HOUSTON (FOX 26) - The quality of the security camera footage in the police shooting of Alva Braziel leaves a lot to be desired. It's not crystal clear if the gun-wielding man ever points the weapon at officers, but firearms instructor and lawyer Roy Asher says as far as the law and police were concerned, it doesn't matter if he did or not.
“If I hesitate while defending myself, how long does it take for a man with a gun to do that?," says Asher while lowering his forearm from the upright to the level position. "It only takes a fraction of a second.”
The video does not show if the officers told him to drop the weapon in the thirteen seconds between them arriving and him falling to the ground.
Police train on what they call "Shoot-Don't Shoot" simulators. Some civilian shooting ranges have them also. The simulators show scenarios that play out differently each time. Sometimes someone pulls a gun, sometimes they don't. Users have to make split-second decisions.
We don't know how many times police shot Braziel -- we will have to wait for the autopsy results. But we know multiple bullets struck him.That begs the question is many people's minds -- why? Why not just shoot him in the leg or shoot once. Officers are trained to shoot at the center of the body until the threat stops, no matter how many times that is.
“The trouble is if I shoot one time and evaluate, is the threat still there?," asks Asher. "If that shot didn't stop you, you can still shoot back at me 4-to-5 times before I realize that I should've shot more than once.”
Was the police use of force legal and within guidelines in this case? We will have to wait and see what the federal investigation uncovers.