P1 Editor's note — Here, the Chicago off-duty officer was able to create a slight distraction sufficient to create a MENTAL GAP in the suspect's reaction time.
Street Survival Seminar lead instructor Dave Smith says, "If you do decide you have a window of opportunity, YOU will have the advantage because you initiated the action. But keep in mind, if you choose to act, you have to find your own opportunity."
Smith also stresses the need for repetition training ("hundreds and hundreds of times") drawing your off-duty weapon. "You must have enough training — to the level of FAITH, not just confidence — that you can draw and deliver the necessary level of force."
For off-duty safety, Smith recommends carrying a holster-equipped pack or purse that allows you to look like you’re reaching for your valuables when in fact, you’re accessing your weapon.
The Chicago Tribune
CHICAGO, Ill.. — An off-duty Chicago police officer late Wednesday shot and killed a man who was robbing him of $11 on the far South Side.
The officer, a beat patrolman with the Chicago Police Department for about five years, was driving home from in-service training when he stopped around 11:30 p.m. at a currency exchange at 111th Street and Michigan Avenue to buy a book of postage stamps, said department spokesman Pat Camden.
The officer returned to his car in a parking lot and "as he opened the door, the guy put a gun in his back and said 'give me your money,'" Camden said. "The officer gives him the $11 he had in his pocket, and at this point the (gunman) said, 'is that all you got?'" The officer replied he had a book of stamps and the gunman demanded those, too.
"At that point, the offender is distracted," said Camden. "The officer is able to draw his weapon and defend himself and fatally wounded the offender."
The gunman was described as around 20 years old and was dead at the scene. Camden said he could not say how many times the gunman was shot or where.
The officer was in uniform, Camden said, but he was wearing a windbreaker over his shirt.
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
Chicago off-duty officer shoots, kills armed mugger