Just mere life is not victory, just mere death is not defeat.

Search The Knowledge

Officer fights over firearm with suspect - Victorville, CA



This incident shows a specific requirement that LEO's need to consider when figuring out what type of training they need.  Check out the video:


I've been asked a bunch of times to post a write-up of this incident, there are several issues here, specifically the video really sucks and it is very difficult to see what is exactly going on as a body worn camera would have provided, hopefully that video is released if it exists and I'll revisit this situation then.  I will just keep things general and base is roughly on what is in the video.

It is not immediately clear why the officer has her pistol out to begin with, she drew it for whatever reason and it immediately became a center point of the physical altercation, which stemmed from a disturbance call.  Whatever the reason, they started to fight and the officer became overpowered.  This is primarily because she was focused on controlling the firearm and not the subject.  Always strive to fight the person and not the tool.  Yes the tool is a primary concern but the tool cannot function if the subject cannot manage to use it. 

The role physical strength plays is only limited to the application of tools which effect that subject.  Even in full mount, an officer on the bottom can maintain control of a pistol and deploy a backup pistol or a blade in order to effect the subject.  Carry a blade or backup pistol is very important in this particular type of situation, which is actually more common than many LEO's would believe it is.  While I do not want to get into specific tactics about mitigation and countering of a gun grab, I want to point out some simple concepts / steps anyone can take in order to understand the nature of a physical confrontation of this nature.



Training in a physical combative art is a necessity.  You do not know how you will function on your back, side, or ground until you do it often enough to get a good grasp on it.  Finding a gym that allows you to roll in full uniform kit is very rare, but some may have LE type classes available.  BJJ is going to be the best bet for this because it is very popular and there is probably a BJJ school in your area.  I would also recommend finding a Sambo school as well, just for contrast, because they focus on throws and falling, both of which are extremely important in the first few seconds of physical contact.  Six months of bi-weekly classes of either will provide the average person a very good understanding of how their skillsets apply to the fight and how to properly execute those skillsets with the goal of non-deadly force, but can escalate to that level if needed immediately. 

Beyond BJJ and the like, carrying and training with a blade is extremely important to this end.  I would highly recommend carrying and training with the amtacblades.com Northman.  It provides a multi-application blade system which is concealed enough to allow surprise application in a ground fight over a tool.  Effective blade deployment is something that can be, and should be, trained for and you do not need to start off in a fantasy position in order to get that experience.  A folded pocket knife is not going to do what you need it do immediately, a fixed blade will.