Las Vegas shootout a police spray and pray?

(Picture not from scene, but still relevant)

I’m not one to take anything FOX writes as gospel.. but I found this interesting:

He turned to face authorities one last time, firing two rounds from his Mossberg 12-gauge shotgun before a bullet to the head ended his rampage. Police said Wicks fired a total of five shots during the shootout, while officers fired 81 shots.

Source – Fox5Vegas

81 shots?!?! Isn’t that a bit excessive? Did a few police officers do mag dumps? Maybe there were a lot of police shooting a few rounds each?

Video of event captured on iphone

A one-minute, 13-second video clip posted on the Web site YouTube includes at least 45 gunshots, many in rapid succession. Nicholas Gramenos, who recorded the clip, said he was leaving the courthouse when the shooting erupted.

Source – CNN

Chances are the iphone video didn’t start the instant the shootout started, so that 81 shot report from FOX might be valid after all.

6 COMMENTS

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Jim January 6, 2010 at 02:40 am

Does seem excessive. How many police were there? If there were 30, and 3 rounds each, sounds like a perfectly valid number. If there were only 10, they may need more time at the range…

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Admin (Mike) January 6, 2010 at 09:56 am

Yea, 3 rounds each would be reasonable.

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Tony Bradley January 6, 2010 at 02:51 am

You keep shooting until the threat is stopped. Whether they surrender, are wounded, or die is not the your concern, stopping them from doing whatever prompted you to shoot at them in the first place is the prime concern. Sadly, an awful lot of criminals and gunmen in particular want to shoot you and are not really in love with the idea of you shooting them back. Therefore they move around, hide behind things and shoot at you, all of which tends to disrupt your aim.

It’s easy to be a crack shot at the gun range with nothing on the line. It’s harder to be a competitive shooter and have to perform in front of crowds or for a living. It’s hardest of all when you know you could killed while you’re trying to hit a fairly small moving target.

81 rounds for two hits sounds just awful but you have to factor in that the police were facing fire from a 12 gauge shotgun. Not everybody got to the dance at the same time, so some officers are playing gunfight catch-up, all-in-all it’s just chaos. So be just a hair slower to judge in the future.

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Admin (Mike) January 6, 2010 at 10:04 am

The gunman reportedly only fired 5 shots, so unless the police were all bunched up together it wasn’t like there was lead raining down on all of them. I agree with what you are saying though, they just needed to stop that guy.

We also don’t have any information on the type of weapons the police were using, or the distance they were engaging the shooter at. Maybe they were far away with only handguns? So between the short sight radius and the stress they weren’t getting results.

I’m sure more information will surface soon regarding the details.

Thanks for the comment Tony.

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Paladin January 7, 2010 at 06:07 pm

Yeah, I wondered about this too. From what I’ve read he fired three shots inside, then ran away when they started shooting back. He ran across the street, then stopped and fired twice more. There were 7 officers shooting at him (3 Deputy Marshalls and 4 security oficers).

So if the numbers reported are correct, its 81 rounds fired at him at distances ranging from in the same room (when he was inside) to across the street. As was pointed out by a commenter on my blog today, “across the street” might mean farther away than we imagine. Maybe even two or three lanes each way with a median in the middle? Especially considering it was major Las Vegas streets around a US courthouse.

My gut tells me its a combination of distance, moving target, surprise, fear, and adrenaline causing the low hit percentage. From what I read about the douchebag shooter, I’m just sorry someone didn’t put him down a long time ago.

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Admin (Mike) January 7, 2010 at 07:26 pm

Thanks for the comment. I read your post on the incident… I can’t even believe that people claim that the system “works” when scumbags like Wicks murder their own flesh and blood, and get a measly 6 years in prison. What’s 6 years? I did 10 years in University, and although I don’t consider it equivalent to prison, it definitely parallels some aspects, and that time FLEW by. 6 years is what someone should get for shop lifting if you ask me.

I think your right about the cause of the high round count.

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