Many Lessons in an on-duty Police Shooting

Oklahoma City. 24 June 2016, afternoon. A crazy dude on the run from the cops tries to bribe a bus driver to take him direct to his destination. The driver refuses.

“This is not a cab, it’s a bus. I gotta stay on the route.”

The nut gets more and more agitated, and the driver finally stops the bus and orders him off. He refuses, and the driver (following policy) orders the other passengers off for their own safety, while calling dispatch for police support.

Two cops appear outside the bus.

“That’s the guy,” the driver says. Seconds later, the man is dead of multiple gunshot wounds. How did he get that way? Pervasive video makes it clear. (It’s primarily his own fault).

Video 1: Bus point of view.

Video 2: All eight of the bus’s cameras, synched. You’ll probably need to watch this one full screen.

LiveLeak (whence we snagged the videos) says:

Oklahoma City Police shot and killed the man on an EMBARK bus, after they say he tried attacking an officer, For the first time, we’re now able to see surveillance video taken on that EMBARK bus, that picked up the suspect.

We see if from eight different angles.The incident happened in the afternoon, on Friday, June 24th. Miguel Chavez-Angles, gets on the bus, on the run from police, after being released from a mental health evaluation, vandalizing a vehicle, and kidnapping two women.

Here’s how we see it:

The part prior to about 2:45 sets the scene and fills in the back story of this nut on a bus. A couple seconds after that, fools rush in. The porky female cop started out in a panic, leading with her pistol as she charged onto the bus, right where the suspect was. He latched onto her gun arm and she fires an unaimed shot wildly and begins shrieking with terror, and then, appears to fall down. Except for provoking the shooting with her lack of self control, rash action, and inability to control her fear, she was not a factor in the fight. She was, apart from those exceptions, functionally a sandbag — deadweight — at best.

It’s hard to make out what she was screaming, but it seems to have included “shots fired,” and something like “he’s got a gun,” which suggests she was so out of it she didn’t even realize she’d fired one reckless shot in the direction of random passersby.

Enter the male cop, who knocks the suspect down and shoots him dead, urging his ineffectual partner to hustle off the bus when she recovers enough composure to stand and flee.

He shoots the suspect quite a few times, but then, anything worth shooting is worth shooting again, and he can be excused for thinking the suspect was armed. Indeed, had his worse-than-useless partner been any worse than she was, the suspect would have been armed. That he didn’t get her gun was simply dumb luck and his ineptitude; it sure wasn’t her weapons-retention skills.

This is what the public voted for when they voted for the bipartisan boondoggle that was deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill. Treatment at 1,200 feet per second.

One doubts that whatever academy OKC’s cops attend includes a block of instruction on clearing the linear target (in this case, bus) by leading with the pistol at max one-arm extension into the space and the face of the adverse party. (If it’s like most academies, it doesn’t include anything on the linear target at all).

That officer needs to be fired for choking on the job. Instead, ever PC, the white shirts probably gave her a decoration. We’re not dinosaurs who believe women can’t be cops; we’ve seen good ones. But we are dinosaurs who believe cowards can’t be cops, no matter what chromosome set they’re packin’.

42 thoughts on “Many Lessons in an on-duty Police Shooting

  1. Tom Stone

    Just Wow.
    The stupid balances the cowardice, almost.
    Give that female cop a medal ( A gilded Tball come to mind) and get her involved in politics.
    When I was young and hungry I worked security for AC Transit in East Oakland, not the best job for a skinny white kid with glasses.
    I lasted six months and learned a lot…

    1. Hognose Post author

      Big win for Hah und Kah. Always seemed like the likely outcome because whatever problems the G36 evidenced in service, it met every Bundeswehr standard and passed all tests pre-adoption. They just didn’t test the edge case where it failed: accuracy in high temperatures. Indeed, NATO standards only require functioning in high temps, and the G36s did that, they just had their groups get big.

      Now HK can claim their reputation is restored — and sell the Bundeswehr 416s to replace the G36s. Germany achieves commonality with France at last!

