The following video shows the REALITY of a human being’s ability to function after being fatally shot. The perp, John Van Allen, was shot once in the chest with a .40 Caliber pistol from a distance of no more than 15 feet. He manages to continue fighting after being hit, getting off several shots at Oregon State Trooper, Matt Zistel, wounding the trooper once in the side. The perp then runs to his car, opens the door and drives 1/2 mile, pulls over to the shoulder and dies.
Trooper Zistel was transported to a local hospital for his single gunshot wound, where he made a full recovery.
At the time of the shooting, Allen had his 3 children in the car, none of them were hurt thankfully. Relatives have no ideal what would possess Allen to act this way. Allen worked as a Construction Engineer in the US Army Reserves from 2009 to 2012.
So, what can the CO learn from this clip?
- Study the Human Anatomy and Wound Ballistics. Understand that the human body can function with coordination and skill even after a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. Of course the PLACEMENT of the shot determines the “Timetable of Death”. The fact that the perp acted as he did and lived as long as he did after being shot, suggest a lung shot. If it has been a heart shot, he would have collapsed and died much sooner, most likely before ever getting back to the car. If you are a hunter, you can compare this to how a deer responds when shot. I have seen deer run over 200 yards with a lung shot, but only half that or less with a heart shot. Of course all of it depends on if the perp (or animal) keeps running; if they keep the heart pumping and they continue to lose blood (bleed out) they die faster than if they stay still or lay down, in which they will die slower.
- Having understood this fact, the CO needs to realize the importance of the old school “Failure to Stop” or “Mozambique” drill. This drill states that if after placing several shot to center of mass the target keeps advancing, you now have to transition to a head shot (or ocular cavity shot) to drop the target where it stands. Understand that the ONLY shot that can stop ALL Motor and Neuron function is a shot to the brain, period.
- Notice the perp did not stand still after being shot for you to continue shooting at him or to MAKE that Head Shot! This is the epitome of REAL WORLD engagements guys…Life is not a Square Range, where targets are static; they move, they are fluid, People naturally want to avoid being shot!
- Always watch the Hands. If he is going to hurt you, it is going to come from the hands. Did you see the perps hands as he deployed his weapon? This guy had practiced that presentation before, it was too smooth.
- Note how after the first shots were fired, the perp instinctively moved to the only cover available, the front of the police cruiser. Of course we cannot see the Trooper’s actions, but I will bet he was moving too.
Some good reference material for studying the human anatomy and “Wound Ballistics” is Bullet Penetration by Duncan Macpherson. For Timetables of Death, check out Contemporary Knife Targeting by Mike Janich and Chris Grosz, although it is a book about knife wounds, Fairbairns’ Timetables (though dated) apply across the board to combat wounds.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous! The Adventure Continues…………………..