Caught on camera: Firefighter draws gun on driver at highway scene in North Carolina

CCCSD

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based on what happened in https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article252028573.html it would appear that you would be incorrect, at least as per the district attorney in this county in NC.

And I agree, it's better to get out of the way vs threatening lethal force. I don't agree with what was done in this situation.
Completely different situation.
Don’t try to bend things to support your stance.
She was a traffic violator.
But let’s just go ahead and arm FF/EMS and let them start killing people. Then this crap will finally be over.
 

chrls

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based on what happened in https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article252028573.html it would appear that you would be incorrect, at least as per the district attorney in this county in NC.

And I agree, it's better to get out of the way vs threatening lethal force. I don't agree with what was done in this situation.

As a Monday morning quarterback, these guys messed up. The guy who *almost* gets run over gets out of the way and doesn't raise his rifle to shoot. Good on him. You can even see in his shadow he doesn't join in with the others after he moves. I would be worried about the future if I was whoever was off screen still shooting when nobody was in front of the car still.

But who knows when he was hit in the head. Was it when he was trying to drive around the deputy in front of his car or was it as he was driving away still getting shot at?
 
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DrParasite

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Completely different situation.
Don’t try to bend things to support your stance.
She was a traffic violator.
But let’s just go ahead and arm FF/EMS and let them start killing people. Then this crap will finally be over.
talk about bending things to support your stance... no armed FF (and there are likely more than you would like to believe) have killed people when their lives have not been threatened. in fact, with all the CCW people in the US, you would think the bodies would be lining the streets with all the guns we have. Oh, and in case you forgot, arming EMTs was previous discussed on these forums, and this is what I said then, and it still applied today:
Georgia, Kansas, Ohio, and New York passed legislation in 2017 allowing EMTs and paramedics to carry on the job. In 2019, West Virginia's legislation did the same thing. and Alabama, California, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Minnesota, Texas, and Wisconsin were considering it. Have there been any reports of EMS personnel shooting people? any accidental discharges? It's been 3 years. Everyone is worried about all the bad things happening... have they actually happened?

3 years with no issues, and at least one instance of an armed paramedic saving the life of him and his partner... And I bet that paramedic and his partner's families were very grateful that the paramedic was armed; it likely prevented a double LODD.
She is absolutely a traffic violator, and lethal force was threatened, not used, against her. Not saying he was right, but maybe you should tone down the fear-mongering and hyperbole, because the facts don't support any of what you are saying.
 

SandpitMedic

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What an idiot. Complete clown shoes.
 

Tigger

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We could really what if this to death. Or we could look at this for what it is. Bad behavior from someone representing our profession.
 

FiremanMike

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I'm pretty sure he didn't know the driver was going to go on the median, go around the fire trucks that had completely shut down the road, and he felt that his life was in danger due to her actions. no saying he was right to draw down on her. And the video only starts after he has the gun aimed at her, we don't know what she or he did beforehand.

I mean, if she drives on the median to get around the truck, gets back on the road and runs over 3 firefighters, killing them.... are you still ok with her "dumb choice"? And I don't think he was planning to shoot her, only to detain her until highway patrol arrived (as per his words on the video, and I am not saying he was right to do that either)

We don't have video of what happened beforehand, that's correct, but at the end of the day the prudent move for coming around the fire truck and seeing someone driving at you is to step back where you came from and let her hit the truck.

As to the bolded, there are two things wrong with it:
1. It's not appropriate escalation of force to go directly to lethal force in this situation, and it isn't appropriate to draw and point a weapon when deadly force isn't immediately justified (I'll address the nuances of felony stops and felony fleeing in a minute)
2. Only police officers in their own jurisdiction have the legal right to detain anyone for misdemeanor crimes, period. A firefighter CANNOT detain someone for a traffic violation.

I don't know about that... I know quite a few youtube videos that show cops drawing firearms at people who drive towards them and refuse to stop. as well as draw firearms during felony traffic stops. and am pretty sure a cop can draw a firearm during an attempt to detain someone, especially when that person is armed with a deadly weapon (in this case a car), but I could be wrong and will differ to those with law enforcement experience.
Cops drawing their firearms on cars driving towards them are almost always scenarios where the driver was already detained and then turning their vehicle towards the officer, turning a traffic violation into felony fleeing and felonious assault. The officer can generally deduce that the driver is purposely driving towards them with the intent of causing harm to the cop. The woman here was being an impatient *******, but clearly wasn't intentionally driving towards the firefighters in an attempt to hit them, as evidenced by the fact that they walked themselves into the path of the vehicle.

