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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 November 1, 2005
Shots Fired: Los Angeles County 01/14/1987

It's one of the maxims of working patrol: No matter what day of the week, no matter what time of night, things can go to hell in a heartbeat. It didn't take long for Los Angeles County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Claus to learn how true this saying can be.

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Posted on October 1, 2005
Shots Fired: Valparaiso, Indiana 07/15/2002

At the sight of the silver patrol car with the bumble bee stripe, the children came running. They came running not with the usual curiosity of kids asking for perfunctory activations of lights and siren, but to tell Officer Todd Kobitz of the Valparaiso (Ind.) Police Department about the man who had harassed them.

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Posted on September 1, 2005
Shots Fired: Grand Prairie, Texas 01/04/2005

Possessing a rough-hewn face and a rawboned build, Richard Johnson, 31, of Grand Prairie, Texas, was already wanted for a series of aggravated robberies in Ft. Worth by the time he took up a gun and fired a couple of shots at his mother. She escaped unharmed. But then Johnson turned things up a notch, stabbing himself in the stomach and setting fire to the converted mobile home they shared.

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Posted on August 1, 2005
Shots Fired: Long Beach, Mississippi 05/06/1998

Ron Redding needed a rest. The duties of a lieutenant and SWAT officer with the Gulfport (Miss.) Police Department had drained him.

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Posted on July 1, 2005
Shots Fired: Sauk Rapids, Minnesota 01/09/1985

When Derek Brinkman was born in January 1985, his father, Doug Brinkman, couldn’t believe his good fortune. He passed out cigars and received many slaps on the back.

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Posted on June 2, 2005
Shots Fired: Pueblo, Colorado 12/23/2004

It was two days before Christmas 2004, and Sgt. Randy Wills of the Pueblo (Colo.) Police Department was a case study in sleep deprivation. It had been a busy holiday season with very little peace on earth and even less good will toward men. Wills needed rest.

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Posted on June 1, 2005
Survival Stories

In a profession fraught with diminishing resources, one of our most valuable resources is the experience of officers who have already faced our worst nightmares and come back alive.

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