Report Library

Holster Retention Issue during Foot Pursuit of Armed Subject

Event Summary

A specialty unit officer was performing surveillance on violent gang members. One known subject left in a vehicle, and after officers observed traffic offenses (and confirmed the subject had a suspended license), an attempt to stop the subject was made. The vehicle/suspect refused to stop and fled for 6-8 blocks before the driver and passenger bailed out on foot. The passenger was apprehended immediately with little incident by one officer, and the other officer chased the driver on foot.

During the chase, another officer arrived to assist and caused the driver/suspect to run back toward the pursuing officer. Upon encountering the pursuing officer, the subject stopped, reached into his waistband and produced a loaded firearm, pointing it at the officer from 4-5 feet away. The officer realized he didn’t have his firearm and immediately went hands-on by tackling and fighting with the subject. At that point, the assisting officer didn’t/couldn’t shoot because of the entwined officer and subject. Shortly after, the officers were able to subdue the subject, and the subject was taken into custody with minor injuries.

We learned that during the pursuit, the officer’s external carrier/entry vest had manipulated (through bumps, turns and stops) the thumb safety [holster] release, and the motion/action of the pursuit caused the officer’s gun to fall out of the holster without him knowing. The gun was found between the seat and center console of his patrol vehicle, lodged between the seat-belt latch and console. NOTE: Use extreme caution when wearing external or entry vests while wearing waist type gun belts/holsters.

 

Lessons Learned

  • Officers should always be cognizant of the location of their sidearm (with regular retention checks) and ensure their sidearm is in working condition.
  • Officers should ensure their retention holster is properly positioned on their duty belt and ensure their position and equipment within the patrol vehicle does not compromise the holster.
  • External ballistic vest carriers should be tested, approved, and properly fitted to ensure they do not inhibit an officer’s performance or otherwise impact their equipment, such as the holster.

 

Changes as a result of that experience (what would you do differently?):

Consider authorizing an optional thigh holster when officers wear external carriers and ensure all equipment is properly fitted prior to use.

 

Full Report

Holster Retention Issue during Foot Pursuit of Armed Subject

 

 

Employer Information

What was your level of involvement in the near miss/incident? Read or heard about it

Type of Law Enforcement Agency: Local – Police Department

Type of Police Department: City, Town, or Village

Agency Size – Sworn Staff: 250 – 499

Approximate Population Served: 100,000 – 499,999

Region of Country: Midwest – East North Central (IL, IN, OH, MI, WI)

 

Involved Personal Information

What was the involved person’s duty assignment at the time of the incident? Sworn – Specialty Unit (K9, SWAT, Task Force, etc.)

Was the involved person a supervisor? No

Years of experience in law enforcement (at time of incident): More than 5, but less than 7

Approximate age of the involved person (at the time of the incident): 31 – 35 years old

Sex: Male

Ethnicity: Not Hispanic or Latino

Race:

  • White

 

Incident Information

What type of call or activity was the involved person responding to or engaged in? Traffic Violation(s)

How was the call or activity initiated? Self-Initiated/Observed

Please classify this incident: Almost resulted in officer injury or fatality

Date of near miss/incident: September

Date of near miss/incident: 2017

Approximate time of incident: 1600

What was the involved person’s initial assessment or impression of the call or situation?

  • Thought it could be more dangerous than usual

Did dispatch provide an accurate description of the call or incident? Not Applicable

How many officers were at the scene at the time of the near miss/incident? 3

Did this incident involve a pursuit? Yes

What kind of pursuit occurred? Both Foot and Vehicle Pursuit

Event Summary:

A specialty unit officer was performing surveillance on violent gang members. One known subject left in a vehicle, and after officers observed traffic offenses (and confirmed the subject had a suspended license), an attempt to stop the subject was made. The vehicle/suspect refused to stop and fled for 6-8 blocks before the driver and passenger bailed out on foot. The passenger was apprehended immediately with little incident by one officer, and the other officer chased the driver on foot.

During the chase, another officer arrived to assist and caused the driver/suspect to run back toward the pursuing officer. Upon encountering the pursuing officer, the subject stopped, reached into his waistband and produced a loaded firearm, pointing it at the officer from 4-5 feet away. The officer realized he didn’t have his firearm and immediately went hands-on by tackling and fighting with the subject. At that point, the assisting officer didn’t/couldn’t shoot because of the entwined officer and subject. Shortly after, the officers were able to subdue the subject, and the subject was taken into custody with minor injuries.

We learned that during the pursuit, the officer’s external carrier/entry vest had manipulated (through bumps, turns and stops) the thumb safety [holster] release, and the motion/action of the pursuit caused the officer’s gun to fall out of the holster without him knowing. The gun was found between the seat and center console of his patrol vehicle, lodged between the seat-belt latch and console. NOTE: Use extreme caution when wearing external or entry vests while wearing waist type gun belts/holsters.

 

Environment Factors

Did the near miss/incident occur indoors or outdoors? Outdoors

At what type of location did the near miss/incident occur? Private Residence or Property

Was the involved person aware of any previous calls for service or incidents at this location? Not applicable

Did dispatch provide accurate information about the location of the call? Not Applicable

What were the lighting conditions outside? Daylight

Was there inclement weather? No

 

Subject Information

Did the involved person encounter a subject(s)? Yes

How many subjects were encountered? 2

Was the involved person aware of any active warrants, criminal history, or known risks regarding the subject(s)? Yes

Did the subject(s) have a weapon(s)? Yes

Had the involved person been informed that the subject(s) may be armed? Yes

What kind of weapon(s) did the subject(s) have?

  • Firearm

Was the weapon(s) concealed? Yes

Did the subject(s) appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs? No

Did the subject(s) appear to be emotionally disturbed? No

Did the subject(s) resist arrest? Yes

What type of force was used to subdue the subject(s)?

  • Physical

 

Lessons Learned

What type of accident or incident was averted? Death or serious injury to one or more officers.

What risk factors almost led to or did lead to you or another officer being injured or killed?

  • Equipment Malfunction

What protective factors contributed to you or another officer not being injured or killed?

  • Good Communication
  • Maintained Situational Awareness
  • Officer Survival/Tactical Training
  • Presence of Backup Officer(s)

Lessons Learned:

  • Officers should always be cognizant of the location of their sidearm (with regular retention checks) and ensure their sidearm is in working condition.
  • Officers should ensure their retention holster is properly positioned on their duty belt and ensure their position and equipment within the patrol vehicle does not compromise the holster.
  • External ballistic vest carriers should be tested, approved, and properly fitted to ensure they do not inhibit an officer’s performance or otherwise impact their equipment, such as the holster.


Changes as a result of that experience (what would you do differently?):
Consider authorizing an optional thigh holster when officers wear external carriers and ensure all equipment is properly fitted prior to use.



How relevant are the lessons learned in this incident to you and/or your agency?
0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *