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Thread: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

  1. #1

    Default Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    I know there are differing opinions of weapon mounted lights, but I am a huge advocate of them and last night it was worth it's weight in gold. Here's the story in a nutshell:

    Call came out of a subject with a knife who had just pulled it on the caller (victim) and ran north from the area. I came into the area and located the suspect. I exited my patrol car, and approached with my duty weapon at the low ready. Suspect starts screaming at me at about 25 yards away, raises his right hand over his head, and charges at me screaming "Do it, *expletive*!" I can see he has something in his right hand as I immediately raise my weapon. I turn on my weapon mounted light and take a couple of steps back as he closes within about 15 yards. When I turn on the light, the suspect stops just long enough for me to see that what he is holding is a black pencil with metallic writing on it. I used a quick burst of OC spray and he started running south. After a brief foot pursuit, I tackled him like an NFL lineman and the incident was over.

    Other LEO's might read this and raise various questions. Based on the call, his actions, his distance, demeanor, language, etc - a different officer may have fired and been completely justified. I chose not to, and in the end it worked out just fine.

    In this instance, my weapon mounted light saved the suspect's life. He reacted to the light by stopping, and in doing so it enabled me to identify what the object was in his hand. Turns out he is a psych patient off his meds who we were able to petition into the psych ward rather than the morgue.

    Ironically, the pencil came from our police department and the metallic writing had our department name on it.

  2. #2
    Flashaholic Tiggercat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Great story - definitely one to pass on as a lesson learned.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Well Done.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Much respect and blessings to you!

    Bravery, Level headedness, Preparation...
    You have it all.

    An LEO with only two of the above qualities would very likely have shot the guy.

  5. #5
    Flashaholic* ico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Well Done Captain Nemo

  6. #6
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Thanks for handling that situation the way you did. I've never behaved remotely like that guy did, but if I were ever mentally distressed enough that I were to behave that way, I'd like to have the chance to recover from it and feel like a dumbass for it instead of bleeding to death on the sidewalk.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic* B0wz3r's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. Nemo View Post
    In this instance, my weapon mounted light saved the suspect's life. He reacted to the light by stopping, and in doing so it enabled me to identify what the object was in his hand. Turns out he is a psych patient off his meds who we were able to petition into the psych ward rather than the morgue.
    Thank you very much for your decisions in that situation. I am glad to hear your story; it helps me feel hope that most cops aren't simply out to 'let their bully out' as some of my other colleagues in psychology say... Your decisions and actions seem to be an unfortunate minority amongst most LEO's these days, so thank you for choosing to do what you did. I hope your actions serve as an example to other officers as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    Thanks for handling that situation the way you did. I've never behaved remotely like that guy did, but if I were ever mentally distressed enough that I were to behave that way, I'd like to have the chance to recover from it and feel like a dumbass for it instead of bleeding to death on the sidewalk.
    Agreed. We all have times in our lives where we start to wonder if it's really worth it to keep going on... My colleagues in clinical psych all say that such behavior is a cry for help, and that the person who does those things is desperate for it. People who really DO want to kill themselves just do, they don't try to get a cop to do it for them, or they try to do it in a public place like a bridge or a building, where they're likely to be seen and stopped, to get the help they so desperately want and need. Cap-Nemo's actions certainly made that happen for that unfortunate person.
    What? Me? Derail a thread?

  8. #8
    Banned richpalm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    You saved the guy's life... the light was just the tool in very capable hands!

    He might have been trying for "suicide by cop." You did good-if it was me I probably would've fired.

    Rich

  9. #9
    Flashaholic* coyote's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    nice going CN!

    and thnx for sharing that.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Well done!

  11. #11
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Quote Originally Posted by B0wz3r View Post
    Agreed. We all have times in our lives where we start to wonder if it's really worth it to keep going on... My colleagues in clinical psych all say that such behavior is a cry for help, and that the person who does those things is desperate for it. People who really DO want to kill themselves just do, they don't try to get a cop to do it for them, or they try to do it in a public place like a bridge or a building, where they're likely to be seen and stopped, to get the help they so desperately want and need. Cap-Nemo's actions certainly made that happen for that unfortunate person.
    Well, there's that, but there's also the fact that the brain isn't one coherent organ like people believe it is; complex behaviors arise from multiple parts of the brain operating more-or-less in-sync with each other, and if that synchronization breaks down (or was never properly developed in the first place, or is dependent on conscious suppression of reflexes), all kinds of strange misbehavior can arise, especially if the person is suffering from trauma of some sort. Once that trauma is dealt with, either on a psychological or physiological level, their behavior should return to normal. That's why the concept of "temporary insanity" exists. I'm a pretty level-headed person, in real life even if not so much online, and if I were to charge a police officer with the apparent intent to stab them, there would have to be several parts of my brain malfunctioning at once. I would much prefer to have the chance to recover from an episode such as that, as opposed to being put out of my misery with a bullet.

    Thanks again to the threadstarter for using the minimum necessary force instead of the maximum justifiable force.
    Last edited by fyrstormer; 09-12-2011 at 03:26 PM.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic Tiggercat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Quote Originally Posted by richpalm View Post
    You saved the guy's life... the light was just the tool in very capable hands!
    Excellent point, and very correct!

  13. #13

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Wow, great story. I am glad it turned out well for all involved. I have been going back and forth on getting a TRL-1 for my nightstand weapon for some time now, and haven't for one reason...

    I need to be able to shine my light at something without pointing my weapon at it. Lets face it, most investigations into "bumps in the night" result in discovering that a squirrel is running accross the roof, or the holly tree is scraping against the gutter, or the neighbors kids are setting off fireworks... I like to have both hands on my weapon, but if i need to cary a second light anyway, then the benefit is just not there for the TRL. For a LEO it makes sense (and you probably have a secondary flashlight on your duty belt anyway).

