This from a friend in the Midwest:
“I’d like some thoughts/comments on this one. It involves a friend of mine
_____ was dispatched to a Domestic in Progress/Man with a knife. The man in
question was threatening his mother and sisters with a butcher knife, and
said that he wanted to die. When _____ and his back-up officer arrived, the
man was standing outside the house with the knife. _____ and the officer
both exited the vehicle after calling for a supervisor with a Taser. The
man began to threaten both officers, and advance on them with the knife.
____ and the other officer backed away from the patrol units and tried to
get the man to stop, using verbal commands. After they had reached the
street the man lunged at ____ and he drew and fired his S&W 5906, hitting
the man with both rounds fired. The entire confrontation, from the time he
signaled off at the scene to the time he radioed the shooting was 48
Now, the shooting was ruled justified, the man was about twelve feet away
when he came at _____, and he, _____, has been cleared of everything but the
civil stuff. (And for your records, the first shot was a heart shot, and
the rounds used were 9mm 147gr Winchester Black Talons. They preformed as
advertised!!!!) Problems have arisen from the shooting…with _____.
He seems to be second guessing the decisions made, playing a lot of “what
if” games with himself. Last night we were working out and he began to talk
about how it might have been different if the supervisor were there. I
pointed out that the shooting was 48 sec, and another officer with us
pointed out that the supervisor was dispatched to another call. My question
is, is this a normal part of the Post-shooting trauma? Is there anything I
can do/say to help out, even a little? _____ just got married to a real
great lady who seems to be holding things together well. If there is any
advice I can give him, let me know.
The other officer involved in this has already quit the department, he
feels that he should have shot also, but did not recognize the threat. The
other officer said he had enough of the almost getting shot/stabbed/killed
and it was time to get out.
Please assure your officer that what he is going through is PERFECTLY NORMAL! It happens, to one degree or another, to everyone. He needs to know that it is a normal bodily and emotional reaction to an abnormal set of circumstances. He also needs to know that it will all pass in time. He has to let it work itself through its normal course, as it surly will.
This sort of thing goes with the territory. Your officer did just fine! He did exactly what he should have done and had to do. Life is no soft affair!
Continue to encourage him. Get his extra help if necessary. He will work his way through it, so long as he knows that all this is normal for everyone.