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"It Happened to Me (real life situation)."

3184 Views 1 Reply 1 Participant Last post by  Janq
Notice: No this story is not by or about me.
It is though about a fellow member at SigForum who is a regular guy who was out on a regular day doing regular things dressed in regular clothing at a regular locale who just happens to be a LEO and choose to carry while his equally regular partner who came with did not.
The following is a direct copy of the LEOs post at SigForum and then in addition I'll also post the news story of this real event as provided by his local newspaper.
For those who might wonder why I'm posting this, if it's not obvious to you upon reading the following then don't worry about it.

CN: Cop on the job dressed in plainclothes while on the way to Starbucks gets caught up in some wild ass craziness random life happens style.
By dumb luck he choose to carry while his partner did not.

quote=Ronin228 @ Methods & Issues - It Happened to Me (real life situation).
Posted May 26, 2006 06:54 PM

I haven't posted here in awhile, but I occasionally read threads here and see lots of "scenario" threads. Well, imagining scenarios is always an excellent way to stay mentally prepared, but I recently learned that complacency can take place no matter how "tactical" you are or how many "scenarios" you can imagine.

I’m a Federal Agent, and on Monday (May 22nd) at about 1300 I was meeting a witness to interview him on a case. Before leaving the office to go to this interview I actually debated whether I should even wear a gun because this was a lead from another unit and the matter was relatively safe, or so I thought. It was a hot day and it’s not easy concealing a gun, extra ammo, and handcuffs under a polo shirt, however I decided to carry anyway because I had one of those feelings that I should carry. The other agent I went with did not carry his gun because he figured, “at least one of is armed,” so he didn’t feel like taking the time to go put on the batman utility belt. No big deal, right?

Upon arrive at the interview location, a Starbucks at the Natomas shopping area in Sacramento, I receive a call from our witness asking if we were there yet. We were running about 10 minutes late. As I was talking to him on the phone, suddenly I heard squealing tires of a car peeling out and then a series of rapid fire gunshots behind me. “Oh ****!” was my first reaction, and I turned around and saw a Sacramento Police Officer on the hood of a car holding his gun pointed towards the windshield. The car continued to accelerate and the police officer rolled off out of my view. I immediately dropped my phone and paperwork, drew my Sig P228 from my C-TAC IWB holster and used G-ride for cover. My partner was similarly freaked, but he didn’t have his gun on him! I remember him saying “Get over there!” We monitored the car’s movements assuming it was just going to flee and that we would only be good witnesses. However, the car turned towards us and crashed into a palm tree, coming to a rest directly in front of me. I immediately changed my cover to a transformer box approximately 15 yards from the vehicle and covered the suspects with my gun. I yelled orders and the occupants to stay in the car, but the front seat driver got out and fled, I couldn’t see where he went. One back seat occupant tried to open his door towards me in an attempt to flee. See this, I warned him “Stay in the &%#%ing car! Police!” He continued to move around like he wanted to grab something, so I put my finger on the trigger and actually released some of the slack off the trigger. Just then he seemed to get smart and he put his hands in the air and then began yelling “My friends dieing, he’s shot in the head!” referring to the driver. This is when I had to consciously take my finger off the trigger and place it along the side rail. The other back seat occupant, a female, was yelling similar comments about her dieing friend at me. I continued to hold him at gun point, and kept yelling orders at them to not move, stay in the car, etc. I could hear the sirens of the SacPD cavalry on the way, which was extremely reassuring. I also ensured I took out my badge/credential holder and displayed my gold badge in the direction where the police would be coming. After about one or two minutes of holding them down at gun point, actually, I had no sense of time and it seemed like I was holding them down forever, a police cruiser arrived on scene. The cop acknowledged me while getting out of his vehicle and then holding the suspects at gun point. Two more cars arrived, and both officers got out and took over the scene. One had a shotgun and the other had an AR-15. The last officer who arrived told me to holster my weapon and then they apprehending the suspects.

The front seat passenger who ran did not get far. He tried to enter the Mexican restaurant, but the workers had locked the doors. Then a photographer called him out and alerted the police. He tried to run, but he ran into about six sheriff’s deputies who plastered him on to the pavement then hauled him away like a piece of cattle.

The driver was DOA, he had been shot in the head after he hit the police officer with his car. The police officer was talking to the occupants of the vehicle because the vehicle matched the description of a car used in a robbery that had occurred in the area shortly before. While the officer was talking to the occupants, the driver started driving away, struck the police cruiser and then struck the officer flinging him on the hood. The officer fired eight shots, hitting the driver in the head and hitting the male back seat passenger in the arm and shoulder. I’m amazed the driver drove as far as he did after getting shot in the head. He made a full 90 degree left turn and drove around a gradual curve before he passed out. The female in the back seat reported the driver say “I’m trying” when the other occupants were saying “Go go go!”

While I was holding the occupants at gunpoint, my unarmed partner was rendering assistance to the injured police officer. He turned out having a deep bone bruise in his left leg and didn’t have any broken bones.

Later when the police searched the vehicle, they found a replica toy gun that the suspects had used earlier during their crimes. This is sick because I know I would have shot that back seat passenger if he opened the door holding that toy gun. I’m quite happy that I did not have to shoot anyone, because I’m sure my situation would be much different now and I wouldn’t even be able to post this story.

What I learned from this situation is to NEVER get complacent. You absolutely never know when you are going to go from a normal day and enter a day of chaos. Since these events took place so quickly, I was impressed by how I just went into training mode and my body and mind went into autopilot. I believed I had excellent judgment and did not make any stupid mistakes that could have got myself or anyone else hurt. I never felt scared, angry, or any other emotions, I felt like I had to take care of business. Also, it felt exactly like an academy training scenario. I got good cover, identified myself, and held the suspects at bay with an intimidating presence. I do not think I would have done anything differently. My partner, however, was quite upset for not having a gun on him.

