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I’m sympathetic to cops who open fire on anyone who points a gun at them. Whether or not the gun’s real or fake, loaded or unloaded, aimed with malice aforethought or wielded with casual stupidity, the business end of a firearm is a green light for a gunfight. I see dozens of stories every week wherein cops shoot rifle-pointers. And here’s another one, courtesy “Police ordered [Hans Pedro] Perez to drop the rifle, but he refused to do so, instead pointing the rifle at the officers, [Detective Mike] Melendez said. That’s when bullets started flying. It’s not yet known how many shots were discharged, but according to Melendez, eight officers fired, hitting Perez several times. Perez was rushed to a local hospital. At last check, he was in critical condition, but is expected to survive his injuries.” Bo Wallace called this one . . .

Earlier this month, XS Sights’ PR dude described the phenomena as “contagious or sympathetic fire.” When one officer starts firing, his or her compadres figure it’s OK to let loose the ballistic dogs of war. So they do.

What’s this got to do with you? explains:

    * If you are involved in a gun fight; or, an innocent bystander, always have your hands uplifted above your head with nothing in them when the police arrive. If you are the ‘good guy’ put your weapon away when the police are arriving and move to a safe area, if possible, with your hands empty and uplifted. Otherwise you may become the victim of Sympathetic Fire

    * In police practice scenarios, the ‘good guy,’ hostage and innocent by-stander manequins often got shot. Raise ‘Them’ Hands! The police do not know you from Adam. Let them sort it all out before you start lowering your hands and arms. Don’t make sudden movements. Be courteous, be considerate.

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  1. I was confronted once by a gaggle of bored suburban cops with their firearms drawn, after performing service work in someone’s home.
    I kept my hands held high, but unfortunately there was a dark colored item in each of them (Palm Pilot organizer and a soft case full of software CDs)
    I obeyed all of their instructions, and did my best to explain what the items were, and actually asked if I should drop the items.
    I figured that attempting to lower them to the ground, or to relax my fingers and let them fall would create movement that could cause them to shoot.

  2. Read between the lines here. Who pointed a gun first?

    Cops point guns all the time. They commit assault with a deadly weapon with impunity. You’re all sympathetic towards cops that have a gun pointed at them. How do you feel towards people that have cops guns pointed at them?

    • I feel that you shouldn’t break the law. I feel that the folks that haven’t broke the law and are not criminals should listen carefully to verbal commands when an officer has a gun pointed at you. More importantly I think both these things because feelings are irrelevant in this instance.

    • Sure, some police officers may be draw-happy at times. But put yourself in their shoes in this instance. They tell him to drop the gun and he points it at them. I’d have fired, too.

      I don’t see where they had any other option here.

  3. These cops must be using those fancy 22 hollow points you had here a couple of weeks back, because I don’t understand how a bad guy gets shot several times by eight cops and survives.

    • Especially since on the last “Criminal Minds” I saw, a woman who barely knew what a revolver was, killed 4 people with 4 shots from a short barreled .38 revolver.
      I want those bullets.

  4. I’ve been held at gunpoint by police three times. Massad may have said it first, but it has become my mantra for police encounters: think fast and move *slow.*

  5. “I’ve been held at gunpoint by police three times.”

    Chris, that kinda make me all weepy for the “old days” when the cops just beat the shit out of people with rubber truncheons.

  6. “If you are the ‘good guy’ put your weapon away when the police are arriving and move to a safe area, if possible, with your hands empty and uplifted.”

    Do you mean, re-holster your gun? Or put it away in a safe place? I’ve often wondered about this.

    • Don’t forget; threat-access, reload, then re-holster. It would be a bad thing if the buddy or friends of the perp caught you empty.

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