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American Handgunner Jul/Aug 2010 - Page 20
massad Ayoob Shot From AmbuSh, returning Fire: the JAred reSton incident Situation: Aseeminglyroutinearrestturnsintoadeadly “hastyambush,”andyouareshot intheface atpointblankrangewitha.45automatic… Lessons: Courage,determinationtoprevail,andtraining plusskillarewhatwillgetyouthroughwhen you’vebeenshot. On January 26, 2008, Jared Reston was approaching his 30th birthday and had served about six years in the organization known as Office of the Sheriff/Jacksonville Police.It’sacombinedcounty/municipal“metro”lawenforcementagencyservingacommunityinwhichsometimeagosurpassedMiamias,statistically,themostviolentcityin Florida.Duringeveninghours,Restonwasworkinginfullpoliceuniformonhissecond job,Department-approvedsecurityattheBelkdepartmentstoreinRegencySquareMall, apopular“workingclass”shoppingcenterinJacksonville. Reston and his partner, Officer Chris Brown, were notified of a shoplifter trying to exitthemall,acombativewhitemale.BrownandRestonrantoassist.Thesuspectwas quicklyrestrainedandtakenintocustody.Theofficersweretoldtherewasanothersuspect,ablackmale,whohadn’tbeencaughtyet.Theyspottedhimabout50yardsaway acrosstheparkinglot. Restonwouldrememberlater,“Hesawmeseehim.”Thesuspectran,straightacross an expressway. Reston and Brown gave chase on foot. Reston later recalled, harkening back to an old video game, “We were doing a little bit of Frogger going through the traffic.Itwasabout7o’clock,notpackedbutgoodandbusy.” Thefootchasewasalongone:hundredsofyards.Investigatorslaterdetermineditto have gone roughly a quarter of a mile, into another shopping center. During the marathonfootpursuit,theyoungmalesuspectwaslookingoverhisshoulderattheofficers, whowereclosingthegap.Reston—abitoversixfeetandtwohundredpounds—wasa physicalfitnessenthusiastwhoworkedoutconstantly,anddidnotatthemomentrealize hehadgainedmoredistancethanhispartner. Thesuspectmadeitaroundacorner,andsloweddowntoawalk.ItseemedtoReston as he grew closer his quarry was tiring, and also was trying to act nonchalant, so as nottodrawattentiontohimself.“WhenIsawhiskneeswobblealittleandslowdown,I increasedmypace,”Restonwouldrememberlater.“Wethoughtwewereonlystoppinga shopliftingsuspectresistingarrest,anddidn’tthinkitwasgoingtobethatbad.” As the suspect slowed his pace, Reston stopped 15 feet away from him with his X26 TASER drawn. Reston identified himself as a police officer, and commanded, “Stop running! It’s all over!”The stocky young suspect, dressed in black jeans and black “hoodie” raised his hands in the air, walked backward without stopping still … then turned and ran.Restongavechaseandshoutedhewould“TASE”himifhedidn’tstop.Itdidn’twork, sotheofficerraisedtheelectronicrestraintdevice,activatedit,andpulledthetrigger. Butitdidn’t“fire.”Therewasnotimetothinkaboutwhathadgonewrong;RestonholsteredtheTASER,andsprintedtocatchupwiththesuspect,to“gohandson.” Continued on page 74 20 WWW.AMERICANHANDGUNNER.COM • JULY/AUGUST2010