WBTV gets an inside look at Firearms Training Simulator - | WBTV Charlotte

WBTV gets an inside look at Firearms Training Simulator


Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer Randall Kerrick is charged with voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell.

Investigators said Ferrell had been in a car wreck and was looking for help. 

A woman called 911 thinking he was breaking into her home.

Police said Kerrick shot Ferrell multiple times. 

After the shooting, a lot of people wonder about what kind of training police get for these types of situations.

WBTV has learned officer Kerrick recently took a course on a Fire Arms Training Simulator, it's known as FATS training.

We got an inside look at exactly how a simulator like this works and how it teaches officers to handle potentially violent encounters.

Instructor Dale Callan yelled at a large screen, "Get down! Get Down!" Callan explained during a simulation, "And you keep talking to them and at some point he has to make that decision."

When is it okay to shoot? In real-life situations officers don't have a lot of time to think. And training is key. The CMPD said all their officers went through a course in 2013 on the acedemy's FATS.

Dale Callan trained on FATS and instructs students at Central Piedmont Community College on a similar computer simulator. He explained officers should give out a warning or command.

"If they are hundred yards away and running with a knife they have that opportunity to tell him, stop it, drop it, identify themselves, stuff like that," said Callan.

During the training, students use real guns but instead of bullets, it's equipped with a laser.  Officers are given multiple scenarios about when to use deadly force.

"The officer has a legal right to defend himself and shoot if somebody is charging them with some type of weapon," said Callan.

Some of the scenarios there are the bad guys with weapons and the good guys without weapons.

"Unless he can identify that weapon, he can't just go ahead and you know use lethal force," said Callan.

Investigators said Officer Kerrick shot at Ferrell twelve times. There's a question if Kerrick shouted any commands before he used that deadly force.

CMPD said Kerrick went through FATS training at the academy and in 2013. And based on their voluntary manslaughter charge, they're saying Kerrick shouldn't have used deadly force.

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