This morning over coffee I had a discussion about the unfortunate and terrible shooting of the deranged man with the butcher knife, near Times Square. We were all wondering if there was any alternative to shooting him. I did know police had sent for a taser, but it hadn't arrived on the scene.
Here's a brief article from the Business Insider on these types of situations. The picture is not of the shooting scene (even though it looks like he's about to be shot!) which was captrued on a telephone video and quickly all over the media.
Everyone likes to armchair quarterback instances when police kill a suspect, including, I'm sure, the police themselves. What could have been done differently, how could the incident have been prevented?
But one detail remains clear: Police don't shoot to wound.
Police, like military, are trained to shoot center mass of the target. Most cops aren't trickshots; they don't aim for the kneecaps, and they won't shoot a knife out of the hand of a delirious daytime psycho. They aim center mass for one simple reason - with a pistol, it's easy to miss.
Even then police fired 12 times Saturday and only seven rounds found their target, the rest went wild and fortunately didn't ricochet or find an innocent bystander.