Here is an article of the story:

I apologize for the long post, but I thought this story would be beneficial to anyone here, especially those in law enforcement, who carries a concealed handgun.

- Janq felt silly while CCW'd at Herrells buying icecream yesterday but then saw this today

"What I learned from this situation is to NEVER get complacent. You absolutely never know when you are going to go from a normal day and enter a day of chaos." - Ronin228
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Surreal shooting
Officer kills driver of car full of robbery suspects
By Crystal Carreon and Christina Jewett -- Bee Staff Writers

Published 12:01 am PDT Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Story appeared on Page A14 of The Bee

A carload of armed robbery suspects plowed into a Sacramento police officer Monday in a crowded Natomas shopping center, injuring the officer, who managed to cling to the hood while firing shots at the windshield that killed the driver, police said.

Moments later, the car crashed into a palm tree outside In-N-Out Burger, near the exit of Natomas Marketplace shortly after 1 p.m., in a surreal scene witnessed by dozens of shoppers and diners. Three dazed suspects were taken into custody as the driver's body remained in the car.

Sacramento police Monday night continued to investigate what led to the shooting at the Truxel Road center, while lauding the officer's actions to thwart further violence at the bustling commercial center.

Officers apprehend two suspects in an incident at Sacramento's Natomas Marketplace shopping center that left another police officer injured and an armed robbery suspect dead. Special to The Sacramento Bee/Devin Bruce
See Additional Images -

Police declined to name the officer or any of the four robbery suspects, including the man who was killed. But a source familiar with the investigation identified the officer as Kevin Howland. He was listed in stable condition at UC Davis Medical Center with a swollen knee.

Police were called to Natomas Marketplace, off Interstate 80, where they found an older-model maroon Plymouth reportedly involved in an earlier armed robbery less than two miles away at Northgate Boulevard and San Juan Road, said Sgt. Terrell Marshall.

In that robbery, the victim, who was not injured, said he was confronted by two men who were armed with pistols, Marshall said. The victim called police, describing the car and saying the robbers were likely heading to the shopping complex.

Moments later, the officer spotted a car matching the description parked in front of the Wal-Mart across the parking lot from On the Border Mexican Cafe. He pulled his patrol car near the vehicle, and when he walked over, the suspects abruptly backed up, ramming the rear of his cruiser, police said.

The car then lurched forward, throwing the officer onto the hood as the car swerved across the parking lot.

"In fear, obviously for his life, he fired several rounds from his service weapon," Marshall said.

Photos show eight bullet holes in the windshield, believed fired from the officer's gun. Police said they are investigating whether the suspects returned fire.

The crackle of gunfire shook Kim Johnson, who had just parked her minivan packed with relatives visiting from Oregon at On the Border Mexican Cafe.

"Then I saw the red car flying with bullet holes, and the cop was limping through the lot, holding his gun," the Citrus Heights woman said. "My fear was for my parents and nieces."

The car then crashed into a palm tree near the parking lot exit.

Johnson said a bloodied passenger emerged from the car and started to pace behind their van. A woman in a white tank top stood next to the car with her hands in the air. As police swooped in to make the arrests, they found another injured male passenger.

The driver's body remained in the wrecked car throughout the afternoon.

At In-N-Out Burger, Hiroko Goto dove under a picnic table a few yards from where the car had crashed.

"It didn't feel scary, because it just seems so unreal," she said. "It's like 'CSI: New York,' or something like that."

Roberto Pareja and his 15-year-old son, Daniel, had just finished their burgers and fries. They were walking to their car when the incident unfolded.

They said they watched as it happened, seemingly in slow motion: They heard the gunshots, then screeching tires and then the officer flailing about on the hood of the car.

The younger Pareja started to duck near his dad after catching a glimpse of the officer steadying his gun and firing through the windshield -- over and over, he said, as the car swerved.

The officer was then tossed off, and the car careened out of the Wal-Mart parking lot. It slowed as it approached a row of freshly planted palm trees less than 30 yards from where the Parejas stood.

"I just said, 'Oh Lord, please protect me now,' " the teenager said.

"It was unreal," his father said, separated from his car by rows of police tape. "I never expected to see anything like this before."

A few witnesses, including Johnson, said they saw pistols drawn from a separate vehicle, a white car near the maroon car. But Monday night, police could not confirm whether another vehicle was involved in the robbery or what unfolded thereafter.

"We're still looking at that," Marshall said, noting that police were reviewing stores' surveillance footage. "At this point, we don't believe it to be, but we can't rule that out."

Hours after the shooting, ribbons of police tape crisscrossed Wal-Mart's sprawling parking lot and the islands of Natomas Marketplace.

Kershawn Hardy and Angel Strong had just finished their meal at On the Border and then stepped into the crime scene.

"We are just trying to enjoy our lunch," Strong said.

The windshield of a car is riddled with holes from shots fired by a Sacramento police officer who was clinging to the hood after being struck by the vehicle carrying armed robbery suspects. The driver was killed. Sacramento Bee/Randy Pench

The injured officer was identified as Kevin Howland by a source familiar with the case. Special to The Sacramento Bee/Devin Bruce

Sacramento police secure the scene of a fatal shooting Monday at Natomas Marketplace. At left is the maroon Plymouth reportedly used earlier in an armed robbery two miles away. Special to The Sacramento Bee/Devin Bruce

- Janq
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