      1. Tobse

        Just a personal guess: the replacement of the G36 will be delayed, and delayed again, until the whole thing is forgotten amidst a plethora of other Bundeswehr procurement troubles (the Transalls were old when I last flew in one in the mid-nineties, look at how well the A400M is doing right now). The current defence minister, Ursula v.d. Leyen, will move on to greener pastures (maybe even try to be the successor to Angela Merkel) or topple over the next big Bundeswehr mishap.

    2. rocketguy

      Further proof that requirements definition is *critical* in any defense contract (it goes far beyond that but this is Weaponsman) – both to ensure the article does what you need it to do and to avoid requirement creep and constant design iteration.

        1. rocketguy

          Seeing how a piece of the program is a couple hundred yards from my desk, I have an idea of what’s coming…

      1. John M.

        People often don’t know what they want until they see something and decide they don’t want it. Better to have an ability to iterate quickly over your solution in order to be able to meet new and emergent requirements.

        -John M.


    I saw this video on (which I highly recommend) a few months ago. I made a similar WTF? assessment of the female officer’s tactical and weapon handling skills. Who charges wildly into a confined space containing a nutjob crim with their piece thrust out before them in one hand like that?

    Having said that….that bus driver is an ice-cold hard core badass. He kept his shit aligned under difficult circumstances that were well above and beyond what would normally be expected of a bus driver. My hat is off to him and I’d like to shake his hand and buy him a beer.

    And man, that second cop sure took care of business. He moved into a volatile situation rapidly and proficiently, smoked that asshole extensively and got the ither cop out of there. Look at his weapon handling…close range engagement with a sufficent number of shots to decisively end the threat and then a slick and professional reholster while his hopeless partner exits stage right. I would bet the dude is ex-military. The sort of bloke you want by your side when trouble arises.

    1. Hognose Post author

      Good comments on all three personnel, especially on the bus driver, whose sang-froid I’d overlooked. I’d like to thrown in some thoughts about the fourth: the nut job.

      He clearly was not thinking right. He didn’t have to die, up to a point. What point was that? The first cop’s inept shot. At that time the second flatfoot is still flatfooted on the ground outside the bus, and all he knows is shots fired! — so he comes in gun first, too, except professionally, and he eliminates the perceived threat at contact range.

      So had the first cop been a little more cool, this would just have been one of the literally tens of thousands of police interactions with nutcases in a day in the US, and the nutcase would have been transported and would either be in jail (most likely) or “under observation” (effectively, in jail) somewhere in OKC when the sun went down.

      Since the first cop won’t be fired, this is her chance to discover that this job is not for her, and to go excel elsewhere. She may or may not do that. If she stays she will be an increasing problem for everybody.

      1. Air

        ” If she stays she will be promoted to SGT and continue to be an increasing problem for everybody” – I fixed it for you. ;-)

  3. Billybob

    Weapons man we are so sorry to inform you that based on your recent writing of the truth, “you will not be considered for promotion or special assignment.”

  4. morokko

    Spending on eight cameras apparently left the bus company with no money for arranging enclosed space for the driver, something that could serve as actual not fictional safety measure for all the people present aboard the bus. Driver could lose control over the vehicle if the nutjob was more aggressive.

  5. Haxo Angmark

    these days, there’s no situation a cop can’t make even worse. And if the cop is an xx, the odds are twice as bad. Overall, my experiences with male cops have been mixed…some good, some bad. With chip-on-shoulder lezzie cops, uniformly awful. When our national scrimmage gets underway, the pussy police are going to be exterminated…along with all members, current or prior, of the various alphabet gestapi

  6. Loren

    “we’ve seen good ones. ”
    Maybe a few examples?
    Female cops don’t belong on the street unless it involves kids, victims or detained women. One thing all thugs have in common is zero respect for women or the badges they carry. They do respect 6′ of muscle and attitude. A male cop can go his whole career without firing a shot. Female cops are a danger to themselves, their partners and the civilians they encounter.
    Same goes for the pointy end of the services.

  7. John M.

    Well, call me a dinosaur if you like, but that bus was a front-line combat situation, and somebody decided that a woman should go into that front-line combat situation. I think there are cop jobs that women could do, but there’s no force in America that doesn’t just treat lady cops as men. That turns them into second-rate women and third-rate men.

