Man shot 21 times and survives

Yahoo News reports

When Alvarez turned his weapon on the officers, a fierce firefight broke out. More than 50 bullets were fired, almost all of them by the police. At least 21 of those bullets pierced Alvarez’s body.

Luckily for Alvarez — whose criminal record includes at least eight prior arrests — none of the bullets hit his brain, heart or major arteries. His family members say that even though his arms, legs and torso were riddled with ammunition, Alvarez is “doing all right” and talking. It’s believed he’ll survive.

The time last I checked the NYPD used 9mm Luger/Parabellum pistols.

[ Many thanks to jdun1911 for emailing me the link. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Vak

    “The time last I checked the NYPD used 9mm Luger/Parabellum pistols.”

    This is begging for a .45acp VS 9m argument, Steve, I thought you would have known better.

    Oh well, might as well do it : “Had the police been equipped with .45, one shot would have been enough to knock him down because .45acp is such an american caliber it can disregard the laws of physics”.

    (more seriously, it shows once again that shot placement is king)

    • Vak, lol, I read your comment as “begging for a .45acp VS 9m experiment” and I was thinking “I wonder who I going to volunteer for that.

      Of course it is. The last time this kind of incident happened didn’t the FBI decide to drop the 9mm and develop the .40 S&W?

  • Dean

    They so need to use bigger ammo, like a 10mm or .45acp. lol

  • subase

    Still stopped his ass, that’s the main purpose of bullets, killing is a just a side effect.

    • subase, I think the point is that it took 21 bullets to stop him!

  • James.Denholm

    I’d be curious to see how much alcohol this fellow had prior to the event.

  • So, does this mean we can classify 9mm as a ‘Less Lethal’ round?

  • Rob

    I swear, NYPD is trigger happy. 50 rounds? I was under the impression that ban officer shoots 3 rounds and then assesses. Could a LEO correct me if I’m wrong?

  • Boy was on roids. That’s why it took the cops so many shots to stop him.

  • arifonzie

    As former NYPD, I can tell you that we are trained to shoot until the threat is stopped.

  • This is why Bea packs a .45. She will be at the Gun Blogger Rendezvous again in September this year. Are you going, Steve?

    • True, sadly not 🙁

  • SpudGun

    For every story of someone surviving X number of 9mm rounds, there is another story of someone being instantly killed by a single .22LR. It really is the luck of the draw.

    This will not doubt devolve into the usual 9mm vs .45 debate. Which I will stop now by saying –

    As we all know, if you shoot someone with just one .45ACP bullet, their arms, legs and head all pop off and the torso feels so guilty, it goes back in time to stop itself from commiting the crime in the first place. 😉

    The simple fact that 9mm has claimed more lives worldwide then any other centerfire handgun caliber for over a century, should not in any way, dissuade people from their strongly held beliefs.

  • Aurelien

    Just shows NYPD copers know how to place their shots so they dont get sued for killing an ‘innocent armed robber’.
    The high round count just means they shot like they are supposed to : as long as the guy is standing up they press the trigger. All of that probably was not necessary, but hey, you never know.

    Plus if the guy was high on something, he probably did not even feel the shots until primary muscle function stopped.

    How many officers involved ? That would be a relevant information too.

    As for the 9mm versus some random guys caliber argument… Does not bring anything to the table. If you’re fast enough on the trigger and reload, i’m pretty sure you can stuff anyone with lead befor he hits the ground.

  • Ben

    What came to my mind is that the NYPD needs to spend more time at the practice range; the better half of 50 rounds and not one center mass or head shot? After burning through that much ammo most people will at least get lucky.

  • Tyson Chandler

    I would like to know if there is any information on the type of ammo that was used. Do they use ball ammo like the military or some type of hollow point / defensive ammo? I agree with what someone posted earlier, shot placement does make all the difference.

  • Sian

    For the longest time, NYPD cops weren’t allowed to use hollow points. this as expected lead to overshooting, overpenetration, and collateral damage. I can imagine that some precincts still have a surplus of the old hardball and flatnose stuff still circulating, and the performance (or lack thereof) of non-expanding 9mm is well known.

    I can’t imagine getting shot 19 times with hydrashock or gold dot 9mm and still having identifiable internal organs.