You are correct that a firearm can be drawn to affect the detention of someone with a deadly weapon, but again the officer must be able to articulate that there is intent to use the deadly weapon to cause serious bodily harm to the officer or a bystander. If I come up on someone minding their own business with a holstered weapon, I can't screw my gun to his ear and order him down. A woman driving into the grass on the median may show disregard, but does not demonstrate an intent to harm others.
talk about bending things to support your stance... no armed FF (and there are likely more than you would like to believe) have killed people when their lives have not been threatened. in fact, with all the CCW people in the US, you would think the bodies would be lining the streets with all the guns we have. Oh, and in case you forgot, arming EMTs was previous discussed on these forums, and this is what I said then, and it still applied today:

She is absolutely a traffic violator, and lethal force was threatened, not used, against her. Not saying he was right, but maybe you should tone down the fear-mongering and hyperbole, because the facts don't support any of what you are saying.
Lethal force was threatened in a non lethal force scenario, which is a prime example of it is inappropriate to consider arming EMTs in their current level of training. This guy was in WAY over his head and was COMPLETELY wrong. He made several critical errors that can easily be picked apart by even the most inexperienced police officer.

Had this guy actually shot her, he would have likely faced severe criminal charges, not to mention the fact that he just killed someone for driving around his crash scene.
 
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DrParasite

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Lethal force was threatened in a non lethal force scenario, which is a prime example of it is inappropriate to consider arming EMTs in their current level of training. This guy was in WAY over his head and was COMPLETELY wrong. He made several critical errors that can easily be picked apart by even the most inexperienced police officer.

Had this guy actually shot her, he would have likely faced severe criminal charges, not to mention the fact that he just killed someone for driving around his crash scene.
I NEVER said he was correct in his actions. NOT ONCE. I am not defending his actions, nor do I think firearms should be used in this manner. And I do agree that it was likely an unlawful detainment (never said otherwise). Had I been in his position, I would not have drawn and aimed a firearm at her.

Had he actually shot her, I would have supported him being criminally charged. I might be able to articulate a defense, but likely not one that would result in an acquittal.

BTW, this is not an example of a department that arms their EMTs; this is an example of an (assumingly) lawful gun owner who carries 24/7, who happened to have a weapon on him when he went to the car accident scene and decided to draw it for reasons that we can only speculate to. We also don't know what happened before the video started, so she might have gotten back on the road and then hit the FFs who were working at the scene. We don't know, because we only have the facts that have been provided (the video and what witnesses report).
 

Tigger

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Had this guy actually shot her, he would have likely faced severe criminal charges, not to mention the fact that he just killed someone for driving around his crash scene.
This is really the issue here for me. So many people on the FB and other outlets are all "he was well with in his rights to shoot her to protect his crew." Really, are we so callous that we think taking someone's life in such a situation is an acceptable option?
 

CCCSD

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talk about bending things to support your stance... no armed FF (and there are likely more than you would like to believe) have killed people when their lives have not been threatened. in fact, with all the CCW people in the US, you would think the bodies would be lining the streets with all the guns we have. Oh, and in case you forgot, arming EMTs was previous discussed on these forums, and this is what I said then, and it still applied today:

She is absolutely a traffic violator, and lethal force was threatened, not used, against her. Not saying he was right, but maybe you should tone down the fear-mongering and hyperbole, because the facts don't support any of what you are saying.
Your inability to see the facts are amusing.. You don’t know a thing about CCW or training, yet you pontificate from your throne of “I’m right every time I post on anything”. So..tell me how many years you have on as a cop? What academies have you attended? How many hours of Advanced Officer Training do you have?

It is stupid to arm people who have no need. You and everyone else can walk away, open the door, stage. You don’t have to go in. Ever. So spare me the heroic BS.
 

Fezman92

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Talk about taking taticool way too seriously.
 
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DrParasite

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It is stupid to arm people who have no need. You and everyone else can walk away, open the door, stage. You don’t have to go in. Ever. So spare me the heroic BS.
Your issue is with the second amendment of the constitution… not me.

and if you think all unsafe scenes can be avoided simply by staging… well, maybe it’s time for you to walk away
 

medichopeful

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When I'm off-duty, I concealed carry. I'm all for concealed carry, and have no issue with people doing it. On-duty as a paramedic, there's no way that I would want to concealed carry. The risk is too high, it now adds a weapon to every encounter, and it also adds in concern for close-quarters firearm handling, retention, collateral damage, training issues, legal issues, patient trust issues, and a sense of false security. We're medical providers, not police officers. Police officers have way more training and education regarding the use of firearms than your average firearm owner, and look at what is happening almost daily in this country: they're getting involved in shootings, some justified, some not. Can you imagine what would happen if EMS and FD started carrying on a large scale, some of whom can barely pass an EMT course? Give them a gun, and stupid stuff will happen. This case is a perfect example.

