HGR 025 - Shootouts & What Can We Learn From Them?

HGR 025 - Shootouts & What Can We Learn From Them?

This week, Ryan and special guest Steve Remy from Gun Guy Radio & FRN discuss four shooting incidents and what we can learn from them.

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Week in Review:

Ryan- Enjoyed Christmas with my wife & family; got some Cabela’s gift cards so will be doing a little shopping for the 1851 Navy Colt reproduction. Hopefully I can find some 3F powder for a reasonable price!

Steve- Enjoyed my Christmas week with family; received many fun gifts related to my hobbies. Received a slew of holsters from Werkz holsters and am testing and reviewing them over the next few weeks. Still in SHOT show prep mode.

Main Topic - Shootouts: What Can We Learn?

Our intention here is NOT to “armchair quarterback” these shootouts.  We are going to look at them and discuss them in a purely analytical manner.  Also, please understand that we are not trying to be casual and denigrate the tragedies that these shooting incidents were. We are trying to discuss them and see what we can take away from each of these incidents that can help us learn & be more effective whether we are a Law Enforcement Officer or an armed citizen.

I also must give a great deal of credit to Massad Ayoob & his articles in American Handgunner. Ayoob has analyzed many shootings and his critical analysis and gathering of information on these shootings allows us to have all the information we need to look at them in an analytical fashion.

Also note, there are several videos linked below. Two of the videos are reenactments of the shootouts and the other two are Dashcam and CCTV footage.  I include the links here to assist you in understanding how these incidents played out, in case you have difficulty following our discussion.  However, I will warn you that the videos are graphic at times and are very sobering.  It is not easy to see these brave LEO’s fired upon by attackers.

The Newhall Shootout (April 5th, 1970):

Police Officers:

  • 1st Car: CHP Officers Roger Gore and Walter Frago
  • 2nd Car: CHP Officers James Pence Jr. and George Alleyn
  • Perpetrators: Bobby Davis & Jack Twining (Both ex-cons, on parole)
  • The CHP Officers were armed with 12 gauge Remington 870’s and .357 Magnum revolvers, both the Colt Python and S&W Model 19.
  • The perpetrators were armed with a large assortment of weapons, including a S&W .38 Bodyguard, two .45 ACP 1911 Pistols, a 4” S&W Model 28 Highway Patrolman, and a sawed off 12 gauge shotgun.
  • The ensuing shootout resulted in the deaths of all four officers, and eventually Twining, who fled and shot himself when cornered.
  • One part of the shootout that was not discussed until fairly recently was that a passing motorist, Gary Kness, stopped when he saw the shooting. Kness was unarmed, yet he ran TOWARD the gunfire, and picked up the fallen officers’ shotgun. He racked it, and pointed it at the gunman, but when the trigger was pulled, he heard a resounding “click”.  He then retrieved one of the fallen officers revolvers and fired a shot at Davis, which ricocheted off the gunmans car but still caused a chest wound on Davis.  The revolver was then empty, at which point Kness fled to cover.
  • This shooting really led to the development of new procedures for conducting a felony traffic stop.  They used the acronym “NEWHALL” (Never approach until you have control of the scene; Evaluate the offense; Wait for backup; Always maintain the advantage; Look for the unusual; and leave the scene when in doubt and move to a more advantageous position.)

Below is a link to a training film that was made that shows the Newhall Shootout as it happens.


The 1986 Miami Shootout (April 11, 1986):

FBI Agents: Total of 8. 5 were wounded, two, Jerry Dove and Ben Grogan, were killed. The agents were armed with an assortment of shotguns and pistols, including S&W Model 19 revolvers, S&W Model 686 revolvers, and S&W Model 459 9mm Semi-automatic pistols as well as Ithaca Model 37 shotguns.

Note that all of the revolvers carried by the FBI agents were loaded with .38 Special +P ammunition, even if they were chambered for .357 Magnum.

Perpetrators: William Matix (shot six times) and Michael Platt (Shot 12 times), both armed with an assortment of weapons they had stolen after murdering recreational shooters at remote gun ranges.  These weapons included a Smith & Wesson Model 3000 shotgun, a Ruger Mini-14 .223 rifle with the magazines jungle-taped together, a S&W 586 .357 Magnum and a Dan Wesson .357 Magnum revolver.

This incident led to the assertion that officers handguns had to be much more powerful, and started the development of the 10mm Auto cartridge, as well as the S&W Model 1076 pistol to go with it.  It was noted that the reload speed of a semi-automatic may have helped in the gunfight. Also, a couple agents had placed their firearms on the passenger seat before the traffic stop to allow quick access.  In the car accident that preceded the shootout, the agents lost their weapons.  One officer was then rendered unarmed, the other had a S&W Model 36 in an ankle holster as a backup gun, which he used during the gun battle.

Below is a reenactment of the gunfight from a made-for-TV movie called In the Line of Fire: The 1986 FBI Miami Shootout.


Middlefield, Ohio Shootout: In this dashcam video, a typical traffic stop is initiated, but then the subject exits the vehicle unexpectedly, armed with an AMD-65 (AK variant) and begins to open fire on the officers.  The officer in the passenger seat came up with his handgun and fired directly through his own windshield at the suspect while the female officer driving got out and engaged the suspect as well.  The female officer fires a total of 17 rounds at the suspect in quick succession before he finally succumbs.  Both officers were wounded, but survived.  This video shows the rapidity and ferocity that an attack can have, and it CAN take you off guard, even if you are in Condition Yellow


Senior Citizen Uses Pistol in Self Defense Internet Cafe:

You may have seen this video, but a patron of a internet cafe who is present for a robbery uses his concealed carry pistol in self defense.  He fires several shots at the fleeing suspects. It looks like hes using a subcompact .380 or 9mm and that place is extremely crowded.  What do you think of the situation? What can we learn from this encounter?


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