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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 1, 2008
Shots Fired: Reno, Nevada 07•15•1999

Lessman inched forward. Beyond the refrigerator and deeper into the kitchen was a large table that had been upended on its side. He suspected that the table was shielding someone behind it.

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Posted on June 1, 2008
Shots Fired: Polk County, Florida 12•03•1989

The patrol life of a trainee is never easy. But when you don't have the luxury of getting along with your training officer, it can be damned difficult.

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Posted on May 1, 2008
Shots Fired: Manchester, New Hampshire 09-08-2003

As the three met near the front of Kilbreth's patrol car, two red flags immediately registered with the officer.

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Posted on April 1, 2008
Shots Fired: Overland, Kansas 12•04•2001

The two detectives hurriedly exited Schmidt's truck and made a stealthy approach to the apartment complex. If spotted by the suspects, there would be little mistaking the significance of the word POLICE on the back in white letters.

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Posted on March 1, 2008
Shots Fired: Old Saybrook, Connecticut 05•03•2005

The sight that greeted Bergantino momentarily took him aback. Beyond the threshold stood a man as naked to the world as when he'd first entered it some 50 years before. It was not a pretty sight.

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Posted on February 1, 2008
Shots Fired: Fort Worth, Texas 11•09•1994

Within seconds of their arrival, the breach man hit the door and the teams streamed inside. Daniels and Johnson targeted the room furthest inside the house.

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Posted on January 1, 2008
Shots Fired: Detroit, Michigan 12•30•2006

Gilbert keyed his mic to advise responding units that the suspects were now on foot. As one ran by his passenger door, Gilbert noticed the man's dark lavender jacket matched that ascribed to the armed member of the two suspects.

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Posted on December 1, 2007
Shots Fired: Charles City, Iowa 04•14•2007

The call came in a little past 8 p.m. A suicidal man was parked inside a closed garage with the engine running. The Charles City, Iowa, officer assigned to the call was on his first night out and fell prey to many a rookie's bane: he got lost rolling to the call. That meant that the lieutenant who rolled to assist, Brandon Franke, was effectively on his own.

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Posted on November 1, 2007
Shots Fired: Cochise County, Arizona 09•11•1997

Long before the events of 2001, Sept. 11 had significant meaning for Dep. Tony Parrish of the Cochise County (Ariz.) Sheriff's Department. For on that date in 1997, he handled a call that changed his life and very nearly ended it.

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Posted on October 1, 2007
Shots Fired: Arlington, Texas 08•10•1994

Officer Paul Ware found himself facing an occupied train passing. He waited in his truck for the train to pass. Maybe he'd still get home at a decent hour. But if fortune had smiled on Ware, the grin had been one of a shining skull. For in coming to a stop in the shorter lane, Ware found himself abreast of a gold 1963 Chevy.

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