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ackks10

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SWIFTWATER, Pa. - November 20, 2008 - -- Pennsylvania state police say two troopers shot and wounded a 75-year-old man with dementia after he pointed a shotgun at them during a confrontation at his home.
Robert Hagen of Hamilton Township, Monroe County is undergoing surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Capt. James Murtin says Hagen's roommate called police shortly after midnight Thursday after he heard shots being fired in their home. He said Hagen had been acting erratically that day and was possibly off his medication.
State troopers found Hagen in his bedroom holding a shotgun. Murtin says he refused their order to drop the weapon and pointed it at them. Murtin says the troopers fired 11 shots and hit Hagen four times in the leg, arm, shoulder and head.

Both troopers have been placed on administrative duty while state police conduct an investigation.

i don't understand why they shot him in the head???:soapbox:
 

Drac

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SWIFTWATER, Pa. - November 20, 2008 - -- Pennsylvania state police say two troopers shot and wounded a 75-year-old man with dementia after he pointed a shotgun at them during a confrontation at his home.
Robert Hagen of Hamilton Township, Monroe County is undergoing surgery at Lehigh Valley Hospital.
Capt. James Murtin says Hagen's roommate called police shortly after midnight Thursday after he heard shots being fired in their home. He said Hagen had been acting erratically that day and was possibly off his medication.
State troopers found Hagen in his bedroom holding a shotgun. Murtin says he refused their order to drop the weapon and pointed it at them. Murtin says the troopers fired 11 shots and hit Hagen four times in the leg, arm, shoulder and head.

Both troopers have been placed on administrative duty while state police conduct an investigation.

i don't understand why they shot him in the head???:soapbox:

Nor do I, and I am a LEO..
 

BrandonLucas

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I know most people aren't marksmen...and I know that when your blood gets pumping, it's hard to control your aim in that type of situaiton....

But 11 shots? And a shot in the head?

I can almost understand the shot in the head....if the officers' aim was not up to par....but that's an almost understanding....

But I do not accept that it took 11 shots to bring down a 75 year old man with dementia. I realize that he had a shotgun. I understand that the officers felt as if their lives were in danger. But seriously, how bad of a shot do you have to be to have to shoot at the guy 11 times...between 2 officers? And then they hit him 4 times??

It's a sad situation. I hope the man's ok.
 

MJS

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Something tells me that there is going to be a big investigation into this. I'm not sure why he was shot in the head either.
 

MJS

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Well, here is a question for Drac and any other LEO that would like to comment. Question: When faced with a situation like this, is it policy to continue to shoot until the person is no longer a threat?

If that is the case, and we take into consideration that some shots may miss, I could see how the #11 comes into play.

Oh, and for the record, just so nobody misunderstands my post, I'm not saying that what happened was right or wrong. I'm simply trying to get a better perspective. :)
 
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ackks10

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Something tells me that there is going to be a big investigation into this. I'm not sure why he was shot in the head either.



and i though it was me, thank you,for understanding my point, the Head shot is what made me say what the---- is going on here, but you are right Mike investigation is going to take place.
 

Frostbite

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Well, here is a question for Drac and any other LEO that would like to comment. Question: When faced with a situation like this, is it policy to continue to shoot until the person is no longer a threat?

If that is the case, and we take into consideration that some shots may miss, I could see how the #11 comes into play.

Oh, and for the record, just so nobody misunderstands my post, I'm not saying that what happened was right or wrong. I'm simply trying to get a better perspective. :)

Well, I'm not a LEO but I do go shooting regularly--sometimes as much as once a week. I'm not exactly Olympic caliber but I do pretty well. Every now and again though, I have a shot that goes wild. Bear in mind, this is at a range, under controlled conditions and I train regularly. Now factor in stress, adrenaline, fear of getting shot, and a person who maybe doesn't have to train very often. I'm not surprised he got shot in the head. I'd be even less surprised if they'd only hit him say, 2 out of 11 times.
 

jks9199

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Well, here is a question for Drac and any other LEO that would like to comment. Question: When faced with a situation like this, is it policy to continue to shoot until the person is no longer a threat?

If that is the case, and we take into consideration that some shots may miss, I could see how the #11 comes into play.

Oh, and for the record, just so nobody misunderstands my post, I'm not saying that what happened was right or wrong. I'm simply trying to get a better perspective. :)

Well, I'm not a LEO but I do go shooting regularly--sometimes as much as once a week. I'm not exactly Olympic caliber but I do pretty well. Every now and again though, I have a shot that goes wild. Bear in mind, this is at a range, under controlled conditions and I train regularly. Now factor in stress, adrenaline, fear of getting shot, and a person who maybe doesn't have to train very often. I'm not surprised he got shot in the head. I'd be even less surprised if they'd only hit him say, 2 out of 11 times.

