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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This wont be an action packed, gunfight story you may be looking for but bare with me...
Back before I was a LEO, working as a firefighter and in school for criminal investigations, I was living in a college town in Northern Colorado. Specifically Ft. Collins (CSU) ,which is known for its breweries and aggie culture. living in a laid back college town but having worked in the fire service in two..... not so safe cities (Aurora and Longmont, on the north and east sides) It was easy for anyone in my position, or with any situational awareness to notice what i did at the super market on a warm clear tuesday afternoon.

Making my way into the store, I notices a WMA (white male adult) in his early to mid 30's pointing his hand in the shape of a gun at a homeless man. As he was doing this he was shoving the man and mumbling about killing him and some other things i couldn't hear. Anyone who tried to interfere was also threatened in the same ways. my first thoughts? this guy is tweakin and we need P.D. here.
Because this was happening at the front door of the store I decided its not worth it to shop/die here today, so I returned to my vehicle. Since i was wearing an F.D. shirt he stopped his behavior as I left the store and had to pass him, he also watched me walk to my truck so I drove to a place of concealment and he thought I left...after watching him for a while and debating weather or not to call it in as something along the lines of breach of peace or a combative subject, he started to strip his top layer of clothing, reavaling U.S. army issued ACU's (Army combat uniform) and follows the homeless man INTO the store. This is when the pucker factor went up to about a 9.0

I immediately called P.D. and explained what he was doing with the threats and the camo that he has now exposed, thinking that we have an active shooter in the works, I told them to haul some ass and get everyone here. obviously they delegated the same and within a minute or two there were at least 4 cars and 2 K9 on scene.
this is when it gets interesting... as the officers set up a perimeter, with AR15s, M4s, side arms and K-9s at the ready at both doors, people continued to walk out as if there was nothing going on, but giving the officers a look of relief, implying that they kinda knew something was going on.
As they entered the store the employees came running out telling them where the guy was, why it took so long for them to react I have no idea. The officers proceded through the store and found the two in an isle, as they gave the suspect orders to go to the ground he turned around with a gun., in hand that was pointed at the homeless man.
Due to cross fire, the officers were forced to tackle him, thankfully no shots were fired and he was taken into custody.

What's the point of this story? you ask..
The officers called me and asked me to come back to the store, they wanted to "talk about something". as I returned they shook my hand and told me, this man just told us he planned to kill the homeless man and anyone who got in his way." my response was along the lines of .. ok? thats pretty shitty but why tell me what i already know?
"because you are the ONLY one who called, gave us impeccable information and cared to take time out of their day to say, NOT TODAY"
Literally NO ONE in the store, or area decided to call or even inform the officers what was going on, even when they were armed to the teeth surrounding a store
packed with people.
-the store employees that were threatened told the officers AFTER the arrest, what the man was doing
-the shoppers in the area told police AFTER arrest, what had happened.

Lessons to be learned
-if not for me being there, aware of the would be deadly situation and communicating with P.D. all those people could be dead.
-did I hesitate? yes and no, I did have reason to believe he could cause a loss of life or serious bodily injury, but the only hesitation was because of a lack of "situation" at the time. he hadn't proved anything yet and only came off as a tweaker.
- I already made a thread that people seemed to like about Situational Awareness, and how it is paramount. This just goes to show you that out of all the people there, i was the ONLY one who had it.
-Dont hesitate if you know something is up, my gut told me to leave so i did, his behavior told me he was a threat so we had to deal with it.
-You dont have to carry, or have to draw to stop a situation, is it best? yeah it may be. but if you are not armed you don't have to just walk away!!
I wasn't recognized as a hero (dont want to be), i wasn't interviewed by local news, and I left before any other citizens would learn who, essentially saved their lives that day. And they may never know the situation they were in because it was over so fast and never had media coverage.

Well if you made it this far, you made it through my sleep deprived rambling of what I think is a valuable lesson, input is appreciated but mind you the story and poor grammar is from far to many hours of being awake!!

As always, Keep Calm and Carry ON!!!
 

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Great story, great advice...good on ya'!
 

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I think some people hesitate on calling the Police until the 'action' really starts, not when things look suspicious because they don't want to 'Cry Wolf'. A friend who is a LEO told me about people not calling, "That is my job to check things out, Hell, that's job security"!
As I have said before on this Forum, I serve as a volunteer with my local PD, working in court and driving the "VIPS" (Volunteer in Police Service") patrol car. We are told not to hesitate if we see anything that looks suspicious. In fact the Officer that taught me before he retired is 'OldCop' on this Forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It is job security for sure, and I am still a very young LEO but I have seen way to much shit I wish I haven't. But then again I'm glad no one else had to. At the fire house I was a complete sh** magnet, when I applied to the P.D. my recruiter knew some of the calls that I had been on or rolled up. He told me one thing... " I'm sorry son, I am truly Sorry that **** seems to find you, and when you become a cop... You will become a lead magnet." Not far from the truth.

And it has been proven time and time again, PROACTIVE Policing is far more effective then reactive, an sometimes we need civilians to help us with that. Therefor, citizen patrol. And community education.
 

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Yes,this is a good post......
 
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