T Nation

The Tactical Life


Really good post. Thanks. Sometimes, it seems that always talking about situation awareness is like yelling into the Grand Canyon, but, if it makes one person look up from their electronic addiction and look around, then , its worth the effort.


Thought for the day (1): All my condolences to the victims of the Toronto attack. My sincere thanks to the citizens and first responders who stepped in to handle the chaos.


Some comments:

“I saw three or four [people] on the ground around me,” he said. “Other people were getting CPR.”

I have talked about this before, but, you never know when you may be called on to help provide care to a victim. Learn basic trauma care and carry a tourniquet. From what I have read, several citizens were providing care before the first responders arrived.

" U.S. law enforcement sources told CBS News that the incident appears to be a deliberate act. Witnesses said the driver was moving fast and appeared to be acting deliberately"

You think so, Sherlock, what was your first clue? Stupid statement of the day.


Thought for the day (2): From Pat McNamara:

“Every American has a right to protect himself. It is not only your right, but your responsibility. In an era of uncertainty, we need to be our own first responders. We cannot rely on law enforcement to assist us at a moment’s notice”

Learn basic trauma care, work on your situational awareness. I am sure those walking down the streets of Toronto were not thinking about a vehicle attack. If you are in a public area, for your own safety, disconnect from your electronic devices and actually look around.


I was going to share this event as well. I have aunts, uncles, and cousins who all live in Toronto and they are all OK.

Now for some business about the attack. Most of my family are head in the sand liberals. The social media comments that are being posted are infuriating. My pregnant cousin, her daughter, and husband could have easily been among the victims, and all anyone can say is how unimaginable it is. Well, it is very imaginable and denying the possibility of a mass casualty attack because “Canada” is painfully ignorant. What also irks me is that if this would have involved a firearm they would have been calling for more gun control immediately.


Just wondering what you guys with LEO background think re: the video of the officer actually apprehending the suspect. I am so tech illiterate that I’m not sure how to post it here but a 1 minute Google search will find it easily. The lone officer repeatedly refuses to shoot the suspect who appears intent on committing suicide by cop. Even after the suspect repeatedly tries to bait him into it by reaching into his pocket and pulling something out quickly and pointing at the officer. I’m sure if it was me, I probably would have shot him out of self preservation the first time he did that. Anyways, God bless all of you first responders out there for everything you do for the rest of us.


I have not seen the video, but among the LEO I talk to this was discussed. Latest I heard was the officer was fairly certain (I say this because you are never 100% until the subject has been thoroughly searched) the guy was unarmed and knew it was a phone he was pulling out. How he came to this conclusion, I don’t know.


Here’s a link to the video. Still can’t figure out how to get the actual video up on the post.


What’s concerning about this, is that I keep hearing how heroic the officer was for the restraint shown in not firing on the suspect. I don’t know the specifics, maybe it was completely obvious it wasn’t a gun, and by all means it’s extremely admirable he was able to pull this off without shooting the guy (of course no disrespect to this officer at all). However, I hate to see us gravitate towards some new expected standard of officers, where they feel obligated to put themselves in exponentially more danger when dealing with armed/highly potentially armed suspects who are not complying with their instructions.


Or give every officer sandbag rounds in the old 870, while the partner has a gun with live ammo. You’re armed and don’t comply after request 1, sandbag to the torso. Second round in the tube is buckshot.


I agree completely. The public already expects us to wait until shots are fired before we take any action to defend ourselves.


A good possibility is that since it was too early to say otherwise, the officer might have wanted him taken alive for possible interrogation into a potential terror cell.

I read this morning that the suspect had Aspergers, and had had some treatment for it that maybe had some effectiveness. Also, he referenced an American mass killer from a few years ago who went to war because of his lack of getting women. Basically an awkward type as he was described by people who knew him.


He ended up being taken alive, and now he is going to be doing a long haul pen term, with whatever the other prisoners think of him.


It doesn’t really come down to whether the officer wants a suspect “taken alive” for questioning. It’s not optional. Lethal force is either reasonable or it isn’t. In this case the cop didn’t think it was.


Agreed. If the officer genuinely didn’t think it was necessary to shoot this guy so be it. If he had thought so, I hope he wouldn’t have hesitated. “Restraint” doesn’t really enter into it.


You bring up an important point lost on most people: the perspective of the officer. You could have 10 different people in that situation and 10 different responses and all of them could have been justified.


Lethal force was reasonable in this situation. However the officer didn’t think it was neccessary.

How much risk should a cop be expected to undertake? Self defense in the way a civilian can defend him/herself? Or should the threat be greater for them to resort to deadly force?


@Californiagrown I appreciate what you’re saying. Based on the video I think I may have shot him the first time he went to punch up with whatever he had in his hand. But then again I may not have. I wasn’t there and didn’t see what the officer saw. Even if we had seen the same thing, I may have perceived it differently and so acted differently.

I believe that tactically speaking I would have approached it differently, regardless of the outcome, but neither of us can say what seemed reasonable to the guy on the ground at the time. Reasonable is a subjective standard.





That attitude all ready exists in a lot of USA departments. In my old department, we used to say we had to take a round first before we could return fire. With the explosion of critical social media, where everything you do in on camera, its 5 times as worse. The public will always know more than you. I think this sums up the situation very succinctly.



I am a big believer in sand bag rounds. As a SWAT supervisor, I was allowed to carry them on normal patrol and shot several people armed with knives, they work, and there was no media or department backlash. After going federal, I don’t know if they are still being used, all I see know are Tazers. I will take a sand bag round any day.