Monday, May 17, 2010

Non-Ambush Attack

Sudden attacks from hidden suspects may be termed a form of ambush, but I consider them differently. In these instances the suspect has the goal of escape from being taken into custody, either by being able to resist apprehension or by suicide by cop. The suspect often hides in a closet or on a low threat encounter suddenly escalates to deadly force without apparent indications that this is likely to be a deadly force incident.


A car stop for a minor traffic violation, such as expired registration. The driver suddenly jumps out of the car and begins shooting. The driver knows he is a wanted criminal for murder or robbery, but to the officer making the traffic stop, it is a simple citation. In this instance, the suspects goal is not to murder police, his goal is to escape apprehension.

The tactic he has employed is sudden and unexpected violence that is likely to end in the murder of a police officer, but that in incidental to the suspects goal of escape. Even if the suspect shoots a down officer additional times to insure the death of the officer, the goal of the suspect is escape, the murder of the officer is done to facilitate that goal, not because he has the goal of killing police. Shooting to escape is not an ambush; that's what the SGT Says.

2 comments:

Bob G. said...

Sarge:
I've always believed that it's the most "innocent" situations that go real south...real fast.

I've seen videos of officers shot after a typical traffic stop (and fortunately lived to tell the tale).

Another case that we see all too often (and you know about these) are those high-speed pursuits than stem from nothing more than another simple "pull over" for something like an expired tag or broken tail light.

One thing the public (as well as officers) always need to know is that when it comes to police work -
"Nothing is always as it seems"

Take nothing for granted and always expect the unexpected.

As always...a bit of situational awareness goes a LONG way!

Ann T. said...

Dear Bunkermeister,
I've also seen those suddenly lethal traffic stop videos. I believe this is why I believe in a two-person per car rule for the most part for police departments. However, I understand that is not the trend.

Ann t.