Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Virginia Trooper Chad P. Dermyer dead after bus station shooting - UPI.com

It will be interesting to see what the after action report by the training instructors come up with. At this point all we have is the words from one of the Col, of the State Troopers, and not much to analyse, plus no one writing on the subject was there. The goal of the second part of the training exercise according to the Co. "If you see some suspicious behavior, go over and engage and have a conversation." That was what was taking place here," Flaherty said, referencing the wording of the squad's training assignment. The death of this trooper was tragic, and you do not know what was going through each person's mind that was in this situation. But the Trooper had just come off a training classroom on what they should recognize as and how to respond to suspicious behavior. His guard may have been down? The shooter was a convicted felon with a weapon on him which automatically would have put him back in Prison, his guard was probably up. The Trooper was among friends and colleagues that had been training with him for the last few hours, guard up or down, I am not sure that can be determined. The shooter perhaps saw the group of Troopers come into the Bus Station, not in Uniform as such, but described as fatigue clothes. Probably noticeable by the shooter, it would be interesting interview others in the bus station to determine if the Troopers looked like Law Enforcement. This gets to be a critical issue, Police are trained in most cases that they are in uniform, and that carries with it both a risk and if used correctly an advantage. In soft clothes IE not uniform, Police and Troopers are trained in a different way, that also has risks and if used correctly an advantage. In this case the Troopers from the descriptions given are between the two, uniform and not uniform. The shooter apparently did act suspicious once again from descriptions of the incident, no video, just descriptions of the incident. People who have apparently viewed a video of the incident, have described the incident in different ways to reporters. All seem to agree the incident involved very few words, before the gunman drew and shot. One description says the shooter was walking toward his luggage, when he became aware of? And then turned away from his luggage, and that is when and why the Trooper decided to talk to the shooter. Most people will show their intentions to some extent, most people carrying a weapon will give off certain behaviors that Law Enforcement can get a clue to intention and that a weapon maybe involved, as well as where the weapon quite possibly is. Did the shooter give off these clues, was the Trooper looking for them, remember he had a number of colleagues around him, which could give him some feeling of safety. Still approaching before the Trooper had the time to catalog the behaviors of the shooter, may have been a factor. There has been no reporting of the Trooper trying to pull a weapon, but that is probably a good thing, at the range described for the shooting, if the shooter is already drawing, then the Trooper really had no time to draw and focus a weapon the shooter, his best chance probably would have been to attack with his hands to defend himself, that is assuming he saw the shooter starting to draw. Descriptions of the last seconds, seem to center around the shooter having a weapon tucked into his belt around his back area. That type of draw from a criminal element is usually telegraphed in such a way that it is noticeable. Not knowing the mindset of the Trooper, it is difficult to understand if picked up on the behavior of the shooters intention. For the shooter it is apparent that he was in the mindset of he was going to shoot this man. Advantage shooter, he knows what he is going to try and do, critical micro seconds are in his favor, the Trooper has to get through the reactive mind, and make his decision and his moves. Critical micro seconds are spent making these decision's once again advantage shooter. But this is a disadvantage every law enforcement officer have every day every time they get into a situation like this. The very vast majority of times the LEO has enough time to react, but if the shooter has no mindset to fight or no mindset that delays him as he weighs the decision to shoot, he has a very critical advantage. That is what is different between war an law enforcement, or at least used to be. In war the other guy is your enemy and you shoot, there are still some mindset issues, but the situation is much more clear cut than in a LEO situation. But LEO's are faced with the mindset issue all the time, bad guys not so much. Add to this the worry of a bad shoot, and the mind set problems multiply for the LEO, not so much for the bad guys. We may never know what mind sets either the Trooper or the shooter had in those last micro seconds, but we can try and give ourselves a few more micro seconds of time to help the process, like perhaps not approaching so close till we have observed the suspect more, perhaps warning other Troopers that this may be a bad situation, so they can be in the mindset to draw and shoot quicker. One thing we can say is the Trooper was not at fault, his job is to protect, even protect the shooter, till the incident starts, then he has to come off the protection job, and into a shooting job, which is very tough to do when everything is happening so quickly and at such short range. I would like to know more about this shooting, I think we have a lot to learn from it. My Prayers go out to the Troopers colleagues and family, and for the Trooper himself.
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