When the chase is over, are you prepared for a shootout?
The police officers in this video were chasing a suspect when he suddenly slammed on the brakes, causing a collision with the officer’s car. This is a fairly common tactic used by subjects, with the goal of causing the officer’s airbags to deploy. When the airbags deploy, the suspect can then speed away.
However, in this pursuit, when the suspect is hit by the patrol car, the suspect’s vehicle spins out. What many officers may not be prepared for is the suspect exits his car, moves to the rear of the car, and while using cover, the suspect engages the officers in a gun fight.
After a short gun battle, the suspect gets back into his car and drives off. After the suspect hits a spike strip, he begins to get out of his car. One of the pursuing officers, knowing the subject is armed and all means of deadly force are authorized, rams the suspect with his patrol car.
The two lessons that I take away from this incident are:
- Suspects do not always run at the end of a car chase. A lot of them do, but some suspects are well armed and use good tactics. Be prepared to engage them with deadly force.
- Keep all deadly force options available to you. That .40 caliber Glock or .223 rifle both generate a lot of force, but a 3000 (or so) pound cruiser can generate a lot more. If the suspect presents a deadly force threat, running him over is not just a viable option, it may be the best!
Update: The video has been removed from YouTube. Unfortunately, my notes on this incident have long since been lost, and I cannot seem to find another copy of the video online. If anyone has a link to the video, please share it in the comments section below.
Second Update: The video was located and is now embedded above.