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Massad Ayoob: 5 Things To Know After A Defensive Shooting ^ | Massad Ayoob

Posted on 03/20/2017 7:19:05 PM PDT by Strac6

Never forget that when you shoot someone, however necessarily and justifiably, you look an awful lot like a killer and he looks an awful lot like a victim. The stereotype can take hold quickly if you don’t act to let the authorities – from the first responding officer to the designated lead investigator – know what happened. The old saying “You only get one chance to make a first impression” is absolutely true here.

Decades ago, I developed a five-point checklist of things I feel the righteous shooter needs to establish as soon as possible in the aftermath. It has been widely adopted, sometimes with attribution and sometimes without, and is now recommended by entities ranging from the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network to the US Concealed Carry Association. I’m rather proud of that.

Five-Point Checklist

Establish the active dynamic. That is, let the authorities know immediately what happened here. If you have harmed someone in self-defense, always remember that the active dynamic is not what you did to him, it’s what he was trying to do to you or another victim. The active dynamic is his action that forced your lawful response. It’s not, “I shot him.” It’s, “This man tried to kill me.” Or, “This man attacked my wife.” Whatever it was that led to your use of force.This makes it clear that the guy on the ground doing a convincing imitation of a victim is in fact the criminal perpetrator. It makes it clear that you, the person with the smoking gun who just shot someone, are in fact the intended victim. If one or more of your attackers has left the scene, explain that now, and give their description. It’s going to be hard for people to see you as the innocent party if you failed to let police know that a violent criminal was at large.

Advise the police that you will sign the complaint. There are two roles open in this particular play: victim and perpetrator. As noted, appearances can create mistaken role reversal if things aren’t immediately clarified. By making a statement to the police to the effect of “I will sign the complaint,” you reinforce the fact that you are the victim-complainant, the good guy or gal, and the person you’re signing the complaint on is the bad guy who forced you to harm him in legitimate defense of self or others. (Note: I would not advise using the phrase “I will press charges.” The reason is that legal terminology varies slightly jurisdiction to jurisdiction. While in many jurisdictions it is indeed the complainant who presses charges, there are some places where the local terminology is such that the prosecutor “presses charges.” If you inadvertently find yourself in one of those places and say “I will press charges,” it sounds to the police as if you have delusions of being the elected chief prosecutor, and you won’t be off to a good start. “I will sign the complaint” is neutral and universal.)

Point out the evidence. The scene will be chaotic. Witnesses will be trampling the scene. So will paramedics and police officers. I’ve seen cases of the bad guy’s gun being picked up by his accomplice or by a well-meaning neighbor who didn’t want to leave it where a child could find it. I’ve seen spent casings kicked away from their original resting place, or picked up in the treads of emergency personnel’s boots or the wheels of an ambulance gurney, thus altering the dimensions of the shooting scene and making it look like something it wasn’t. The sooner you point out the evidence to the first responding officers, the more likely it is to be secured. When you’ve done the right thing, evidence helps you.

Point out the witnesses. Witnesses worry about having to lose time from work to testify in court, or being the target for vengeance by criminals. A lot of them “don’t want to get involved.” Once they leave the scene unidentified, their testimony that would have helped to prove your innocence leaves with them. Point out the witnesses to the police at the first opportunity. (Some have asked, “What if the witness is a friend of the attacker and lies about what happened?” The fact is, he was going to do that anyway, so you haven’t lost anything. However, your having pointed him out to the police can be seen as an indication that you believed in your own innocence, or you wouldn’t have steered the police to him, and that can’t hurt.)

