Sunday, November 20, 2011

"He was turning his life around!"

Check out this harrowing dash-cam footage from Lafayette, IN, where a suspect who was fleeing the scene of an arson led police on a high-speed chase through the streets of the city.

Dashcam video shows Spencer attacking officers:

When he runs his car aground in a hedge, he stumbles out the driver's door and then leaps across the intervening 22 feet faster than you can say "Dennis Tueller", stabbing one officer in the face before being burned down by the trainee riding shotgun and the officer in the other squad car.

Now, shoots don't come much cleaner than that, and yet:
NewsChannel 18 spoke with Spencer's younger sister Monique Spencer Cuttingham. She said she doesn't believe shooting her brother seven times was justified and the officers had other options. He said her brother was a good man with a family who loves him.
Right. He looked like a regular choirboy in that video. Those meanie cops, pickin' on him like that!

Keep her reaction in mind should you ever be forced into defending yourself with a firearm. Had she not been already dead, Vipsania Agrippina would no doubt have said "Little Boots was a good boy! He loved his momma! They shouldn't oughta have stabbed him thirty times like that!" and started lawyer-shopping.


Anonymous said...

He might be a good person...but ONLY to the family. To others he wasn't so much.


Joseph said...

One of the comments on the news story blamed the cop who was stabbed for the shooting. (The officer who was stabbed didn't fire a shot.) Love it. People who make that sort of comment are the ones who always blame someone else for their own mistakes. Listening to the post shooting comments by the police, they didn't exactly sound thrilled to have shot somebody.

Anonymous said...

Hate to be ugly, but the BG is good - now.

Shrimp said...

Well, now the choir boy gets to find out if he can join that choir upstairs. I'm betting he doesn't make the cut, despite his sister's claim to the contrary.

staghounds said...

"Just another domestic."

BGMiller said...

Only ten rounds fired? I'm impressed. It seems that most of the stories of officer involved shootings have the officer(s) shooting to slide lock. And seven of ten shots striking the suspect? Impressed again. Disciplined, accurate fire under stress? I think a close look at the Lafayette PD's firearms training is in order. They are apparently doing something very right.


Tam said...


"It seems that most of the stories of officer involved shootings have the officer(s) shooting to slide lock."

People tend to shoot until the target is no longer standing in front of their sights, or the gun stops shooting, whichever comes first.

Bubblehead Les. said...

So they're still using the Choir Boy Defense, eh? Funny. They said the same thing when I shot at my Teen Age Free Lance Wealth Distributer back in 1983. Of course, that went down the Bowl when the D.A. pointed out that there was evidence from 23 separate break-ins in the kid's Bedroom, and would the Judge like to take a look at it?

Txred said...

Here is the video on YouTube for those who want to study it a bit without the ads:

That's also a pretty instructive video for those of us who have (thankfully) never been in a situation like that. The Father Stabber covers those 22 feet in the blink of an eye. He goes from a visible threat in his car to face stabbing in about 3 seconds. He more resembles a frenzied, cornered wild animal than what I usually think of facing in a self defense situation.

Now of course you'd be hyper alert in this kind of situation if you had chased this individual for several minutes, but what if someone intends to do you harm out of the blue?

The officer who shot probably had his hand on the grip of his pistol and he was still too late to save his partner from some pretty nasty attention from the assailant.

We read and talk a lot about being a sheepdog vs being a sheep, but when you're up against jackals, that's when things apparently get really difficult.

Barring threat assessment and avoidance of areas and situations that would end in this kind of scenario, I think this is where an overall self defense training regimen would pay off.

Chances are the average person isn't going to be able to draw from concealment before the Father Stabber is on top of them, so they will have to come up with some kind of technique to fend him off AND get their own weapon into play.

Bottom line: The world is a scary place and I need to take some classes for my body AND my pistola.

Cincinnatus said...

There is something very disturbing about the tendency of people to get in front of a camera and lie about the scumbag family member like that.

Anonymous said...

Spencer (the decedent) was from Lafayette until he went to prison for a long stretch for dealing coke and came back a changed man.

LPD has never been shy in spending money for training (mostly in-house but FTU will travel) or ammo. The younger officer is a Special Forces veteran with tours in various hot spots.

The stopping shot was a pelvis shot which removed the genitals and caused massive blood dump.

