Imagine you are a police officer, in uniform and your weapons are a pistol, AR15 or 12 ga. shotgun. You have been placed in charge of the following high risk situations. What would you do?
Scenario 1. You have plenty of time to make a decision on this one.
It’s 7 a.m., clear weather, dispatch receives a tip from a reliable informant that 3 escapees from an out of state prison are hold up in a two story apartment building in a rundown residential area of town. The escapees are all convicted murderers, you must presume them to be armed. The prison confirms their escape.
There is no way to approach their apartment on the 2nd story without going up a long flight of stairs. The bad guys can see two of their 4 sided apartment very clearly. The stairs are enclosed and old, so they are creaky, but the stairway entrance is blocked from the view of Apt. 1.
You know that Apt. 1. is occupied by one male in his 50’s and that 3 men all matching the description of the escapees have arrived 2 days ago and are believe inside, nobody has seen them leave. The apartment is rented to a former inmate that is suspected to be a friend to one of the 3 escapees. There is no noise coming from Apt. 1. Just 4 feet away from door number 1 is apt. 2’s front door. (There are no back doors or fire escapes). Apt. #2 is occupied by a young mother with three small children under the age of 5. There is nobody home in the bottom floor. Okay, you have a number officers you can use and a number of police vehicles. What do you do and in what order of priority?
Scenario 2. This is a split second decision, no time to think it through, you must react. You and one other police unit are dispatched to a silent alarm at a closed warehouse. The two of you roll up to the warehouse quietly, with lights off and exit…you approach the last 150 feet on foot, its quiet. You are quickly flipping your flashlight on and off to check the area for threats. You see none. The time is 3 a.m., lighting in the area is poor, just distant street lights, everything else is dark and deserted. No traffic, no pedestrians, its just dead quiet.
The warehouse is big, it takes up the entire block and a paved street is on all 4 sides. Your partner is positioned on the southeast corner and you are on the northwest corner, now all 4 sides are visible. Your partner radios to tell you it looks like a forced entry to a window on the south wall.
Near you is an open 30 X 20 storage yard filled with junk machinery. There’s an old dilapidated 8 ft. high chicken wire fence around the perimeter.
Suddenly a warehouse window opens, and someone in dark clothing drops to the ground in the storage yard. It appears to be an adult male. He starts to run in your direction. No one else exits the warehouse, it appears he’s alone and has spotted your backup officer.
You’re somewhat concealed by darkness, then suddenly you make your presence known, “Police officer, stop or I’ll shoot!” He continues to run, you repeat your warning! The male figure jumps on the fence, but it collapses under his weight. He gets up and continues to run almost straight into you. The distance is now less than 12 feet, your weapon is drawn, its dark, you can’t see if there is anything in his hands or even what race he is. All you see is a large silhouette and he’s either charging at you or he’s trying to escape. So what do you do?