Police Officer Jim Short is on paid administrative leave after shooting a man who was wielding a knife. But unlike the usual reports of police shootings Officer Short fired on Kenneth Coleman’s leg, causing him a non-fatal injury, that nonetheless prevented him from attacking the officer with the knife.
Kenneth Coleman Jr., 31, was taken to the Dayton, Ohio area Miami Valley Hospital and is, by all estimations, expected to survive. Leg-shots can certainly be fatal, but they have a far less statistically-likely chance of leading to death than a center-mass or head shot. At the same time, when a person threatening is stationary, there is no greater risk to officers to fire at the legs, versus center mass.
Short, 44, seemed to realize this when he discharged his weapon after Coleman repeatedly refused to drop the knife outside of the apartment building that Officer Short had been called.
A neighbor had called 911 when they heard banging along with Coleman “screaming at the top of his lungs.”
Coleman was said to generally “keep to himself.” His neighbors said that “it is unfortunate something like that had to happen,” but without police say they are “very familiar” with Coleman and have been called to the apartment to handle situations with him in the past, including assault charges.
This shooting raises an overarching question of why officers so often shoot to kill, when they could very easily shoot to stop? Certainly “leg shots” and similarly incapacitating, well-placed shots have been the norm in some other countries. This would typically require significantly more marksmanship training for police, who are not typically known for expert shooting skills. But maybe that’s part of the problem.
(Article by Moreh B.D.K.)