Major Steve Ijames (ret.)Less Lethal Options for Today's LE Challenges
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with Major Steve Ijames (ret.)

Mass. police shooting of man wielding machete a 'powerful illustration'

Major Steve Ijames shares his views on the incident:

"This is a perfect example of a well executed approaching using less lethal options," says Ijames. "It's also a powerful illustration of the fact that less lethal options should not be considered an alternative to deadly force.


"The officers used beanbag rounds in an effort to prevent deadly escalation in the encounter, which is exactly what they are designed to do," he says. "Typically they are successful. In this instance, however, when the less lethal options did not end the threat, the officers wisely and justifiably resorted to deadly force. In my opinion, based on the information presented, this incident played out in a tactically and legally sound fashion."

Original Story:

Mass. Man Weilding Machete Fatally Shot by Police

The Boston Globe

Fall River police reported shooting and killing a man yesterday after he allegedly brandished a sword and refused to drop the weapon, even after he was fired upon with less-than- lethal beanbags.

Officers responded to a Danforth Street address about 5:15 p.m. to investigate a report of a man armed with a machete. When they arrived, they encountered the 33-year-old man carrying a sword.

The man, whose name was withheld pending notification of his family, ignored orders to drop his weapon, police said.

One or more officers shot the man with four beanbag rounds, which failed to stop his advances, police said.

When the man continued to approach police with his sword, he was shot several times with a handgun. Police said he was immediately transported to Charlton Memorial Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Police did not identify the officers involved in the shooting last night. An investigation of the altercation is underway, police said.


About the author

Steve Ijames retired in June of 2007 as a major with the Springfield, Missouri Police Department after 29 years of service. Steve formed his agencies full time tactical unit in 1989, and worked his way through the structure from team leader to special operations commander. Steve was an original member of the National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) board of directors, and the course developer/lead instructor for the NTOA and IACP less lethal "train the trainer" programs, addressing impact projectiles, chemical agents, and noise flash diversionary devices. Steve has provided such training across the United States and in 31 foreign countries, and frequently provides litigation consultation when the use of such tools are called into question.

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