View Full Version : A case study in stopping power

John Kuhlman
01-31-2005, 12:23 PM
Here's an interesting read about the coroner's inquist of an officer-involved shooting in Las Vegas on Dec. 26, 2004:

January 31, 2005 at 9:23:11 PST

Officer at coroner's inquest: Two shots not enough
By Jen Lawson


After a whack with a baton on the thigh, a zap with a Taser gun and two bullets shot into his body, 21-year-old Aquileo Jiminez-Duran kept charging at Metro Police Officer Jon David, the officer testified at a coroner's inquest.

It took a third shot to stop Jiminez-Duran. Jimenez-Duran apparently had to be killed to be stopped, David said.

The coroner's inquest jury agreed, ruling Friday that David was justified when he killed Jiminez-Duran in the parking lot of the Fashion Show on Dec. 26.

The jury had heard testimony from Citizen Area Transit bus driver David Ybarra about how he had been stopped outside the mall when a man ran up to him and said someone was trying to break into his car. Ybarra looked in the lot and saw a man shatter a car window. Ybarra called 911.

David arrived and confronted the alleged would-be thief, Jiminez-Duran, but he ran from the officer, heading south through the lot toward the Las Vegas Strip.

David was chasing him when Jiminez-Duran suddenly stopped, turned around and punched him in the face, David said. The officer pulled out his baton and hit him once on the upper thigh.

"Instead of stopping or giving up, he charged me," David told the jury.

David turned and ran, he said, and Jiminez-Duran chased him for a distance before David turned, dropped his baton and grabbed his Taser gun. The electrically-charged prongs stuck in Jiminez-Duran's chest and he screamed, but he barely paused. One of the prongs fell out, and he came at the officer again.

The officer continued running, he said. (Commentary: This is not an old, fat security guard. This is a young, well-armed police officer! [Here's a photo of the officer identifying the handgun he used to shoot the BG) (http://www.lasvegassun.com/from.ed/2005/jan/31/photos/P000068521.jpg) Jiminez-Duran reached down and picked up David's discarded baton and held it over his head like a hatchet, David testified. David said the man was swinging at him, and he was ducking as he ran from him.

When the chase entered a construction area, David said he pulled out his gun and told Jiminez-Duran to stop or he'd shoot. Jiminez-Duran kept charging toward the officer with the baton, David said, but instead of shooting he turned and again started running from him.

Then, David said, he stopped, pivoted and fired a shot from four or five feet away, hitting Jiminez-Duran in the abdomen. David said he saw the front of the Jimenez-Duran's white tank top turn red.

Jiminez-Duran screamed and fell to the ground -- but then popped right back up, still swinging the baton, David said. David said he ran about 12 feet, then he turned and shot him again.

"He did the exact same thing -- he screamed, fell and got up," David said.

David turned and ran again, then stopped, turned and fired once more. Jiminez-Duran let out a quick yell, collapsed, then sat up, still holding the baton, then collapsed a final time. He was pronounced dead at University Medical Center.

"He was trying to use deadly force on me, and I was just trying to defend myself," David said.

Ybarra, a passenger on the bus and a passerby all gave testimony matching David's description -- that Jiminez-Duran kept coming at David with a baton in his hand.

Dr. Lary Simms, a medical examiner with the Clark County coroner's office, said Jiminez-Duran was shot in the pelvis, abdomen and chest. Simms said Jiminez-Duran had methamphetamine in his system "at levels that could make someone very agitated," he said.

01-31-2005, 12:38 PM
Just goes to show you that many LEO's are not warriors. This guy ran--give me a break. I can't recall ever doing that in 12 years on the street. If he ran to gain a tactical advantage, that's one thing, but it sounds like he ran from pure fear. Fear is okay as long as you manage it, but it sounds like fear managed him. Sure, he came out of it okay, but good grief. It's a shame that so many young guys are hired now and have never been in a real fight, never played a contact sport, and have only a very small amount of training in unarmed combat that actually works.

01-31-2005, 02:52 PM
I read it thrice, but didn't see anything on the weapon and caliber the officer used-any idea?


01-31-2005, 03:46 PM
I am reluctant to criticize the actions of someone in a situation in which I wasn't there or at least know ALL the facts. Though I wonder if this officer was more afraid of the suspect or of using lethal force. I would refer you to Gabe's comments in the thread, "Are Law Enforcement Instructors Properly Preparing Officers", on administration and trainees.

Sorry, I am not into all the cut and paste stuff, maybe someone else could help out.

Cpt. Jim
01-31-2005, 07:56 PM
It's a miracle he's alive.
"plan-prepare-execute-assess-retrain training methodology"

01-31-2005, 08:37 PM
...the hits listed show that this cop was not shooting accurately or with distinct purpose.
I partialy disagree. He go three good hits (pelvis, abdomen, chest) but he obviously was trying not to shot the guy too much:( , so I agree with you on the distinct purpose.

01-31-2005, 09:07 PM
I wonder if an initial shot to the pelvis would have put him on the ground unable to get up. I have heard if BG has impact weapon initial shot to pelvis as this is more likely to make him unable to move. However, since pelvis shot does not generally stop his ability to fire a gun shot BG with gun in the heart.

02-01-2005, 06:16 AM
I wonder if an initial shot to the pelvis would have put him on the ground unable to get up. I have heard if BG has impact weapon initial shot to pelvis as this is more likely to make him unable to move. However, since pelvis shot does not generally stop his ability to fire a gun shot BG with gun in the heart.

The pelvis is extremely small, difficult to hit, and most times will not drop an adversary. Most can continue to function well with pelvis shots and to have any chance at all you would need to blow out both sides of the pelvis, and even then it probably would not be enough to drop him. This is one of the myths portrayed by Ayoob and others that just does not stand up under scrutiny.

02-01-2005, 06:29 AM
Mark, disagreement is good but handgun hits to the pelvis and abdomen should NEVER qualify as "good" or even "ok" hits with a handgun they are relatively meaningless as stopping the threat goes and while abdomen hits often cause extensive infection even point blank contact shots will not readily incapacitate a human predator.
My disagreement was that he was getting good hits compared to the normal shooter under stress.

02-01-2005, 07:35 AM
I'm glad he survied,with that said ,, we can see once agian the Social Worker training which has taken over in most PD's,

Steve Camp
02-01-2005, 07:54 AM
Anybody interested in taking up a collection to offer this officer a free slot in CRG-1 the next time Gabe is in/near Vegas? At least he didn't fold completely. With some proper training that social worker mind bending might just be undone. Would hate to see a potentially good officer go to waste. I'll kick in $20.

Alma the Younger
02-01-2005, 09:00 AM
Understanding that the officer was under a lot of stress and running away from a determined opponet, that being said, two of his three shots were low. Sounds like classic trigger smashing. The way I read the story, his third shot was in the chest (TC). Maybe because the guy was down and it allowed the officer longer to fire.

Either way, it sounds like the cop has a trigger control problem and was looking to see where his shots hit the BG. Proper instruction can fix both of those problems. As the saying goes, "If the BG is good to shoot once, he's good to shoot two or three times." No reason to shoot once and then wait to see what happens. He should have shot twice before doing anything else.

By shooting onece and then running away, I doubt he trapped his trigger and then properly allowed it to reset for the second shot. Chances are he let go of the trigger and had to take the slack out again, possibly explaining a second low shot.


02-01-2005, 11:47 AM
Mark in a "lowest denominator" way I understand that philosophy but I am not a LD person.
Nor am I.:)

02-01-2005, 09:04 PM
I like the outcome. A police officer gives a drugged-up, violent perp a primitive weapon (baton), and when the perp stupidly tries to cause death or serious bodily injury to the officer, the officer justifiably kills him in self-defense.

The perp will not cost the taxpayers huge sums of money for his confinement. The perp will never be released on parole to cause more mayhem. No expensive criminal trial, paid for by the taxpayers, will result.

Also, the officer led the perp to a construction site, which I presume had few innocent bystanders, so the risk to the public was minimized when the officer fired.

02-01-2005, 10:57 PM
"The taser is a very so-so option and one that should not be deployed alone as it takes too much time out of the response cycle during the conflict".

Absolutely right! Like OC spray or SIMS (specialized impact munitons, aka "bean bag" rounds), the taser is a valuable option but usually not the first, best option unless you are working as part of a team and have a cover officer available.

There was an incident locally where officers responded to a sexual assault in progress. The suspect attacked the first responding officer, and she responded by shooting him with a Taser (they had just recently been fielded on the street by this particular PD and this officer had already deployed the Taser a couple of times and she had (perhaps too much) confidence in the taser as a force option.

One of the barbs didn't stick and he didn't get shocked. He knocked her down, got into her squad car, roared off down the street and then hit a tree while trying to evade another responding unit. He then attempted to disarm a female sergeant -- his disarm attempt failed, but he knocked her to the ground and she then shot him twice, ending the fight. (He survived)

The first officer readily admitted that she had too much confidence in the Taser as a weapon, and would respond differently in the future.

One of the books I read about the Rodney King incident in 1991 came to the conclusion that the whole incident began to go sideways when the Taser didn't work. LAPD Sgt. Koon had used the taser dozens of times and had experienced 100% success with the system prior to this incident, and when the taser DIDN'T work, he went into brain-lock and lost control of the situation.

The moral of the story is, don't depend on any one response too much and have alternate plans available if your first selection is ineffective.

02-02-2005, 10:36 PM
The cop had the emotional high ground when he was chasing the subject. He was the hunter. He lost that high ground when the subject turned to fight. When the cop disengaged the subject pursued. The cop was now the hunted. A scary thing.

Trigger control? He was figthing for his life! Who cares about trigger control. I suppose that someone is going to ask what stance he used too.

The kid survived and got the job done. It might not have been the prettiest or the best way but the results speak for themselves. How much did luck play in this? It's hard to tell from the post but, the cop was able to get far enough a head to turn and engage 3 different times. Perhaps the cop knew his own strengths better the we do.

I know if I'm by myself and the guy I'm chasing turns to fight me I'd like to retreat and create some distance if possible. WHERE"S MY BACK UP??? If he chases me and I can out run him, damn straight, get out of my way.

We do not have to fight toe to toe. If we could exhaust the subject by leading them on a merry foot chase and then have our partners jump him when he's worn out, it works for me. Hey, don't wolves do something like that too?