In regards to this case specifically, I have a few concerns:
1) It is pretty obvious to me that the driver was being an idiot, and was trying to get around the firetruck. Not cool, she should get some tickets (it looks like she did)
2) From all of the information I've seen, including pictures of the scene, nobody was at risk of imminent harm. Deadly force requires the risk of imminent harm. Pointing a gun at someone, even without using it, is a type of deadly force
3) If he truly just stepped out from behind the firetruck, and he was almost hit by her, how did he have time to draw his weapon and point it at her without getting hit? The firetruck clearly isn't that far away from where he is standing. On the flip side, if he wanted to try to stop her, what idiot in their right mind would step in front of a moving car and point a gun at someone? The decision making process here is absolutely idiotic pretty much any way you look at it

The decision making from everyone in this video is pretty damn questionable. Even more so for the firefighter, cause he actively escalated the situation to a deadly force encounter without using his brain at all. Get a license plate, call the cops, and call it a day.

(Disclaimer: I'm not working as a ground medic anymore, but my stance was the same then and hasn't changed).
 

medichopeful

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Lethal force was threatened in a non lethal force scenario, which is a prime example of it is inappropriate to consider arming EMTs in their current level of training. This guy was in WAY over his head and was COMPLETELY wrong. He made several critical errors that can easily be picked apart by even the most inexperienced police officer.
^This, 100%

He is also really lucky that he didn't get slapped with a charge of false-imprisonment, or whatever it is that NC calls it.
 
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DrParasite

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When I'm off-duty, I concealed carry. I'm all for concealed carry, and have no issue with people doing it. On-duty as a paramedic, there's no way that I would want to concealed carry. The risk is too high, it now adds a weapon to every encounter, and it also adds in concern for close-quarters firearm handling, retention, collateral damage, training issues, legal issues, patient trust issues, and a sense of false security.
Just so I understand.... you bring a weapon to every encounter when you are off duty, when you are in close quarters (such as when you are driving your car). you are all for it, and have no issues with people doing it, but those risks you lists don't apply when you are not on the ambulance?
We're medical providers, not police officers. Police officers have way more training and education regarding the use of firearms than your average firearm owner, and look at what is happening almost daily in this country: they're getting involved in shootings, some justified, some not. Can you imagine what would happen if EMS and FD started carrying on a large scale, some of whom can barely pass an EMT course? Give them a gun, and stupid stuff will happen. This case is a perfect example.
no one is saying every EMT and firefighter should be carrying firearms. no one is advocating for "here is your EMT card, here is your stethoscope, here is your glock." No one is saying we should be doing the job of the police. This case might be an example of an inappropriate drawing on a weapon, but just because a small minority does something stupid doesn't mean we should punish everyone (otherwise, we would take away all firearms from cops, because a few idiots have done stupid things, which, I hope we can all agree, is a foolish idea).

I'm curious: you have a gun, how much stupid stuff have you done with it? so why would most people be any different than you?
The decision making from everyone in this video is pretty damn questionable. Even more so for the firefighter, cause he actively escalated the situation to a deadly force encounter without using his brain at all. Get a license plate, call the cops, and call it a day.
No one is disagreeing with you. He did something wrong, and now he will deal with whatever consequences follow.... which is how it works for everyone, both on duty and off.
 

DesertMedic66

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Just so I understand.... you bring a weapon to every encounter when you are off duty, when you are in close quarters (such as when you are driving your car). you are all for it, and have no issues with people doing it, but those risks you lists don't apply when you are not on the ambulance?

no one is saying every EMT and firefighter should be carrying firearms. no one is advocating for "here is your EMT card, here is your stethoscope, here is your glock." No one is saying we should be doing the job of the police. This case might be an example of an inappropriate drawing on a weapon, but just because a small minority does something stupid doesn't mean we should punish everyone (otherwise, we would take away all firearms from cops, because a few idiots have done stupid things, which, I hope we can all agree, is a foolish idea).

I'm curious: you have a gun, how much stupid stuff have you done with it? so why would most people be any different than you?

