Posted on March 07 2019
Fratricide is defined as the accidental killing of one's own forces. Often, when fratricide happens in a combat situation it is something that could have been avoided by having awareness, training, and a basic understanding of weapons safety. It is up to you to ensure that you, as well as the group you are working with, have the needed skills required to avoid fratricide in a chaotic situation.
In the video you are about to watch, South African law enforcement officials are engaged in a firefight with a group of robbers who are holding up inside of a store. One officer is using a rifle to put rounds down range, and a second officer behind him is discharging a pistol into the same targets in a very unsafe manner. The second officer’s lack of awareness and basic weapons safety will result in a tragic accident taking the life of the officer with the rifle. Warning: This video contains scenes of graphic violence which may be unsuitable for some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Several factors come into play in this video. If the officer firing his pistol felt the need to get his gun into the fight, he should have stepped closer to the officer in front of him and maintained physical contact in a high-man/low-man position to control him. The fact that this did not happen is a sign of inexperience, and a lack of training. Second, the officer who was tragically shot in this instance should have not stepped out laterally since he knew the officer behind him was discharging his pistol from behind him, this is a basic gun fighting concept known as “Staying in your lane.”
Murphy’s Law applies double in gun fights, and it is important to remember this. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. The best way to try and circumvent this is through rigorous training. Knowing and mastering your weapon system in an ‘administrative range’ environment is not enough. You must get out with your group and conduct productive realistic rehearsals that will better prepare you for real world scenarios. Failing to do this could cost you your life and put your team into an even less tenable position.
Train hard. Train often. Train like your life depends on it.
Because your life probably does depend on it.