Ride the Adrenaline Wave


**VOLUME WARNING** - Turn the sound down, this is video has really loud audio.  

Two things are highly likely to occur whenever you get involved in a street-level shooting, this does not matter if you are a CCW citizen or an officer in full uniform, the likelihood of you being shot is very high and you will experience an adrenaline dump which has serious consequences in the short term and may have consequences in the long term.  This is an excellent video depicting several of these instances all in one 3 minute chaotic scene of crazy.   

0:08 - The sound is not on, but you will quickly see the dip of the body camera video of Officer Foster.  You see him dip and draw his gun discharging into the male suspect on the ground, it is very difficult to see the male suspect discharging his firearm, may be quality of the video or speed of the video. 
0:11 - Foster clicks his audio on after discharging his firearm and running towards the back of their police cruiser.
0:15 - You can hear, this entire time, the other officer, Lippe discharging his firearm at the suspect from what appears to be open ground.
0:18 - Foster appears to turn and runs towards the entrance of that little alley street, he grabs his mic and begins to scream over police radio " *something something* shots fired" and then some more stuff.  He is completely out of the little alley street where you could hear his partner still discharging his pistol periodically in.  The reason Foster ran is because his body began to dump a lot of adrenaline immediately at the onset of the situation.  At this time period, 10 seconds into this deadly force OIS he goes over radio, that is pretty good, what is not good is the fact he did not have a specific course action which needed to be done.  This is why he ran out of the alley, it is part of our naturally ingrained self preservation response to a serious situation. 
0:25 - Foster reloads his gun by putting a new magazine into his gun.  He did not fire that many rounds, the video does not show him to have saved his previous magazine, he did not rack his gun either so he obviously believed he still had a round in the chamber.  You still see and hear Lippe shooting and standing in the same exact spot he was when Foster ran out of the alley.
0:28 - Foster runs back up to his previous discharging position, as if on rewind, takes quick aim and fires at the down, immobile suspect. 
0:33 - Foster then grabs his radio and yells again "SHOTS FIRED" as he runs back out of the small alley street.  He is on a loop because he has not determined the correct course of action, either due to inexperience or lack of training which would overcome his naturally ingrained response to run away.
0:36 - Foster finally sees his partner, Lippe, still standing in the same exact spot and holding his gun up at the suspect.  Foster runs towards his partner cursing up a storm.
0:41 - Foster begins to try to pull Lippe away from his position while Lippe yells "cover down." Lippe, while also experiencing an adrenaline dump was not flushed with it immediately, it had a delayed reaction.
0:48 - "GET COVER GET COVER NOW" Lippe yells at Foster as he is pulled by his duty rig to the back of their patrol vehicle.
0:58 - Foster goes over radio and actually gives a semi-reasonable location in a somewhat coherent voice, also saying an officer has been hit.  I missed the part where Lippe told Foster he was hit, but clearly Foster recognized it in some way.
1:07 - Both officers begin to L-Shape the downed suspect.  Except Foster immediately snaps off position by that wooden pole and starts to run over to Lippe.  Maybe Foster observed the downed suspect has been unresponsive and therefore out of the fight - this is not something that should ever be done by mere sight.
1:10 - Foster picks up Lippe's body camera off the ground and walks over to Lippe who is going over radio in a relatively calm voice.
1:16-1:17 - If you can pause between this time and get a good solid shot of Lippe's face you will see a person who is in the middle of the physical ramifications of Hick's Law.  He knows he needs to be keeping an eye on the downed suspect, but he also knows that he may be shot, he does not know which one to focus on first as both are vitally important, clearly focusing on the downed suspect is more important because that's what Lippe is doing, which is good, but that only works if he's not immediately dying, at this point he does not know if he is or is not, neither does Foster, neither do we watching the body camera video.
1:25 - Foster begins to talk Lippe down off of his adrenaline heightened ledge. 
1:32 - Foster yells over radio with "let me get a freaking medic" and begins to lose his composure.
1:39 - Foster's only saving grace from completely losing his composure is that he knows he needs to take care of Lippe who is stuck in an adrenaline fog.  You can clearly see that Lippe took several rounds in his vest, Foster finally talked Lippe into putting his pistol away.  Clearly Lippe was more concerned with the down suspected than Foster, which he should be.  Foster is more concerned with Lippe and to see if he is shot or not.
1:44 - "I'm good." "NO STOP." "I'm good" "NO STOP" a back and forth.  The reality is that, as I wrote in the last article involving a shot officer, LEO's, TQ's and Adrenaline, once you are shot you need to extricate yourself from the fight and let someone who is not shot tell you what to do and work on you. 
1:51 - Foster begins to yell at a woman standing at the mouth of the small alley street asking her what the street name is.  This is situational awareness 101 stuff, always know where you are so that you can tell police radio and so that backup can show up and help.
2:22 - You see Lippe resting on the passenger side front of the police car holding his vest, Foster asks "are you hit?" as he walks towards him. 
2:30 - "Did it go through?" "No, I'm solid I'm good." Lippe responds as Foster looks and feels Lippe's chest.  This is something that should have been done about a minute ago, maybe even before that.
2:36 - "get that gun away."  Lippe is now realizing that he does not need to focus on that downed suspect and needs to focus on himself, telling Foster to get the gun away from the downed suspect. 
2:44 - Foster begins to do something which cannot be seen through the body camera video.  Foster stops and runs over to Lippe, first telling him its in the trunk, not sure what they are referring to maybe a tourniquet? Then telling Lippe to get in the car, at this point there is only arguing going on, instead of doing productive work which still needs to be done.
2:50 - "I'm GOOD." The arguing is still going on, they are literally holding each back from forcing each other somewhere.
2:57 - Foster begins to look closer at Lippe or he begins to whisper something to him, either way I cannot tell from the video.
2:59 - Some random person begins to start trying to get into the crime scene and is confronted by yelling.
3:14 - Video ends with both officers telling people to back up.

