23 Mar 99

A friend in Africa forwarded this. It involves two of our students:

“A local private security officer responded to a ‘panic-button complaint’ at an occupied residence. He greeted the complainant and, upon subsequently searching the premises, found a single intruder, who was trying to hide. Our officer drew his handgun (which should have been in his hand already) and ordered the intruder to lie on the ground, face down. The suspect meekly complied. The suspect had no weapons that the officer could see. Mistakenly believing that he now had the situation under control, the officer holstered his gun and took out his handcuffs in order to cuff the suspect and take him into custody.

Suddenly, as he approaches the suspect, the suspect leaps up from the ground with a large, fixed-blade knife in his right hand, which he puts to immediate use as he attacks the officer! The startled officer manages to use his left hand to deflect the first stab attempt. The suspect and the officer are now in physical contact. The officer is able to draw his sidearm as the suspect brings the knife down in a second stab attempt. Then officer fires one round from the ‘retention position.’ The suspect simultaneously stabs him in the chest, but the officer’s soft body armor causes the knife point to skitter across his body. The officer immediately fires two more shots. Unimpressed, the suspect makes a third stab attempt. They both then lose their footing, falling heavily to the ground. The officer lands so hard that his gun is knocked out of his hand.

Our officer now has his left hand wrapped around the suspect’s right hand (which still contains the knife) and his right hand on the suspect’s throat, trying desperately to get away from him. The struggle continues, but the suspect becomes rapidly weaker, owing to his gunshot injuries, and the officer is finally able to throw him off. He then quickly retrieves his pistol and gains distance. The wounded suspect, now seeing that his situation is untenable, surrenders submissively.

The suspect suffered three gunshot wounds:

One in the chest, an inch below his heart, exiting through the back
One into the pelvis that ricocheted off the pelvic bone and subsequently logged under the skin
One into the same pelvic bone that went through and through and exited through the waist

All rounds were 9mm hardball. The suspect survived and is awaiting trial. He is expected to recover completely. Our officer was unhurt.

In a second, similar incident, another security officer (another of our students), was responding to a silent alarm at an unoccupied residence. Upon entering the premises he finds three intruders inside. He draws his pistol (which should have been in his hand already) and orders them to lie on the ground, face down. As in the first instance, the officer sees the suspects start to comply and mistakenly believes he has the situation under control. The officer then holsters his gun and takes out his handcuffs. Two of the suspects continue to comply and lie down, but the third produces a screw driver from under his jacket, and, with it held in an ice-pick grip over his head, advances on the officer. The officer leaps over a table, putting the object between him and his attacker (that move probably saved his life). Once behind the table, the officer takes out his pepper spray can and sprays the suspect, full in the face, for two seconds.

The suspect squints his eyes and sniffles but is otherwise not impressed! He then jumps over the table and literally tackles the officer. They both go to the ground, with the suspect on top. The officer drops his pepper spray and draws his gun. Flat on his back, he fires one round into the suspect, again from the ‘retention position.’ The suspect immediately stops his attack, drops the screw driver, jumps up, turns around, screams violently, and promptly collapses into an unconscious heap. The round fired was a Cor-Bon 115gr 9mm.

The suspect suffered a single gunshot wound to the abdomen. He is expected to survive, but his injury will likely be permanently disabling. Our officer was unhurt.”


>Ammunition makes a big difference, particularly in 9mm caliber. Hardball is always a poor choice.

>Preparation, survival mindset, and individual tactics are more important than anything else.

>Pepper spray is not the answer to a lethal attack. It is merely a distraction and should be used only in situations which do not involve, and are not likely to involve, potentially lethal violence.

>The best defense to an unexpected, close-quarter attack is a violent and immediate counterattack. All of us need to drill in close-quarter defense.

>Don’t relax too soon. Outward compliance on the part of suspects does not mean the situation is under control.

>Don’t try to take people into custody by yourself, even when they are outwardly compliant.

>When in uniform, wear soft body armor.