crime

Police officer fires warning shot after being charged at by knife-wielding 15-year-old boy

105 Comments

A police officer fired a warning shot from his pistol after a 15-year-old boy, wielding a knife, charged at him following a stabbing incident on the street in Hino, Tokyo, on Monday night.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 11 p.m. Fuji TV reported that the boy stabbed a man in the right thigh. A witness called 110 and when police arrived on the scene, the boy -- who was holding a kitchen knife -- charged at the police officer. The officer fired one shot into the ground in front of the boy who kept coming. The two scuffled and the police officer subdued the boy who was shouting incoherently.

The victim, a man in his 20s, told police he did not know the boy. He was taken to hospital and was in a stable condition on Tuesday.

Neither the police officer nor the boy were hurt, police said.

The boy has been charged with assault and obstructing police in the line of duty.

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105 Comments
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This police officer needs to be head of training of the United States police forces. He needs to be posted effective immediately.

10 ( +27 / -17 )

Wow! Lunging at a cop with a knife in other countries would get you an attempted murder charge, but you probably would have lived through the attempt.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

He should have just shot the kid.

-29 ( +15 / -44 )

i would have shot the kid.

-21 ( +16 / -37 )

The "Tueller Drill" has been permanently indoctrinated into US law enforcement agencies. Its safer to shoot a suspect charging at you if he's armed with a knife. Any US court would acquit an officer who shoots and kills a suspect, when that suspect is armed with a knife and actively charging at a police officer.

Why take any chances? Cops (just like anyone else) just want to go home at the end of their shift.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tueller_Drill

5 ( +17 / -12 )

Why take any chances?

Because that's what being a cop is about.

Cops (just like anyone else) just want to go home at the end of their shift

Well, if its the case that they have to shoot someone dead to do so, maybe they should find another job.

I am critical of J-cops in general, but this is a man who deserves our respect and praise. He disarmed a knife weilding criminal without neither injury to himself or the perpetrator. That deserves respect.

Not like those American Yahoos who all think they're John Wayne in blue.

17 ( +30 / -13 )

Shoot to kill, son... Shoot to kill.

-31 ( +8 / -39 )

Well, if its the case that they have to shoot someone dead to do so, maybe they should find another job.

No. Maybe people should respect them. Obey the law. Don't commit crimes. Don't attack / charge officers with knives.

Because that's what being a cop is about.

And thats what being a violent criminal is all about too. They cops might have to "take them down" one day. Every dog has his day.

-2 ( +15 / -17 )

A "boy"? "In his 20s"?

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

If you pull your pistol and intend to fire it then the brief is…well aimed shots to the center mass. Police and military don't shoot to kill, they shoot to stop! And you continue to fire until the threat has stopped. Two rounds usually does the trick.

You never…repeat never do what this officer done and fire into the ground or (worse) the air.

reasons are: That round you fire into the air may injure or kill an innocent bystander. It will also give the attacker the belief that you are reluctant to fire directly at him. (probably true in this case) You really don't wanna call a crazed knifeman's bluff. He will finish you off and then move onto others.

-10 ( +13 / -23 )

A shot to the knee would've been a lasting reminder of his youthful stupidity.

-3 ( +11 / -14 )

A "boy"? "In his 20s"?

The boy, the one with the knife, is 15.

The man in his twenties is the one who got stabbed.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

The relation dynamics between policemen and the public in Japan are different compared countries like the US. I believe that policemen from these two countries would handle this situation differently.

The policeman did what he thought was best, and at the end, he handled it accordingly.

Big up to him.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

Sounds like a case of schizophrenia.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Sorry but I don't think that the police officer's response was appropriate in this case. The attacker was armed and dangerous, charging the police officer, and was not cooperating... That's what tasers are for, with a good helping of billy-clubs and backup.

-12 ( +6 / -17 )

For those who don't know, a knife can go through a vest the police wear. Depending on the type (not sure what types J-cops wear) they will stop a bullet, but one can get a knife through a vest. If not the vest, remember that the face and arms are not covered and a knife stab in the neck or arm can cause harm, not to mention making the cop drop his gun and the perp could pick it up and use.

Firing a warning shot is also dangerous. What goes up, must come down. In this case he shot at the ground, but if he were in an area that had a hard enough surface, a ricochet could have occurred. Like it or not, a direct center body mass is normally the best way to guarantee that the perp is stopped.

-6 ( +12 / -17 )

is this what cops are trained to do in japan? this was a very dangerous situation. the boy had already stabbed a man, which means he was willing to kill someone. by shooting into the ground, the bullet could have ricocheted and injured or killed someone else. imagine if a young child would have been in the vicinity? and what if the kid overpowered the cop, stole his gun and started shooting? i mean, so many things could have gone wrong here. the police officer should have shot him due to the circumstances.