Politely decline further questioning until you have consulted an attorney. Studies show that, in the immediate aftermath of a life-threatening encounter, we may forget some things or get some details wrong. The questions to you will come at random as they occur to the officer, and you will answer them in the same order; in reviewing the cop’s notes and his recollection of the discussion later, this can create the false illusion that you were giving a narrative of events in the order in which they occurred, which of course is not the case. But later, when you do narrate events in the sequence of their occurrence, it creates a false perception that you have changed your story. Often, very frightening things that happened are blocked in short term memory by a subconscious that doesn’t want to recall them; when you mention something later that you didn’t mention at the scene, it sounds made up. You don’t want to answer detailed questions as to exact words spoken, distances, or time frames. None of us are human tape recorders. The tunnel vision that afflicts well over half of people caught up in something like a gunfight creates the literal optical illusion that things and people appear closer and larger than they are. If your memory tells you your attacker was six feet away when you shot him but he turns out to have been six yards away, you sound like a liar. Tachypsychia is likewise very common, the sense of things going into slow motion. It seemed to you as if the fight took a whole minute, and you say so, but a security camera shows it was actually only ten seconds, and now you look like a liar. The involved victim who had to fight for his or her very survival is the worst possible witness for measuring things in feet or inches, or counting how many shots were fired.

Experts recommend 24 to 48 hours between one of these “critical incidents,” as they are now euphemistically called in the emergency services, and when the participant is subjected to a detailed debriefing. The Force Science Institute recommends “one full sleep cycle.”

This is why my recommendation – practical advice, not legal advice – is to establish the active dynamic, indicate that you’ll sign the complaint, point out evidence and witnesses known to you…and then stop. Be polite. Do not raise your voice. I for one would answer subsequent questions with, “Officer, you’ll have my full cooperation after I’ve spoken with counsel.”

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TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: banglist; concealcarry; firearm; firearmsafety; secondamendment
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This is exceptionally sound legal advice. My only possible additions is to ensure your statements as shown above do not lead to questions you answer.

"Officer, he said he was going to kill me, and he pointed that gun there at me and fired two shots, and the spent cartridge cases are over there..." should never be allowed to progress to "Well, when did you first see his gun....."

Also remember, in even the most righteous of shootings, some long lost cousin is going to sue you. You are speaking for the record, both civilly and criminally.

Also, when calling 911, always say "This is an emergency," then give the address or cross street before anything else. That way, if you get cut off, help will still come. If you are trying to describe the nature of the emergency before the location, they may know there are three perps running loose, but not where.

Yes, cell triangulation will help, but always give the location first.

1 posted on 03/20/2017 7:19:05 PM PDT by Strac6
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To: Strac6

his name sounds like sideboob

2 posted on 03/20/2017 7:21:32 PM PDT by brucedickinson
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To: brucedickinson

Not a comment I would make to his face.


He is a certified bad ass.

3 posted on 03/20/2017 7:23:15 PM PDT by Strac6 ("We sleep safe in our beds only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on the enemy.")
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To: brucedickinson

He’s a smart guy and this is good advice.

4 posted on 03/20/2017 7:23:42 PM PDT by BipolarBob (I just got done celebrating Black History Month. Obama and Kaepernick are both history. Hurray!)
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To: brucedickinson

“I feared for my life.”

My lawyer will answer all other questions...

5 posted on 03/20/2017 7:25:35 PM PDT by 2banana (My common ground with terrorists - they want to die for islam and we want to kill them)
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To: brucedickinson

Also, he was once asked why he had never become a master of at least one of the martial arts.

He replied. “If I was attacked and I was some sort of Kung Fu Jedi Master, then I might not get to shoot the bad guy.”

6 posted on 03/20/2017 7:25:52 PM PDT by Strac6 ("We sleep safe in our beds only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on the enemy.")
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: brucedickinson