    If a DA put that evidence in front of me and told me he wanted a manslaughter bill against that lady cop, I’d give it to him in a second. That guy was a nut, but he didn’t need to die that day. And the guy cop who shot him? He was performing to his (valid IMHO) training. The lady cop fouled this up big-time and based on the evidence I’ve seen ought to do hard time for it.

    -John M.

  8. Cap'n Mike

    I would guess that if the female officer ever comes back to work at all, she will never work in Patrol again.

    1. John M.

      I’m sure that will be deeply comforting to the decedent’s heirs and friends. Not to mention those of us who wander around in society and want to be protected and served by cops rather than summarily shot.

      -John M.

      1. Cap'n Mike

        Im not disagreeing with what you said previously John, nor am I suggesting that not working in Patrol again is some kind of justified punishment for her.

        Its just my observation of how these things always end up.

        I agree that from what that video shows, she caused things to go sideways.
        At the Academy they teach that “Every call is a gun call” because you brought a gun with you, and the bad guy can take it away from you.

        1. John M.

          Understand, Cap’n. No hard feelings. Things like this piss me off, because I think cops kill too many people in this country. And instead of discussing that As a country, we’re left arguing about whether black lives matter or all lives matter. Once the argument was framed that way, it was a sure bet that nobody’s life would improve save for a narrow set of lucky street criminals.

          -John M.

  9. Tierlieb

    Loren and John M. have both pointed out that a woman should not been there.

    I will agree that /this/ woman should not have been, because that was stupid and making a moderately dangerous situation (as every interaction with a mentally disturbed person is) incredibly dangerous.

    But it would have been easily rectified by just holding the gun in a proper retention position. Which women in general are not incapable of.

    I’ve had to play the dummy for different retention positions way often (Mostly “see, he is holding the gun in position zul. Look how I twist the gun away and hurt his wrist doing so” and “look, he is using t-rex retention, if I want to take the gun now, I have to kick him in the balls. Like this”) and I’ve seen tiny girls do it successfully afterwards.

    1. John M.

      Unless I’m mistaken, the nut was unarmed, save for the fire extinguisher he pried loose. Unless I’m missing something, there was no reason whatsoever for any cop to take his/her pistol out of the holster for this interaction. By drawing her pistol, this woman made a mistake. By charging in gun-first, she made a terrible mistake. By negligently discharging it, and failing to have the presence of mind to realize that she’d negligently discharged her own weapon, she chose to shout “gun!” knowing full well that this would likely lead to the death of the suspect. That was a fatal mistake.

      Women are different than men. That sexual dimorphism plays out in ways large and small. There may be a small subset of women with the requisite strength and presence to be able to do a beat cop’s job. IMHO that number is so vanishingly small that it’s not worth filtering out the rest, nor dealing with the intra-squad dynamics of having women on the beat with men.

      -John M.

      1. Tierlieb

        Hi John,
        again, no doubt that this woman should not have been there. Drawing the gun was wrong. Not retaining the gun was wrong. I said it could have been solved with better retention. I will also agree that drawing the gun was wrong. Hell, even the tactics upon entering were wrong. So yes, there were several fixes available, I just pointed out the last one (For want of a gun, the perp was shot and all that). Yes, it is highly probable that the suspect’s death is her fault.

        I also see that your argument is not that women per se are wrong for the job, just that the number of suitable women is so small that from an economic perspective, having them does not make sense.

        I will change my position and say that you may be right with that, but I am still not certain of it and believe women add other qualities:

        In my experience, women tend to be better at deescalating (and I would argue that this is an innate consequence of the aforementioned sexual dismorphism – if you are weaker, you need to be good at this) and that is a very useful skill in police work: A lot of people take offense by force exerted from more powerful people – which is the police’s job description. Ask any FID guy here how much fun they had trying to teach proud Afghan or Iraqi soldiers how to do soldier stuff properly. That applies even more to keeping the peace than to fighting a war.