  14. #14
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Good job.

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    Flashaholic* run4jc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    What a great story. What a cool, level head you have - I so wish that the, shall we say, "questionable" people who enjoy verbally abusing the police would read this. I can't add to the great comments that have already been made, so I'll simply say "Thank you" - for your service, and your good sense!!


  16. #16

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Awesome story with a happy ending. I have a TLR-1s @ 9 o'clock on my AR, and this thread is confirmation that I made a solid choice. Thanks Capt. Nemo!

  17. #17

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Perfect example of experience over training. I'll take the former any day over the latter. Thanks for doing your job very well.

  18. #18
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Just adding my 'good work Capt. Nemo' to this thread, and also a humble 'thanks' also.

  19. #19
    Flashaholic whiteoakjoe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Good job, I can't imagine how much better it is now with lights like your Steamlight. 15 years ago an officer with a 4D mag might have made a good decision at the time given the information he had. Then after the justified shooting found a pencil. WOW.

  20. #20
    Flashaholic* Cataract's Avatar
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    I'd rather my life be in your hands than someone who's too shaky to evaluate the situation like you did. Excellent work!
    Cataract, Shiny things specialist.
    Google Map for CPF

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Quote Originally Posted by Capt. Nemo View Post
    I know there are differing opinions of weapon mounted lights, but I am a huge advocate of them and last night it was worth it's weight in gold. Here's the story in a nutshell:

    Call came out of a subject with a knife who had just pulled it on the caller (victim) and ran north from the area. I came into the area and located the suspect. I exited my patrol car, and approached with my duty weapon at the low ready. Suspect starts screaming at me at about 25 yards away, raises his right hand over his head, and charges at me screaming "Do it, *expletive*!" I can see he has something in his right hand as I immediately raise my weapon. I turn on my weapon mounted light and take a couple of steps back as he closes within about 15 yards. When I turn on the light, the suspect stops just long enough for me to see that what he is holding is a black pencil with metallic writing on it. I used a quick burst of OC spray and he started running south. After a brief foot pursuit, I tackled him like an NFL lineman and the incident was over.

    Other LEO's might read this and raise various questions. Based on the call, his actions, his distance, demeanor, language, etc - a different officer may have fired and been completely justified. I chose not to, and in the end it worked out just fine.

    In this instance, my weapon mounted light saved the suspect's life. He reacted to the light by stopping, and in doing so it enabled me to identify what the object was in his hand. Turns out he is a psych patient off his meds who we were able to petition into the psych ward rather than the morgue.

    Ironically, the pencil came from our police department and the metallic writing had our department name on it.
    Seems to be just a matter of time with those types. Either they end up dead anyways, or worse, eventually end up killing others. Weapon mounted lights can be very useful from a tactical standpoint, but on the other hand, sometimes throw the balance of the firearm off. Do you carry the gun around with the light on it all day, or do you just attach it for night shifts? I prefer to do without them on pistols, but carbines are a little different story.
    ampdude

  22. #22

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Thanks for all of the kind words. I'm a little taken back quite honestly. There are probably hundreds of these situations that unfold on a daily basis from departments all over the US that will never make the news. One thing is for certain, "Officer shoots suspect with pencil" is one headline that would have made the news - and I wanted no part of that. I have been a firsthand witness to suicide by cop, and it is disheartening for both the officers and family of the deceased. One can only hope that the psyche evaluators do what is responsible for society and the individual, and that the individual has a family that can support them by ensuring they stay on their meds. I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at that since this is a forum about flashlights.

    My TLR-1 is mounted to my Glock 21 on a permanent basis (except for cleaning, obviously) when working normal uniformed duty. I'll take it off in a plainclothes assignment, but I haven't had to work plainclothes at night ( and don't normally work in that capacity), so it hasn't been an issue. The added weight to the front of the gun reduces the recoil *slightly*, even more so than the compensated version - so I look at it as an added bonus. I have at least 10,000 rounds through the gun with the light mounted without any problems with either. My carbine has a permanently mounted Maelstrom G5, I carry a HDS 170T in my cargo pocket, a Malkoff MD2 in my vest, and a Gladius with Creemator upgrade on my belt. The Gladius is my go to light, but even though it's brighter than my HDS, I'm finding I'm grabbing my HDS more and more because of the quality and color of the beam. The Gladius has horrific rings that are starting to drive me crazy for up close work. My Malkoff is strictly a backup.

    Cheers!

  23. #23

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Thanks for sharing. It is great to hear real life accounts of some of the tools we own. I have a Surefire on my G17 and I am with you on the benefits of them. I have never had to use it for anything more than the noise in the night that wakes the dogs up but it is good to know that should I need it, it could serve a function of temporally stopping someone in there tracks to give me that spilt second to decide what there intent is.

    Also, if all cops were like you, I think the general negative opinion the public has of cops would be changed. My best friend is a cop and your story reminds me of him in a lot of ways. He has such a deep level of understanding and empathy and actually tries to help people and not just push them around. He can and will bust a head if need be and that is what is so shocking to me about the dichotomy of his personality. He can be much more violent than me but also much more gentile and understanding. I think it would burn me out having to go through that range of emotions everyday.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Great story! Thanks for sharing!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Streamlight TLR-1 saved a life last night

    Is it true that most cops who do not like weapon mounted lights do so based upon the philosophy that a gunman will shoot at the light in the dark, which, if mounted on the pistol, is positioned at the officer's center mass? Instead they opt for a handheld light while holding the light out away from their body with the gun in the other hand. If true this seems like a cumbersome tactic to me. I would prefer the speed and simplicity of a weapon mounted light. Not to mention the increased control of using both hands on the gun.

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