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June 24, 2004

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Scott Buhrmaster Topics & Tactics for Law Enforcement
with Scott Buhrmaster

Man with huge arsenal says he wanted to kill toronto residents; friendly dog saves day

Introduction by Scott Buhrmaster, Contributing Editor

Imagine that you're on patrol and you get a call that a gunman has opened fire on a group of unsuspecting people relaxing at a popular park. The man is dipping into a stunningly large stockpile of more than 6,000 rounds he's brought to feed his shotgun, scoped rifle and a 9mm semi-auto. He's clearly interested in killing as many people as he can and he's obviously not interested in stopping anytime soon.

Would you know how to respond? Do you rush in or back off and wait for reinforcements? Do you know who to call for back-up? Too bizarre a scenario to put time into planning for? Won't ever happen? Think again.

The report below serves as a gripping reminder that literally anything is possible in law enforcement. One day you can be writing nothing but speeding tickets and the next day you could be facing a gunmen set on killing an entire city and armed with the firepower to do it. In this instance the would-be mass murderer was convinced to give up his plan and turn himself in…thanks to a dog, interestingly enough. But things very easily could have turned out differently.

As you read the following article, consider making a habit of practicing "If/Then" thinking ("IF this happens, THEN I will do this") and applying it to as many scenarios as you can imagine. Also ask yourself…Am I mentally prepared to face a mass emergency situation with enough professional calm to be effective? Am I trained enough to minimize the odds of falling prey to confusion and panic in a crisis of this magnitude? Have I honed my firearms and tactical skills enough to navigate heavy combat to the degree that my position calls me to do so? If not, what can I do to improve myself? In a world where the term "unimaginable" is becoming increasingly difficult to define, you must be prepared for anything.



Man With Huge Arsenal Says He Wanted To Kill Toronto Residents; Friendly Dog Saves Day

The Associated Press

Toronto (CP) -- A man drove from Canada's Maritimes with a carload of guns and ammunition, vowing to kill as many people in Toronto as he could before a last-minute encounter with a friendly dog inspired a change of heart.

The New Brunswick man, in his 40s, surrendered to police Wednesday in front of a supermarket in east-end Toronto.

He had a loaded gun in his pocket and a car crammed with more than 6,000 rounds of ammunition. He had intended to start firing at a popular lakefront park in a quiet area of Toronto known as the Beaches, police said.

"At that time, he decided he was going to shoot people in the area," said Det. Nick Ashley. "He attended a local park nearby and was preparing the weapons to do that."

By chance, a dog approached the man and started playing with him.

"He happens to be a pet lover and decided that if there was such a nice dog in the area, the people were too nice and he wasn't going to carry out his plan," Ashley said.

His car, a red Subaru caked with mud, provided the testament. It was packed with doggie blankets, a big plastic dog dish still filled with dry kibble -- and the biggest single arsenal Ashley had seen in his 17 years on the police force.

The car "was absolutely stuffed," he said.

The man didn't have a dog in the car. Police said he had left his dog in New Brunswick.

After visiting the park, the man, who police describe as mentally ill, drove around the city looking for a police officer. He found a young constable who has only been on the force for three years.

Const. Fraser Douglas, 25, was responding to a shoplifting call in front of the nearby supermarket when a man drove up behind his cruiser and honked the horn.

"He told me he was crazy and he needed to go to the hospital," the officer recalled.

The man also told him had a loaded gun in his pocket.

"He said, `I'm just going to drive around and kill people at random."'

Officers tallied the cache Wednesday night, counting carton after carton of bullets.

The list included: a 12-gauge shotgun, a bolt action rifle with a telescopic lens, a 9-mm semi-automatic, a machete, throwing knife, camouflage ski mask, black leather gloves, and 6,296 rounds of ammunition.

"He felt that if he shot enough people he would stay in custody permanently," Ashley said. "This could have been a very dangerous situation had his plan unfolded."

Associated PressCopyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

"It's scary how close it could have been. We have a dog to thank somewhere."

About the author

If you have tactical information, compelling incidents, general comments or topics you would like to share, please contact Scott Buhrmaster, Managing Editor for PoliceOne.com and the Director of Training for the PoliceOne Training Network, at: buhrmastergroup@comcast.net







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