Shoplifter Shot by Police when Officer Intended to Deploy Taser

Last week in Ladue (MO) Police responded to a shoplifter call at a local grocery store.  When police arrived on site, they were unable to detain/arrest the suspect.  In an effort to stop the shoplifter, the officer on-site attempted to deploy her Taser but instead deployed her handgun.  This negligence ended with the shoplifter being shot. Click here for the article.

This incident was close to our home – just a few miles from Triumph Systems Headquarters.  Regardless of proximity to our place of work, certainly worthy of discussion as there are many learning points.

The net result is that 1) the shoplifter will survive, 2) this incident will cost the city of Ladue a lot of money (tax dollars a good work), and 3) the officer is being charged with felony second-degree assault (and faces 1 – 7 years in prison if convicted). 

While we don’t have much sympathy for the shoplifter, she was not harming anyone and did not deserve to be shot.  That said, don’t be dumb - both shoplifting and not being complicit with Police are things not to do.

We are typically not one to the armchair quarterback or second-guess the operator on the field….  But, from what we read and heard, this incident screams negligence by both the officer and the city.  That said, all the facts have not been disclosed so we will have to wait and see how this plays out in court. Our prediction is that both (the officer and the city) will pay a significant price.

Officers need to be intuitive and train their reflexes under stress with proper turning target systems and situation-based training. Training to improve reflex time and accuracy, using reactive shooting targets or moving targets, is vital to being able to responsibly deploy the needed tool. 

Some of the lessons that can be drawn from this incident are,

o   Repetition:  drawing and engaging (both lethal and less-than-lethal) should be as instinctual as walking and talking on the phone.   In my words, “don’t train until you get it right.  Train until you can’t get it wrong.”

o   Train to a standard:  Municipalities should train to defined standards using target systems and require periodic testing.  In our words, “Training is meaningless if designed to simply ‘check the box

o   Gear placement: One way to mitigate negligence displayed here is to set up a gear where the deployment of less-than-lethal requires a cross draw – this is a common SOP for many municipalities (I’m not sure if this is the case in Ladue or not).

Remember that as Americans it is our right to carry and if you choose to (whether because it’s your Second Amendment Right or because you’re a Law Enforcement Officer), it’s your responsibility to do so safely. 

For more training ideas see this 90 second video.  Train like a professional with the showcased Turning target system, developed by a Navy SEAL, and make your range time count.

As always, train hard and stay frosty!

At Triumph Systems, we are redefining cognitive and discretionary training among the citizens of the United States of America, Law Enforcement agencies, etc. to increase firearm literacy and safety in our great country. Listed below are some of our products to make your firearm training fun and productive, 

  1. Electronic Targets
  2. Steel Targets for Shooting
  3. Cardboard Shooting Targets
  4. Zombie Bleeding Targets
  5. Moving Target Systems

1 comment

  • Kim

    I was at the barnes and noble next to the schnucks when this happened. Heard the gunshot – I carry and know what a shot sounds like but was in denial. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit, but I was like a deer in the headlights. Following this, it was like a motorcade with a lot of lights and sirens. It got messy so I got out of there. Later when this article and others were online, I couldn’t believe what had happened. As a Ladue resident, I’m basically paying for this. Ladue PD needs to implement better training and I think your target turner would be a good start. Thanks for your post about this – your 3 points are 100% right.

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