        Long story short: I am not completely convinced that women are not worth it. But I agree that the economic argument has merit.
        I would, however, add that maybe filtering for gender is not the most efficient, maybe an eval based on realistic requirements would be better, applied evenly and fairly on all participants. But that’s the same story for the military and we all know that this is never going to happen.

      2. William O. B'Livion

        Read the back story:

        > …gets on the bus, on the run from police, after being released from a
        > mental health evaluation, vandalizing a vehicle, and kidnapping two women.

        They knew they were dealing with a nutcase who had engaged in violent activities, and he had a fire extinguisher (blunt force weapon) in his hand.

        Dickless Tracy thought she could wave her magic wand and get him to settle down.

        Didn’t work.

  10. gebrauchshund

    A justified lack of confidence in her ability to use unarmed physical force effectively could have been the reason she drew her pistol when she did. Handguns are wonderful implements for putting the physically smaller and weaker on an equal footing with the physically strong. Unfortunately, that footing is “lethal threat”, and may well engender an equally lethal response. Something to keep very much in mind for anyone who chooses to go armed.

  11. W. Fleetwood

    This is not a new thing. The roots of this go all the way back to the late 60s / early 70s. In the 60s the cops faced with this situation would have given Mr. Nutjob a thorough beating, followed by a a little extra beating as a learning experience, then carted him off to jail so he’d have time to think about it. This was an admittedly ugly process but it left all the citizens involved, cops and nuts alike, alive.

    In the 70s, driven by politics, women were mandated in LEOs. To recruit sufficient numbers to meet political quotas the requirements were systematically lowered. This also allowed males who previously wouldn’t have met standards to join in. (Cf. “River Cops”). Does any of this sound familiar?

    The above left the various LEOs with a quandary. A large proportion of their personnel flatly could not win an unarmed fight with a medium regular sized criminal (Or Nutjob.) who was wiling to fight without any restraint. They also fairly quickly found out that the gadgets (Mace, XYZ Batons, Tasers, and so on.) didn’t work Or more precisely they worked just well enough, with great public hoopla, to convince people that real batons delivering real beatings were barbaric and unnecessary, but never well enough to change the basic problem.

    The answer to the above situation was the gun. The REOs , that amount to (In informal rendering.) Shoot First, Shoot Most, and keep Shooting till you’re the only one left to testify, are based on the assumption that the LEO is a 5 ft 2 in, 105 lb female facing a 6 ft 210 lb fit male.. If you make that assumption the REOs make perfect sense. This was also accompanied by a cultural shift. Beatings are considered evil, criminal acts, but shootings, as long as they follow protocol and the correct words are said, are just “Officer Safety”.

    IMHO a return to real batons and an aggressive use of same, would solve most of the problem. not to mention leaving more citizens alive, and, just maybe, with a new world view. The odds of this happening are small. I say again, this started back in the late 60s. Very few of todays LEOs, or their trainers, or those who make policy and protocol have ever known anything else. It’s the way it’s always been, it’s worked for them, and there is no reason to change it. Oh well.

    Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.

    1. Omhguy

      Back in 60s and 70s the mental hospitals where a lot fuller. Now we push them out as fast as we can and are planning on cutting even more beds. When they where planning on shutting down the mental hospital where I used the work, the sheriff department came out with a chart showing how that as mental hospital census went down, the jail census went up.

      That and the local hospitals crying bloody murder got us a temporary reprieve.

    2. Cap'n Mike

      Not disagreeing with you Mr. Fleetwood, just adding facts to the discussion.

      Since the Rodney King incident, cops are very reluctant to carry batons, never mind hit people with them. Bad Optics.
      I carry a collapsible baton, but Im one of the few.

      1. W. Fleetwood

        Optics. Absolutely. And lawyers, never forget lawyers. I did just over a dozen years with the Highway Patrol. Some of the troopers would find a baton analog, be it a extra long flashlight or (My favorite.) a Fire Department rescue bar, and start carrying them on the road. After a while the Legal Dept. would find out about the new “tool” and a Memo, to be signed by all, would come down banning then from the cars. Then a new analog would be found. Rinse, Repeat. I’ve still got my old rescue bar.

