EASTPOINTE, Mich. (WJBK) - Imagine experiencing first-hand what it's like to dodge bullets. Would you be ready to fight back?
A new gun training program uses real guns and real bullets to give trainees a feel for what it's like to be in a real gun fight.
"It is the next evolution of training and it's as close to real as you can possibly get," says Bill Kucyk, the owner of Action Impact Gun Ranges. Kucyk will soon roll out the new training system for both civilians and those in law enforcement. The trainees and actors use real guns loaded with real bullets.
"For me, even having a ton of shooting experience, some of it - I don't want to say goes out the window - but in a stress scenario you kind of stop thinking about all that," says gun owner Stefan Bahri. You can watch his training exercise in Randy Wimbley's video report in the video player above. Bahri was trying to get back to his car when two men confronted him and tried to pick a fight, when one of them grabbed a gun.
Those moments where the stress kicks in is what kills. Literally.
"You saw a situation in Oklahoma where an officer thought he was grabbing his Taser but instead he grabbed his gun and shot somebody," Kucyk says. "That's because that officer stressed at that point in time. So exposing officers to this, we'll get a lot of that bad stuff out of the way, we'll discover it in advance, and then we can take corrective action.
"We put (multiple) races into our scenarios and what we're trying to determine is, did you have a pre-conceived notion to shoot someone of a race simply because of their race? And if we can identify some of those biases, as you refer to them, then we can correct them."
Even though a ballistic wall separates the trainee and actors, they are still able to come face-to-face, engage one another and, if it comes to it, use their guns.
"It's one thing to stand on the range and shoot at a target, but when you're confronted with a person and your brain is going; you're thinking; you're talking; it's a whole different scenario," says Oswald Leslie of Action Impact.
FOX 2's Randy Wimbley went through three different scenarios. The first two he tried to duck behind cover when the actor went for his gun. In the third scenario, Randy drew and fired as soon as he saw him reach for it. You can watch in the video player above.
"I will say in this, in the last go-around you had a couple under your belt," said Ian Murphy, critiquing Wimbley. Murphy is a firearm instructor with Action Impact. "What I did notice was your draw was a lot faster; you were more mentally prepared."
"That's the value of this training. So that it can stress you, find a way to correct you so that in a real-life situation perhaps it will save your life," says Kucyk. "When I say I want to save lives I am not kidding. I want to save officers' lives and I want to save civilians' lives."
Kucyk says he already has several police departments here in Metro Detroit interested in this training which will be rolled out sometime this summer. Until now, the only places this training has been used was in North Carolina and Virginia with members of law enforcement and military.