-12 ( +7 / -17 )

All the people commenting "I would have shot him", are what's wrong with society. They simply don't think, they don't know that behind the news there is a person, the boy could have serious issues, he wasn't in his right mind, and he needed help, granted he attacked a person but still that's not enough motive to kill him, the officer was right he did an splendid job, he protected society. This is the reason of why Japanese society doesn't get shootouts in schools.

10 ( +18 / -9 )

Davenetcat:

" A shot to the knee would've been a lasting reminder of his youthful stupidity. "

Sure, just try to shoot someone running at you "in the knee". I want to see that trick!

In the event, I am glad to live in a country where a cop firing a warning shot makes it into national news.

16 ( +17 / -3 )

David, remember the Osaka school massacre? The Akihabara massacre? They were done with knives. The assailant may have had problems but the consequences of not stopping him would probably be much worse. Shooting your guns in the ground is probably the second-worse thing a police officer can do. I would not be surprised of the officer actually tried to hit the kid but shot too early...

Whatever the officer's response, non-lethal options should have been used, so taser or pepper spray. If these options were not available at the time, they need to be included in the police officers tool box.

0 ( +6 / -5 )

US Police need to take a note from this guy. While Japanese police have a reputation for being useless, this guy subdued a kid instead of sending him to an early grave. Like many others said, if this was in the states, that kid would be in a body bag.

2 ( +9 / -8 )

Good on this cop. Anyone with a gun can shoot someone, it takes a brave person to find another solution to the matter. In recent times, the word hero is used wrongly so many times, but in this case, this cop is a hero, and the boy owes him a debt of gratitude, even if he may not realize that.

7 ( +12 / -5 )

No. Maybe people should respect them. Obey the law. Don't commit crimes.

Meanwhile, back in reality....

The attacker was armed and dangerous, charging the police officer, and was not cooperating... That's what tasers are for, with a good helping of billy-clubs and backup.

No. That's what hand to hand combat is for. Learn wrist locks, chokes, and throws. Learn how to perform them with minimal damage to the criminal. In the UK, most cops still don't carry guns (some do). Yet, they can still do their duty with a high level of competance.

The only time a cop should shoot someone is if that individual is armed with a firearm and shows intent to use it. But a knife- no. All cops should be competant in disarming techniques. A human life is precious and you don't just get to blantantly snuff it out just because you wear a badge.

-6 ( +4 / -11 )

I wouldn't have blamed the copper if he had shot the kid but kudos to this one for not doing it, deserves a lot of praise.

Was this kid lucky day, he and his parents should thank the cop for keeping his cool.

12 ( +11 / -0 )

The "Tueller Drill" has been permanently indoctrinated into US law enforcement agencies. Its safer to shoot a suspect charging at you if he's armed with a knife. Any US court would acquit an officer who shoots and kills a suspect, when that suspect is armed with a knife and actively charging at a police officer.

Why take any chances? Cops (just like anyone else) just want to go home at the end of their shift.

But isn't this type of policy, thinking, and training the heart of the problem? Shouldn't cops be people of above average valor, bravery, and people passionate enough to put serving the public over "just getting a paycheck"?

Just getting a paycheck is what makes people join the army and kill for an ideology they don't necessarily subscribe to. Offering poor whites money to join the ranks against the British is how the founding fathers, the original one-percenters, kept the dissatisfied poor whites pacified. They also payed them to join militias in order to keep rebellious slaves and Indians in check, all the while giving those whites crumbs from their tables.

Not only did they give them money, but they boosted morale among the militiamen by fostering and encouraging racism based solely on skin color. And I see a direct correlation between that scheme and the way an average joe looking for a paycheck is hired to be a police officer. Do you think it's a coincidence that police shootings are being overtly sensationalised by accident right around politriking time? I don't think so.

Anyway, just shooting a suspect says the cop doesn't have to use his or her head; they don't have to think critically. It allows cops to kill people when a death most likely could've been prevented. This Jcop demonstrated that marvelously.

And let me ask you then: are you in favor of shooting the suspect for the sole purpose of incapacitating him or her by shooting them once in the leg? or do you advocate that every cop on the scene unload their entire clip into the suspect?

2 ( +6 / -5 )

the cop didn't have a tazer? wrestling with a knife rattling maniac is very stupid. he could've got killed if the boy was an adult

1 ( +5 / -4 )

I don't think cops carry tasers here. I don't ever remember seeing a cop with one, but maybe I just wasn't looking carefully enough.

3 ( +4 / -2 )

That's what hand to hand combat is for.

Aly, I think we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. What you are talking about is OK if you are protecting yourself and aren't a police officer. It doesn't work when your job is to be prepared to use lethal force. In the UK, they would call for back up and then take down the assailant using a large number of officers, not much hand-to-hand combat needed when you have overwhelming numbers on your side. It's one way to do it. They would use a taser in Canada, without waiting for back up if there is danger, like a man charging the officer because the nearest officer might be 20 minutes away, or more.

