“The preliminary indications are that this is going to be a ‘friendly fire’ incident,” said Victor Senties, a Houston police spokesman.
This isn’t a reflection on a particular agency. It’s just the latest such incident. Fortunately, this officer will survive. I know of at least one officer involved shooting in which one officer ended up shooting his own partner in the back of the head, killing him instantly. The incident led to changes in policy and training for that agency. But the lessons here apply to all of us who go armed.
Knowing your target and what’s beyond is a cardinal rule of gun handling. But, People have a strange tendency to get excited in shootings. As a result, they don’t all stand still waiting to be shot or allowing you to conveniently re-orient yourself around them to engage a threat. They may run right into you or, in the case of fratricide I mentioned earlier, someone could stand right up in front of your muzzle as you’re breaking a shot.
We can’t make the world hold still conveniently for us to shoot an orderly array of targets those we see on the range. But we can and should seek training that exposes us to a reasonable approximation of what can and does happen in the real world. People are often willing to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a new gun but, wince at the idea of spending that same amount on training that might help them avoid negligently shooting an innocent bystander, family member, or friend should they find it necessary to use deadly force in their home, office, or in public. We as civilians are not immune to these issues as at least one CHL holder learned the hard way several years ago in a Family Dollar store in Houston.
Be honest with yourself. plan and train accordingly.