Taxpayers pay a heck of a lot of money for law enforcement and, contrary to what many think, they usually get a fairly good deal. The bluesuits, deputies and state guys are head and shoulders above most of the rest of the world.
Sometimes, though, we get a bad return on our investment. We see a case in Tuscon, Arizona where it looks like the Sheriff's Department has just thrown away all the money that was supposed to train their SWAT Teams. Now Sheriff Dupnik, yeah, THAT Sheriff Dupnik, has shut down the information pretty well, unlike with Loughner awhile back, but we have another mass shooting. Only this time one man was killed, a man who served two tours in the sandbox for us. Seems this young father was sleeping when his wife woke him because she heard strange noises and saw men through the windows where they shouldn't have been.
Jose Guerena, former Corporal, United States Marine Corps did what a trained man would do, got his rifle, the civilian version of the M-16, the famous old AR-15 and told his wife to hide in the closet with their four year old son.
Seventy-one shots later Guerena lay dying with his rifle still on safe, unfired. As he lay dying the Sheriff's Dept would not allow an ambulance because of "the possibility of a barricaded suspect".
The whole idea of these Special Weapons and Tactics teams is that some LEOs in an organization get extra training. One of the most important, indeed one of the first parts of weapons training is fire discipline.
Jose Guerena may or may not have had drugs in his house. He wouldn't have been the first guy to go for the easy money, although considering that he was sleeping after working the graveyard shift at a Pima County mine I would need a lot of convincing. Nor would he be the first to ever self medicate for the pain brought by serving an only somewhat grateful nation. If there were any drugs in that house. We do not know.
What we do know is that Jose Guerena fired no rounds at Law Enforcement Officers. Law Enforcement Officers fired seventy-one rounds. At the time, Guerena had been convicted of no crimes. He still has not. He is still dead.
Why did those LEOs shoot? I read on Blackfive's site that one of the SWAT Team guys may have had a negligent discharge, in other words, some damned fool running around with his finger on the trigger. And then all fire discipline disappeared. Ohmygod! He's got a GUN! I heard a SHOT!!! BANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANGBANG!!!!! In other words, exactly what we pay big money to train these meatheads not to do.
It could even be worse than that, one of these LEOs could have seen Guerena and his rifle and just started shooting and then fire discipline went away and everyone else got into the act. The shame is we'll never know. The Blue Wall and the Khaki Curtain will see to it that the people who pay the bills will only get the properly massaged version of the troof.
I do not know Pima County as well as I do Maricopa County, our oldest lives in Phoenix. I do know that the whole state has pockets where an LEOs seeing a homeowner with a gun in his (or her) hands when hearing a noise. It's one of those things, there is a drill for it. There's no reason for loud noises just because an LEO sees a gun, even while serving a warrant.
Somebody screwed the pooch here. A husband and father, a veteran and a miner is dead. He died with the safety on. He didn't fire a shot. We sure deserve some answers. And the people in charge of the Pima County Sheriff's Department firearms training should lose their jobs. The people in that SWAT TEAM need to be reassigned to school crossing guard duty except that that wouldn't be fair to the children. Seventy-one rounds. News article says sixty hits. Folks, that is not trained officers work. That's panicky jerks with guns.
This is why I think it was a major mistake to move from revolvers to semiautos for police work. Yes, there might have been two times in history that more shots on tap might have saved the day for the good guys. But think of all the other times a bunch of half-trained clowns have emptied the magazine into a house with a mother and child inside. Chalk up one more.