Adrenaline has been designed over a long time to help us deal with the real world violent confrontations we experience as humans.  Here we have two officers with very widely varying responses to a high adrenaline situation which was allowed to play itself out with only an initial level of danger which was nearly immediately mitigated.  Adrenaline can come in different forms, lengths and produce widely varying effects on a person.  I like to think of adrenaline like a wave, sometimes you see the wave coming, you prepare for it by swimming in the same direction or paddling on a board of some kind, you know its coming and when it finally comes you just ride it out all the way to shore.  Sometimes even though you prepared for it you do not really know the intensity of the way until it hits you.  Riding the wave and being slammed at the end by it is a possibility, but are along for the ride no matter what at that point, you are committed.  Sometimes you do not see the wave coming at all, you are just floating there and the wave is slowing coming and cresting over your head, pushing you under and pulling you with it forward.  You are in for a ride and it does not matter if you are prepared or not, it is happening.  What happens after the wave pushes you either to shore or under itself into it's wake totally depends on your level of experience and training.  Each time you experience an adrenaline dump you may experience different sensations, you may experience similar sensations, you not experience anything adverse or you may experience completely adverse physical reactions.  The only way to know how you will react is to go through them, building your experience and training for the proper actions.  When you are in condition black, as both of these officers were for various parts in this video, you are on auto pilot, your actions will immediately fall your highest level of training in a particular skill set, and that is on your best day.  I will just say from experience, it is seldom your best day.

Officer Foster began to run around due to his high levels of adrenaline and heart beats per minute, he was in the black for the first 30 seconds and that was clearly obvious by him looping through his actions.  Foster began to slow down and take thoughtful actions when he began to think about his partner, Officer Lippe, and his well being.  This usually breaks through any tunnel vision we develop during these types of situations.  I would not be surprised if Foster did not report himself to have had auditory exclusion of some kind, which is why he was yelling for the first half of the video.  I also believe that while Foster was the more experience officer of the two, Foster may have no had the training and/or experience necessary to properly ride the wave of adrenaline which came.  Once this situation is processed Foster needs to be put through some felony stop tactics, post OIS procedures and force on force training.  He would greatly benefit from this.

I am unsure if Officer Lippe has any military training or because he only has three years on the job that his academy training is still something which he defaulted to (some new officers hold onto that training for a few years afterwards sometimes).  I did not research either officer as of this post so I could obviously be incorrect (and will update if provided the information).  Lippe did the right thing after he was engaged by the suspect, he discharged at the suspect until the suspect stopped being a threat (moving) and held a position of cover (by the wooden pole, from the look of it), waiting for his partner to signal.  This is a classic L-Shape movement and he held it longer than the average person probably would have, especially being shot in the vest twice.  Once Lippe realized he was shot, he should have let Foster tell him what to do and assess him, if you are shot, even in the vest you should listen to the people who are not shot.  You are not going to thinking clearly, unless you have done some training in this particular area and developed a post-shoot plan of action.  After reviewing the video several times, I do not believe Lippe ever topped off his gun or reloaded.  That is a training issue as well.

The tactics here need a lot of work, but it is good that both officers survived and we were able to see at least one body cam footage of the event in order to educate ourselves so that we can gain proficiency and observe the naturally occurring chaos that is an OIS scene. 

First and foremost, what is the reason of all the adrenaline, the bad guy! So keep an eye on him and until he's no longer in the fight he is the primary focus.  Even if an officer is shot, the bad guy who may still be capable of shooting is still the number one focus of any street-level deadly force confrontation.  At the very first possible moment the bad guy should have been rolled over onto his stomach, his hands should have been cuffed behind him and the pistol either recovered and stowed in the vehicle or moved away from the possibly still lethal bad guy.  Then you deal with your shot partner, because the threat is contained. 

When dealing with a shot partner, you literally strip their clothing off of them at the trunk of the car.  Shot in the vest? Take the outer uniform shirt off, take the vest off, take his under shirt off.  Look at every single part of his body and make sure you do not miss a gun shot wound.  Adrenaline is a hell of a thing, it will make you not feel gun shot wounds until you pass out from blood loss or a dozen other equally fatal possibilities.  It was not dark outside, so they did not need the aid of a flashlight, but if it was dark literally feeling the area where your buddy was shot is important.  He was shot in the chest and was complaining of arm pain, he could have broken a rib which is poking a muscle or punctured an artery, you need to look to make sure there is no discoloration.  Too much discoloration (especially dark purple pockets) may be internal bleeding that may require immediate transport to a level 1 trauma center.  These are things that absolutely have to be done.  This is another reason to wear white tshirts as undershirts because they are very easy to indicate where you are hit due to blood being visible.  Lippe was wearing a black (or blue?) shirt and that may make it difficult.  Does not matter, Foster did not take his vest off and check to see if another round actually make it through and/or past his vest into his arm.  This needs to be done.

Lastly, even though I am being overly critical of every single thing I see here, I do so with the knowledge that all of these things are absolutely natural and completely expected.  This could happen to anyone at any time, it could happen to me, to you, to anyone given the right set of circumstances.  The only way to get through these types of chaotic situations is to learn about them, prepare for them, and train for them.  Training is the only way you get through these situations properly.  The more consistent the training, the more seriously the training is taken, the better off you will be when it's your turn.

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