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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 July 16, 2013
Shots Fired: St. Croix, Virgin Islands 08/18/2012

Howell leaned forward in pain, his ballistic vest rode up on his torso. A second round tore through his driver's side door, passed through his seat, and struck him in the back. Like the first, this round passed through Howell before striking Jones in the face.

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Posted on June 14, 2013
Shots Fired: Carbondale, Illinois 01/29/2007

When Officer John Doogan and his partner arrived at the cottage house on Beveridge Street, all they knew was that it was a domestic call and that such calls took all shapes and forms. Neither officer knew just how out of control things had gotten before their arrival and how bad things were about to get.

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Posted on May 15, 2013
Shots Fired: San Dimas, California 06/20/1989
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Belmontez raised the knife and charged at the officers with rapid steps. That the man had a wooden leg had already been made known to Brown. What he didn't expect was that the 250-pound man had long ago become accustomed to walking with it.

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Posted on April 17, 2013
Shots Fired: Cleveland, Ohio 07/09/2008

Officer Jim Simone glanced at a teller to his left. The two knew one another well enough for Simone to see that she was having a hard time preventing a bizarre expression from registering on her face. Simone realized very quickly that he had walked into a robbery in progress.

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Posted on March 14, 2013
Shots Fired: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 08/29/2010
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Before Lawson had time to open her car door, the man turned and raised a rifle and began shooting. Lawson's mind kicked into a hyperkinetic drive, her synapses firing in rapid-fire succession of one another and keeping pace with the man's action on the trigger of the AR-15 he was wielding.

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Posted on February 15, 2013
Shots Fired: Glendale, California 03/31/2008

Gonzalez glanced back in Anderson's direction a second time. "Aw, shit!" he said, his facial expression leaving no doubt as to the sincerity of the sentiment. And with that, he tossed his soda on the ground and took off running around the corner and southbound on Adams Street.

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Posted on January 22, 2013
Shots Fired: Jefferson City, Missouri 12/10/2011

The sight of the wagon pulling into the hotel parking lot caused Bohanan's heart to sink. He hoped that the suspect would drive through the hotel lot and continue on. He didn't want to have to deal with a desperate murder suspect loose in the hotel.

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Posted on December 20, 2012
Shots Fired: Billings, Montana 05/24/2012
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The officer behind the wheel of the cruiser, Sgt. Shawn Finnegan, thought he'd recognized one of the BMW's occupants as a criminal whose frequent flier miles with local law enforcement had netted him an active $50,000 warrant.

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Posted on November 20, 2012
Shots Fired: Boynton Beach, Florida 06/12/2012

Reynolds saw the muzzle flashes from Wallace's .45 and darted to his left, sprinting across the blacktop and onto a gravel road. Bullets ricocheted off the ground at his feet. He ran for the cover of a telephone pole and returned fire, laying down six rounds of suppression fire. Munro opened fire, too. Wallace shot back.

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Posted on October 17, 2012
Shots Fired: Bismarck, North Dakota 07/08/2012

A domestic. Despite the shorthand, Officer Brad Jerome of the Bismarck (N.D.) Police Department knew such calls usually portended something decidedly undomestic, and the fact that this one was in a trailer park on the eastern part of town only raised the odds.

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