  • Royi

    Over here in Europe, I had the 9mm versus ‘that American calibre’ several times, with LEO’s from several countries..
    I wrote down the nicest quotes:

    “In a democratic country, the police are the servants of the people, not the oppressors of the people. That’s why we give each officer only 10 rounds of 9mm.”

    “Well naturally the Americans would prefer the 45 over the ‘para’. Americans are more ‘lardy’ than Europeans.” (he actually said that while wolving down a kebab)

    But the best of all:

    “If Americans were allowed to (legally) smoke marihuana, they wouldn’t be so doped up that their police officers would have to use 45’s to stop them.”

  • me

    I’m not sure it was an issue of “21 bullets needed to stop him”

    It looks more like a line of 5 officers reacting at the same time and hosing a guy. He happened to survive

  • Lance

    Steve the point is that NYPD uses Glock 17s and uses 115gr bullets in use. The Portland Police Department. Also uses Glock 17s but they use 147gr 9mm HST by federal in a similar engagement last June a drugged up man with a knife was killed by one shot and it was by a 9mm. If PDs can just use the 147gr bullet lethality is greatly increased.

    I also believe this is a point of poor marksmanship by the NYPD. Most BIG anti-gun cities don’t train enough with there weapons and so when it hits police use more spraying tactic with hi cap mags. So better training is needed for sure.

  • jdun1911

    There are so many people that just don’t understand how a gunfight plays out. They been brainwashed by the liberal media, can’t tell between fantasy and reality, watch too much TV/movies, play too much games, just plain stupid, or combination of those.

    There is no such thing as a one shot stop or three shot stop or whatever. You don’t assesses in the middle of a gunfight because most civilian gun fights last less than 2 seconds. 2 seconds mean you’re either dead or your opponent.

    You shoot to stop or in not a political correct term you shoot until your opponent is dead. If your opponent still moving on the floor you put too more. This is real life there isn’t no extra life no respawning after death. Death is death and that’s why you can’t afford to make any mistakes because your opponent will fight to the last breath.


    Over 40% shoots hit its target. That at least 20% over the national average police shooting. In some years the national average is below 10% so IMO they did well.

  • Chris

    This reminded of Murphy’s final moments as a human before he became Robocop…

  • Martin

    Any bets that they were using 9mm ball? While not a pro 45 argument, this is certainly indicative of how useless 9mm ball is. It doesn’t expand. It doesn’t stop. It just feeds and penetrates well.

  • Note that the article states that the officers fired -most- of the 50 rounds in the gunfight, not all of them. Aurelien has an excellent point: the high number could simply be due to multiple officers. Three officers firing their Glock 19 to slide-lock would equal 48 rounds sent downrange.

  • subase

    This news report is obviously bogus, due to the number of rounds fired which would give them around a 50% hit rate. Cops no doubt blatantly lying and covering their ass.

  • If you read articles of the incident, its pretty clear that there was a lot of poor shooting by responding police. They even hit several of their own.

  • Ramsey

    There is a bit more backstory. The perp had a revolver with 4 rounds loaded, but did not hit anyone.

    The cops also managed to wound two of their own, and kill an unarmed bystander.

    Sounds like the force could use a little more range time.

  • SoulTown

    I actually don’t see this as a caliber issue at all. I view it as an ultimate evidence in favor of owning firearms for self-defense–especially so since local governments are cutting back on their spending because of [my liberal rant] and [my liberal rant, again], I just don’t expect police departments to spend enough budget for firearms training for their officers.

  • G

    Mrs. Alvarez, I think we can save your husband’s arm. Where would you like it sent?

  • Bill Lester


    As I recall NYPD issue round is 124-gr. +P Gold Dot, not 115. And there have been MANY failures with 147’s. A few extra grains in weight does not a magic bullet make.

  • arifonzie

    as always jdun1911 is 100% correct.

  • Sian

    @Lance the 115gr +P GDHP is widely regarded as an excellent stopper with tons of real street data and comes recommended by Mas Ayoob over the 147gr. I don’t see it as a problem. I’m still suspecting some old hardball involved here, which would also help explain how easily 4 bystanders and 2 cops were hit by police fire in the shootout.

