The suspect was shot in the back. He must have been retreating, right?

The fact that an assailant was shot in the back does not necessarily mean he was running away from the officer and wasn’t a threat when the officer shot. An aggressor might start out presenting a face-to-face threat, but in the times it takes for the officer to perceive the threat, decide to shoot, draw his weapon, and pull the trigger, the assailant can partially turn away, exposing his back. Furthermore, suspects frequently fire weapons behind them as they run away.

Even though a police officer will shoot such a suspect in the back, that doesn’t mean the fleeing suspect wasn’t a threat to the officer or others. Sometimes an early shot from the officer will incapacitate the assailant, but before the officer can perceive that, he might fire several additional shots. One of those shots might hit the assailant in the back as he falls through the path of bullets that the officer fires before perceiving that the threat has been neutralized.

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1. Time is on the side of the police, right? They are trained for these types of encounters, aren’t they?
2. Why didn’t the police just talk the distressed aggressor into submission?
3. The subject only had a knife. Why didn’t the officer just disarm the subject, rather than shooting him?
4. Why not just shoot the gun or knife out of the aggressor’s hand? Why not just shoot to wound the subject?
5. Why didn’t the officer use non-lethal tools, such as bean bag or sponge rounds from a shotgun?
6. The suspect was shot in the back. He must have been retreating, right?
7. Why was the assailant shot so many times? Doesn’t that mean the officer overreacted?
8. Why won’t video from a police camera or a bystander’s camera tell the whole story?