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The 21-foot rule was developed by Lt. John Tueller, a firearms instructor with the Salt Lake City Police Department. Back in 1983, Tueller set up a drill where he placed a "suspect" armed with an edged weapon 20 or so feet away from an officer with a holstered sidearm. He then directed the armed suspect to run toward the officer in attack mode. The training objective was to determine whether the officer could draw and accurately fire upon the assailant before the suspect stabbed him.
After repeating the drill numerous times, Tueller—who is now retired—wrote an article saying it was entirely possible for a suspect armed with an edged weapon to fatally engage an officer armed with a handgun within a distance of 21 feet. The so-called "21-Foot Rule" was born and soon spread throughout the law enforcement community.
Psychophysiology–This is the study of how the brain influences and affects physiological function. Science tells us that humans possess both a forebrain and a midbrain. The forebrain is where cognitive processing and decision-making take place. The midbrain plays a role in situational awareness, sleep, arousal, alertness, and trained and subconscious memories.
When an officer experiences a threat, it takes on average .58 seconds to experience the threat and determine if it is real. It then takes on average .56 to 1.0 seconds to make a response decision. Humans have five possible responses to threat: defend (fight), disengage (retreat), posture (yell, point a finger, act aggressive), become hypervigilant (panic, confusion, freezing, using force excessively), and submit (surrender).
Accuracy of fire at close distances—The average officer in static firearms qualifications (non-timed, standing, and shooting without moving) can hit the 9 and 10 rings far more often than not from the five-yard line. However, research of actual OIS incidents has shown that officers can only accurately hit their moving assailants 14% of the time in life-or-death situations from distances of only two to 10 feet. On the other hand, assailants were able to successfully engage and hit officers 68% of the time within those same distances.
Perception lag—Once the average officer gets on target, it takes him or her .56 seconds to make a decision to commence shooting. However, it then takes that same officer .25 to .31/100ths of a second per trigger pull to fire. As the deadly force scenario rapidly evolves, it takes that same officer on average .5 to .6 seconds to realize that the threat has passed and to stop shooting. This is because of a psychophysiological dynamic referred to as "perception action-reaction lag time."
originally posted by: mtnshredder
That's messed up. The officer was being very polite and civil with the guy too. He definitely didn't deserve to die over it. Such a senseless killing that didn't need to happen. I feel for the officers family and friends.
Was talking to an officer years ago, he mentioned that domestic violence calls were the scariest because of the unpredictability and the high levels of emotions.