        Oh well, stay safe Cap’n.

        Sua Sponte

    3. Tim

      “In the 60s the cops faced with this situation would have given Mr. Nutjob a thorough beating, followed by a a little extra beating as a learning experience, then carted him off to jail so he’d have time to think about it. This was an admittedly ugly process but it left all the citizens involved, cops and nuts alike, alive.”

      Not sure that’s a great consolation to the guys who got their asses beat. Being mentally ill is not a crime. If someone nutty is a threat use appropriate force, but if they’re just being stupid asses I don’t see what purpose beating the piss out of someone who has no idea what he’s doing or what people want him to do is going to serve.

      1. W. Fleetwood

        Mr. Tim. Not being sarcastic, but I think you missed my point. “Not sure that’s a great consolation to the guys who got their asses beat.” As opposed to being shot dead as a hammer? I’ve never been shot dead as a hammer, but I have had a beating. A beating sucks, no doubt about it, but I’ll take it any day over being dead. Eventually everybody gets over their beating but we’ve only got one example of somebody getting over being dead, and even that didn’t last.

        Again not being snarky, but did you watch the video? Do you really think that guy is “someone who has no idea what he’s doing or what people want him to do”? I don’t, I think he knows exactly what he wants to do and doesn’t give a damn about anybody else. Mental illness is not a crime, true enough, but neither is an excuse. I’m with you on not hammering the Lost in Space types, but when one of the “I’ve terrorized my family and neighbors into submission and now I’m going to try the same thing on the general public.” type start rolling they are, sooner or later, going to get stopped. I say better a baton stop than a mag dump stop. You are free to disagree.

        Sua Sponte

  12. Andy

    Involuntary institutionalization in the absence of the commission of any crime is unjust and repugnant. “Mental health” and “mental illness” are, like “sane” and “crazy,” completely arbitrary collectivistic constructs that fundamentally deny an individuals right to be an individual. Remember, DSM II said gays were “mentally ill.” DSM V has similar abuses. As long as doctors and bureauocrats decide who’s “sane” and who isn’t, innocent people will be severely abused.

    “Mental illness” (by the given mostly phony baloney definitions) has not been proved to cause any increase in the proclivity to commit violent crime. However, “mentall ill” people are shown to be victims of violent crime at a higher rate than the general population.

    “Insanity” is not an indicator of nor an excuse to commit violent crime.

    With ~40% of US adults and ~60% of US children having been prescribed paychotropic medications, however, “mental illness” IS the next and by far the most threatening #GunSense battleground.

    One needn’t be “crazy” to be evil.

    1. Andy

      Edit: psychotropic*

      IOW, I dont support involuntary institutionalization in the absence of the commission of violent crime, but if someone commits a violent crime, I dont give a shit what happens to them.

      1. John M.

        Andy, do you spend much time on streets with mumbling bag ladies or the guys who scream about the Kennedy family being out to get them? I’d be glad to drop a few of them off at your house if that’s not too much trouble.

        -John M.

        1. Tim

          There is obviously a big difference between thinking someone ought to be treated as a criminal and wanting them at your house. I suppose the homeless belong in jails too. Since I dislike salesmen and telemarketers as well and would never allow them into my home, I propose all salesmen and telemarketers should be institutionalized.

          Funny how easy it is for freedom loving Americans to support taking away the freedoms of others, so long as you think it’ll never happen to you.

          1. John M.

            The “homeless” belong somewhere other than the street. My street, anyway. If San Francisco wants them, they are welcome to have them all. Vagrancy used to be a crime. We used to have poor farms.

            -John M.

  13. John Smith

    She….is clearly not a thinker. She’s also conditioned to believe that everyone, in every scenario, will jump to her command. Expensive lesson…..for the goon this time. If the crazy would have had a gun (not counting hers) she would probably have accompanied him in “wishing things were different”.

    I think she also suffers from “magic pistol syndrome”…you know, if I point this thing, people do what I say. She had no anticipation of employing that blaster and if she had, she may well have endangered the cool headed driver.

    Administrative Weapons Handler at best.
    Murderous ineptiude at worst.

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