A Nurse with a Gun

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Jerusalem Gunfight

The official line of this gunfight can be found at The Jerusalem Post. In short, an armed security guard was followed by an assailant, who eventually had an opportunity to snatch the guard's pistol. The assailant took the opportunity and tried to flee. The two guards gave chase.

The assailant tried to fire the pistol at his pursuers at one point, but does not disengage the safety. He is eventually gunned down by his pursuer. In all, ten people, including the gunless security guard, were wounded in the gunfight. Of course, the family and supporters of the dead criminal/terrorist are fabricating stories. Go to the linked story for that.

Here, lets put the politics aside and simply examine the dynamics of the gunfight. The guard never knew he was being targeted until it was too late. His assailant followed him, talking on a cellphone for at least several minutes, around corners and through alleyways. The guards were both blissfully in condition white as their assailant planned his attack and waited for the optimal location.

When he snatched the weapon, he got control of it quickly and hopped several steps backwards to gain distance between himself and the bewildered guard. A quick response at that time would have taken him down. A retention holster or a lanyard would have prevented the snatch.

As he runs away from his pursuers, bystanders are unaware of what is happening around them. They seem to be in disbelief, even when the firearm is in sight. It is not until shots are actually fired that the bystanders scurry away. The assailant stops running, turns to shoot the pursuing guard, but is unable to fire the pistol. Reportedly, the safety is engaged. The guard catches up, sweeps the pistol to the side, and tries to wrestle the assailant down, placing him in an ineffective headlock. His partner is unable to get a clear shot.

The assailant retains the pistol and slips out of the guard's headlock. Had he continued to run like a jackrabbit, he might have gotten away. Instead, after he has again gained distance, he attempts to conceal the handgun in the small of his back. That decision slows him down, and the guard's partner catches up. The partner takes cover as does the assailant. The partner fires, striking the assailant when he steps out from cover to run again. The wounded assailant crumples in the middle of the street, firing wildly at the retreating partner.

What can be learned? First and foremost, if you have cover, use it. Do not give it up and run out in the open in an attempt to get away. Second, if you are trying to escape pursuers, distance and speed are your friends. Do not give up either to do unnecessary things like engage your pursuers, or conceal a gun. Put obstacles between yourself and your pursuers. Make them work to catch you. Run as if your life depends on it. It just might. Whatever you do, do not slow down.

Lastly, after the guard had hit the assailant, bringing him to the ground, he retreated. In so doing, he insured safety for himself after stopping the escape. He drew back to re-evaluate the situation. How the encounter ends is not on the tape, but the result is a dead assailant.



Blogger Matt G said...

I wonder how many of those wounded were shot by the guard. There is a point where the guard fires from behind cover at the assailant, with numerous bystanders behind the assailant.

Even if you're not a cop, or a licensed guard, you have a duty to your fellow citizens to be accountable for every bullet that you throw downrange.

The attempt to tackle the bad guy showed courage and willingness. Unfortunately, it was poorly administered. When an armed person has pointed a gun at you and robbed you, if you intend to take him down without killing him, you still need to take him down *hard*. The guard was lucky not to have been killed for his lack of ability. A solid brachial stun and a knee strike to the common poroneal or even the back while bear-hugging him would have rendered him unable to resist, for awhile. Unfortunately, with an armed assailant, a vascular restraint isn't an option.

Frankly, I would have little problem with using the butt of the pistol to the man's head.

Come to that, he was bought and paid for; use the muzzle of the pistol to the man's head, and apply necessary pressure to the Bang Button.

Fascinating, brand new footage. Thanks Xavier.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Jay said...


Thanks for posting the video and your analysis.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Conservative Scalawag said...

I am really surprised this happened in Israel of all places. I spent a short time there while in the US Army training IDF forces on Chem./Bio/Nuke standards for several months.

The police, military, and security personal struck me as top notch. In fact their rent a cops appeared to better train than our actual police.

But the video speaks for it's self, the guard wasn't alert to his surroundings at all. As one of my Drill Sergeants would say "stays alert, stay alive", he was anything but alert.

The other guard apparently doesn’t understand the difference between cover and concealment. Also, distance is your friend in armed conflicts. By approaching the armed suspect and trying to tackle him the risked their lives unnecessarily. They should've kept their distance, warned him to drop the weapon, and if not complied with drop him. Whether the "dropping him" killed or wounded him is up to the officer. But, he must be made no longer a threat to the bystander and the other officers.

My opinion of course.

4:57 PM  

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