Like the magazine of his Glock pistol, Guy Minnis is full off stories. With 33 years on the Evansville Police Department, he's made more arrests than he will ever remember
But there's a name he can't forget... Lionel Hunter.
"As I see Lionel Hunter," Minnis recalled. "It's on a 90 degree turn, it's right by the Christian school on Lincoln Avenue. It was the worst place for it to happen."
It was 1989, long before Minnis retired and started his firearms instruction company, Hard Target Firearms Training. However, Minnis can recall his only deadly force encounter with vivid detail.
Minnis still remembers the suspect's knife. He still remembers Lionel Hunter.
"I could never live with myself if he harms a policeman or harms someone else because i allowed him to escape from me twice now," Minnis said. "I just thought, this is where it stops, this is the end."
The shot hit Hunter in the spine, dropping him instantly. It was a decision Minnis made in a split second.
"I could see the bullet. I saw the exact point where it struck him," Minnis said. "That's the hyper-vision that you go into when you are in tunnel vision. There could have been a brass band on the side of me and I wouldn't have seen him."
He couldn't hear much either. It's something those in law enforcement are familiar with. The tunnel vision, auditory exclusion and sometimes Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are all functions of the 'fight or flight' response.
For Minnis, regret isn't one of them.
"My supervisor says I wanna know one thing," Minnis recalled. "If the same thing happened today, would you still shoot him and I said yes."
Minnis says Hunter survived his wounds but ended up having both legs amputated. Hunter continued a life of crime and is now in federal prison.
As for some of the general public questioning why law enforcement can't 'shoot-to-disable,' Minnis says it's impossible.
"That is the biggest fallacy in the world," Minnis said. "This is what civilians love to say. These are civilians that have never been a law enforcement officer or in the military. They have never been in a deadly force confrontation. They have no clue how difficult it is."
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