Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Knife Attack‏ Video and the Tueller Drill


I don’t know if you have ever heard of Dennis Tueller but in 1983 he wrote an article in SWAT magazine entitled “How Close is Too Close?” The article discusses how someone armed with a contact weapon such as a knife or club can close with and attack a police officer from 21 feet away in the time it takes the officer to draw and fire his weapon. Here is a link to the article, an interview with Dennis Tueller, and a video showing what happens when you underestimate a guy with a knife. Note how the officer with the AK climbed over the fence to the same side as the guy with the knife and that he didn’t have his rifle at a ready position. After stabbing the officer with the AK the suspect then chases the other three officers stabbing them. Trying to run away didn’t work too well for the officers. Sometimes it is better to stand your ground and fight it out especially if you have a weapon. The officer with the AK should have stayed on the other side of the fence which would have at least slowed if not prevented the suspect from attacking him. All the officers should have had their weapons drawn and ready to shoot the suspect if  he attacked. While encircling the suspect forces the suspect to divide his attention to what is behind him it also creates a situation where if the officers have to shoot, they risk hitting each other if they miss or the bullets pass through the suspect. Since I don’t speak Spanish maybe you can briefly explain what is being said.


Very interesting, thanks for the links.
The video basically shows a women that went to file a complain against her ex, the ex being the madman that later attacks with a large knife, at least a 10 inch blade. The knife looks like a facón or verijero like the ones used by Argentine gauchos (think cawboy but with a dagger rather than a gun), though it could be a simple large “chef” knife which is of similar blade shape. Either way, it’s a large knife with a narrow tip that penetrates very well.
At first what you hear being shouted in Spanish is “don’t get so close”, obviously someone realized the danger of the situation. Too bad the cops didn’t follow the advice. What you see then is the officer with the AK trying to use a baton. Awful idea. The mad man stabs him just once, puncturing the right lung and killing him. The other two officers survive after some time in the intensive care unit. The mad man was shot four times and died as well. He was drunk according to the news reports I found of the incident. Once he attacks, what you hear being shout is “matalo, disparale”, which means kill him, shoot him.
Lack of training cost this officer his life. A baton is not the weapon to be used against a mad man with a dagger. Keeping his distance and covering him with the AK, he should have shot him as soon as he moved and failed to comply. Not go after him with a baton.
This sort of incident is fairly common in South America. I know a police officer that has some experience with knife wielding country folk. He told me he’s far more afraid of them than punks with guns. Always keeping a safe distance, always being very alert and careful not to upset them. If one of these gaucho folks feels disrespected, you’ll have to put him down, and chances are he´s not going down alone so he´s always very careful in these country parties where countrymen with knives abound.
Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight was it?
The other two survived by pure miracle.
 Join the forum discussion on this post!



Anonymous said...

Outstanding instructional material!

Double Tapper said...

Bad police work. I feel bad for the cops that got stabbed - bad way to go. Cop on the ground basically bled out before they got him in the car. The cops were brave, but perhaps ignorantly brave.

Amazing how poorly equipped and trained the police were - no precautions against a hard man armed with a deadly weapon, no vests which would have bought them time and maybe saved the baton cop, running when they should have been shooting, not designating a shooter or any overwatch when there were plenty of cops there to do so, untrained baton usage and so many other things. ONE shot from that AK center mass would have stopped it. Damn shame.

This is exactly why we practice the center mass shot (untimed)at 7 yards and the "zombie shoot" (a timed drill I designed for an indoor range that entails the gunner to load an unloaded gun - to simulate a draw that cannot be done in the indoor range here - that is laying on the bench and unload as many shots as possible into a sil target's "head" in five seconds. Best we can do is 8 shots) This is the best drill I can come up with for an indoor range with limitations. I tried to simulate a situation where a perp was closing in on you at very short range and you had to PUT HIM DOWN QUICKLY.

If I have a knife and am ready to do battle, I will prevail over a pistol armed guy who has his weapon in a holster if I am as far as 7 yards away. I can cover that distance in two seconds - and I am a slow man!

