When you are talking about Close Quarters Shooting, there are always varying degrees of close.
We have all heard the terms “Reach out and touch someone close”, “Bad Breath Distance close”, but this video shows a whole different kind of close: EXTREME CLOSE CONTACT CLOSE, which is basically around a foot (12 inches) or less.
This video comes from the place where we get 95% of all Real-world shooting videos these days: BRAZIL.
The background of this is pretty much the same setup as 99.9% of all shooting videos we see from Brazil: A Bandit comes into a place of business (most likely a check cashing shop) only to run into an armed off-duty cop. Good guy shoots bad guy, Good Guys Go Home, Bad Guy goes to the Graveyard.
The Action Unfolds
Here we see a customer talking to a clerk behind what is most likely bulletproof glass. The off-duty cop enters around :18, and stands to the left of the customer as you are watching it. I know it is hard to tell, but the COP IS FACING THE CAMERA WITH HIS BACK TO THE DOOR THE WHOLE TIME (this is important).
The bandit enters at around :33.
Now pay attention because things happen really fast from this point.
As soon as the bandit enters the customer on the right turns halfway to face him while the cop just TURNS HIS HEAD. This is important to remember, so make a note, we will come back to it.
You can also tell from the cop’s body language, with his left hand slightly raised at about waist level,(:35) that he is FEIGNING SUBMISSION.
The bandit then makes the last mistake of his life; he turns his attention away from the cop and toward the other customer at :36, this is pivotal because we see the cop drop the backpack he had slung with his RIGHT hand (His GUN Hand) and the cop begins to make his drawstroke at :37. You can also notice the clerk behind the glass is seeing all of this go down and as soon as she sees the cops gun clear leather at :38 she immediately gets low and begins egressing the hell out of there because she knows what is going to happen next!
As the bandit focuses his full attention on the other customer at :38 the cop see his chance and commits to draw his weapon. As the bandit is quartered away from to the cop, the cop pivots to his left to face the bandit, and in one smooth motion (:39) extends his arms to the target and makes a shot to the bandit’s head at around maybe 12 inches while the other customer is no more than a couple of feet away.
After the bandit goes down at :41 we see the cop immediately go over and kick the weapon away from the downed perp and also he appears to go outside the store to quickly check for other bad guys, because as we all know, turds usually come in pairs (or threes).
What Did We Learn?
In reality, when you break this video down, it is really one of the best examples of a EXTREME CLOSE QUARTERS shooting I have seen in a while. Now of course this is Brazil, the friggin’ Wild West, so most likely there is already another video hitting Live Leak as we speak better than this one, who knows.
The reason I say this is one of the best examples is because the off-duty cop really exhibits tremendous patience, poise, control and awareness during this whole ass-puckering ordeal. But if truth be known, no telling how many times this cop has been in situations IDENTICAL to this one and no telling how many POS, just like this one, he has planted in the ground.
Right off the bat, as the threat enters, the cop does not turn his ENTIRE BODY to face the threat, he just turns his HEAD…why? The video’s definition is poor, but the cop was definitely carrying strong side, and I believe concealed, since off-duty cops in Brazil rarely carry openly and advertise they are armed, as that is a sure fire way to get killed just for your gun. In either case the cop did not want to turn around and take the chance of having his gun spotted or worse yet, getting patted down by the perp and disarmed.
Second, the cop stays poised and FEIGNS SUBMISSION, raising his left hand to about waist level while keeping his right hand around the backpack strap. This is really important guys. We never want to move our hands too far away from our centerline if we can. We want to be able to get to that gun in a quick, smooth motion and the best way to ensure that is not to move your hand too far from your waist, so that when you do go to draw, the motion is not telegraphed and the gun is out before he knows what hit him. This is why LEO’s are taught to always get suspects to get those hands UP and VISIBLE because the HANDS ARE WHAT CAN KILL YOU.
As soon as the cop feigns submission, the perp immediately moves his attention over to the other guy and that is when the window of opportunity opens for the cop and the perp fate get’s sealed. I think it is important to note here that since these situations are so fast and dynamic when they happen, you have to realize NOW in your training that you are going to have maybe a split-second to both recognize your opportunity and at the same time, MAKE A DECISION TO ACT. This is why FORCE ON FORCE is so good for drilling on these kinds of encounters, as you can experiment to see just how fast that proverbial Window can OPEN and SHUT on you.
Before we get to the actual kill shot itself, I want to talk about two things I found very interesting.
- So many times you read and hear about Shooting Instructors talk about the fact in cases of “Bad Breath Distance” shootings you never want to EXTEND THE GUN TOWARD THE PERP for the obvious reason of them A. BEST case fouling your shot or B. WORST grabbing the gun barrel and/or gun and “DING, DING” the wrestling match for your life begins. What they generally train you to do is to customize your extension (if you can have an extension at all) based on the situation. But this scenario is unique and brings up an interesting training point; because even though the cop and perp are within very close proximity of one another, their POSITION and ANGLE to one another (the cop QUARTERED to the perp) combined with the perp’s ATTENTION focused away from the Cop produced all the right ingredients for the cop to make a FULL EXTENSION FOR THE SHOT. Something to remind us all that sometimes not even the most dogmatic of instruction is ever full-proof. Every incident is going to be unique, dynamic and Blazing fast and require you to make snap decisions with imperfect information, so be sure and train that way.
- The fact that an innocent bystander was a mere 2 feet away when the cop made the shot is ass puckering crazy but very representative of a real-world shooting. Bad guys don’t give a flying hoot about anything but THEM. and they could care less if they put innocent people in harm’s way as long as they get the loot. What is again UNIQUE about this shooting is the ANGLE of the Cop and the Perp. The cop knew he had a clean background when he started to draw because the bystander was standing right beside him and the perp was standing off to his left, quartered away at a 45 degree angle. When the cop takes the shot the bystander gets a nice muzzle blast to the face and a good ole’ “Ear Ringing” but where I come from I will take that over being 6 feet under any day of the week! The lesson to take away from this: BE PREPARED TO SHOOT AROUND and NEAR INNOCENT BYSTANDERS, JUST NOT AT THEM. As long as the angle of the shot is good, they can live with the rest, I assure you.
The shot itself is self-explanatory. I mean how much better can I describe a man shooting another man in the head at under a foot when you have seen the video? I think the most important thing to pick up on is what the cop does after the perp is down. Immediately he moves to make SURE the perp is down, then he goes to disarm him and then he goes to check to see if he brought friends to this party, as turds rarely come in singles.
Again, looking at standard defensive firearm training AFTER a shooting, most instructors will have you do the 360 scan drill, but here we are inside a very small building, so it all goes back to that “ADAPT TO THE SITUATION” Thing. Why do I need to 360 scan when I know there is an office to my back (with one very scared and half-deaf secretary in it) a wall to my right (with a half-deaf innocent bystander with shitty drawers), a wall to my left and a door in front of me. If there is the possibility of any more threats, they are going to be outside that door that perp just walked through 10 seconds ago. And that is exactly what we see the cop do. He opens the door and sweeps outside for any accomplices. If you have watched enough Brazil Shooting Vids, you know that in most situations like this, there is always a “getaway” driver waiting, typically on a small street bike, as that is the MO for most of these bandits as they can quickly rob a store, jump on the bike and disappear into the urban sprawl.
At the end of the say when you break this video down there is a lot to take away. Studying Real-World shootings like this is one of the most relevant tools the Civilian Operator has in staying ready for the mean streets. By taking what you see and integrating the lessons learned into both your firearm drills AND your Force-on-Force training, you can better prepare yourself for that day you hope never comes.
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!