That's a great, well thought out post. Thanks for the effort.
I was kind of kinda surprised at the number of people making judgements about the 911 call mentioned in a thread from while ago - "listening to 911 call and getting mad.." without ever even hearing the call. .
So I decided find the call and give my personal analysis and opinion. I did indeed find it for us and below is my editorial on the matter. It is linked below.
The threads topic 911 call complete audio.
This post is not in any way supposed to be a flame on the poster and people who replied to the original thread in the affirmitive at all. I don't think it comes off that way, but I want to reiterate that. This is simply a respectful disagreement.
Now, my personal opinion on this call...
When I first read the original thread I was mostly in agreement with the original poster but couldn't really make a definite decision in my mind about it after two days of considering it. Once I found the audio of the 911 call and listened to it in its entirety I can not help but completely but respectfully disagree with the original threads poster.
I think that the operator was excellent in handling this call. Staying true to her training, think about all the things she did right in this call...
- She immediately gets a complete description of the guy and his car, where it is parked, where he is.
- She instructs the woman to find a room she can lock to take cover in, which she had not.
- She identifies all possible weapons involved, both on the suspect and the victim.
- She asks the woman to consider the fact that he might not even know she is there, which she clearly had not considered prior to that.
- She makes sure the woman has her gun with her in the room and informs the officers immediately that she may have a gun in her hand when they enter the home; preventing potentially disastrous consequences.
- She calmly tells the woman to calm down, to think straight, which is important as panic could affect her ability to fire correctly.
- She tells not do anything rash in response to the woman's thought of shooting through the door.*See note below
The operator stayed and spoke in a sober fashion, which you can tell had a positive effect on the woman. The operator told do simple but very important things that may seem obvious to someone normally but can easily be forgotten in a panic.
For instance telling the woman to take cover in a locked room allowing both for the woman to get to a steady, safe position - from which she was able fire effectively from instead of running away around the house trying to make an accurate shot, which she obviously would not have been able to do since the woman had only just gotten her gun that very day (as she states). This also added the very important element of surprise. This statement even on its own is potentially the key to the victims survival.
When the operator tells her to "calm down, okay? Lets not do anything rash." she is NOT telling the woman not to fire on the man. She just isn't. And what the woman was suggesting was too rash.
Consider the facts at the point she says "he turned on the hallway light, I am going to shoot"...
We know that she was in her bedroom and that the bedroom was locked.
We know that she believes to know who the invader is and that he is alone but we also know that she has not even seen him up to that point, thus she doesn't know anything about potential complicating factors such as the possibility that he is with a child or wearing a bullet proof vest, carrying a hand grenade or something flammable. Those factors, however unlikely and however remote in fact make it more dangerous for her to start attempting to shoot through the wall or door; maybe she would waste too many bullets leaving her helpless, hitting a child instead of the intruder, start a fire putting her in danger or possibly even shooting an officer.
All of those things makes her thought of beginning to shoot at that point in the event too rash. Too rash because it puts her at risk.
Most importantly the operator did not say "do not fire" what she effectively said was "only fire once you are sure of your target and what you are facing.
One thing I do think that the operator could have done better is asked the woman:
- Is the gun in your hand? (Put it in your hands if not.)
- Are you sure the gun loaded?
- Are you sure there is a round in the chamber?
- Are you sure the gun is cocked?
- Are you sure the safety is off?
If the woman had not had all of those correct she likely would have been killed, remember he still was able to charge and begin choking her after the first two shots, the third shot she made at point blank range into the criminals chest stopped the event.
The threads topic 911 call complete audio.
Definitions of "rash"
That's a great, well thought out post. Thanks for the effort.
Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another. ~Homer
If you don't control your mind, someone else will. ~John Allston
Many thanks to your for a very informative and articulate post.
Taurus Firearms ~ Personal & Home Security, Protection, and Peace of Mind
Why thank you.
There was just quite a few people in the original post about this that seemed to be a bit angry about what the operator had said. I wasn't even sure about what she said at that time but after actually hearing it and thinking about it a lot I came to believe she handled it exceptionally.
I would like to get the OP of the originals thread opinion on this, I just hope its not taken as a flame or anything just my opinion on the matter.
