captainduckhead wrote:For those that never have, you should pray you never have to. It makes you sick to your stomach. It's a huge burden on your mind, and time stands still. Seconds seem like hours, and the decision to pull the trigger or not is a life altering decision one way or the other.
It's easy to say, "I would not hesitate" but the fact is, you do hesitate, unless you are a trained law enforcement agent of some sort, or in the Military. Consequences run through your mind a million miles an hour, and you do everything you can NOT to pull the trigger. It's horrible to say the least.
There Caleb, I joined in with real participation, not just ball busting. Does that cheer you up?
Believe it or not, but I believe it is harder for an officer to not hesitate than it is for an ordinary citizen. Yes we are trained on making split second decisions that we will have to live with for the rest of our lives, but we are also constantly reminded of liability issues. Luckily, I have never had to completely pull the trigger on anyone, but there have been several times that the suspect made the last minute decision to drop his weapon when I was over 75% through the trigger pull. I know this sounds like I had a while to think about whether I was going to shoot or not, but this happened in only a couple of seconds.
To give you an idea of what happened on one occasion, we made a traffic stop when we observed a vehicle parked in the middle of the roadway, surrounded by a group of about 8 black males around 4:00 one morning and the driver quickly accelerated into a driveway. You could tell the passenger was getting ready to bail out so I had already unfastened by seatbelt and had my door open ready to chase them. As soon as my partner stopped the car, sure enough, the passenger bails. I then exit the car and begin to attempt to catch the passenger. As I am running towards them, I notice that the driver has also jumped out of the car and is going into the back seat. At this point I am at the right rear quarter panel of their vehicle. As soon as I recognized that he was attempting to retrieve a shotgun from the back seat of his car, I began to draw my weapon and try to use his car for as much cover as possible. My partner was slow to get out of the car due to the seatbelt hanging up on his holster on the way out of the car, but he came out of the car with his gun drawn. The suspect is raising his shotgun on my partner while my partner is trying to get his gun on target. At this point I was squeezing the trigger on my handgun (the hammer on my Beretta 96 was about to the breakover point) the suspect glanced over and for the first time realized that I didn't continue to chase his passenger and that I had beat him to the draw. He immediately lets go of the shotgun before I had to finish the last 1/2 or so pounds of my trigger pull. After we had him in handcuffs and back at the station, he admitted that had he not seen me he would have shot my partner. He said that he knew he had a chance against him but had no chance against me. We found out later that he was a suspect in several murders in the past and eventually went to jail for murdering someone after he got out when we arrested him. I know this is wrong, but I have often wondered if I should have been just a hair faster that day.