“Fifty-eight police officers were staked out around a plant where they’d been informed we were gonna rob an armored car. We came and waited for an hour or two, but the armored car was late, so we proceeded to leave. A gunshot was fired, and we returned fire. Five or ten minutes later, after the shooting had ceased, a police officer was found dead, along with two of my co-defendants.”
Q. Was the officer out in the open when he fired?
A. He was positioned directly in front of the vehicle I was occupying and fifteen to twenty feet directly in front of six officers who were shooting over his shoulder. Testimony later revealed he was shot due to the fact that the officers were blinded by the bright light.
Q. What kind of gun did you have?
A. I had an AR-15, a semi-automatic high-powered rifle. It’s the civilian version of the M-16. A very powerful and very damaging weapon.
Q. Are you a good shot?
A. Well, at a distance of twenty-five to thirty feet I would hit a moving target of moderate size eight out of ten times. I knew the most successful criminal would be the one who had the most experience in handling a gun, so I studied guns. I used to go hunting and to a rifle range and shoot shotguns, AR-15 rifles, M-16s, Army .45s, .357 Magnums with six-inch barrels, police specials and P-38s.
Q. How proficient do you think most officers are with a handgun?
A. I don’t think my vocabulary contains the words to describe the lousy ways police use their handguns. When they dismount their handgun from its holster, it’s not fixed firmly and they don’t tense themselves up. They’re very loose and casual. That indicates poor accuracy, poor efficiency. Anyone who’s fired a handgun knows that you should be as sturdy as possible when you’re in a firing position.
Q. Based on your knowledge of the way things are on the street, what do you think the easiest way would be to take out a cop?
A. To watch his movement. A good armed robber or a good burglar will have one thing in his mind: to pull off a successful caper. In order to do that, he must have his eyes on the door. And he always expects the police to be coming through the door. He anticipates. In my experience, officers just come through the door with their gun unholstered not knowing where the criminal is located. They leave themselves vulnerable ... no protection. I think it’s an emotional reaction because a great deal of officers are actually afraid, so the thing that mostly runs through their mind is ‘I have to get in here, make this arrest’ and that’s it. They never look at the possibility of being killed in the process.
Q. What odds do you give an officer in that kind of situation?
A. If I sought to commit a robbery, I would give a police officer a 30 percent chance of living once he walked through the door. As soon as I hear a noise, I’m automatically turning and shooting. I want what I’ve come for and I want to get away, so my objective is higher than that of any officer that plans to arrest me.
Q. And you think you ’re better prepared?
A. Than the average guy who goes to the academy maybe once a week and spends ten or twenty minutes there? Definitely. Criminals study the police. I’ve studied the way police move, their emotional anticipations. I always watch the officer, not for his eyes or his hands but for his chest. I have his chest in visual sight.
Q. And you can shoot him without reservation?
A. I’ll put this in perspective: Where there’s $2,000 or more involved, the average guy will have no reservations whatsoever about whom he kills. In fact, he’d be more inclined to kill a police officer rather than anyone else. He expects the worst to happen.
Keep your head down and keep the faith,