I'd hazard to guess that all 11 shots were fired in a matter of perhaps 2 or 3 seconds, at most. It's not at all uncommon for the officers involved in a shooting to empty their guns without even realizing it, due to the effects of adrenal stress and the unique physiological and psychological stresses of a life or death battle.

However -- I don't have a problem with them shooting him in the head. I wouldn't have a problem if they fired only one shot, hitting him in the head. The man pointed a shotgun at the officers. At a range I'm feeling pretty comfortable (since it involved a bedroom) was on the order of several feet, not yards. He refused to comply with their commands and presented an apparent deadly threat. I'd be pissed at them if they hadn't shot. And I'd be even more pissed off if they tried some silliness like only shooting to wound. They shot to end the threat. That doing so took a life is tragic -- but it would be vastly more tragic had they died, or the man shot someone else.


A police officer confronted with a deadly threat acts to eliminate that threat; that generally means shooting to the middle of the largest target the threat presents, and continuing to shoot as long as the threat is perceived.

I refer you to the Force Science Institute, the Warrior Science Group, and well as Killology.com, among other sites for more detailed information regarding police use of force, especially lethal force.
 

arnisador

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The NY Times ran an interesting story on marksmanship under pressure that I mentioned here. (I posted this somewere on MT too but I can't dig up the post now!) Bottom line, it's hard to pass judgment on people under fire, and shooting to wound is for TV only. There's also an effect when multiple people start firing in a stressful situation that LEOs and the miltary are certainly familiar with, and it's hard to control such a situation.

In fact, the most likely result when a policeman discharges a gun is that he or she will miss the target completely. So an officer could no sooner shoot to wound than shoot to kill with any rate of success.

I don't pass judgment on any LEO faced by a person with a shotgun in the same room! Every LEO wants to go home at night.
 

Frostbite

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They shot to end the threat.

That really is the key. Every LEO and defensive shooting instructor I've talked to say that's the ultimate goal. If it takes one shot in the pinky toe or ten right between the eyes, your goal is to go home alive. If the guy didn't want to get dead, he shouldn't have pulled a gun. If he has dementia, he shouldn't have even been able to get his hands on a gun.
 
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ackks10

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thanks for all the comments,i see what everyone means, i was looking at the man's age and the fact he was not in his right state of mine, and off his meds.
 

MJS

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Well, I'm not a LEO but I do go shooting regularly--sometimes as much as once a week. I'm not exactly Olympic caliber but I do pretty well. Every now and again though, I have a shot that goes wild. Bear in mind, this is at a range, under controlled conditions and I train regularly. Now factor in stress, adrenaline, fear of getting shot, and a person who maybe doesn't have to train very often. I'm not surprised he got shot in the head. I'd be even less surprised if they'd only hit him say, 2 out of 11 times.

I'd hazard to guess that all 11 shots were fired in a matter of perhaps 2 or 3 seconds, at most. It's not at all uncommon for the officers involved in a shooting to empty their guns without even realizing it, due to the effects of adrenal stress and the unique physiological and psychological stresses of a life or death battle.

However -- I don't have a problem with them shooting him in the head. I wouldn't have a problem if they fired only one shot, hitting him in the head. The man pointed a shotgun at the officers. At a range I'm feeling pretty comfortable (since it involved a bedroom) was on the order of several feet, not yards. He refused to comply with their commands and presented an apparent deadly threat. I'd be pissed at them if they hadn't shot. And I'd be even more pissed off if they tried some silliness like only shooting to wound. They shot to end the threat. That doing so took a life is tragic -- but it would be vastly more tragic had they died, or the man shot someone else.


A police officer confronted with a deadly threat acts to eliminate that threat; that generally means shooting to the middle of the largest target the threat presents, and continuing to shoot as long as the threat is perceived.

I refer you to the Force Science Institute, the Warrior Science Group, and well as Killology.com, among other sites for more detailed information regarding police use of force, especially lethal force.

Thank you both for your replies. Many times, I've said the same thing that was already mentioned, regarding stressful conditions, low light, etc.

Many times, when things like this happen, the media like to armchair QB as to what happened, yet what they're failing to remember is that in a situation like this, things are happening a million miles an hour in the minds of the people involved.

I'm glad that the officers came out of this ok and that no other innocent bystanders were hurt.
 
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