I crunched the numbers yesterday, and came to the conclusion that most of the people injured during a shooting near the Empire State Building in New York City were felled by police bullets:
From piecing together the various media accounts, we know that Johnson was most likely armed with a M1911 .45 ACP pistol, which has a 7 or 8 round magazine. He shot his victim 2-3 times, leaving 5-6 bullets. At least one was found in the magazine, and we have to assume one in the chamber as well.
That means he fired 3-4 bullets, tops, at police.
There were at least three hits on Johnson confirmed by a witness, which suggests the majority of the wounded were hit by the 11-12 additional rounds let loose by the NYPD that missed Johnson.
The New York Times came to the same conclusion—I’m not going to assert they tried to rip off my article, because the Times has too much integrity for that—suggesting that all nine bystanders shot were hit with NYPD bullets:
As the two officers confronted a gunman in front of the Empire State Building on a busy Friday morning, they had to make a snap decision: Do they open fire in the middle of Midtown?
From a distance of less than 10 feet, the officers, Craig Matthews and Robert Sinishtaj, answered in unison; one shot nine times and the other seven.
Investigators believe at least 7 of those 16 bullets struck the gunman, said Paul J. Browne, the Police Department’s chief spokesman. But the officers also struck some, if not all, of the nine bystanders who were wounded.
If the Times is correct and the officers were less than ten feet from Johnson when they opened fire, they could have closed the distance in less than a second or dropped him using tasers. As the incident occurred on a crowded Midtown street at rush hour, you could make a compelling argument that a non-lethal response at this distance in this dense of a civilian environment was the only right response. It is only through the grace of God that the NYPD didn’t kill more people during the shootout than the assassin.
Nanny New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg loves to claim that only police officers are well-trained enough to use firearms. Nine innocent people were injured because a pair of NYPD officers couldn’t take down a man ten feet away without firing more than a dozen shots. I’ve never heard of concealed carry permit holders shooting multiple innocent bystanders… have you?
Perhaps the NYPD shouldn’t be armed with lethal weapons, at least until they’re as well trained as concealed carry permit holders.