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Departments : Shots Fired

Shots Fired: Norfolk, Virginia 04/15/2007

Off duty, Inspector Christopher Scallon stopped for gas and arrived just in time to stop a robbery.

January 21, 2011  |  by - Also by this author

This is my chance. Get hurt trying, or get hurt doing nothing.

Scallon planned to buttonhook the man around the aisle end. But as he made his move, so did Wynn, who reached blindly around the shelf and fired at him.

So much for that plan, Scallon thought.


Scallon backed off from the corner and Wynn went on the offense, rounding the corner on him. It would prove a fateful

From aisle to aisle; from moment to moment; from shot to shot, Scallon had felt a steady surge of adrenaline course through him. But at that instant when it most counted, seeing Wynn's head come into view, he found his grip surprisingly firm and steady. Devoid of any shakiness and with slow deliberateness, Scallon lined up his sights on the gunman's face and squeezed the trigger of the Glock.

The round struck Wynn directly below his nose and his head jerked back

Scallon had fully expected the man to collapse in a heap. Instead, Wynn began to run wildly around the store.

Figuring that Wynn might still try to charge him again, Scallon now opted for the protection of the cashier counter. No sooner had he than Wynn staggered up the middle aisle. Some 10 minutes after the first round had been fired, Wynn stumbled directly in front of the counter where he collapsed, pulling down a potato chip rack on top of himself.

Making the Approach

Scallon came up over the counter and repeatedly challenged the downed suspect.

"Raise your hand!"

With each command, Wynn silently raised his hand up only to drop it back down. Scallon figured that Wynn was genuinely having difficulty holding his hand up given the number of bullet wounds he could now see on the man's body, but he wasn't going to take any chances. Continuing to demand that Wynn keep his hand raised, Scallon accepted a store phone from an employee with his free hand.

Scallon advised a police dispatcher that he was an off-duty officer and had just been involved in a shooting then described his attire and location before handing the phone back to the employee.

Minutes later, a fellow Norfolk officer arrived on scene.

Even with the benefit of better visibility, Scallon wouldn't have expected the uniformed cop to have recognized the bearded man in a Brooklyn Cyclone jersey and knew that the blood soaked floor and heavy gun smoke in the air would only give the officer more pause to enter. Holding up his badge, Scallon yelled through the window that he was the u/c police officer and for the officer to join him.

Once inside, the two officers made a cautious approach of the downed suspect, with Scallon providing cover. He told the officer to get some gloves on before cuffing the injured Wynn whose torso moved with the uncertain jerkiness of a newborn, his state of lucidity still in question.

As Wynn was handcuffed, other units arrived en masse. Scallon walked over to the site of the last exchange of gunfire. Spotting Wynn's discarded sidearm lying there, he felt some momentary peace of mind: He knew beyond any certainty of a doubt that Wynn had been armed when he shot him.

Upon surrendering his own firearm to arriving officers, Scallon found that there was only one round left in the chamber; he'd expended some 17 rounds during the firefight.

Despite emptying his own revolver, Wynn had fortunately missed his target each time. Fighting paramedics all the way, Wynn was transported to the hospital where he later died.

Eleven of Scallon's shots had struck Wynn, 10 in vital organs. The first shot had also proved to be the fatal one, but Wynn just didn't realize it. The balance of his rounds were likewise significant, with his last shot entering Wynn's nose and exiting at the back side of his ear.

Comments (6)

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6

Capt. L.L. Owens @ 1/23/2011 9:37 PM

There will never be a more perfect example than this story to document how sorry a 9mm pistol is for stopping power. I bet anything that had the officer been using a .45 ACP with decent bullets, the felon would not have taken 11 rounds.

Morning Eagle @ 1/25/2011 9:07 PM

Agreed Capt. Officer Scanlon is certainly to be commended for his persistence and courage but .... my first thought as successive bullet strikes were described was that a .45 cal would have probably stopped this fight much quicker. After ten hits into vital points with the 9mm the BG still didn’t know he was dead! But then, I have always believed in large, heavy bullets as being more effective even if it does take them a split second longer to reach the opponent.

M.Conner @ 4/12/2011 4:39 AM

WOW, a 11 rounds in the vitals and the fight continued. Only one to the head stopped the engagement. I carry a 9mm, I have no choice. Was the perp on crack, steriods??? Was he superhuman? Eleven rounds is a lot and in the vitals?

NJcop @ 5/20/2011 5:43 PM

I had the privilege of attending an in service class today where Chris shared his story with us and gave advice on how to survive deadly encounters. If you ever have an opportunity to go to a class where Chris is speaking, you need to find a way to go. He is an excellent speaker and more importantly, he is a cop's cop who cares immensely about his brother and sister officers and our safety. @M.Conner, Chris stated that the perp wasn't on anything, only adrenaline.

CJ Scallon @ 1/15/2012 1:50 AM

NJcop, Thank you for your review. Police are routinely dismissed and rarely appreciated for their daily actions. It is MY privilege to meet officers who give selflessly everyday and place their life on the line in situations that do not get the attention of the media. Cops are a unique breed of people that have my utmost respect. I pray that each and every one of you goes home to your families as I did that fateful night. I can only offer a simple phrase, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." Kudos to PoliceMag for promoting the heroism that is being a member of the law enforcement community. Lastly, recognize the amazing family and friends of our police offers that sacrifice in their own way 365 days; if not for you we would be alone!

R mansfield @ 10/2/2013 10:14 AM

Officer Scanlon, I read this account with great interest. I am a retired Police Officer, and was involved in a shooting back in 1984. I was shot, and my partner shot the bad guy, who had been attempting a robbery. Your thoughts and emotions were very familiar to me, even though I was shot, and was not able to return fire. Back then I was never offered counseling. I should have gotten it on my own, but back in those days you were expected to suck it up and move on. As a result I have suffered PTSD for a long time. Thanks for sharing your experiance. It does help to hear from other Officers who truley do understand what happens after a shooting.

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