2 ( +5 / -2 )

@Louis AmselMAR. 01, 2016 - 03:11PM JST

the cop didn't have a tazer? wrestling with a knife rattling maniac is very stupid. he could've got killed if the boy was an adult

Japan is still peaceful enough that the "taser", which is but a "less-lethal" response isn't considered a necessity.

Yes, if the cop didn't want to take any risks to his body, he could have aimed center-mass, at the cost of a high probability of killing someone he has no inherent right to kill.

@PeaceWarriorMAR. 01, 2016 - 02:57PM JST

Shooting your guns in the ground is probably the second-worse thing a police officer can do.

This is how the subject is taught in the US, but I'm a little skeptical. Their point is theoretically valid, but they are in essence advocating trading a VERY small probability of an accident with a MUCH higher probability of killing or seriously damaging a suspect. If the street was pretty empty (like at this night) the ratio of probability is the hundreds or thousands to 1.

It is generally considered substantiable that an assailant's life may be considered less than your own or other innocents. This is the basis of all self-defense laws. But whether it may be considered HUNDREDS of times less valuable is at best a very controversial subject.

3 ( +5 / -3 )

I understand your point Kazuaki, but that's a loose shot and where it lands is anyone's guess. Your one-year old's shoulder for example... A billy club or a jutte would have made more sense and be a much better legal choice.

-2 ( +3 / -4 )

I wish the Japanese police force would provide training to the U.S. police on crisis de-esculation — an area where American cops are sorely lacking.

Despite all of my past criticism of the Japanese police, this is one area where they outperform the U.S. police, hands down.

4 ( +8 / -5 )

You can really tell who the Yanks on this thread are by the "Hee-haw I would have shot him!" remarks, almost said with glee or in a manner condescending of the police officer's actions.

I often mock and speak ill of police here, but it is cases like these where you see not only a difference in the training of police, and the mentality, but also the wonderful use of restraint and regard for human life. Contrast this with police in the US (usually white men) pulling out a gun and shooting people (usually black) up to 15 times or more when the suspect is doing nothing but holding a toy or trying to run away. They don't check to confirm what's being held, they don't even try to shoot to disable, they just empty their weapons completely trigger happy, with body cams usually turned off, of course.

Good on this police officer. Instead of a dead kid you have him uninjured and in custody, and the police officer himself unharmed.

The US and other nations need to take note.

10 ( +15 / -6 )

ITT: People who have no idea how dangerous a knife actually is.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_KJ1R2PCMM

Good on this police officer. Instead of a dead kid you have him uninjured and in custody, and the police officer himself unharmed.

And it could have just as easily been 1 innocent bystander dead due to ricochet, one dead cop from multiple stab wounds, and a lunatic on the loose with a stolen police handgun. Good job.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

This 15-year-old boy stabbed a police officer in his 20s before he fired a warning pistol shot from his pistol?

This boy must be brave after this police officer warned him.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Y'all do know that all police officers in Japan are certified in high level judo and train in hand to hand combat techniques rigorously. They know more about how to non lethally take down a suspect subconsciously than the average US cop.

Source-- did a story on it 10 years ago

5 ( +7 / -3 )

More like stupid. J-Cops can't just whip out their guns and fire, they need to be under threat and need to fire a warning shot first.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

strangeland:

" this cop is a hero "

Maybe a hero, but a very stupid hero. I can not believe that police procedure here involves wrestling with a knife-wielding attacker. If that is the case, I am flabbergasted. Can someone confirm this?

I would understand use of the rubber stick, that is what they are for, and that is what the police used in Akihabara, But bare-hand wrestling? Come on.

-2 ( +5 / -6 )

Depends on the range. Each weapon has a minimum and maximum range, get within the minimum range and it becomes easier to fight.

The Cop was going for a takedown most likelyie within grappling range where most weapons are rather useless.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it could have just as easily been 1 innocent bystander dead due to ricochet, one dead cop from multiple stab wounds, and a lunatic on the loose with a stolen police handgun

But it wasn't, showing that either (1) the officer was lucky, or (2) the officer reckoned he was firing into soft earth with little chance of ricochet. In either case the result is no deaths, suspect safely in custody. Well done that officer, I hope he gets a bit extra in his next bonus.

Y'all do know that all police officers in Japan are certified in high level judo and train in hand to hand combat techniques rigorously. They know more about how to non lethally take down a suspect subconsciously than the average US cop.

Yup. When my daughter came back from basic training her scofflaw Dad (not so keen on his little girl becoming a cop instead of getting a nice safe office job) tried to show her the kind of thing she might be up against in the big bad world. He was on the floor before anyone had time to blink.

3 ( +7 / -5 )

I support what this officer did. I suspect that those saying they would have shot the kid are American...

2 ( +6 / -5 )

Should never fire a warning shot.

-7 ( +3 / -9 )

I love how this thread is full of people criticizing the officer, despite never being through Japanese police training, not knowing what PD policy in Japan for responding to attackers with knives is, and the fact that the officer achieved the most flawless outcome possible in this confrontation.

