Just who is Justin Coker and why is he a hero?

I understand that I have a lot of expertise to offer, but I also understand that like me, my expertise has aged (like fine wine).
Nevertheless, there has been an evolution of sorts since 1980 when I graduated from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Academy, that is coming around somewhat full circle. Before we hop in the time machine, let’s talk about Sergeant Justin Coker of the Nashville Police department.

Coker was placed in charge of training Nashville patrol officers how respond to active shooter calls. This started around 2011-12 or so. Since that time we had the devastating situation in Uvalde that personally I discounted at first because I simply could not reconcile that an incident commander would apply the brakes to responding officers and that they would allow him to do so. (More on this in a moment).

In short, Coker would work with numerous agencies to develop active shooting responses, which went into high gear because of Uvalde and a couple of other less than satisfactory police responses.
The result was the stellar response wherein the MNPD officers neutralized the Covenant Church School Shooter in less than 14 minutes from the time she walked in the door and started shooting. There is no way of knowing just how many more victims there would have been had these first responding cops not asserted themselves as they did.

How did this go down so much better than Uvalde? I will explain this by explaining the circling back of response tactics. Meanwhile, Coker and his associates around the country have developed a group called ALERTT. Besides their developing training for cops, they are also training civilians how to respond as well. See attached clip;


BTW, if you are concealed carrying in an event like the above, remember every situation is different. In fact, just in the different parts of the warehouse depicted, circumstances were different. The ideal would be not to engage an active shooter until/unless you are in the “Defend” mode. But again, you are the one there, so you must make the final choice of action.

BTW, Sergeant Coker seems to prefer to refer to these situations as “Active Killer” events for a couple of reasons. 1) The killer may be killing with something other than a firearm, such as a knife or motor vehicle, And 2) The term killer sends the definitive message that each person who finds themself in such an event HAS THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES! This is regardless of what AOC and the Left are trying to say.

Now, here is the background of what has been happening over the last 40+ years; Back in the later 1970s, LAPD began developing SWAT Teams. Their progress was slow, as was the progress of other agencies around the USA. This was in spite of the 1972 debacle in Munich wherein the German Tactical Team botched the kidnapping and murder of all those Israeli Olympians.

While I was in the Academy in May of 1980, 5 heavily armed potheads robbed a bank in Norco, California. The subsequent rolling shootout changed policing forever. SWAT really got serious as a result.
Nevertheless, since most SWAT events involved barricaded suspects who were actively resisting arrest efforts, SWAT Teams began to pride themselves in Hostage Negotiations. The mindset of preferred peaceful endings was thereby planted.

This lessened the emphasis on the first responding officers taking control of a situation. But today’s situations are so much different starting with their irrational and mentally deranged perpetrators. Something had to change.

Almost 20 years later, 2 more bank robbers would change the course of policing yet again in 1997 when they exposed the serious lack of firepower provided patrol officers. Politics had prevented properly arming us even after all those years, and the Left is still hindering this.

Still, patrol officers are far better equipped than before, but there has remained a serious mindset issue. That being the aforementioned peaceful resolution by negotiation, and the mindset that an incident commander must be obeyed to all extents.
In my day, we were not taught this way. If a superior ordered us to do something illegal, immoral, or unsafe, we were trained to do the right thing and sort it out later. That didn’t happen in Uvalde because those officers were not given that leeway.

So fast forward to Nashville. Those guys did not have to buck a bad supervisor. They did not have to wait for SWAT, or a Negotiator. They had upgraded weaponry, and they followed their building clearing tactics to quickly find and neutralize the killer. No officers were injured that I know of.

Yes, this is no country for old men, at least not equipment wise. But here’s to Coker and his associates for mixing the new equipment with the old mindset with heroic results, and gave those guys who climbed those stairs at the Covenant School with such laudable results.


Well-written and I appreciate your opinion and candor.


Good video

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Interesting read. It also touched on a forum thread we had here.

When the topic of the military being used against civilians comes up, this is why I am dispirited. In the early 80’s when I went to boot, this was taught extensively and reviewed constantly. The philosophy of what if “a superior ordered us to do something illegal, immoral, or unsafe”? You had a duty to not follow an order like that. No matter what. Worse comes to worse, trust that your command had your back.

Yeah I may be naive, but I believed it. So it’s bothered me to hear that may or may not be how it is.


