Within the first month or two after creating STS, I brought on a young cop from the Southeast to help out. He was pretty green, about a year on the road if I remember correctly, but he came from a LEO family. A couple of really solid people vouched for him, so I gave him administrator privileges. Mostly, he worked on the threads banning trolls and commenting back to keep the conversation going. He did a really good job for us for a long time. He’s no longer an admin, but I still consider him a friend and a large part of why the page is so successful. A few months ago, he was forced to kill a man.
Our brother responded to a rape call and went to confront the suspect. The woman, who had been bound and raped, identified her attacker. He and his partner made it to the scene and began searching. The POS popped up with a rifle, and a gunfight ensued. Both our friend and his partner landed multiple shots on target, and neither was injured. As I said above, the POS did not survive. I’m writing this for two reasons. One to commend my friend and congratulate him on surviving, and the other to spread a message he asked me to convey.
J, you have confronted the wolf, the real wolf, the enemy of all that is good. You went toe to toe with evil and you won. Personally, I’m so very proud of you, not because you were forced to take a life, but because your first thought in having to carry that weight is to use it to help others in your position. I could speak all day on how you took a truly evil man off the streets forever, but you already know that. I could say that I am so sorry that you have to bear this burden, but I suspect you know that, too. What I will say, though, is that I am genuinely happy that you survived, that your warrior mindset carried the day, and that you went home that night. Stay strong, my brother.
Now I will honor your request and share your message:
It CAN happen to you. As an admin of this page, I saw a steady flow of critical incidents pass across the timeline of this page. Officers far and wide, from coast to coast and border to border, constantly attacked and forced to defend themselves. Some won, some lost. Still though, those were other cops. Not me. I trained and prepared, conditioned my mind, and readied myself for the day, but I never really expected it to come. So few of us ever actually use our weapons. According to the statistics, I’d never really have to pull that heavy trigger. Until I did. My message is simple. Be ready. Train hard so that you perform under stress. Condition your mind so that you don’t hesitate when the moment comes. Go home when it’s over.