...but I mean apart from that everything he did was wrong.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I love how this thread is full of people criticizing the officer, despite never being through Japanese police training, not knowing what PD policy in Japan for responding to attackers with knives is

I refuse to believe that PD policy calls for firing a warning shot into the ground in response to someone charging with a knife. To begin with, the warning shot didn't even stop the attacker in the first place according to this article, so it was effectively pointless. And besides, if you're charging armed police with a knife, why would a warning shot dissuade you in the first place?

-2 ( +5 / -6 )

Dirty Harry is posting under a lot of names, it seems. Fifteen-year old boy. 15. I might imagine, him being there, the officer felt it was the best response. Yoshihiro Hattori was 15 when he was shot by a man in the Baton Rouge. People in Japan are quite sensitive and sensible about shooting at kids, knife or no knife.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Should never fire a warning shot.

Yeah someone may not die if you do. And that wouldn't allow people to feel good about killing a 15 year old kid.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

More details from the vernacular news: the boy smashed the window of the police car with a かぎ縄(grappling hook?? Some metal thing on the end of a rope). The police officer told him to 'Drop the knife or I'll shoot', he didn't so he did, aiming at his foot and hitting the ground instead. The boy was then subdued and arrested. Onlookers say the boy appeared to be drunk, staggering about. The police say the boy later said he 'wanted the police to shoot him'.

Sounds to me like a lad with mental health problems, or a drug problem.

http://www.news24.jp/articles/2016/03/01/07323654.html http://news.livedoor.com/article/detail/11241108/

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Because that's what being a cop is about.

Think about how many police are killed in America every year, and many of them have families with children. Being a police officer is a risky enough job, and attempting to stop someone armed with a knife without deadly force might be applauded by many, it is also absurdly stupid, the only thing more stupid being to attack an armed police officer with a knife.

I worked as a police officer for more than ten years in an American inner-city, and managed during my time there never to shoot anyone. Having been in the Army, and having learned how to fight even before then taught me that when you go looking for trouble, you are likely to find it. Fortunately for me, trouble never came looking for me. Had someone charged at me with a knife, I would have aimed center-mass, and shot immediately, without hesitation. First, I have to defend myself from the attacker, in the most effective way possible. If I don't, and try to simply tackle him and take away the knife, I may be stabbed myself (kevlar vests do not stop knife blades), and then who knows if he might stab someone else. Worse, if I am stabbed, he could get my gun and what was already a bad problem would become much worse.

The officer in the above story was lucky, but he was stupid. He not only put his life at risk, but the lives of others as well. Were he working in my department, he would be given a commendation for the sake of the media, but were I his supervisor, I would also put my foot up his backside, and send him to be a school resource officer in a higher-income part of town where he wouldn't have to risk his life, or the lives of others.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

A few people on here that have the right idea. A person with a knife is a serious threat. As a police officer, and I have stood in the shoes of a police officer, so I speak from experience. The person with a knife within 21 feet is a clear danger the boy would've gotten one warning for me, to drop the knife. Failing to do so he would have been shot!

0 ( +6 / -6 )

This cop did fine and judged the situation accordingly. On the other hand if that had been a two hundred pound six foot two individual that cop had better of used lethal force. I agree with posters on both sides, excessive force is way too common in the us police, but reality has to come into play in a situation where an officer has to use more excessive means. That is what I was taught cade by case nothing is always black and white.

4 ( +4 / -1 )

Police officers are not robots, although trained to "Protect and Serve", each officer should know their limits. I don't know what the Japanese police protocol is, but it's very possible that this officer sensibly sized up this drunken 15 yr old kid as a minor threat (even with the knife), and decided with a high probability that he could disarm him without anyone dying. If the officer thought that his life were in danger, I'm sure that he would have shot the kid, as he was holding a gun.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

In the US, the kid would've been fatally killed with 10-20 shots. Shoot first, ask questions later.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

In the US, the kid would've been fatally killed with 10-20 shots. Shoot first, ask questions later.

Good. Kids who attack police with knives in the US should be "shot." If not, they'll grow up to be even greater danger to society. Quit the liberal, hippy-rainbow approach to these kinds of scenarios.

Bottom Line: Cops are "justified" to dump rounds on ANYBODY attacking or charging them with a knife. Further, ANY reasonable court would back an officer in those circumstances.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"Justified" doesn't always mean it's the right thing to do.

And this cop just proved that.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

A Japanese Cop. Look at the thuggish element American police have to deal with. Listen to rap music, they're always talking about killing cops.

If I had the badge & gun, I'd rather square off with a japanese criminal than a seasoned American criminal any day.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

This officer should be commended on his judgment. It was not a fatal incident, and the perpetrator was emotionally irrational. Later, I'm sure the perpetrator gets the support or help he needs, the victim heals, and everyone is ok. I'm disgusted by how barbaric Americans are: that they think killing a 15 year old boy is the solution.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

katsu78:

" ot knowing what PD policy in Japan for responding to attackers with knives is, "

Well, you tell us. What is it?

Is it "wrestle with the attacker"? Really? If so, can you post a reference?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This police officer needs to be head of training of the United States police forces. He needs to be posted effective immediately.

Why? So that more police officers can die needlessly? You don't stop an armed assailant by firing warning shots. That will be the fastest way to get yourself killed, nine times out of ten. This cop failed big time. ""Warning shots" are prohibited in most departments because that bullet has to go SOMEWHERE, it doesn't just disappear. If it had hit a rock, ricocheted, and killed a bystander, the officer would have had nothing to say in his defense. In this particular case, the warning shot was totally ineffective. I could have told him that simply because the perpetrator hung around long enough for the police to show, then charged the police. That is not someone who is going to heed a warning of any kind. Drugs? Mental incapacity? An attempted suicide by police? We don't know, but apparently the kid wasn't fazed by the warning shot at all. Most departments say if you pull the trigger, it should ONLY be aimed at a suspect who is threatening the life of someone. This case certainly qualified.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The officer fired one shot into the ground in front of the boy who kept coming. The two scuffled and the police officer subdued the boy who was shouting incoherently.

Give that man a medal. I would NEVER scuffle with anyone armed with a knife.

Too dangerous.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

No. That's what hand to hand combat is for. Learn wrist locks, chokes, and throws

What if the attacker was a high school judo champ or some other star athlete going against a middle aged man weighted down with protective gear. Do you want to be in that position or would you rather take a shot and know that he will be stopped. Ever seen anyone stoned out of their mind on meth or other stimulants. Watch an episode of COPS and see how long it takes to bring someone down that is high like that feeling no pain, and then come back and tell me that is what you would rather do than to stop them in their tracks.

0 ( +4 / -3 )

Why would you advocate killing a 15-year old kid, knife or no knife ? I could condone the use of tasers or beanbag guns in this kind of case, but not leathal force.

At the end of the day, not a single human life was lost - that has to be the bottom line here.

Reading some of these comments, all I can say is that I'm happy I live in a country where police officers show RESTRAINT.

1 ( +2 / -2 )

I watched it on TV this morning and they said that they didn't know he was 15, the officer tried to shoot him in the leg and then missed, the officer shot his weapon with lots of bystanders around in and out if their houses and there were at least four police officers present when the shot was fired. That's not a win, that's luck.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

njca4Mar. 02, 2016 - 07:22AM JST Why would you advocate killing a 15-year old kid, knife or no knife ? I could condone the use of tasers or beanbag guns in this kind of case, but not leathal force. At the end of the day, not a single human life was lost - that has to be the bottom line here. Reading some of these comments, all I can say is that I'm happy I live in a country where police officers show RESTRAINT.

Bean bags aren't carried around by Japanese police, nor are tasers. If this kid is capable of stabbing someone, it's perfectly acceptable to give him the other end of the stick as well. We don't know the situation in detail, the article is very dramatic, but warning shots aren't always feasible and shooting in the ground isn't generally recommended procedure because of unpredictable shrapnel and ricochets.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Cool head on those shoulders. Good job.

By the way, comments like 'he should have shot the kid'?? 'I would have shot the kid'??. That's what I call trigger happy nincompoopery.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Bean bags aren't carried around by Japanese police, nor are tasers. If this kid is capable of stabbing someone, it's perfectly acceptable to give him the other end of the stick as well. We don't know the situation in detail, the article is very dramatic, but warning shots aren't always feasible and shooting in the ground isn't generally recommended procedure because of unpredictable shrapnel and ricochets.

Yes, I live in Japan so I know the police don't carry them here. I was just saying that non-lethal weapons might the way to go in these sorts of cases.

Regardless of whether you think this young boy deserves to be shot/killed or not .... what makes you think that police officers here want to shoot / take another persons life?

2 ( +2 / -1 )

To clarify my comment for those of you who can't understand: a warning shot may richochet and do harm. You could easily injure or kill someone or something that is not involved in the situation. Hope that helped.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

a warning shot may richochet and do harm.

And a shot to the chest will certainly do so.

-3 ( +2 / -6 )

Mocheake.

We are all aware of those facts, but a warning shot can also cause an attacker to stop and rethink his actions.

Like with anything in life it is up to the people involved and there is always a 50/50 chance of it working.

Saying don't do it because it can go wrong is NOT up to me or you, Cops are trained to make that decision knowing full well that it can end their career if an uninvolved party gets hit.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Everyone seems to be missing the point that the suspect (he is a suspect, like it or not) committed a deadly crime and attempted another. There is a small thing called the Use of Force continuum that is used by Police Departments worldwide. At that time, the boy committed a crime that was at the top level; Serious Bodily Harm/Death. This means that the officer is authorized deadly force, hence why his weapon was drawn and not a taser, stick or whatever non-lethal weapon people want to think up!

Great that the officer was able to complete the situation without bloodshed, however it seems like it is time for some department training on use of force and specifically how firing at the ground can cause more harm than good.

Before we play Monday morning armchair police officer and criticize U.S. cops who 99% of do their jobs just fine along with the Japanese police, we should put ourselves in their shoes. At the end of the day I want to go home, I am not going to take my chances wrestling someone who just attempted murder.

It's all fine and dandy to judge when you have never worn the uniform or badge.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Chief of Police stated yesterday publicly that the cops action will be reviewed to see if it was justified or not.

Common procedure worldwide whenever a Cop discharges his weapon or might use unjustified force.

None of us can say either Aye or Nay that is a police internal decision.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Everyone seems to be missing the point that the suspect (he is a suspect, like it or not) committed a deadly crime and attempted another.

Not missing it at all. But not every incident needs to be resolved with summary execution in the streets.

it seems like it is time for some department training on use of force and specifically how firing at the ground can cause more harm than good.

That's a matter of opinion and circumstance - in this case it did more good than harm.

-3 ( +1 / -5 )

What deadly crime? Who died?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Strangerland:

" Not missing it at all. But not every incident needs to be resolved with summary execution in the streets. "

I do not know how you get from shooting a knife-wielding attacker running towards you to "summary execution". Are we reading the same article?

And I am still waiting for katsu78, who claimed to know it, to explain the official police procedure in japan. Does it prescribe bare-handed wrestling with knife assailants??

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The officer in this case got off lucky. Some give thumbs down for people who say he should of shot the kid. Truth is he should have. The problem is the officer did not shoot the kid, and then the two got into a scuffle, which should of not happened, WHY you ask? The reason, the kid had already displayed intent to harm others, the kid had already stabbed another man is now going to charge a police officer, IF the officer lost the scuffle and gotten his hands on the officer's gun, you now have a person armed with a gun, who has already shown he doesn't care about harming others, you have a MORE dangerous situation. I would of shot the kid. This isn't the movies, you don't shoot in the leg or arm to stop someone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I do not know how you get from shooting a knife-wielding attacker running towards you to "summary execution".

Well I suppose it's because it fits the definition:

Summary execution:

A summary execution is an execution in which a person is accused of a crime and immediately killed without benefit of a full and fair trial.

Link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summary_execution

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Strangerland:

" A summary execution is an execution in which a person is accused of a crime and immediately killed without benefit of a full and fair trial. "

But that is is not the situation here. He was not "accused of a crime", he was in the process of committing a crime (I assume you agree that attacking you with a knife is a crime). And being shot in self-defense is different from simply "killing" someone. Also note that it is no means certain that a shot to the body would kill him.

Again, are we reading the same article? You seem to be commenting about an entirely different situation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The Japanese TV news has been saying that in addition to stabbing the man, the teen--said to have been "dressed as a cartoon ninja"--was swinging a grapnel (rope with multi-pronged hook on the end), and in fact destroyed the rear window of a patrol car with it.

He has been quoted as saying that he wanted to do something to attract the police, because he wanted to be shot and killed by a police officer.

When shouting, swinging the grapnel around, and brandishing a knife didn't draw the police quickly enough, he apparently escalated and stabbed the passerby. The police may have been already on the way by that time, though; that wasn't clear from the reports that I saw earlier today..

The news has also reported that the warning (?) shot was fired from about 10 meters away, and that the perpetrator did indeed subsequently stab the policeman, too, but caused no injury due to the officer's protective vest. It might have ended very differently, had the anti-knifing (not, apparently, bullet-proof) vest not functioned as well, or had the knife hit elsewhere.

The cop seems to have acted with remarkable discretion, all things considered.

The question mark above is because it isn't clear (even after watching/hearing reports from several different programs) whether the shot was indeed a warning or just a missed shot to the teen's leg. On the one hand, a warning shot into the ground is inviting a ricochet and maybe collateral injury/death, on the other hand it's hard outside of the movies to hit a precise spot on a rapidly moving target. My best guess is that it was indeed intended as a warning shot, and didn't work.

I'm glad that nobody was killed; being stabbed in the thigh--depending on where--could easily lead to swiftly bleeding to death.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Balefire:

" It might have ended very differently, had the anti-knifing (not, apparently, bullet-proof) vest not functioned as well, or had the knife hit elsewhere. "

Exactly. It might have ended with the nutcase being armed with dead policeguys gun.

I think the posters who applaud the hero action here are have watched too many Hollywood movies, where everything is possible.

And I am still curious to know what the official police procedure is for this situation. Katsu78 who claimed to know it has not commented.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The problem with your definition of "summary execution" is that the person was no being "accused" of a crime, he was in the process of committing a crime, attacking someone on the street with a knife then turning on the police officer is reasonable grounds for the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers to prevent harm or injury to other innocent people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Ha, I suppose everyone here is a trained policeman. What this officer did was reckless in firing a warning shot that may have hit someone else. Then there is a scuffle that by luck, no one was hurt or killed. Let me know when you are an officer or a common person and you want to "subdue" an attacker with what this officer did. This was luck, not a situation where it will happen 100% of the time. Don't want to get killed? Don't come at a police officer with a knife. It's really that simple.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Don't come at a police officer with a knife. It's really that simple.

