Your Tactical Training Scenario- An Unnecessary Shooting

Written by Greg Ellifritz

Topics: Tactical Training Scenarios

  • SumoMe

Written by: Greg Ellifritz


Those of us who train to use defensive firearms often think about scenarios where we might have to shoot an attacker.  But how often do we think about alternate courses of action in situations where we might still be legal to shoot.  Just because we legally CAN shoot someone, doesn’t mean that it’s always the best idea to do it.


Put yourself in this situation…


You are at a bar with your significant other.  You are not drinking and you are (legally) carrying your concealed carry pistol.  You hear between seven and ten shots shots being fired just outside the front door of the bar. What do you do?


That incident happened in St. Louis.  The bar patron was an off duty cop.  He went outside and saw someone holding a gun up and firing. The cop drew his weapon and ordered the shooter to drop the gun. The shooter (who actually was an armed bouncer) turned and pointed his gun at the cop. They exchanged shots and the cop died. It didn’t have to happen.


If you are carrying a gun for personal protection, use your brain. When you hear gunshots HEAD THE OTHER DIRECTION! Nothing good can happen out there! If I had been in that bar and heard the shots, I would have quickly gathered my friends or family and headed out the back door.  Let the (on duty) boys in blue earn their money solving that problem.  I’m out.


If this incident went to court, the judge would have likely determined that the cop was acting lawfully when he ordered an armed individual to drop his weapon and then shot when that individual didn’t comply.  It would have been a legal shooting.  But that doesn’t help our cop friend here.  He’s dead and won’t enjoy his court exoneration.


I’ll say it again: Having the legal right to shoot is not the same as NEEDING to shoot.  Many folks don’t understand the difference.


If you choose to get involved in a problem that isn’t yours, some very bad things can happen. Think about that before you decide to be the hero.







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5 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Cotter Sayre says:

    I read (and re-read) all the details of this shootout in the link provided, and I still have absolutely NO IDEA what in the hell happened that night. This has to be the most confusing gunfight ever.

  2. Dave says:

    Suppose the “armed bouncer” was in the act of defending himself or others? How does that justify the off duty cop to order him to drop his weapon or resort to firing on a situation he clearly didn’t understand?

  3. ferndale says:

    what a confusing mess. the officer had been drinking and it’s dubious that toxicology reports are incomplete 6 weeks after the shooting. the bouncer was breaking the law by carrying a burner on teh job. both had no clue who the bad guy(s) were. lose-lose-lose-lose-lose.

    the ohly conclusion is to get the hell out of dodge if shooting starts.

  4. MK262 MOD1 says:

    As usual, very pointed and relevant topic. This site is a gold mine. FWIW, my personal take on the use of any sort of force, especially lethal, is that it will always be my absolute last resort. That doesn’t mean that I will hesitate or suffer any sort of moral paralysis if faced with the need. It just means that I know that my life will never be the same after. Regardless of the outcome. I know that I will be detained, questioned, and most likely arrested by law enforcement. I know that I will be at the mercy of any DA or prosecutor that is anti-gun or is looking to make a name for themselves. I could be facing trial or even long term incarceration. I will most certainly incur the considerable expense of legal representation. There will be press coverage and exposure that neither I nor my family would ever have wanted. And there will be the life-long risk of disgruntled relatives / “associates” wanting to even the score.
    I will gladly face these challenges if it means the safety of my family, or even my ability to provide for them. Should I find myself in a situation where force is ONLY viable option, it will be delivered in as savage and ruthless a fashion as I can muster until the threat is neutralized. But my personal SOP is to never inject myself into any situation that did not drag me unwillingly into it. The grey area is that situation where someone else is in obvious peril. My tipping point in that instance would be if the potential victim’s actions (specifically, stupid places / things / persons) got them in their pickle. If I smell any of that, Darwin gets his due.
    Easy to postulate, extremely hard to process in a nanosecond. Prior thought and visualization make success more likely. It’s way easier to tread on ground you’ve already walked. I practice contingency based planning continuously. And I PT more than I shoot. Even at 52 I can scoop up my son and haul ass like a pro. Whatever one’s personal threshold for force is, they should have a plan and pre-defined criteria. Years of military aviation have demonstrated repeatedly to me that Hope is the fools plan.

  5. Jim Bob says:

    I’d have to agree with the author. Inserting yourself into a gunfight cannot end well. If a situation doesn’t unfold before your eyes and preclude your escape, stay out of it. He’s right. At the very least, you will incur crushing legal expenses. The Just-Us system will try to crucify you. You could well wish you hadn’t survived.

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