This will likely become a series of articles rather than just one, but I wanted to begin here with this discussion. There are two things that you must realize. Opinions that have not been tempered with personal experience are not as valid as those that have. For example...the opinion of an emergency room doctor on treatment of an injury is vastly more valid than that of the Red Cross First Aid graduate.
Personal experience on a topic creates valid opinions. Lack of that invalidates the same. The second point is that nothing is easy. There are no magic words, magic techniques, or magic invocations where everything stops. Someone may have told you that at some point but is simply not true. What there are are lazy people and lazy instructors. The lazy people want a cheap and easy "magic technique" (such as a special stance or a special sight picture) and a "magic word" (I want my attorney), rather than engage their brain, educate their mind and be more than the couch surfing underachiever class wants from life.
Before the fight is relatively easy as it is what we spend most of our time doing. Staying fit and training our core skills, for example. Making sure that our wills and trusts have been updated as another example. During the fight is also quite simple. The fight happens and you respond...or you decide to go to the fight because others are being killed (terrorist and active shooter as examples). We have written extensively on the matter and even simplified it with the Flow Chart Of Killing.
Make no mistake here. It is you who will win the fight. You...nobody else. Nobody will come to help you, fight for you, tell you whom to shoot, or press the trigger for you. There is an element of urgency here created by the event itself. Act with speed and deliberation and you win. Fail to do so and you will die. Simple. It is your problem to fix.
Then we get into the events of the afterwards. This begins at the moment when you see that the fight is over...that there is nobody else to shoot and that nobody else is shooting at you. There are no more shots to fire. This initiates the realm where there has been the most misinformation written, taught, and spread than in any other area of the discipline. Why is that? Well, because relatively few people will get into a gunfight in the civilized society of the United States. And so of that rather miniscule number of people, even fewer will become teachers. So the bulk of the material on the matter is from the theoretical rather than the empirical. What is wrong with that? Well...imagine a surgeon that had passed all the written tests, maybe even dissected a cadaver or two, but never actually operated on anyone teaching advanced surgical techniques. Something wrong with that picture don't you think?
So let us look at the event right after the last brass case hits the asphalt.
First, you will have to call the police. If you don't, it will be assumed that you are the suspect and not the victim. Lawyers don't care if you are a suspect, but you should care. Why? Because as a shooter you only have two options for being listed in the police report. You can be either a victim or a suspect. That's it. There is no door number three. The category you are listed under is important because assumptions are made in the inevitable report. And once the investigation begins, the ground work for the report is laid out. And when that begins taking its course, neither you, nor your lawyer, nor the mayor, nor anyone will derail the process. nor will an original report ever be changed. Once a suspect, always a suspect.
If you are listed as a victim, the report is written to describe what happened to you and why the bad guy, if he survives, should be prosecuted for the crimes described. Your actions as a victim, not being "crimes", are not the focus of the event. Sure you will be asked about what you did and why, but no more than if you had run away, or called for criminal activity you allegedly committed, and lay out a case of why you should be prosecuted. Police reports are not written to "gather information". That is a myth. They are written to put somebody in prison...and that somebody is - wait for it - the suspect.
See why we want to be listed as a victim and not a suspect?
If you are a suspect, your life will become far more complicated, and the entire event will be extremely expensive to you (and profitable to that lawyer that gave you the advice guaranteed to make you a suspect).
In the next segment we will discuss how to be a victim and not a suspect...as much as depends on you anyway...
If you are listed as a suspect, the entire focus of the report is on your criminal actions. The tone and focus of the investigation is intended to prosecute you and put you in prison.