Exactly. Officer safety 101. Somebody charges you with a knife, draw out the Ace of Spades. This standard textbook officer training and tactics.

3 ( +6 / -2 )

I am still waiting for someone to find out what the official police procedure is. "katsu78" said it it is to wrestle bare-handed with a knife-wielding attacker. I still have trouble believing that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Obviously we'll never be told what ACTUALLY was the point with the missed shot though. The average person wouldn't consider that hitting a moving target that is trying to kill you with a revolver is very difficult and "missing" sounds incompetent so I'm sure they'll go with "warning shot". Of course this kid is probably out on the streets again already so we'll soon know what he actually wanted to accomplish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

OK, people in the comments here are actually expressing disappointment that this incident didn`t end with a child being shot to death.

Interesting.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

rainyday:

" OK, people in the comments here are actually expressing disappointment that this incident didn`t end with a child being shot to death. "

No they don´t.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

WilliB

Gee, I don`t know, comments like "Shoot to kill, son... Shoot to kill" and "the police officer should have shot him due to the circumstances" and of course this beauty "Good. Kids who attack police with knives in the US should be "shot." all seem to indicate an overwhelming degree of disappointment that this incident didn't end up with a 15 year old with a bullet in him.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

rainydasy:

Only one poster said "shoot to kill".

Others pointed out that police and military don't shoot to kill, they shoot to stop. And that wrestling with a knife-wielding attacker is not the action with the best guaranteed outcome.

In order to save this "childs" life at all costs, would you prefer this "child" to keep attacking people with a knife, and possibly with a stolen gun? How many lifes would you be willing to risk before you you would recommend endangering the life of this precious knife-wielding "child"?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Only one poster said "shoot to kill".

We also have "Any US court would acquit an officer who shoots and kills a suspect", "take them down", "the brief is…well aimed shots to the centre mass", "a direct center body mass is normally the best way", "I would have aimed center-mass", "In the US, the kid would've been fatally killed with 10-20 shots....Good", "I would of shot the kid.... you don't shoot in the leg or arm" - all sound like different ways to say 'shoot to kill'.

Big tough wannabes against a 15-year-old boy.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

In order to save this "childs" life at all costs, would you prefer this "child" to keep attacking people with a knife, and possibly with a stolen gun?

Actually I am just totally satisfied that he was successfully subdued without the use of lethal force. And I a little disturbed that this fact seems to annoy a lot of posters on here who have, as the numerous comments I could further quote from above indicate, feel that a dead kid would have been a more satisfying/suitable outcome.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Cleo:

" Big tough wannabes against a 15-year-old boy. "

A crazed 15-year old boy with a KNIFE. I have not seen a picture, but some 15-year old males can be pretty big. Do you do any martial arts at all? Do you seriously think it is a good idea to wrestle with a young male with a knife?? Real life is different from Hollywood.

And I am still waiting for someone to clarify what the official police procedure here is for that situation.If it is "wrestle bare-handed", I eat my keyboard.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

some 15-year old males can be pretty big

If you haven't seen any pictures, why would you think this particular 15-year-old was any bigger than average? According to witnesses, he was staggering about like he was drunk, hardly a match for a trained police officer probably twice his size.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If he saw him charging against him, he should have shot him in the shoulder or legs or other parts that are not fatal but could stop him from doing more harm. But as we all know, Japan has a ban against holding a gun except for police. But a lot of police here does not even carry a gun at all.. How many the police in Japan do you think actually fired a gun in an actual event? The police who responded doesn't clearly know what he's gonna do to stop the boy, firing warning shots on the ground will not help at all, hence it will be more dangerous. A lot of people get hurt from ricocheting bullets in my country alone.

If you are going to pull a gun, you must be ready to shoot the person or if you don't have the balls for it, its better to have a taser gun.

-2 ( +1 / -2 )

How many the police in Japan do you think actually fired a gun in an actual event?

Very, very few. And this is a good thing.

Reports are now saying that this was not a 'warning shot' but a shot aimed at the boy's legs that missed. If that's the case then the officer was perhaps not quite as level-headed as I at first gave him credit for; at the very least he's a lousy shot.

But still, he brought the kid in without any further injury to anyone, and for that he deserves commendation. I cannot see the police authorities in Japan censuring an officer for not shooting a child dead, especially when it has been shown that it was indeed possible to bring the kid in alive. He might get a reprimand for firing his weapon unnecessarily, though.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@cleo Thank you for the additional info. But we can't deny the fact that at those kinds of situations you only got a few seconds to decide, it's a life or death situation. You're job as a police officer is to uphold the law and protect its citizens. If you see that he is a treath to others then you must make a decision before it becomes a disaster. One life of a young man who has intentions to kill or hurt other does not weigh equal to the innocent lives in the area. I am not rooting to kill the kid, but sometimes you have to do something to save others..

