would be really worried about him pulling a knife or another gun and wrecking my day.

  8. Using a suspect’s body as a shield certainly isn’t the optimum – but it appears from the video that it was all the deputy had.

  9. Was that deputy in uniform? All I see is a guy shooting another guy and then holding a gun to his head while waving said gun around like an asshole.

    I can’t hear any of it, or see much, but from what I *can* see it looks like anyone else would have been right to see this deputy as a continuation of the threat that needs to be neutralized.

    Even if he’s saying he’s a cop, why should anyone believe him?

    If some dude started shooting at me, or pointing a gun around wildly, him saying he’s a cop wouldn’t hold much weight until a badge was produced or he went in to a phone booth and put on a uniform.

    And how does he know who the aggressor is anyway? HE looks like the aggressor in that video.

    • To be fair, Raines did order Lopez to drop his weapon and instead, Lopez pointed the weapon at him…time to shoot as far as I’m concerned. Of course, your valid point about the shooters not knowing if he was actually a cop, and possibly another criminal does not incline them to obey.

    • For the same reason CCW’ers don’t get into mistaken identity firefights every five minutes:

      No body wants to get shot, and most people don’t want to shoot anybody. Accordingly, defenders don’t point guns at people who aren’t attacking them.

  10. Does the 2nd bad guy try to steal that car? Seems like he can’t figure out how to make it go. LOL Fisker Karma I think?

  11. Cop had a gun pointed to a guy’s head, with his finger on the trigger. Finger stayed on the trigger throughout pretty much all of the encounter, as far as I can tell.

    Yet if you ask him, I wouldn’t be surprised if he swore up and down that he absolutely executed proper trigger discipline, just like any of us would… I’ve seen and read of cops who SWEAR they never touched the trigger, and who seem to honestly believe it — even though the video evidence is undeniable.

    The more of these scenarios I see, of people actually IN THE MOMENT, the more ridiculous I think statements like “my brain is the only safety I need”. That type of thinking seems insane to me after watching video after video. The closest I can tell, when life and death is going down, you are NOT going to have access to your higher cognitive functions, you’re going to be running on lizard brain fueled by adrenaline. And lizard brain doesn’t know the first thing about trigger discipline or the four rules of gun safety; lizard brain just knows how to stay alive.

    • TexTed,

      Two known psychotic/hyper-aggressive large dogs were on the loose and one of them came running at me right past the owner. (And the demeanor of that dog was “radar lock and kill” mode — including ignoring the owner’s commands.) I stepped forward, drew my handgun, and aimed fully expecting to shoot the charging dog … which apparently caused the dog to stop just 15 feet away and start barking like mad. During our stand-off over the next several seconds, I was totally aware that my finger was on the trigger, that I was applying about 2 pounds of force on my 6 pound trigger, and that my initial backstop was less than optimal prompting me to move over a few feet for a better backstop.

      I was fully aware of everything “in the moment” and acted responsibly. Am I typical or different? I don’t know. What I do know is that I don’t need a safety on my firearm to be responsible “in the moment”. Therefore, blanket statements or government mandates for safeties are reprehensible.

      • What I do know is that I don’t need a safety on my firearm to be responsible “in the moment”.

        Very much agree… And in that “moment” you will probably have disengaged any manual “safety” anyway…. if you remembered it, or would you forget the “safety” and not be ABLE to pull the trigger if you needed to?

        Face it, people… a DGU is going to be a bitch, no matter what you’ve got or how you use it.

      • Except you don’t know what you don’t know- you can’t get outside your own brain to ‘check’ its veracity. In a case like this, and other video-taped encounters, someone can actually compare their subjective memory to something more objective and say “wow, I thought I KNEW X, but Y was true…. wtf?”

        • What I do know for a fact:
          (a) I did not pull the trigger even though my finger was on it.
          (b) I did move for a better backstop.
          (c) One of my children recorded the event on video and verified what I said.

