German police response to knife attacker

This is the second time I’ve read about German police shooting to wound
An interesting contrast to US tactics—kind of Biden-esque.
Also interesting that there are still Woolworths in Germany

1 Like

All I know about Mr. Polizi is you better not mess with them. Thy carry fully automatic

1 Like

In Europe people legally using firearms are taught to wound not to kill… just different perspective of “stopping the thread”.

It was extremely hard for me to understand the US way how to stop the thread, how to NOT fire warning shots nor showing the firearm to get mental dominance over attacker. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

3 Likes

When I was stationed in Spain the national police are called Guardia Civil and when they step into a noisy bar it becomes very silent, now they usually have a side arm and a short barrel automatic machine gun under their cape which is part of there uniform, make no mistake these men are very well educated and highly trained to use their weapons as well as the speak 3 languages. So if you give them respect no problem but if you act out on them they do know hand to hand defensive fighting and have no problem using it to subdue you. This is just Spain, because they are so well trained they keep the peace just buy being seen, I got to be friends with one that lived just next door to my apartment and we would talk about each country I would help him with English and he help me with my Spanish. This just goes to show that if you plan or have to go to a foreign country try to investigate the customs there as not to offend.

8 Likes

I agree, I have always been told they shoot and do not ask questions.

4 Likes

I could maybe see this tactic working when the target is not an imminent threat (ie a few steps out of striking range with a knife) AND you are with a partner or team of armed and well trained individuals who can take out the target if your attempt to stop by wounding fails.

My question, and likely the prosecutors question here in the US would be - If you thought they were not an imminent enough threat to life and limb to need being stopped immediately, then why did you have to shot them at all?

5 Likes

I could be wrong, but I believe the concept of warning shots was once more common in the U.S., in theory if not in practice. If I had to speculate, I’d say it fell out of favor as more and more people moved to crowed urban areas, and the threat of those warning shots coming back down and hitting random people on the sidewalk became a serious hazard. Warning shots are still part of the continuum of force taught to U.S. forces in hostile areas, but are not required. On U.S. soil, I think they’re all but extinct, due to the complex patchwork of laws and the threat of civil litigation. As an example, I can’t un-holster my pistol in public unless my life is threatened, so a warning shot would only get me into trouble.

Shooting to wound is another complex issue. It sounds good in theory, and certainly many people buy into the idea- especially if their only introduction to firearms comes from action movies. But again, I think it over-states the skill that a common shooter has under pressure, while understating the threat to other people if the shot misses.

The article states that in Bavaria, the police are trained to shoot for the legs, and are only permitted to take a more life-threatening shot if lives of others are endangered. That’s great, if you’re a highly trained member of a police force who has the time to take aim and wait for a good shot. I note, however, that the suspect had already killed three people (another has life-threatening injuries), so I wonder where that threshold is for use of force? Perhaps the police had already isolated the perpetrator? I hate to think there were victims waiting for aid because the police had to wait to get a good “wounding” shot.

2 Likes

I agree with all you have written.
And believe me, ones trained to shoot the leg, it’s not a problem to do this.
Everything is about a different laws, habits and training.
Warning shots are also treated differently. Here’s we used to say “you shoot to defend yourself, so no reason for warning shots”, in Europe warning shots are needed in certain circumstances. Not even warning shots, sometimes simple aiming clear the situation (which here is already treated as “brandishing”).

2 Likes

@Jerzy Thank you for your insights. I find it interesting.

Yes, I had a specific question about brandishing some years back. It again has to do with the use of force continuum. I was trained that pointing a weapon at a threat is a step in that continuum, essentially showing them that their life is now endangered if they don’t comply. But in my state, that could be brandishing, and I could potentially get in trouble for not shooting. It’s an odd quirk in the law, probably not intended by the people who wrote it, but still there.

The short version I’ve been taught is that I should never un-holster my weapon unless I’m willing to fire it. If I don’t have to fire it, great. But I don’t un-holster my firearm to display it, only to shoot it.

And of course, “I will cooperate 100 percent, but first I need my attorney.”

3 Likes

Agree that the practice of warning shots has fallen out of favor in many parts of the US but can say from personal experience that it is still alive and well in rural parts of the Southwest. Not legal or as effective as it used to be given that it can be hard to tell when people are trying to chase you off or when it is just a bunch of yahoos target shooting without a good backstop. Not a safe situation either way.

2 Likes

Yeah, @Ouade5 . This is very interesting topic…and can be never ending, like discussing “carrying with
round in the chamber”.

Europe doesn’t have “firearm civilian market”. People don’t carry firearms, so most of our US habits do not apply there.
Did you know that in most European countries “OC spray” is a deadly weapon and cannot be carried by civilians? I know it’s hard to understand…
Everything is about different mentality, habits, routines and Laws.

1 Like

Especially as a firearm is a lethal weapon, and use thereof is use of a deadly weapon, regardless of the end result, which with handguns is about a 75-80% survival rate.

2 Likes

Bavaria’s rules on use of police weapons state that firearms should only be used to make perpetrators unable to attack or flee, and that a shot which is near-certain to kill is only permitted if it’s the only way to prevent danger to the life of others.

He was unarmed with a knife, and 20’ away.

1 Like

Did you mean armed with a knife? Not sure how you can be unarmed when stabbing people with a knife?

20’ is only a second or two away from causing serious harm.

2 Likes

Oh, that topic ended. I was instructed to keep my opinion to myself. :grin:

In my state, we can’t carry tasers. I always wondered why I can carry a firearm of almost any caliber, but I can’t carry a less lethal device like a taser. We also can’t have things like nunchaku or throwing stars, which seems like a cultural thing to me. Some legislator either watched an unrealistic ninja movie, or had a 6th grade boy who needed stickes.

3 Likes

That’s what happens when laws are passed based on fear and ignorance instead of reason and facts. Same stupidity as a rifle with a 16 inch barrel being ok but heaven forbid you have a 15” barrel since it is soooo much easier for criminals to conceal. And criminals intent on committing a serious crime would never consider also breaking the law by carrying a “short” barrel rifle🤦‍♂️

4 Likes

Or a pistol! :crazy_face:

3 Likes

That’s an expression uttered by the guy, you know the fella from, ummm… you know that house in DC everyone knows. Anyway.

3 Likes

That is the exact reason for switchblades being illegal - Westside Story put fear into them of Puerto Ricans with knives. Interestingly, they did not ban chains… :rofl: I prefer my finger flippers, they open just as quickly and have no springs to break or wear-out.

3 Likes

I love my full-auto knife. In part, because I can say it’s “full-auto” and has a manual safety. But mostly, I just like that I can push a button and it’s ready, like a lightsaber. Funny, if I use almost any other knife, no one says a thing about it. But if they hear my switchblade click, they report me to HR. :grin:

That’s just the mechanics of it, though. If I were really looking to get into a knife fight, I’d bring a gun. And if I didn’t have a gun, I’d run away. But if that didn’t work, I’d want an actual combat knife, not a folding box cutter like the switchblade I carry around.