If he missed his shot then he should practice more, its stil dangerous if you accidentally hit others. But if he intentionally fired at the ground then he should be educated at the risk of what he just did.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese police officers cannot shoot.

I'm an avid airsofter (Look it up). The guys from US & Canada who grew up with guns or those in Japan who are airsofting every day beat the living CRAP out of police and JSDF guys when it comes to weapons handling. Seriously.

It is a major issue I wish that the J police would address - it is not something that requires much money. The training can be done for free and in the spare time of officers and it WILL result in higher accuracy and faster draw times.

Did you know that JPolice are still using revolvers designed in the 60's (S&W's) generally only loaded with 5 shots each, and that they're in a holster with a special snap on them that requires a special method to unclip? Furthermore the J police guns have got a tether cable on them which I promise you gets tangled on the draw so often it isn't even funny.

I'm curious why officers bother carrying batons / nightsticks / etc. if they're going to go for gunshots instead anyway. They spend hours in the dojo training with the stuff. You see the police officers standing outside the kouban with the jo for hours on end - you'd assume they'd know how to use it. Long stick beats a small knife by a long shot any day of the week - seriously.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@piecewarrior - the article stated that he shot into the ground and a later comment stated he shot low and missed. But in either case you may want to know that bullets don't 'ricochet' in the since you are probably thinking off. When a handgun round hits something hard at close range (under 25m) it basically shatters into a bunch of sliver sized fragments. These fragments travel parallel to the ground (object hit) and fan out all kinds of directions. Due to the new small size of the fragments they lack the energy to do more than give you a nasty cut. So in summary a warning shot to the ground has very little likelihood of causing real damage to the suspect or innocents near by.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Barry Photog Houser, bullets are weird man. I've seen some weird skips that just seemed to defy physics. Give it a shallow angle and you'll lose very little velocity. You won't lose deadliness. Fragments can kill too.

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-others/australia-lindt-cafe-seige-hostage-killed-by-police-bullet-ricochet/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@sado You are correct that the decision to draw the gun and use it is a split second choice. Hesitating is also a decision by default, because the window of action is sometimes that small. You and @cleo are mistaken about where to shoot, however. Every single military and law enforcement training in the world reaches (and usually demonstrates) that if you shoot in close quarters action, always aim for center mass. Even the best in the world would hardly ever be able to actually hit a limb of someone moving around. Hollywood movies are responsible for people believing that it is realistic to hit anything other than center mass of a human who is aware of your gun in real life.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Grant Chesley Thank you for your info. But aiming at the center mass has a highest probability of killing the suspect right? So once you pull out your gun in a close combat situation it mean that your only choice is to kill the suspect? In this case, if they don't want to kill the guy, they should just have taser guns or something non-lethal to neutralize the suspect if he is armed.

@James Burke You're right, I saw a lot of police officers here only carrying revolvers. The fact that guns are not technically allowed in Japan and only the police are allowed to use them. I think the government is only regulating the use of guns even in the police force. But they should be at least be knowledgeable or could properly handle a gun in case of a big crisis arise like say a terror attack (hopefully not). We live in a dangerous world and the police force are the ones who should response first at the first sign of trouble.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You and @cleo are mistaken about where to shoot, however.

I don't think I made any comment about 'where to shoot'. Initially we were told it was a 'warning shot' - warning shots are not meant to kill, regardless of whether or not they are advisable. Then it was reported that the officer aimed and missed, I commented the he was a lousy shot. Again no mention by me of where he should be aiming. I would rather guns not be used at all against children.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo:

" I would rather guns not be used at all against children. "

Is the term "child" somehow pulling some irrational mental string here? We have full-sized male human with armed with a knife and the intend to kill. What do you do to protect the public?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

What do you do to protect the public?

What the officer did - subdue the boy with as little fuss and damage as possible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Maybe the cop shot someone previously in the line of duty. Maybe the cop was a normal human being who was staring down at a life before him. He was there, not us. This is just one story...in the Naked City.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What deadly crime? Who died?

No one. They would have been more correct writing, "a crime with a deadly weapon". I try to not get too picky on this forum when it comes to the English used because there are many here where English is not their native language.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cleo:

" What the officer did - subdue the boy with as little fuss and damage as possible. "

What the officer did was taking a risk that was irresponsible. Yes, it is "possible" to wrestle a knife from a knife-wielding attacker. Just like it is "possible" to play the lottery. That does not mean it is a good idea. And please get of the "boy" meme. This was not a toddler in kindergarten waving a teddybear, to remind you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Had the gun been a knife and the kid saw it maybe he would have stopped but since Japan has no guns perhaps he thought it was a water gun!!!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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