No one is disagreeing with you. He did something wrong, and now he will deal with whatever consequences follow.... which is how it works for everyone, both on duty and off.
To play devils advocate, when I am off duty I am never inside a confined space such as a car with someone I don’t know. I’m also not routinely going into gun free zones while I am off duty such as school zones, hospitals, jails, prisons, court houses, and other federal buildings..
 

FiremanMike

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Your issue is with the second amendment of the constitution… not me.

and if you think all unsafe scenes can be avoided simply by staging… well, maybe it’s time for you to walk away
I work in an urban area with a high per capita violent crime rate. I’ve seen my share of shootings, stabbings, and assaults. I’ve been on hot scenes. I’ve been in scenes when shots have been fired. I’ve been on scenes when you can still smell gunpowder in the air. I’ve been in scenes were all of a sudden all the cops had their guns out, and I’ve wrestled violent people to the ground.

The number of times that I wished I had a gun on me = 0
 

medichopeful

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Just so I understand.... you bring a weapon to every encounter when you are off duty, when you are in close quarters (such as when you are driving your car). you are all for it, and have no issues with people doing it, but those risks you lists don't apply when you are not on the ambulance?
Of course there are situations where I'm off duty where some of the same situations apply. However, off-duty I have no duty to respond, don't deal with sick people who may be altered, don't stop on the side of the highway, don't go into random houses, and don't interact with random people in confined spaces for any length of time and if for some reason I'm uncomfortable, or the person I'm talking to starts acting strange, I can just leave. The situations I would find myself in-duty and off-duty are completely different and if they're not, I made some pretty stupid mistakes to get there.
no one is saying every EMT and firefighter should be carrying firearms. no one is advocating for "here is your EMT card, here is your stethoscope, here is your glock." No one is saying we should be doing the job of the police. This case might be an example of an inappropriate drawing on a weapon, but just because a small minority does something stupid doesn't mean we should punish everyone (otherwise, we would take away all firearms from cops, because a few idiots have done stupid things, which, I hope we can all agree, is a foolish idea).
I'm not saying that either. What I am saying is that if start allowing EMS to carry firearms, people are going to make stupid decisions, as is demonstrated by this situation. We have people in this field who get irrationally offended when they are called an "ambulance driver," do you really think that allowing these people to carry a weapon on-duty is a good idea? I also never stated that we should be doing the job of the police, so I'm not sure where that statement comes from. I'm simply saying that if people trained in lethal force, laws, etc (the police) are still screwing things up, why would putting a gun into the hands of EMS/FD, who doesn't do any training on lethal force, laws, etc, be a good idea?
I'm curious: you have a gun, how much stupid stuff have you done with it? so why would most people be any different than you?
I've certainly never done anything as stupid as pointing it at someone who committed a traffic violation. Whenever I get into a situation where the potential I may need to draw my gun, I simply leave. It's not that difficult.

Go check out some of the FF pages regarding this situation, and you'll get to see many examples of why many people would do something stupid like this.
No one is disagreeing with you. He did something wrong, and now he will deal with whatever consequences follow.... which is how it works for everyone, both on duty and off.
As should be expected.
 

ffemt8978

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I work in an urban area with a high per capita violent crime rate. I’ve seen my share of shootings, stabbings, and assaults. I’ve been on hot scenes. I’ve been in scenes when shots have been fired. I’ve been on scenes when you can still smell gunpowder in the air. I’ve been in scenes were all of a sudden all the cops had their guns out, and I’ve wrestled violent people to the ground.

The number of times that I wished I had a gun on me = 0
Urban areas have a much lower LEO response time on average than rural areas. I've been on scenes where we had to stage over 45 minutes to wait for the first officer to arrive on scene, and the second officer didn't arrive for another 20 minutes. I've also been on supposedly "safe" scenes which suddenly went sideways and we were fighting with an armed patient while frantically calling for LEO assitance.

The number of times I wished I had a firearm on scene > 1.

So far it appears as if this guy screwed up, and it will now be up to the court system to deal with.

I am still wondering why the driver of the car drove past the scene in the opposite direction, turned around, and then gets into an argument while trying to drive through the scene.
 

Tigger

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I am still wondering why the driver of the car drove past the scene in the opposite direction, turned around, and then gets into an argument while trying to drive through the scene.
Because people make stupid choices. Completely out of line behavior, but needed nothing close to the reaction from that FF.

I've worked in the boons for eight years now, I still have no interest in carrying a gun. I know that law enforcement help is a long time coming. That has never come close to changing my mind. If you're desperate for law enforcement, you should be desperate to get off the scene too. If someone pulls a weapon on you in their house, your attempt at producing your CCW stands a good chance of getting you killed.
 

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