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Subject Attempts to Draw Concealed Handgun during Frisk

Event Summary

I was dispatched to a fight call in the back parking lot of an apartment complex. My zone partner arrived on scene first, made contact with the subjects, and called out the scene was Code 4 (Safe) prior to my arrival.

When I arrived, my partner was frisking a male subject. The male lunged forward and grabbed the handle of a pistol which was in the front of his waistband. I immediately drew my handgun on the subject. The subject realized that I had the drop on him and stopped. My partner was able to wrestle the gun from him. I transitioned to taser and deployed the taser on his person. The subject was taken into custody without further incident. What happened could have been much different if I would have arrived earlier or later.

 

Lessons Learned

  • Trust your intuition and always be prepared for something to go wrong or for the situation to change rapidly. No incident is routine and you must be mentally and physically prepared to react immediately and appropriately.
  • Disturbance/dispute calls are some of the most dangerous and deadly calls for law enforcement. Unless exigency exists, officers should wait for backup prior to making contact with subjects. Furthermore, officers should never cancel their back up when responding to these types of calls.
  • Officers should use proper technique and maintain control of a subject’s hands during a frisk. In addition, the searching officer should communicate with their cover officer(s) in case the suspect becomes non-compliant and additional control tactics need to be used.

 

Full Report

Subject Attempts to Draw Concealed Handgun during Frisk

 

 

Employer Information

Type of Law Enforcement Agency: Police Department – City, town, or village

Agency Size: 250 – 499 Sworn Officers

Approximate Population Served: 100,000 – 499,999

Region of Country: West – Mountain (AZ, CO, ID, MT, NM, UT, NV, WY)

 

Involved Person Information

Duty Assignment: Sworn – Patrol

Was the involved person a supervisor? No

Years of Experience: More than 10, but less than 15

Age: 26 – 30

Sex: Male

Ethnicity: Not Hispanic or Latino

Race:

  • White

 

Incident Information

Type of call/activity officer was responding to or engaged in: Domestic Disturbance/Dispute

Incident initiated by: Call for service / Radio Call

Classify the incident: Almost resulted in officer injury or fatality

Date of Incident: April 2017

Initial assessment of call:

  • Felt prepared

Dispatch provide accurate incident description? N/A

Number of officers on scene at time of incident: 2

Did the incident involve a pursuit? No

Incident Summary:

I was dispatched to a fight call in the back parking lot of an apartment complex. My zone partner arrived on scene first, made contact with the subjects, and called out the scene was Code 4 (Safe) prior to my arrival.

When I arrived, my partner was frisking a male subject. The male lunged forward and grabbed the handle of a pistol which was in the front of his waistband. I immediately drew my handgun on the subject. The subject realized that I had the drop on him and stopped. My partner was able to wrestle the gun from him. I transitioned to taser and deployed the taser on his person. The subject was taken into custody without further incident. What happened could have been much different if I would have arrived earlier or later.

 

Environment Factors

Did the incident occur indoors or outdoors? Outdoors

What type of location was this? Private residence or property

Was the involved officer aware of previous calls or incidents at this location? No

Lighting conditions at location: Nighttime – Low-light

Was there inclement weather? No

 

Subject Information

Number of Subjects Encountered: 2

Did subjects have known criminal history? No

Did the subjects have any weapons? Yes – Concealed Firearm

Were the responding officers informed that the subject(s) may be armed? No

Were the subjects under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Yes

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

Did the subject(s) resist arrest? Yes

What kind of force was used to subdue the subject(s)? Physical and electronic (Taser deployment)

 

Lessons Learned

Type of accident or incident averted:

The subject could have successfully drawn the firearm and shot an officer.

Contributing Risk Factors:

  • Decision making
  • Subject(s) under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Subject’s possession of a weapon

Contributing Protective Factors:

  • Presence of backup officer
  • Accurate/sufficient call or incident description
  • Good scene size-up/assessment
  • Officer survival/tactical training
  • Maintained situational awareness

Lessons Learned:

  • Trust your intuition and always be prepared for something to go wrong or for the situation to change rapidly. No incident is routine and you must be mentally and physically prepared to react immediately and appropriately.
  • Disturbance/dispute calls are some of the most dangerous and deadly calls for law enforcement. Unless exigency exists, officers should wait for backup prior to making contact with subjects. Furthermore, officers should never cancel their back up when responding to these types of calls.
  • Officers should use proper technique and maintain control of a subject’s hands during a frisk. In addition, the searching officer should communicate with their cover officer(s) in case the suspect becomes non-compliant and additional control tactics need to be used.



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