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When an officer discharges his or her weapon, nothing is ever the same. Not for the officer, not for the suspect, not for the community.

Shots Fired is the most popular section in POLICE Magazine. In each article, we examine an incident that required an officer to use deadly force, interviewing the participants and looking at the case with the hindsight needed to help officers prevent shootings. These stories are also instructional to help officers improve their own tactics and training.

You can read the articles here AND listen to them read to you on our podcast (either listen to them on your computer, or subscribe to them on iTunes so you get the newest update when it’s ready). We’ve also included all the supplemental material that we may have on an incident, including police reports, audio of a 911 call (also on the podcast), and photo galleries.


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Posted on October 1, 2006
Shots Fired: Tallahassee, Florida 06/26/2004

At 11:17 p.m., a 911 call came in to the Tallahassee police dispatch center. The man on the telephone identified himself as Louis Green and advised that he had warrants and wanted to turn himself in. He described himself to the dispatcher, said that he would await the responding officers at 2403 South Meridian Street, and hung up.

Read more

Posted on September 1, 2006
Shots Fired: Seattle, Washington 03/17/2004

At the sound of McDonald's voice, Pruitt reflexively raised his Glock in the direction that his partner's speech had been directed. He looked up to see a large black male just beyond the glass, staring down at him, a waist level shotgun barrel pointed at his head.

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Posted on August 1, 2006
Shots Fired: Tulsa, Oklahoma 10/13/2002

Officer Darren Bristow of the Tulsa (Okla.) Police Department came close to avoiding the entire episode. But isn’t that usually the case? It’s the cop who stays an hour longer than he’d planned…It’s the patrolman who swaps shifts to get a day off…It’s the trooper who decides to make just one more t-stop before calling it a day who ends up having a really bad shift.

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Posted on July 1, 2006
Shots Fired: Binghamton, N.Y. 05/14/2002

New York State Troopers Shawn Dean and John Spero had been parked at the side of the highway, driver’s window-to-driver’s window, comparing notes and spooking speeders into slowing down. Dean was content with the notion that everyone was pretty much adhering to the speed limit, if only for the moment. At six o’clock p.m., it was the mid-point of his shift, and Spero’s stint was almost over.

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Posted on June 1, 2006
Shots Fired: Rapid City, South Dakota 04/18/2003

Officer Spencer O'Bryan had been with the Rapid City Police Department for more than four years when he got off work at 3 a.m. on April 18, 2003.

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Posted on May 1, 2006
Shots Fired: Des Moines, Iowa 06/25/2005

During the last hour of his shift, soon-to-be-retired Lt. Roger Sanders of the Des Moines Police Department was headed back to the station when the call of a fight at Walnut and 8th went out.

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Posted on April 1, 2006
Shots Fired: Laurel, Maryland 05/14/2003

Sims pulled into the parking lot of the apartment complex. As he keyed the microphone to advise dispatch of his arrival the environment around him suddenly changed. A cacophony of screams and gunfire erupted around him.

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Posted on March 1, 2006
Shots Fired: San Diego, California 01/17/1998

It had been a busy shift for Officer Philip Bozarth and Officer Juan Sanchez of the San Diego Police Department. They had spent the chilly early morning hours of Jan. 17, 1998, answering an unusually high number of domestic violence incidents, complaints of narcotics trafficking, reports of gunfire of ill-defined origins, and traffic violations.

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Posted on January 1, 2006
Shots Fired: Pine Hills, Florida 05/05/2004

Orange County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Deputy Jennifer Fulford had a lot on her mind on May 5, 2004. Having just paid for her wedding dress, the logistics of her nuptials were weighing on the 31-year-old deputy as she began her patrol. There was still so much to do, and time was a precious commodity.

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Posted on December 1, 2005
Shots Fired: Melbourne, Florida 01/11/2004

It was a damned cold night for central Florida. Officer Keith Cowart wasn’t getting any argument from Smokey Stapleter or Gary Markowski on that score. His fellow Melbourne, Fla., police officers had congregated with him for a windshield conference and coffee. Stapleter rubbed his arms to get his blood circulating.

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