Difficulty of Baton Rouge SWAT Shot that Killed Gunman?

Hijacking a thread because it hadn’t been hijacked, and then threadshitting when you get called on it? C’mon.

Do not post in this thread again.

IIRC reading that USMC sniper in Vietnam really liked the Remington 700 chambered for a 308 round. It was a civilian weapon that worked well way beyond 100 yards. Of course, they had scopes and were reworked by the USMC to enhance accuracy, plus they shot special match grade ammo.

This is self aggrandizing, pure and simple. Nobody except the police department themselves would be at all excited about the difficulty of this shot or even remotely impressed by it. Necessary? Prudent? Thankful? Important!? Sure, all of those. “Helluva shot?” no. Unless the shooter was aiming for the eyeball, and hit perfectly, there is nothing remotely special about this shot.
The sniper was not even under fire at the time of the shot. The suspect was shooting at officers in the Fitness Expo parking lot at that time.

Looking at in Google Street View, there isn’t anything even in the way. No bushes to shoot through or anything crazy. To say there was no clear line of sight is silly. He didn’t get shot through a wall or a vehicle. There certainly was a clear line of sight.

For someone who should be a trained professional SWAT Sniper, this shot was nothing special. Understand, I am not at all trying to diminish the extreme importance of this shot. This shot saved lives and ended another. The importance of this shot cannot be understated. But the mechanics of the shot itself? If not for the pressure, the adrenaline, and the “Friction in War”, the shot itself would hardly be noteworthy. Routine, even.

I don’t believe this has been posted yet in the thread: Map from The Advocate (Baton Rouge newspaper) of the area where the shootings occurred and positions of the gunman, police, and victims.

From the map and from reading other accounts of the shootings, the SWAT officer that killed Gavin Long took the shot from over 100 yds away (Though Google Earth puts it at around 75 yds, when I use the ruler utility, and the positions given in the article.), and had to shoot through part of a car detailing area. (EDIT: When I mean “shoot through”, the car detailing area looks like an overgrown carport. The shot had to go through the work area, under the roof, but not through any curtain walls or other concealment.)

No idea if Long knew the SWAT officer had a shot on him or not. And if he doesn’t know the SWAT guy’s there, Long’s probably not shooting at him, which removes one worry for the SWAT officer. However, Long was trying to kill Deputy F in the infographic at the time, so the SWAT officer couldn’t afford to dawdle taking the shot.

FWIW, per this article on LEO ‘sniper’ shootings, 51 yds is the average distance in the 1984 through 2004 database the authors looked at. They claim 95 percent of those shootings occurred within 100 yards. As the primary purpose of police snipers is identification and surveillance, this isn’t surprising. And when they are supposed to shoot, they are aiming for a very small target—the brainstem/medulla/cerebellum area—in order to near-instantly incapacitate the deadly threat. I’ve heard from supposed LEOs who do this work that their desired target is about the size of a ping pong ball. Hitting that is also easier to do close up instead of far away.

In a similar, though much less destructive, situation in Houston, on Memorial Day weekend this year, the police sniper who ended the gunfight took his four shots to kill the gunman from around 100 yds away.

Anyway, I hadn’t seen the links to the Advocate’s map or to the Hendon Publishing article on police sniper shootings, and I thought they might be of interest in answering the question.