We live in a time of war. The Islamic Terror Theater in the USA has already made themselves known and has promised to bring the fight to the most innocent and unsuspecting places. And they favor, but are not limited to, knives. (There are at least two other theaters...but I digress). I recall when I was in LE, we would debrief events in order to learn from them...both to repeat the right things done, and to avoid the mistakes that we all invariably make.
When looking at these events, we must all set aside our tender egos. If we are not able to debrief ourselves and our brothers, we will simply keep making the same mistakes over and over and for the spurious reasons as to not hurt someone's tender feelings. I would hope we are above that and that we can learn. We can learn to be more dangerous to our enemies so that the very hint that one of us might be at his selected target will send shivers of doubt deep into his soul.
I have two videos here for your perusal. I have listed where the pertinent sections are so as to avoid the incessant drone of the announcers.
FIRST VIDEO SKIP TO APPROXIMATELY 1:14
SECOND VIDEO SKIP TO APPROXIMATELY :50
So what was done right by the shooter:
1). He was there and elected to "Go To The Fight". His courage cannot be questioned, ever. And most important, he was armed. I believe the mall in question is one of those silly "Gun Free" zones. The shooter elected to disregard the sign, as we all should, in our time of war. Double win.
2). He identified the terrorist by his actions and took the fight to him. Excellent. That is what we want to see.
3). And it all worked out. Good guy alive, bad guy dead. But this could have gone differently. So in the spirit of doing a better job when it is our turn, we will dissect some of what we saw. Again, nobody is questioning the shooter's courage, but fortuitous outcomes reinforce poor tactics.
What could have been done better:
1). We notice the shots were quite close. Marksmanship challenge was not a concern here. Nevertheless, the terrorist took a number of body shots which did not immediately incapacitate him. We keep saying that when proactive our default target should be the face...or in this case, the back of the head. Hitting the terrorist in the head at what was something like ten to twelve feet is an easy task. But it has to occur to us in the fight. I suggest henceforth at least 50% of all our training be focused on head and face shots.
2). The bad guy chose to advance in reverse. Strange until you realize that is a tactic taught by HAMAS in order to close the distance on hesitant police officers. In many parts of the world, it is taboo to shoot into the back and this tactic is designed to take advantage of that to close the gap. But notice how close the two are when both things happen simultaneously. The bad guy begins to go down and the good guy falls down due to backpedaling.
Stop for a moment to consider that it is at least 50% slower to close distance by backing up, and ask if the bad guy had been advancing frontally if he may have been able to take the advantage away from the shooter?
3). Backpedaling is taught in many schools still to this day. It is a staple of some LE schools and woe to any man that dare breaks the 180 rule on those ranges. When we teach we discuss the pitfalls of backpedaling as it will invariably lead to falling down. Here is an example of that. I recently conducted a Force on Force session where we compressed the distance on a charging knife attacker from the expected "way too close" 21 feet, to a mere 7 feet. And the attendees all prevailed against the knife attacker by moving off at an oblique as they drew and shot the knifeman to pieces before he could close.
Freedom of movement with a pistol is a new paradigm for many who are tied by training and tradition to linear movement as dictated by range traditions. Perhaps this will be a poignant example of how things went wrong with back pedaling and how we can make it better by not doing so.
We live in a time of killers stalking our innocents in the most presumably safest places. Take your weapons with you always. Ignore the silly signs saying you are not allowed to do so. Train to be a head hunter. And train to be a fighter, not only a shooter. Then live at the ready. Your chance to distinguish yourself and excel may come tonight.