  • jdun1911

    [QUOTE] “Never once did you hear ‘Freeze,'” Shariff Spencer told the New York Times’ Trymaine Lee and Colin Moynihan. “Never once did you hear ‘Stop.’ Never once did you hear ‘NYPD.'”[/QUOTE]

    Here is a perfect example how stupid the general public is. “Freeze and Stop” only happens in the movies. Cops aren’t required to tell the criminals to Freeze or Stop before or in the middle of a gunfight. It’s just common sense.

    I have no problem with the large numbers of rounds cops or civilians needed to put the criminal down. In a gunfight you keep shooting until you’re dead. You see this kind of behavior happens over and over again. That’s the fundamental law of a gunfight.

    The second most famous shootout in American Law Enforcement history is the 1986 Miami Shootout. The first few shots that the FBI shot at the criminals were lethal. Unfortunately for the FBI agents they didn’t die fast enough. In fact they lasted about 5 minutes and killed two and wounded five FBI agents.


    Most cops don’t go to the range. Most departments won’t hire people that have a good background in firearms (I blame the liberals). Most cops don’t really care or know much about their firearms including those that their job require to i.e. ATF. Most department will provide limited to no ammo for cops to train (I blame the liberals). This of course lead to the lack of range time.

    Federal Air Marshall Qualification Challenge. One of a very few law enforcement qualification that show a level of degree of proficiency.

    ATF agent loading a AR15 magazine backward. Have no idea what he is talking about.

  • Marc

    “Remarkably, Palmer had taken 22 hits from Soulis’ .40-caliber Glock, 17 of which had hit center mass. Despite the fact that the weapon had been loaded with Ranger SXTs—considered by many to be one of the best man-stoppers available—Palmer lived for more than four minutes after the last shot was fired.”

    “Borders could tell he was getting hits because Mettinger’s bare torso was growing slick with blood, but the man seemed not to notice. It was disconcerting to see the powerful .45 having so little effect on his opponent”

    “Shot placement is everything in a gunfight and always the key to stopping a threat effectively.”

  • Archetyped

    Must have worked for Skynet.

  • Lance

    Bill Lester

    I know no round 9mm or .45 AUTO is a magic bullet. BUT theres been more success useing 147gr bullet than 115 or 124 gr. I dont know about you but ive shot 147s in my M-9 and had no fallure with it.

  • Lance

    The same as pere cops i know in the Portland Police department.

  • Marc

    how big is your normalized database to support your claim? Just remember that the plural of “anecdote” isn’t “fact”.

  • gunslinger


    i wouldn’t be so quick to jump onto the “liberals” for lack of cop training or their hiring practices. i would consider it more of a department funding problem. Granted every police organization if funded differently, but still they are constrained by their economic backing. Remember, we can just give “willy-nilly” and all be happy.

  • SoulTown


    Not to mention the fact that many SWAT teams in many departments seem to rely on outdated or plain ineffective tactics and methods. I recall watching a 2009 video of some SWAT team training, and it was rather painful to see. One officer, in performing a SPEED reload on his AR, slowly retained the empty magazine in his mag pouch, inserted a new magazine, BC, and somehow decided to gently close the dust cover, and continued to fire. Pistol training segment was also rather painful, with all the officers using weaver technique–2009, and weaver. Good god, even the regular military must have moved on from that technique.

    I don’t want to go too much deep into the political side of things, and seeing as I might have started it, I want to apologize to everyone for that. Now with that being said, I wouldn’t completely disagree with you on how us liberals are to blame on those issues, while I would contend that conservatives are inadvertently complicit on that. (conservatives call for fiscal responsibility, budget cuts -> liberal policymakers: hmm, what can we cut? We can’t possibly systematically reform hideously ineffective public school system… [no, I will not go into welfare] Oh! I know! We’ll just lay off some teachers at random! And gunz are BAD! Just look at the statistics! They barely use them!)

  • spudfiles

    “none of the bullets hit his brain, heart or major arteries”

    That’s the crucial statement, irrelevant of calibre.

  • Lance


    PPD has multible studies that show the 147gr HST success in the feild as well over 115 or 124gr ammo.

  • jdun1911

    It’s not about money it is about the unwillingness to let the police do their job.

    What to cut? Let start with government work pension. Government worker salary. Deunionize the government. Ban unions. Privatize government jobs. The list goes on.

