2 Aug 99

I just received this from a friend with a large department on the East Coast:

“Late last week our officer shot the bank-robbery suspect twice in the face, from a distance of two feet. The (deceased) suspect had powder stippling over most of his face.

The suspect was driving a car that had been stopped by several units from our night shift. We were pretty sure whom the driver was, so we were proceeding on a high-risk basis. It all went pretty smoothly until we got him out of the car, and one officer started to apply the handcuffs. He managed to get one side on when the suspect suddenly reached for a gun with his free hand. It’s not clear where the gun was hidden (a Ruger P90 in 9mm), but the suspect had his hands on it.

Watching from the front, our sergeant then leveled his Glock 22 on the suspect’s face and immediately fired twice.

One round (probably the first) grazed the suspects cheek. It left a streak mark but did little damage. The other round hit the suspect in the upper mandible, just above his teeth and just below the left nostril. That round penetrated all the way to the rear of the skull (total penetration of 7.6 inches), but did not exit. It was mostly spent by the time it hit the inside of the skull.

The suspect dropped to the ground instantly. He was dead at the scene. None of our officers were hurt.

The bullet (Federal 165gr Tactical, NOT a Hydra-Shok) expanded completely. The recovered bullet was lopsided, but expansion was consummate. The suspect’s eyeballs were bulged out as were he ears. His brains were mush.

The core and jacket stayed together. The bonding process kept the bullet from fragmenting.

We’re all pretty happy here with this round’s performance. It couldn’t have been much better!”


Bullets that fragment are generally inferior to those that stay together.

The face is usually not the best target. However, in this case a face shot worked well.

When it has to be, it has to be!