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This video shows a murder suspect attempting to take control of a police officer’s gun. It appears that the weapon was secured in a retention holster — a damn fine idea for armed Americans who open carry. The more important point: the gun grab was met with immediate and overwhelming force. If someone goes for your gun, counter-attack with as much violence as possible.

It’s a life-or-death situation. If someone removes your gun from your holster they’re probably going to use it. On you. If you’re in a wrestling match with a bad guy for your gun — with enough control over the firearm to keep it pointed at your assailant — do not hesitate to shoot the bad guy off your gun. That is all.

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  1. Things to think about:
    1) The retention holster meant that the bad guy had almost no leverage from his angle. A non-retention holster would have been a different story
    2) The officer may have had to be there “to remove the cuffs” (could have picked a safer angle and position of advantage) but why did he have a gun to begin with? If the suspect had been checked for weapons- and if he’s in cuffs he should have been- there’s no reason to bring a gun into that room.
    3) If there weren’t other officers there even more force would have had to have been used… possibly including immediate deadly force IF the bad guy was no longer in cuffs.

    • The first taser almost certainly did not, because you can see one of the probes didn’t connect. I believe the second did.

  2. I open carry with a retention holster but on my weak side I have an automatic knife. If I ever feel a tug my strong hand will clamp on the pistol or arm of the grabber while I draw and open the knife with my weak side hand. Then it’s time to slice and dice until they let go.

  3. Clearly, the officer put himself at a disadvantage. He did not have to bend down to practically the prisoner’s knee with his head to take the cuffs off.

    Stand the suspect up and uncuff him that way.

  4. I was a mail clerk in a jail a long time ago. Inside the secure perimeter there were no weapons allowed, for anyone. The Court Detail guys who transported the inmates from the jail to the courtrooms were armed, but there was a separate area for people going to court where they got delivered, prepped, then at the last minute, the Court Detail guys would get their weapons from their lockers and take the guys down to court.

    Plenty of the people who worked at the jail carried, and there were gun lockers outside the secure perimeters you could sign up for if you wanted, with a clearing barrel right there. Very sensible workplace overall.

    • The biggest issue with that is that a lot of inmates do nothing but lift weights everyday in the chance they can overpower a guard. If you don’t have some kind of weapon against some of those guys you will not survive 1 on 1.

      • Inside the facility’s perimeter, we don’t expect to overpower criminals through sheer physical strength. We have plenty of non-lethal force options for controlling violent offenders. Unlike the streets, response time for backup is measured in seconds. A burly felon who assaults staff will first face OC spray, followed by a squad of uniformed officers. If that isn’t sufficient, only then will lethal force be used.

  5. In this particular situation, had I been in an enclosed space like that, I would have tried to slam that guys head in the wall or choke him out against the wall rather than simply attempt to regain control. He’s trying so hard to get the gun you should be doing serious damage to him.

    • Eh, I probably would have just given him a good elbow shot while bringing my arm back and rotating my hips. Dude was already at an awkward angle, just pivot around him.

  6. The second officer would have been well within his rights to shoot the suspect in the head right there to end the struggle.

    • Which is exactly what I would tell anyone, cop or not, to do, and exactly what I was trained to do.

  7. Damn boy dey set you up! He ain’t guilty ’cause da’ evil white man tempted his dumb azz…yeah that cop was clearly lame( and lucky too). I can’t imagine the grief if he’d been some 300pound bruiser…

  8. Agree with someone else who posted, I would have thought officer 2 would have had a “good shoot” had he killed the perp right then and there. Perp is lucky to be alive. Lotta restraint by those cops

    • I am fairly anti-cop and I will even have to agree that if you go for a cop’s gun, do not succeed, and are still alive . . . you should expect a beating. Seriously, if I was the backup officer elbows and batons would have met bone and not stopped.

      • I’m in the same boat. I’ve become rather skeptical and abusive of the utterly self-serving nonsense and twaddle we hear out of cops in their justifications for lethal incompetence.

        But a suspect who goes for an officer’s gun – well, now we have a suspect who is announcing his intentions and methods, and there is no doubt of a reasonable threat to officer safety. Cops who react with lethal force in that situation are on absolutely firm ground, IMO.

    • I was genuinely surprised when the second officer came in that he did not press forward and put a round from contact range into the man, which would have been completely justified.

  9. Esteban Carpio murdered Sgt. James Allen under similar circumstances at Providence Police headquarters with his own duty gun, a .40 Beretta in 2005. I remember it well.

  10. Farago, do you realize how difficult it is to read the TTAG articles on an IPhone? These pop-ups are maddening! Please fix!!!!

    • I’m FAR from being an expert but I loaded up my $20 Huawii Union with generic antivirus for free. It’s running great. No pop-up ads and near perfection. Regular computer not so much (so much so I much prefer the cheap Virgin Mobile now). No Adblocker either. YMMV

  11. Another thought; if you “shoot him off your gun,” more than likely you will be out of battery and your gun won’t fire again. You have to be immediately ready either to tap rack or just pistol whip the living hell out of the guy right away, I mean the very second you realize you can’t fire. I suppose a knife would come in really handy, at that point.

  12. I’m just so sad at all these articles that I can never find that Harry Potter girl who “nailed growing up”. ?

  13. I’m just so sad reading all these articles that I can never find that Harry Potter girl who “nailed growing up”. ?

  14. The situation had a positive outcome but the two things that precipitated the incident: a) the officer’s gun is exposed and within easy reach of the suspect and b) the officer should not be armed within an enclose space handling a prisoner in such close proximity. When learning how to fingerprint suspects at FLETC, the picture of two dead officers shot with their own weapons was on the wall of the training room. This was as a remainder, do not fingerprint potentially dangerous suspects and be armed with your weapon exposed at the same time. Procedures changed as a result but the same mistakes keep happening. Officers keep exposing their weapons when placed in a vulnerable position that result in a physical confrontation within an enclosed space. Fortunately, the officer was not alone and he reacted quickly. However, he should have subdued the suspect with overwhelming force and broken the suspect’s arm but you only have a moment to react this way this was not in the officer’s mind set. Still, this would not have happened had the suspect not been provided with the opportunity to reach for the weapon even though the reaching angle did not favor him. Complacency can get you killed before you can react.

  15. I see no comparison between cops with handcuffed prisoners and ordinary people going about their business. This isn’t retention information for those of us who carry a gun… it’s another cop crap story. I’m very tired of cops being held up as the model we need to follow. Getting tired of TTAG in general, sad to say. I’ll give you a time out… then look back in a day or two and decide if I want to bother anymore.

    • You believe ttag holds cops up as the model to follow? Wow. I got a completely different vibe from the site.

        • I believe this was a convenient video put up to show how a citizen should handle a gun grab. And judging from past cop oriented screeds on this site I don’t believe many of the cop support statements up thread would have been uttered if the grabber wasn’t black.


          • Don’t be ridiculous. Ordinary people certainly have retention issues and must take precautions. This video/scene does NOT illustrate that in the least. And to put this up as instruction for beginners is nearly criminal. They are not going to face this kind of problem, but might be encouraged to use lethal force inappropriately.

            But to answer your other question… the extremely _rare_ incident where a “gun grab” is attempted or completed with ordinary people – at least those we get to hear about – are usually the result of extremely stupid, careless behavior on the part of the person who is carrying the gun. Taking it out of the holster to flash it around, and that sort of thing.

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