Remember - two quick shots center mass and one aimed shot to the head.

Double Tapper said...

I also noticed that the perp is still struggling to move and get up after being shot. The cops took too much risk when they went in to cuff him. Should have allowed him to bleed out or put a round through his head. That kind of guy is just too dangerous to approach in that situation.

hsu said...

Absolutely not in your best interest to put a round into the head of a guy who's already down.

Shooting until the guy goes down? That's self defense.

Putting a bullet into a guy's head when he's already on the ground? That's manslaughter.

Even for a cop, it's better to let the guy bleed out. Having the newspapers hounding the department, because a cop shot a guy in the head while he was already on the ground? That's bad publicity, which could get your department's funding cut. The Chief will chew your ass out and put you on graveyard shift for the next year for losing your cool.

Double Tapper said...


Have to respectfully disagree. The perp was clearly still trying to move, struggled to get up and renew the fight. Three cops are already badly wounded. One probably dead before getting him into the hospital. Perp shows no signs of giving up the fight. Here in the US, in most states, you shoot to stop, not to kill. They key word being stop. This guy hadn't stopped.

We need go no further than the 1986 Miami shootout. Another example of bad police tactics. Platt and Matix, the bad guys, were hardened men that never gave up, even after being dealt "lethal hits".

Does it "look" better to have the guy bleed out? Maybe. Cops are going to be criticized no matter what they do in just about any circumstance. In the North Hollywood Shootout, cops were criticized for letting one of the perps bleed out. This is after more than a dozen wounded people - cops and civilians alike - and over 2k rounds expended.

When a violent perp gives up, the shooting stops. As long as the struggle continues, the fight is on - if you give up, be ready to suffer the fate of the FBI guys...

Pitt said...

The Chief isn't going to put you on the graveyard shift hsu, he's going to fire you. Then the district attorney is going to prosecute you. Then the judge will sentence you. Then you cellmate will try to shank and/or rape you in prison.

Shoot him til he drops. Use a big enough gun. That's it. A knife is a lethal weapon, treat it as such.

TOR said...

After some consideration I do not find that the Tueller drill is that valuable as a way to evaluate knives vs guns. It is about action vs reaction. It could be a steel pipe or a brick or an open hand slap. The point is that somebody who is close can get to you before you can draw a pistol. This is useful because it illustrates that if somebody else has an impact/ edged weapon you better get your gun out because they can be on you in a hurry. It also gives a recognized legitimate basis for using a weapon to stop a threat carrying an edged/ impact weapon before they are within spitting distance.

Personally I would take a gun over a knife unless we were in a broom closet.

Anonymous said...

I was a cop and a graduate of several police academies. To shoot this guy in the head, when he was on the ground, obviously mortally wounded and not in a position to be a threat to anyone would be murder. That is not trained by any law enforcement academy in the US. The weapon should have been secured (and could have been at that point) and then he could have been cuffed. That is common sense and standard policy. Now if he got on his feet, anyone could have dropped him, because then he would have again been a threat. This is really common sense and comes under the standard of what a reasonable and prudent person would do. When he's on the ground rolling in pain, and showing no further aggression, you can't just execute someone on the spot, after they are down and not a threat; because he killed a cop. Well, you're not supposed to anyway.

k said...

When was this and have the police there become more tactically proficient?

Anonymous said...

The cops first confront him on the street, where he pulls the knife and attacks. They disengage, the video cuts, and then they reengage in the lot at arms length?? They should have stayed back and either shot him or tried to talk to him/make another plan. Closing in on him caused him to attack both times. Not smart.

The camera crew and ex girlfriend are lucky to be alive.

Anonymous said...

Double Tapper, you say "The perp was clearly still trying to move, struggled to get up and renew the fight".

Yes the perp was moving (on the ground) as anyone would do in his situation. But how do you know he was in any kind of position to renew the fight? Didn't look that way to me.