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Letter: Police never trained to 'shoot to wound'

Published April 25, 2014 5:11 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Kim Shinkoskey ("Shoot To Wound?" April 24) shows the ignorance the general public has of the way law enforcement is trained, and must react to life or death situations in split seconds.

No officer has ever forgotten how to shoot to wound, as they were never trained to do so. Officers are trained to shoot to stop the threat. And this means making a decision in milliseconds as to whether or not to use deadly force.

Real life is not the movies, where the hero can shoot the bandit in the arm, or the gun out of his hand. Real life demands that the officer make his shots count to protect himself or others from the threat of death or serious bodily injury. And this means shooting for the biggest target. It's known as "center body mass" in training.

Does this almost insure that the shots can be fatal? Yes. But it's the best way to ensure that the threat is stopped.

The marshal in the courtroom that day was entrusted to insure order in the court, and provide safety for everyone there. Including the witness. From where I sit, as a retired law enforcement officer? He did a good job.

Jeff Stickley

Murray