  • Bill Lester


    While I have nothing against the 147-gr. offerings, in no way have they shown “more success” than the lighter choices. My library of gun stuff includes plenty of reports from LE agencies where the 147 failed just as often as it succeeded. It was this inconsistency that led so many departments to switch to lighter, faster 9mm offerings or go to a bigger round entirely. The Border Patrol has issued the Federal 9BPLE 115-gr. +P+ for a long time and last I read had no plans for replacing it among 9mm users. Chicago PD dumped the 147 for the 124 +P over a decade ago. Finally, I think there can be little to argue with the 124 +P when the largest police force in the United States (NYPD) chose it over the 147 about 15-16 years ago. It continues to issue 124-gr. +P ammo today.

    All of this is not to say the modern 147 can’t be an effective choice. It certainly can and serves well for several large LE agencies like LAPD and LASD. But to say it has “more success” than lighter bullet weights is wholly inaccurate.

  • SoulTown


    Yeah, I probably stand at completely opposite side, but that’s not really the kind of conversation I intend to start or continue–especially here. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go droll at some gun pictures. Mmm, Wilson Combat…

  • SoulTown

    droll -> drool.

    Although I guess it makes sense in a way…

  • Lance

    Its ok we all got our opions on whats a good round to use I just use and like 147gr ammo so dose other LE agencies.

  • Counsel

    Spudfiles has it right…

    [B]“none of the bullets hit his brain, heart or major arteries”

    That’s the crucial statement, irrelevant of calibre.[/B]

  • zach

    this whole debate I think is pointless on .45 ACP vs. 9mm. They are both great rounds, and as stated before, shot placement is key. Mossad used those little Beretta .22 lr pistols for a long time, and they worked great in the hands of a trained shooter. I personally prefer the .45 ACP but thats my personal preference, I’m a big 1911 fan, so it kind of comes naturally. its kind of a ford vs. chevy thing, neither are bad and its usually based on personal preference, although for some cases a slower fatter round is a better choice because of over penetration issues, but still.

  • zach

    @jdun1911: That ATF “special” agent must be stupid, as evidenced by his knowledge of the AR-15 magazine. airsoft guns cannot be converted into “military grade machine guns”, the guy at the store had it right on, if it somehow managed to hit the primer it would explode, regardless of how real it looks. Now this media channel and this ATF agent who has no clue what he’s talking about have people with no firearms knowledge thinking that airsoft guns are capable of being turned into killing weapons of death and evil “with…minimal…work”. god people are dumb

  • Sam

    For the record-the NYPD actually uses Smiths and Sigs as well as GLOCKs.

  • Wang Chung

    I think some of you are not realizing the mechanics involved in the ATF decision. Research the issue yourself before jumping on someone’s band wagon. True if some knuckle head decided to put a live round in the airsoft upper he’d be upped a few notches on the Darwin Awards. However, if you examine the principles of the seized airsofts operating parts, lights will come on regarding their actual danger. I support the ATF’s decision, however unpopular it may be. Read, research, then decide.

  • Rob

    About airsoft- I play airsoft a lot, I know a lot about the sport.The shipment that ATF seized was in fact a brand that cannot be converted into firing live rounds. At all. ATF tested another brand, and fired 3 rounds. I just think that before seizing a major shipment, they should have looked into it more.

  • HowardBeale

    The FBI didn’t directly design the .40 S&W.
    They actually called for a caliber and got the 10mm Auto.
    Some of the agents couldn’t handle the recoil so the 10mm was shortened and the .40 S&W was born.

  • Ken

    Ok these need a comment… By JDUN1911 “If your opponent still moving on the floor you put too more.” Really? So I can go from a self-defense shooting which would be justified,to a murder charge in .1 second? If the threat is down and not a threat anymore,then it is ILLEGAL to “finish them”. You try what you say and let us know how that 2nd degree murder charge on you is going. Obviously a military situation would possibly be different.
    Again by JDUN1911… “I have no problem with the large numbers of rounds cops or civilians needed to put the criminal down”. Well be downrange of a big event and let us know your feelings afterward.If your alive.NY Cops cant shoot. It escapes me how there was so much body on the perp hanging out and taking a bullet that not a single round hit him in the head and killed him. But sure enough there were civilian casualties.Had there been any marksman amongst em, then the dirtbag would have been dead. Also, possibly, civilian casualties would have been nil or minimal.Keep also in mind the NY cops have many lawyers and a large city with gobs of money so they are “somewhat” safer in terms of reckless shooting incidents. Joe civvy on the other hand, would get raped in court.
    Cops need to go to the range more.Not only that but effective courses of stress shooting should be mandatory.