LPD uses .40 caliber Sig Sauer pistols, has access to H&K "MP5s" in .40 and AR-15s but no long guns were present.

This shooting, for the community, was "unsettling" NOT because it was thought to be a "bad shoot" but because this kind of thing is rare in Lafayette. I mean, the last police action shooting was a cow . . . no, really, stop laughing, it was a cow. Tam blogged about it.

It happened here and the city had a rude awakening.

Shootin' Buddy

Kristophr said...

But Little Boots was such a fine boy ...

I blame his uncle Tiberius.

BGMiller said...


"People tend to shoot until the target is no longer standing in front of their sights, or the gun stops shooting, whichever comes first."

No argument or criticism. The fact that the LPD officers scored so many hits while firing so few rounds is impressive because of that. Something is very right in their training program.


joe said...

It's also worthy of note that the BG didn't cooperate, even when he was on the ground with 7 leaks.

Gewehr98 said...

Rule #1:

Never bring a knife to a gun fight.

karrde said...

So, that 'he was turning his life around' comment...

Does it preclude a 360-degree turn? Impressive, but no long-term change in direction.

Glenn B said...

Now that put a smile on my face and I mean that literally. It is nice to see when the boys in blue get it right. It also made me laugh at the 'how goods a guy he was statement'. Of course, it also filled me with concern for the wounded officer.

As for all the stuff about how fast the guy was, it is well known that at that distance, if you are holstered, and a guy charges you with a knife, and you are both in the open, you are getting stabbed unless you can get behind cover that slows him considerably, run faster than him to retreat, or go to hand to knife combat and disarm him without being wounded. The gun is not just not going to be drawn quick enough. Scary stuff, isn't it!

All the best,

Justthisguy said...

Caligula was mis-understood. C'mon!

WV: jails. I am NOT making this up! Honest!

Six said...

Gonna find some chemicals under the hood in the autopsy. I've seen that imgonnakillya face before and coupled with the post shooting resistance spells something in the CNS stimulant area.

Zendo Deb said...

Aside from the Unibombers brother, has anyone ever said, "That guy is a nutcase and needed to be off the street?" When it applies to family?

Add to that the fact that people think "They should have shot him in the leg" lack of understanding of the use of lethal force, and you get these tirades. And law suits.

And I suppose Hannibal Lecter had a "family who loved him." Unless he ate them.

Zendo Deb said...

"It happened here and the city had a rude awakening." Really?

They thought they lived in Pleasantville? That crime happened to "other kinds of people" in "other kinds of places."

They had a rude awakening to find out that they live in the Real World™. How sad for them.

Tam said...

Zendo Deb,

Bear in mind that Lafayette will frequently go a year forgetting to have any murders at all...

While there is certainly trouble there if you make a point to go looking for it, it's a pretty sleepy small city on the whole.

Gnarly Sheen said...

I'm one of the first to dogpile on cops when they get it wrong, so let me make sure I do the right thing and give credit where credit is due when they get it right. The cop that stopped the assailant with quick, accurate fire should be commended (publicly so, IMHO).

As to the choir boy, well, the less said the better.

Bryan Reavis said...

Nice Caligula reference.

People keep forgetting (or were never introduced to) the 21 foot rule. The 22 foot rule, I suppose it should be.

And while I'm no fan of the cops, I must say that this is exactly what the police were meant to be used for. And yeah a cleaner shoot would be hard to find. And I must say that I'm impressed by the accuracy of the oficer's shooting; 7/10? better than the usual 7/30 You read about.

Tam said...

7/10, and there were two guys shooting.

An Ordinary American said...


Thanks for finding and posting this. I'd been having kind of a blah, down week.

This cheered me up right nicely.


Pakkinpoppa said...

The "don't bring a knife to a gunfight" statement is old and tired. The guy with the knife, if inside that 21 magical feet (or even further if your roscoe gets caught up in the clothing) can perforate you rather thoroughly. I like Ferfal's statement, if you get in a fight in an elevator, better to grab the knife than the pistola. (Okay, it's rather badly repeated, he said something similar though).

Satanam in computatrum said...

"...been already dead, Vipsania Agrippina..."

There you go again. Just out of curiosity, how many outgoing refers to Wikipedia do you average per day? :)