Shooting at center mass of the target presented

This tactic expands your ability to stop a deadly threat


Sometimes, your only option for stopping a deadly threat may be to aim at center mass of the target presented.

That was the lesson taught to law enforcement in the nation’s first documented non-wartime active shooter incident that I could find in my research, which occurred on December 26, 1900, in Eufaula, Oklahoma. This deadly incident was concluded by the incredible law dog, U.S. Deputy Marshal Grant Johnson. One of the lessons he demonstrated has still not been assimilated by many in law enforcement.

On that morning, a man named John Tiger caught the residents of Eufaula unaware as they were celebrating Christmas morning. Tiger opened fire for no identifiable reason, instantly killing three men and shooting the buttons off the pants of a small boy.

The shots were heard by nearby Deputy U.S. Marshal Grant Johnson, who instantly arrived and engaged the shooter, driving him behind a large tree for cover. During the ensuing gunfight, Marshal Johnson noticed after each shot that the killer pulled back behind the tree, but left his elbow hanging out. Between shots, Marshal Johnson took careful aim, center mass of the elbow, which was the only target available to him and carefully pressed the trigger of his Winchester.

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