Massad F. Ayoob

DOB 07/20/1948 in Cambridge, MA
Two daughters, Cathbin and Justine


Bachelor of Science in Business, 1970
New Hampshire College, Cum Laude

Director of Lethal Force Institute, Inc, 1981-present
Teaching Experience

International Director of Police Firearms Training, Defensive Tactics Institute, 1980-82
Special Instructor, Chapman Academy, 1981-88
Assistant Professor teaching weapons and Chemical Agents, Advanced Police Training Program of New Hampshire 1974-77
Special Instructor, NH Institute of Karate
Feature lecturer, Missouri Police Shooting State Championships and Seminar, 1983-88
International Instructor Staff, PR-24 police baton training program
National Chairman, committee on police firearms training, American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET), 1987-present
Co-instructor (with former world combat pistol champion Ray Chapman) of Advanced Officer Survival Seminars conducted nationwide through Police Marksman Association
Lecturer and coordinator, first state ASLET seminar (New Hampshire, 1988)
Guest lecture experience includes Second Chance Officer Survival Seminar 1980-85
Smith & Wesson Academy Instructors’ update
Metro-Dade Police Academy (use of deadly force, unarmed combat and arrest tactics, officer survival)
Ordnance Expo., Los Angeles 1983-84
New England SWAT Seminar
ASLET NATIONAL SEMINARS (knife/counterknife; plainclothes/off-duty encounter management; forensic aspects of gunshot/knife/bludgeon wounds)
Regional International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Seminars, New York (ammunition selection) and Switzerland (dynamics of violent encounters)
McGill Univ. School of Medicine, Royal Victoria teaching hospital (wound dynamics, knife and gunshot), 1988
International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (aftermath management in police shootings), National Conference, 1988
Lecturer, National Tactical Invitational, Gunsite Training Center, 1995
Personal Training

Smith & Wesson Academy Advanced Combat Shooting, 1st in class
Smith & Wesson Academy Instructor Course, 1st in class
Smith & Wesson Academy Officer Survival Course, 1st in class
Smith & Wesson Academy Weapon Retention Instructor Course
Smith & Wesson Academy Instructors’ Update (Twice)
Smith & Wesson Academy Match Shooting School
PR-24 Baton Instructor Course (Lon Anderson)
PR-24 National Instructors’ Seminar (annually)
National Instructor, Telescoping Baton (CASCO)
National Instructor, Persuader Baton (Joe Truncale)
Instructor, Straight Baton (COPSTK)
PPCT Pressure Point Control Tactics (Bruce Siddle)
Kubotan Instructor Course (Takayuki Kubota, John Peters)
International Police Academy Defensive Tactics Instructor Course (Rated “master instructor” by Sensei Jim Morell)
Advanced Homicide Investigation (Lt. Cmdr. Vern Geberth, NYPD, ret.)
Medical Legal Death Investigation (Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office)
International Homicide Investigators Seminar (Twice)
NYPD “Hostage Negotiation for Supervisors”
NYPD “Post Shooting Tactics”
NYPD “House Clearing Techniques”
NYPD “Off Duty Confrontation Tactics”
NYPD “Summary of Violent Encounter Patterns”
NYPD “Police Shotgun Program”
Ordnance Expo. “Firearms and Ballistic Evidence”
Ordnance Expo. “Handling Barricaded Suspects”
Ordnance Expo. “Officer Involved Shooting Investigations”
Ordnance Expo. “Officer Involved Shooting Investigations Advanced”
Ordnance Expo. “Officer Survival””
AELE, “Police Civil Liability Seminar”
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, B.O.S.S. program including officer survival, intelligence briefings on outlaw bike gangs, booby traps, counter-ambush tactics, arrest techniques
Sceptre Baton Program, Georges Sylvain
Illinois Department of Law Enforcement Counter-Terrorist Series, including “Use of Explosives in Terrorism” and “Hostage Negotiation”
Escrima (short stick fighting) seminar, Grandmaster Remy Presas
Knife/Counter-Knife, Master Paul Vunak, Jeet Kune Do, Long Beach, CA.
Knife/Counter-Knife, Hank Reinhardt, Atlanta
Knife/Counter-Knife, Sensei Jim Maloney, Uechi-ryu, Concord, NH
Chapman Academy Intermediate Pistolcraft
Chapman Academy Advanced Pistolcraft
Mid South Institute of Self Defense Shooting, Advanced (John Shaw)
Defense Training, Inc. judgment shooting program (John Farnam)
DEFT Simulator (Judgment Shooting Test), LAPD Academy
FATS Simulator (Judgment Shooting Test), Atlanta (consultant for mfr.)
Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar
Glock Instructor Certification
Glock Armorer’s Certification
In addition, has intensively researched the training of numerous police agencies including, but not limited to:

