I was involved in my first on duty shooting incident. And I killed someone. It is considered a justified shooting, but never the less its been keeping me up at night. And I thought maybe sharing it will help me process what happened.
I was watching a red light that’s known to produce some speeders and considered a dangerous intersection.
When I witnessed a car run the red light at a high rate of speed. I began pursuit, thinking it was a normal traffic stop. The car pulled over shortly after I began the pursuit.
I was getting out of my vehicle when all of a sudden when the driver stuck his hand out of the window and began shooting at me.
I immediately jumped back, pulled out my gun and returned fire. I swear it felt like it was an hour long shoot out but I watched the dash cam, and body cam, and it was literally a few seconds before the car took off again, I kept firing after the car took over, believe it was 3 or 4 shots.
I then got back into my car and took off in pursuit again, called in back up, when the car started to act erratically a few hundred meters from where the shooting took place the vehicle ran off the road and into a ditch.
I pulled up behind it, and grabbed my rifle positioned myself and called for the driver to stick his hands out.
I wasn’t getting any response, after a few calls I decided to approach the vehicle. My eyes were trained on the driver seat as from what I saw there was only the driver in the vehicle, as I get closer I can see the steering wheel, interior of the windshield is covered in blood.
I later learned I hit the suspect twice, once in the shoulder once in the head, it had been the last few shots I had taken as he had already taken off.
The suspect was dead, I then hear crying, look in the passenger side rear seat and see a 3 yr old boy crying his eyes out calling for his daddy.
Then it hit me, I had just killed this little boys daddy right in front of him.
I checked on the boy, thankfully outside of a bit of bruising caused by the crash he was ok. Shook up and scared out of his mind, but alright.
When back up arrived I had the boy sitting on the hood of my car, but outside of that the incident was over.
I later learned the person I shot at had warrants out for his arrest and he was facing some serious charges and serious time in jail.
Also after looking at my patrol car I noticed the suspect shot the hood of my car, the windshield, and the door I was behind.
It still keeps me up at night, this was the first time I was ever involved in a shooting, and first time I ever killed someone and I pray its the last time.
I think back on the emotions, and its so complex, it went from regular traffic stop to panic, to anger, to fear, and when I saw the boy a brief moment of anger that this would risk his child life over his stupidity to sorrow for that boy having witnessed his dad get killed in front of his own eyes.
I keep going back to that moment asking myself if I should have done something differently, but I can’t think of anything.
The suspect was in my opinion easily going 20+ above the speed limit, plus he ran a red light.
The second he started shooting at me he took away my choices, I had no choice but to return fire. My chief told me it was a text book use of force.
But it still keeps me up at night. At first I declined therapy, but a week or so ago I agreed to it.
One of the things that really brothers me is what if I had shoot the 3 yr old in the process?
His rear window was full of my shots, I’m sure a few inches over, and I may killed a child, that’s what really keeps me up at night.
That day also made me realize how close I am came to getting seriously injured or worst.
I would hate for my family to get the visit from my chief telling them I had been killed in the line of the duty. It sometimes really makes me question why I do what I do and is it worth it?