NEW YORK -- Authorities are confirming that all nine bystanders caught in the crossfire of a shooting outside the Empire State Building were wounded by two veteran patrolmen who had never fired their weapons on duty.
Officer Craig Matthews fired seven times and Officer Robert Sinishtaj fired nine times at Jeffrey Johnson on bustling midtown block Friday morning after Johnson, who'd shot a former co-worker to death, brazenly pointed his pistol at the officers.
Police had said that nine others were wounded likely by stray or ricocheting police bullets, and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly confirmed that Saturday. He says that based on ballistic tests and other evidence, "it appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police.
Its panic, is what. Its total locked-up tunnel vision by two supposedly "trained" cops.
I guarantee they didn't even -see- the people behind that shooter. All they saw was the big black hole in the end of that Colt .45, and that's what they were shooting at, the gun. No controlled draw-aim-fire, no sight picture, no check your down-range for collateral damage, no tactical movement to bracket the bad guy, no frig-all. Just "Oh shit!" BLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAMBLAM "I think I got him!"
Why did this happen? Because those two meat heads shoot for qualification once a year, at most. Because NYPD qualification is fifty rounds at a static paper silhouette target, anything inside the 8-ring counts to score, you have to do 75% or better. Timed fire at ranges from five yards to twenty five yards. I've seen kids shoot this course. Its a cake walk.
To retain trained responses, humans have to PRACTICE THEM. You have to practice almost every day to be awesome, you have to practice every week to be good. Twice a month is about the bare minimum to retain learned skills and muscle memory. Once a year? Joke territory. Most cops shoot once a year.
Truly, I don't have a problem with the cops shooting this guy. It was a righteous shoot, and there's no reason they would have done anything else BUT shoot him.
Shooting nine innocent pedestrians in the process? That I've got a problem with.