NYPD Firearms and Tactics Unit
NYPD Emergency Services Unit
NYPD Armed Robbery Stakeout Unit
LAPD Firearms Traning Unit
Metro-Dade Police Firearms/SWAT Training Unit
Illinois State Police Ordinance Section
NH State Police SWAT
Ohio State Peace OFficer Training Academy
Arizona Highway Patrol Firearms Training
Kentucky State Police Firearms and Special Reaction Team Training
London, England Metropolitan Poice Firearms Training and Special Services Unit
Articles or stories on Massad Ayoob have appeared in or on:

Los Angeles Times
Boston Globe
Boston Herald
New York Post
ABC Turning Point
National Enquirer
Indianapolis Star
Various other newspapers
PBS’ “Frontline”
ABC’s “20/20”
BBC News Magazine
Numerous local TV and radio broadcasts
Guns Magazine
Gun World Magazine
Warriors Magazine
Boston Magazine
Next Magazine
Gallery Magazine
Inside Karate Magazine
“Shooting Schools - An Analysis” (chapter)
“Gun Digest Book of Autoloading Pistols” (chapter)
“Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery” (chapter)
Pistolero Magazine
Quoted as an Authoritative Reference in:

ran outta room
What have you done?

9 posted on 03/20/2017 7:28:49 PM PDT by tumblindice
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To: tumblindice

My kinda guy.

10 posted on 03/20/2017 7:30:28 PM PDT by Strac6 ("We sleep safe in our beds only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on the enemy.")
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To: brucedickinson

Ayoob is one of the best guys in the gunner’s rolodex of people to rely on for accurate info.

11 posted on 03/20/2017 7:31:04 PM PDT by Rothbards ghost
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To: brucedickinson

Also, DO NOT follow advice from WENDLE in #7.

See #8.

The rest of your life could depend on it.

12 posted on 03/20/2017 7:33:47 PM PDT by Strac6 ("We sleep safe in our beds only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on the enemy.")
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Rothbards ghost

He’s served as an expert witness in countless shooting trials.

14 posted on 03/20/2017 7:34:47 PM PDT by tumblindice
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To: 2banana

Not really enough. TRUTHFULLY add at least one act of aggression by the perp.

Your “feelings” are usually not enough to justify DPF

15 posted on 03/20/2017 7:36:11 PM PDT by Strac6 ("We sleep safe in our beds only because rough men stand ready to visit violence on the enemy.")
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To: Strac6

Nope . You underestimate. You shoot and keep shooting. Never allow that bastard to move again. Much less sue you. No jury will EVER indict. “murder “ my ass.

16 posted on 03/20/2017 7:36:23 PM PDT by WENDLE (DEFEAT RINOCARI . NO RINOCARE!! TRUMP WAKE UP!! Fire SESSIONS!!)
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To: Strac6

Self-Defense advice....

17 posted on 03/20/2017 7:36:47 PM PDT by indthkr
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To: Strac6


18 posted on 03/20/2017 7:39:12 PM PDT by RushIsMyTeddyBear (****happy dance**** BIGLY!!!! Shadilay!)
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To: Strac6

Unless your initials are HRC.

19 posted on 03/20/2017 7:40:47 PM PDT by rawcatslyentist (TETELESTI Read em and weep Lucy! Yer times almost up.)
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To: Strac6

#1 Before you make the decision to carry a firearm, make damn sure you have talked to a good 2A lawyer and have his card in your wallet.

The last thing you want to have happen after a defensive shooting is that you are sitting in a local jail cell and Officer Goober is tossing you the local yellow pages.

20 posted on 03/20/2017 7:41:12 PM PDT by ButThreeLeftsDo (MAGA!!!)
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