  • Marc

    Shot 20 times with .45 ACP and survived (Boise Police uses Glock 21s)

  • G3Ken

    As a New Yorker all my life, military time notwithstanding, I can tell you that the large number of rounds fired is not uncommon. In recent times, there was the Diallo shooting and the Sean Bell shooting, each of which resulted in 40+ rounds being fired. In the Bell case, one cop stated his gun jammed and he reloaded, when in fact, he had run it dry.

    I don’t want to offend some of the decent cops in NYC, but the department is nothing like what you see on all the tv shows. When I was just into my 20s, the exam was given every several years and you had to score well to even get a sniff. Before this recession, they were so desperate for candidates that they offered the exam for free, waived many criminal offense and offered the exam several times in a single year. It smelled of desperation. All of my friends on the job could not/cannot wait for “their 20” and they’re out as it is so bad.

    Walk the streets of Manhattan and you will see some of the most pathetic human beings in uniform. I’m talking about morbidly obese whales, others too small to intimidate a child and absolute slobs in uniform with no pride etc. If this is what you have, how can you expect that their actions under extreme stress would be exemplary?

    It should be noted that the incident was started by a confrontation between Alvarez and Ortiz. They originally stated Ortiz was killed by Alvarez, necessitating the police shooting. A day later, it was determined that it was the COPS who killed Ortiz as well as having two officers shot, one in the hand, while the other had a police round stopped by his vest. Scary stuff.

    The truth is that, while we may be “gun people”, most NYPD cops are not. They are neither proficient, nor do they take any time to practice with something that their lives, and ours, depend upon. It is troubling.

  • Dogman

    This wouldn’t have been news if the guy was dropped with one shot.

    • bmit

      You mean it wouldnt be news if the cops could aim

  • Texas_Dave

    I got rid of all my 9mm pistols and ammo. Had to shoot a trapped raccoon in the Pecan orchard five or six times –including two in the head– to make it “safe” to remove.

    My family and I can’t afford that kind of pathetic stoppage in the event of a home invasion or a parking lot confrontation. Now I’m all .45ACP.

    The 9mm might be leathal in a close-range burst from an MP-5 or an Uzi….but I don’t have enough time in a fight to pray that it will stop the bad guy when fired from handgun in a dim-lit Applebee’s parking lot.

  • G3Ken

    Walk the streets of Midtown Manhattan and you’ll see taht cops don’t even need to wear bullet-resistent vests. Most of them came equipped with them. We call those special vests FAT. I have seen some of NY’s “Finest” so obese that you would need a .375 H & H to take them down with a body shot. The average street cop in New York is a pathetic creature. I have much more respect for the State Troopers (although they are the hardest to talk out of a ticket) as they are fit & carry themselves with a presence, something akin to what I used to call “military bearing”. Shoot a street cop and the bullet will probably fall out a month later from the folds of their fat when they shower.

    Sorry, that’s NYPD Mod I. The other version, NYPD Mod II, is slightly less fat, although many remain so, but dress like Rambo. Blue utility uniforms, baseball caps, all kitted up like mall-ninjas carrying “assault rifles”. Ostensibly, this is to “protect” us from all the terrorists (yeah, right). These guys are even scarier because they are bullies and actually see themselves as some “special operators”. Maybe Special Olympians, but that does those dedicated folks a disservice, so I apologize for that one.

    The militarization of police in this country is something that should concern anyone who believes in liberty. No love lost here.

  • у нас на этом интернет-ресурсе собран большой выбор софта.

  • A 45 acp would have done the Job a lot sooner with less rounds fired if the cops knew how to shoot. All those rounds and not in none in the kill zone. Very poor shooting. The cops should be placed at a desk for a year instead of on the streets. There firearms instructor needs to be replaces.

  • Mastro63

    I wonder what build Mr Alverez has. If you are pushing (or past) 300 lbs a handgun round might not penetrate very well.

    I still wouldn’t want to be this guy. He must have serious internal organ problems that will make his life miserable. On on the government’s dime.