          As I qualified in my comment, I have no idea if I am “typical” or unusual in my ability to know exactly what I am doing “in the moment”. All I can tell you is that my memories in that moment match up with the video … which includes the fact that I did not pull the trigger even though my striker-fired handgun has a 6 pound trigger and no manual safety. Thus, blanket pronouncements and requirements are inappropriate.

    • Yep. If you talk to people who just went through even active-shooter TRAINING (i.e. simunitions, no real threat of death) it’s amazing how their memories will be impaired. I’ve seen people correctly respond to threat stimuli but then when asked about what happened, completely blank on it. Then they watch the helmet-mounted video and are really confused because they don’t even remember doing what they (correctly) did.

    • “And lizard brain doesn’t know the first thing about trigger discipline or the four rules of gun safety; lizard brain just knows how to stay alive.”

      Very well said.
      Nobody ‘rises to the occasion’ during an adrenaline dump.
      We all sink to the lowest level of muscle-memory.

      That’s why effective training requires hundreds of repetitions – you’re trying to train your lizard brain, not the rational human brain.

  12. Hey, this is a Chicago cop we’re talking about, so we’re just lucky he used a suspect for his human shield, and didn’t just grab any random passerby.

  13. Hey whatever, the guy did what he had to do to survive. Maybe there were some mistakes along the way, but to me it seems as though the cop/suspect dynamic disappeared and it was one guy doing what was necessary.

  14. Just a couple observations: at 3:00 the trunk is popped- going for something bigger? At 3:50- does the big guy walk up and show a badge???

  15. I’m working this out every way I can and given that the officer probably had a whole lot of questions that he could not answer in a short period of time, I think he was absolutely in the right, tactically, to do what he did. The bottom line is that he has one for sure threat at close range, and another possible threat at a longer range. It is wise to do what you can with the threat that you are sure of, and that you can manage, before moving on to another threat. Or to put it another way, deal with the problem you have right now, before moving on to the next problem. The problem that he had right then was the guy that he knew had a gun at some point, and is now in physical contact with. He does not know if that person is unarmed, he does not know if that person is attempting to harm him. But he does know that he can effectively eliminate that threat. So yeah, control that threat first.

  16. Chicago is the new wild west.

    Don’t get into dumb shit off-duty, out of uniform! If someone is beating up a kid or robbing a little old lady, okay, but that doesn’t sound like what this was (although it’s light on details).

    • That’s exactly what the OIC of the range told us during our mandatory classroom time for LEOSA requalification. In fact, he told us that unless it involved mortal danger to you or someone you care about, keep your pistol holstered. In today’s climate getting involved in a gunfight, even when you’re lawfully armed, either leaves you dead, wounded, or looking at a civil suit which will financially ruin you even if you prevail.

    • The actual “Wild” West was never as dangerous or lawless as Chicago today.

      Not by a long shot… as it were.

  17. Once lived in a state where policing was considered a polite profession (as in not drugs or prostitution). Had a friend on a force. There was an incident in the town, where an “off duty” cop was trying to stop a business robbery, and was killed by a uniformed cop. I asked friend why the “off duty” cop tried to intervene, since he was “off duty”. The explanation was the state law required all LEO to be armed both on and off duty. Also, “off duty” actually meant “not scheduled for shift”, and “off duty” cops were required to act just as if they were “on the clock” whenever encountering criminal activity. Thus, to non-LEO, “off duty” meant clear of responsibility, or expectation, to act as if “on duty”. To LEOs, “off duty” meant “available for unscheduled work”.

