Cardboard gunfighters, May 2002,
part 2 of 3
Police arrest attempt fails - Gang members shoot back
A shootout at close range, involving four police officers and what was suspected to be an equal number of gang members broke out in an alley behind a photographic shop on the city’s West Side today. While officers tried to disarm the gang members, they drew their guns and began shooting. The officers, in self-defense returned fire. Gang member A was shot in the midsection. The next shot, which occurred almost at the same time, hit another gang member (B) in the chest. As he fell to the ground, he drew his gun and returned fire. As he was falling he was also hit in the wrist. Switching his gun to his left hand he continued firing. Two of the gang headed for cover, while gang member C drew his gun and shot officer 1 in the hip. Another bullet hit officer 2 in the shoulder. A bullet fragment going to his spine, he fell to the ground but was able to get up and return fire. Officer 3 was hit in the calf, but was able to get up and return fire. Officer 1 emptied his handgun then retrieved a shotgun and was able to hit gang member (C) in the side. Then C sustained a gunshot wound to the head by officer 2. He managed to travel another half a block before collapsing. Gang member B lay across the street with a fatal wound to the head. Gang member A continued firing propped against a building until he became too weak to continue. Three gang members were killed and three officers wounded.
What’s my point in this story? This is an excellent example of what can happen in an actual gunfight. Over 30 rounds fired in 10 to 30 seconds (witnessed accounts vary), with a distance at the start of less than 10 feet. Notice that no one lay down and gave up after being shot one time or even twice (no magic Hollywood bullets here). None of the gang members died at the scene.
Would it surprise you to learn that the handguns were 45 cal and the shotgun was 12 ga?
Cardboard gunfighters try to tell people what to do if confronted by multiple threats: statements like, “shoot everyone once”. Have these cardboard gunfighters ever taken the time to think about what actually happens in a gunfight? Do they think that like the cardboard targets, the bad guys will just stand there while they shoot them? Have you ever considered what will happen in the 1.25 to 1.50 seconds it will take you to get that first shot off (actual time is closer to 2 seconds)? Do you know how far a person can move in 1.50 seconds?
I would like you to try an experiment at home. Most people own a microwave. Set the timer for 1.5 seconds. Push the start button then start backing away as fast as you can until you hear the buzzer sound. How far did you get?
Now would you like to sit down and rethink the whole multiple threat scenario and the problems you would be faced with?
I think the best scenario is to never put yourself in a position where you would have to find out!
DVC, Jimmy G.
FYI: The story was what writers and historians glorified as the gunfight at the O.K. coral.