In two separate incidents Sunday, would-be cop killers were thwarted, not by body armor, Stingray mass-surveillance boxes, the FBI’s PR budget, perfect police training, or any of that jazz.
Their bullets ricocheted off the cops’ badges, leaving the cops safe at home at the end of the day despite the criminals’ kinetically expressed intent.
The outcome for the would be cop killers was a bit different. The guy who shot a Nevada Highway Patrol officer was killed by gunfire from backup officers, and the other guys from his car sit in cells; while the domestic-abuser-turned-cop-attacker from Anaheim, California let cops and Highway Patrol troopers on a merry 85-mile chase before losing control of his car — and burning to death in the wreck.
Good preparation for his eternity, that.
About once every five years, a policeman in the US is saved by his badge, when the badge deflects a bullet. The last time was in New York City in 2010, reporte the New York Times. Last night, however, it happened to two different policemen in two states.
In Huntington Beach, California, officers were involved in a high-speed pursuit when gunfire broke out. A 10-year veteran of the Huntington Beach Police Department had bullets shoot through his windshield and strike him. But his badge stopped the bullets. The suspect veered off the road, crashed his vehicle and died of his injuries.
That’s a very telegraphic version of the story. The Orange County Register has more detail, including these photos, some of which are HBPD handouts and some of which are OCR staff photos:
If that doesn’t give you the creeps….
Around 12:30 a.m. Friday morning, Huntington Beach Police initiated pursuit of a suspect for an unknown want.
He jumped in the car and fled from being arrested at a domestic violence situation, although the cops didn’t all know the “why” at the time they were chasing him.
During the pursuit the suspect opened fire on officers, striking one of the officers in his badge. Costa Mesa Fire was requested to evaluate the officer.
Apparently, Wife-Beatin’ Willie spun around in a U-Turn and fired at the approaching cops — that’s where he put the slug through the windshield and into the officer’s badge. Fortunately he was using a pistol and not a long gun with barrier blind ammo.
Officers lost sight of the suspect but were able to relocate the suspect as he entered the southbound 405 Freeway. The pursuit continued to the northbound 55 Freeway, Eastbound 91Freeway and then onto the northbound 15 Freeway where the suspect lost control of his vehicle and crashed down an embankment at Cleghorn Road, bursting into flames. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. Huntington Beach Police and CHP are investigating. The pursuit lasted over an hour.
They zoomed in on the badge:
HBPD’s badges are, unusually, made of steel, not bronze or aluminum.
You know, a fellow could get hurt doing that job. Of course, a fellow shooting at the people doing that job is almost certainly going to get hurt, and soon enough the suspect’s driving speed exceeded his driving skill, resulting in a rare literal crash and burn.
The crispy critter remains identified, as far as we know, at press time.
In Las Vegas, a Nevada State Trooper was conducting a traffic stop when the suspect began to flee the vehicle. During a foot pursuit, gunfire broke out and the trooper was struck in the chest. His badge saved him. The suspect died in the gunfire exchange.
The NHP Tweeted out this picture of the struck badge.
Two other occupants of the Nevada shooter’s car are in custody.
So, what are the lessons learned here?
- It is better to be lucky than to be good.
- It is
stupidterminally stupid to shoot at the po-po. In case you haven’t noticed, they come in whole troops or precincts.
- Maybe if you’re the reincarnation of Fireball Roberts, you can outrun the police car, but you can’t outrun the police radio, or the helicopter that the CHP had following the runner. These things usually end in the reincarnation of no-fireball-in-particular. QED.
- Something has gotten into the water (or the media air), and lots of scroungy urban mopes and suburban wildsiders who would never have thunk of it, are down with firing up Officer Friendly in 2016. Is it the Black Criminal Lives Matter movement? The police “going fetal” in urban hellholes? The DOJ lining up behind the violent criminals? Hell, is it sunspots? Or does it even matter? It’s a fact out there.
Kevin was a former Special Forces weapons man (MOS 18B, before the 18 series, 11B with Skill Qualification Indicator of S). His focus was on weapons: their history, effects and employment. He started WeaponsMan.com in 2011 and operated it until he passed away in 2017. His work is being preserved here at the request of his family.