    • Sam – My department issued each officer a “take-home” car and we were expected to respond to serious incidents even while “off-duty”. You were expected to be armed at these times and have your badge and ID with you. I’ll never forget the time that two jokers robbed a bank and there was an off-duty detective in a “slick” car in the drive-in line. He gave chase with on-duty units joining in and the robber’s finally ended up on a dead-end street. They bailed out and ran into a patch of woods. One was caught by a somewhat demure female cop who drew down on him (and then shocked everyone by yelling, “FREEZE, MOTHERF****R!”). The other robber got through the woods but he must have thought every cop in the world had ridden down on him. There were cruisers going up and down every block in the neighborhood, at least half of them with off-duty officers in them. He hid under a camper in someone’s driveway but the homeowner saw him and called it in. We all tore up to where he was and when I got there, the robber was doing “Boyz on the Hood” with an off-duty cop covering him. Sitting in the front seat of his cruiser was his very wide-eyed wife who was holding their baby. Yes, I do believe the officer was “counseled” about the wisdom of getting involved with his wife and baby in the car. There were a few times when I dropped my wife off before responding to an emergency while off-duty. He probably should have done the same.

      • What a great story for the grandkids. Hope you all get years of laughs over it. My stories sorta go…”well, I once ate sixty eggs in an hour”. Not much to tell.

        Although there was that time in high school I won second place in a competition between two contestants.

      • There are a fair amount of blue-on-blue shootings that have left cops dead or disabled. I work in a small enough department that I know everyone’s face, BUT I would still be very hesitant to throw myself into a situation because I don’t know all the officers from other agencies that might be in the area. What about the county deputy who happens to be around the corner? He doesn’t know me, he just sees some random person in jeans & a t-shirt chasing some other person while holding a pistol. Even worse if he sees me shoot someone. REALLY worse if he sees me shoot someone without seeing the reason that I shot!

        All in all, I’d rather be home reading a book at that moment. Things are a little different if I’m in a vehicle with emergency equipment.

  18. The officer did an outstanding job. He could have shot the other suspect. But chose not to. Two against one? The other bad guy is luck to be alive.

  19. Us ordinary folk would get a lonnnng prison term for using a dude as a “human shield”. And didn’t I read he waz off doody?!? Some animals are more equal…?

    • FWW. Society gives slack to the officer, off or on duty, because we expect him to do as this deputy did. Ride to the sound of the guns. The rest of us, you and me included, can bugger off in the other direction when this trouble starts.

      I hope you figure, in the future, that in your equation of equality amongst animals.

  20. I feel the general “ra ra” of the cop’s tactical move, but I believe the general (nay, specific I believe) rule is that a prisoner’s safety is the officer’s responsibility once he’s in custody. That’s why even ultra-bad dudes get body armor while being transported in public. I back the blue, but cops need to stop behaving like they’ve binge-watched every episode of Chicago PD, Blue Bloods, and every other bad procedural cop drama out there.

    • True but is he in custody at that moment or is he still a suspect who the cop is trying to apprehend? He hasn’t been searched for additional weapons, he’s not handcuffed and doesn’t look like he really wants to go along with the program except for the fact that he has a couple extra holes in him…

  21. Using prisoners or civilians as human shields is against international law. Unless they are US cops and the prisoner/civilian is a US citizen then the cop is congratulated.

  22. too much sophmoric philosophizing here.

    i really don’t care about a wounded BG. if he serves a purpose as a sandbag, so be it. f*** him.

  23. Hmm, I assume any citizen can do this? This might be one way to resolve being attacked by a mob.

  24. Lots of questions surrounding this video…This is why we need Full Independent Civilian review boards of ALL rank and file Police officers, for accountability to the general public…To promote the general welfare, secure liberty and Freedom…There’s something not in context and needs to be examined.

  25. I’m pretty sure I would of ventilated the guy getting into the trunk.

    An AK comes out and its all over. Pretty sure a jury would agree, if a cops pointing a gun at you and telling you to get back, you don’t go fishing in the trunk.

    I believe the reason he didn’t shoot more people is fear of setting off the Mexican Standoff, he may have gotten one or two but he would have died doing so.

    Id say over all, that went as good as it ever could have for him.

    • Expensive car, suspect punk was attempting to steal it and released the trunk while trying to get it to start. I did not see him “fishing in the trunk”. But I suspect I would have shot him for pointing his gun at me, never mind the trunk.

  26. The cop is alive. THE ONLY part of the equation that matters, PERIOD. I would do this same given the same scenario.

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