I AM OFFENDED THAT I WAS FLAMED AND NEVER GOING TO POST AGAIN!!! LOL J/K
i think where we are different is that i never took her comment as the victim going to shoot through the door. with that comment in mind - i would agree that shooting through a door is only good when zombies are involved :P
see when i was listening, i took the comment of "going to have to shoot" as a sobering reminder to herself that it is going to have to come down to her having to kill another person. not so much of her having to shoot through a door. i can talk a lot about how i would not feel anything if i shot someone who was trying to do some serious harm to me or my family, but i know how serious the whole situation is. i pray to God that i never have to shoot at another person and the only holes i make are in paper (ok id like to go hunting but thats another thread).
i also have the unfortunate circumstance of having a wife that has pissed off a gang member who has threatened to kill her. and one time an officer even heard the threat of "im going to kill you bitch" - but because he was driving away - it could not be considered a viable threat. unfortunately i have leaned a lot about the law in this area. for this reason i feel for the girl on the tape because i know the police likely would like to do more - but because of the laws they cannot. and when you reach the point where she was - nothing good wouldve come from that. my kids can get into my locked bedroom - lol - i would think someone who isnt concerned with messing up the paint on the door could also.
i would agree 100% that no operator would say "only fire once you are sure of your target and what you are facing." i mean how bad would you feel had it been an officer outside your door? and i would think there are legal reasons they would suggest you use your gun in any situation.
it goes to show what opinions can be made when you dont know all of the facts. had we all been on a jury - we might have learned the answer to the questions - especially was she going to fire through a closed door. i agree with you that this is the wrong idea (except zombie apocalypse).
thanks for the thoughts... now someone get rid of this migraine for me...
as mentioned in my post in the original thread!
usually a 911 opertaor is working from a writen procedure( a script if you will) and this appears to be exactly the case here.
this insures that each operator handles each related incident in nearly the same manner , each time.
this also allows them to concentrate on giving precise instructions and not needing to remember to cover each instruction as they are right in front of them.
this also reduces laibility and improves the general outcome of each incident.
the suggetsions of should ask if the gun is loaded, is the safety off, etc simply is over kill as a 911 operator can not be expected to know which weapon has or has not got a safety , this only adds confusuion to the caller if instructed to do something that can not be done.
A professional (regardless of occupation) is one that remains calm and cool while all others around them are in total dumb founded confusion!
Simple as that!
Retired Firefighter, Advanced Georgia Master Gardener, Hazardous Material Response Member, Certified Hazardous Material Incident Commander, 1911 Addict and General Gun Lover.
Currently Professionally Retired Old Person.
I posted this in the thread as well.
Actually here look at these videos - they were meant to be compared. They are pretty gritty to listen to but it sure drives the point home.
Home Invasion 911 Call without a gun in the home.
Home Invasion 911 Call with a gun in the home.
I know what you mean, definitely especially about the 911 operators. Listening to these 911 calls (the one you posted) and another one from a woman in the exact same situation but without a gun. It strikes me in a way that makes me just... the empathy of the terribleness of the situation is one thing, but the feeling of not being able to do something to help is worse. Even listening to 911 calls that I know were made in like 1995 it still gives me that terrible guilty feeling of not helping. I imagine that the reason they use so many standardized responses and scripts to read from has a lot to do with this as well, it would be really hard to think of what to say to someone when there are horrific noises coming through the phone but its probably easier to try to shake it out of your head and just
I probably would not win the 911 MVP I don't think (or "Americas Next Top 911 Operator "), I would be so freaked out I would probably just hang up. ROFL, I kid, I kid
I can not understand how these operators can handle this stuff, I know I couldn't. If I ever had to listen to a call like the one below without a gun in the house I would totally lose it, I would be so angry to not be able to help. Knowing that the woman in the house is going to drop the phone and all you will hear is screaming and the whole time you have to keep telling her to calm down and that the police are "almost there". The police make amazing time to a house, they are very skilled of course but all too often the bad guy has already done the damage.
I can not even understand the strongly anti-gun people who say "If someone breaks in you call the cops, that is why they are there. Only they should have guns."
I wonder if they would feel the same after listening to these... Actually they probably would, winning an election or trying to fit in at the 'oh so hip try hard in trendy college coffee shop by dreaming up the craziest restrictive government imaginable at full volume revealing their ignorance, is more important to these people than other people's lives. LoL