When a robbery suspect turned an Airsoft gun on police this week officers had a split second to make a life and death call. The suspect, Cortez Washington, was killed. COPS television show crew member Bryce Dion was accidentally hit by gunfire. He also died.
Police now know that the suspect’s gun was a fake but it’s hard to tell the difference between and Airsoft gun and the real thing. The fakes can fool the experts.
Rex Sport, a former police officer, has been a firearms instructor for 27-years.
He told us about the time he drew his gun on a youngster who showed him the weapon tucked in his waistband.
Sport said, “It was an Airsoft gun. It was a 12-year-old child. That's the closest he's ever come, I hope, to having been shot by a police officer. There was no way of telling if it's real. None. None whatsoever."
Great Plains Firearms Training offered a demonstration involving 10 guns. Aside from the one with the orange tip it was hard to tell, even by closely inspecting them, that just four of them were real guns.
"You don't have that luxury,” Sport said. “It's a gun. And if you're in a room full of people your first concern has to be, is somebody else going to get hurt?"
An Airsoft gun has the look of a real gun when fired and if it's pointed at you, experts say, who's going to wait to analyze if it's a bullet or a plastic pellet that comes out before responding?