One of the new discussion at warriortalk involved this incident.
The article is a good read of the dynamics of the event. Basically, in a nutshell, a bad guy set up an ambush as a robbery attempt. I have investigated lots of robberies and this was not a robbery in the classic sense. Again, this is my opinion..the bad guy is dead and cannot give us his motive.
Of note is the following passage:
"The officers moved to the side (east) door just as a man dressed in camouflage began to exit, armed with an M4 carbine with an optical sight and suppressor. As the armed robber started to raise his slung carbine, fully loaded with a 90-round drum magazine, the officers fired a total of 13 rounds from their sidearms in 2.6 seconds, landing seven hits on their adversary and more on his weapon."
That reads like a police report, but here is what I think the reality of the event really was - The good guys made up their minds that this was going to be a shooting when they got the call. Thus the need to "Observe" and "Orient" was minimized to the point of having already been accomplished, leaving only the presentation of a target and the elimination of same.
In 2.6 seconds (I suspect less that that) there was no, "Is this my suspect?", "Could it be someone else dressed just like him with a rifle?", "Should I challenge him?", "What if its not him?", and so on and so forth. And I doubt there was a great deal of yelling to drop the gun.
There was a description, a location, and a description of events that justify shooting. The two "O"s are taken care of...now it was simply a matter of visually locating him.
I recently had a discussion with a good friend that is a police supervisor, as well as involved in counter terrorism. He was telling me about how one of his friends was recently in a clear-cut and classic shooting and the indecision almost got him killed. We were discussing how training could affect this sort of thing. My main response was that it is not about shooting skills.
Teaching someone how to shoot is the same as teaching them to play the piano. It is a technical exercise after all. But the artist has a passion for his art. A guy who knows how to play the piano may or may not identify as a musician. You can tell him he is, and he will think that he is, but the passion of the artist cannot be faked. He has a self identity that the technical piano player doesn't share.
Perhaps the analogy will not sit well with the modern peace officer, but there it is. Well, there is no "perhaps".
I recall contacting lots of presumably armed bad guys in bad areas. The moment I saw them I had already completed the decision to kill them where they stood...IF they gave the correct "signal". So rather than OODA...it was more like D waiting for the A. An understanding of things...of my rules of engagement and how I could maneuver around them and through them...of what was really going to happen during the fight...during the post shooting investigation...and afterwards.
This wasn't a careless approach, but rather one of knowing, situationally, where I was in the event, and in relation to my adversary. But this is not a quantifiable aspect of things, and it cannot be written into policies, nor organized as a qualification course. It is more a matter of how a mind processes information and when to justify action, has that mind received enough information rather than holding out for more. And where one falls in the clarity of information depends on their self image and an self understanding of why they are really there. An complete understanding of what their objectives are. The concept of self-image is a good one that bears deeper exploration. Do you have the self-image of a victim and operate from fear, or the self-image of a predator and operate from strength? (Not all predators are bad).
Holding out for more information, because of an internal fear of action, when sufficient information has been received causes hesitation, and that may give the adversary a great advantage.
I think lots of guys - both in and out of uniform - know how to shoot well...what we need to teach them is to change their self-image, and then live up to that image. And holding that image so important that failing it is unthinkable. To develop their passion as an artist. To process incoming information with the mind of an artist, and then act upon that information correctly. And that is not an easy task.
Teaching the hands is easy. Teaching the head and the heart...that is another matter. Specially if the mind is closed and the heart hardened to new ideas.