It is a very good video. And touched on things that I always believed. Avoid if at all possible I always keep an eye open for alternate escape routes. Also I’ve always scanned the area for a potential defensive weapon. A defensive weapon can be anything that levels the playing field . Something is better than nothing. Because of surroundings, a firearm may not be a realistic choice ( in front of and beyond your target). A knife , a baseball bat, a coffee pot, a rock, anything is better than nothing. My choice would be a knife because I always have at least a pocket knife on me even in GFZ.


I must have missed that conversation, but this is still the law and is still what is taught. “Just following orders” is not a legal defense.


Then the topic would be moot, except it isn’t moot as evidenced by it being asked.


I can ask if the Earth is flat, but that doesn’t mean there’s a real debate about the planet’s shape.


I love a good argument.!


Then perhaps you should reread the thread. Seems like some concerns were raised. This isn’t the first time we have engaged on this topic. As I told you before, I have no “things were better in the old days” dog in the fight. I support our military period.

You seem to want to start an argument every time, you think, someone is being a “Homer” about the previous generations of veterans vs current veterans. I’ve bolded the relevant part for you.

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I would like to pull this back on topic; Yesterday in Allen, Texas (I believe near Dallas), a gunman got out of a vehicle and began shooting people on the sidewalk in front of the mall. He shot and killed at least 8, and wounded approximately 7 more. Some were children as young as 5 years old.

A single police officer named Brian Harvey, was nearby handling an unrelated matter, heard the shots, and advanced toward the situation. He was by himself.

BUT, he was efficiently equipped and he had the above mindset. He did not try to apprehend, he neutralized. There is no question raised as to whether Harvey shot the perpetrator in the front or back, or the arm or head. He "neutralized the shooter, PERIOD.

We are winning this one folks.



I don’t want to change the topic of this thread. If this is a conversation that you think is worth having, perhaps we could find the original topic and continue it.

It’s not a matter of “may or may not.” It’s a matter of is. (It depends on what your definition of the word ‘is’ is.) Neither the laws, the regulations, nor the training has changed. If you simply think I’m simply a dumb Homer who is lying through my butt, then perhaps there’s no conversation to be had in any topic, and we can drop it. (I’m more of a Bart than a Homer.)


I sent you a p.m. as I think I may not be explaining myself well.


I’ve been watching the media manipulate this story. They are trying to make this about “white supremacy”. There are a number of facts that are not being reported or they are being deliberately misleading. I’m actually sort of flabbergasted by it. If I was not privy to what I have been privy to I would have bought the slant. I can unequivocally say, the culprit is not a white supremacist. I do feel safe saying the truth about this POS is that it will turn into something like the Nashville POS’s manifesto. Buried.


It feeds their narrative, I guess.


Good summation. Here’s my take as an always armed civillian (with many LEO friends): If you are ever in an Active killer event, you can’t count on anyone outside coming to your aid in time to do much good. It is up to you to get GOOD training, both with weapons and trauma first aid, and deal with the situation as it presents itself. This is why I always keep IFAK nearby, and have switched back to a larger capacity pistol with reload in my EDC.

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Very will done. They should have these units in all the towns and cities.

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In January I took an active shooter course in, of all places, Nashville. If the topic is of interest to you I recommend the class highly. It is taught by Ed Monk, Last Resort Firearms Training. He spent the last 15 years studying the active shooter events of the last 30+ and has gleaned a valuable amount of information.
According to his research and history, on average, there are six casualties a minute during an active shooter event with the largest amount heavily weighted towards the front end of the attack. Research has shown in the past that if your response to an active shooter event is to call 911 you can expect more than 30 casualties.

While the Nashville police department did a fantastic job of taking care of business once they arrived on scene, a 14 minute response time Is still unacceptable. Nashville casualty numbers were low basically because the shooter was not as aggressively seeking victims as previous shooters.

If you take the math from his research, 6 Casualties a minute, times the 14 minute response time, casualty number is 84. Even cutting that number by half or dividing it by three still leaves you with high numbers. This is not the fault of the police, it’s the process. By the time 911 calls are made, transmitted to the officers, officers drive to the scene, locate the shooter (in a building they are generally unfamiliar with) valuable time is lost. A better answer is to have someone who is armed and willing to engage already at the scene. His research also shows the person can have a badge or no badge, makes no difference.

In the case of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school in Florida. There were officers on the scene, roughly 8 of them, who failed to engage. It took officers from another community to finally make entry. I personally believe this was a training issue with the local responding officers.

While I am glad lessons were once again learned in Uvalde, there’s still has to be a better solution than a 911 call. The event in Allen Texas proves this.