The bodycam footage begins with the deputy getting out of his cruiser behind a white Chevy Tahoe. The deputy first approaches the passenger side of the vehicle. He motions something to the driver and then the deputy begins to walk around to the driver’s side. As soon as he clears the corner you see this image:
While it was obviously an attack, one has to wonder what the suspect was thinking. From all the angles we have it looks that the rifle did not have a magazine in it, so maybe the suspect was only planning to us it as a club? Either way it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a deadly threat. It could have still had a loaded chamber, and even if not, it was still a deadly threat that needed to be met with the same force. We also know criminals who attack police officers usually aren’t in a very rational state of mind. In a frame by frame analysis it actually seems that the suspect threw his rifle at the deputy, or perhaps it was just a reaction from getting shot:
The deputy had an excellent reaction time. If you have ever wondered why officer’s approach situations with their hands on their sidearms this is why. These attacks happen very quickly and the criminals always have the upper hand in an ambush. In the frame by frame look of the attack the entire event only lasts 2 seconds. That’s when we first see the rifle, the deputy backs up, draws, fires, defects the rifle, then fires once more from the ground as the attacker retreats.
As a responsible, armed citizen we can take a few lessons from this: