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Philly Officer Shoots Knife-Wielding Man

By Wyatt Earp | September 28, 2010

Despite the fact that I make light of the idiocy of this city’s criminals, Philadelphia is still a violent place. The judicial system doesn’t make our jobs any easier with their light prison sentences, and the department tries its best to handcuff us when it comes to use of force.

That being said, it is still open season on cops here. Thankfully, a lot of them end up like Mark Cottman:

A knife-wielding crook attempting to hide in the children’s section of a library branch in Olney after robbing a store owner yesterday was shot by a police officer when he lunged at her with the weapon, cops said. Mark Cottman, 31, of Warnock Street near Wagner Avenue, was taken to Albert Einstein Medical Center and was listed in critical condition, police said.

Yesterday afternoon, an employee at the library watched Cottman remove his shirt and calmly exit the library, police said, before he walked three doors down to J&K Shoes, on 5th Street near Tabor Road, where he robbed the store owner of his pocket money. Afterward, a source said, he went back to the library and put his shirt back on. When two female officers approached, they asked him to show his hands. At first he refused then he opened one hand, which was empty. Clutching a knife in the other hand, he lunged at one of the officers, police said.

A 35th District officer opened fire and shot Cottman in the face. He lost two teeth, the source said.

Lost two teeth? Yes, Cottman is still listed in critical condition, but this wouldn’t be the case if these officers applied for their .45-caliber Glock 21s. In this day and age, there is no reason for an officer to be carrying a 9mm pistol.

Topics: Philly, The Job | 27 Comments »

27 Responses to “Philly Officer Shoots Knife-Wielding Man”

  1. Bitter Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Ha! I was not expecting the opening shots of a caliber war at the bottom!

    I carry a 9mm, and I don’t see this story convincing me that there’s any need to change. The threat was stopped and she doesn’t have any stab wounds, so it did the job it needed to do. :)

  2. Wyatt Earp Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    Bitter – I have nothing against the 9mm, but I prefer the .45 – especially the way some criminals react to the rounds. Six months ago, we had a shooting in Logan, and the man was shot in the head with a 9mm round and was talking on his phone when we got there.

  3. Rick Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I hear you.I favor the .40 cal

  4. Jon Brooks Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Invoking the ghost of Skeeter Skelton for Bitter..”The best self defense round is one which most closely approximates a moving coffee can filled with concrete.”

    True the .45 does not expand well, even with hollow points it is iffy, it is less useful against body armour but it will usually stop within its target transferring/dumping ..all..of its kinetic energy into tissue damage. The 9mm parabellum
    being a zippy little guy (using the 115 gr. ball vs 230 gr. ball 9mm vs .45) if it stops within the body will also deliver
    its max energy but it also tends to exit the bod and travel downrange dumping only a portion of its kinetic energy in the target. True, hydrashocks in 9mm help but so do Win. Western silvertips in .45. Mag capacity is a plus for the 9mm, but there are now .45 models with 12, 14 15 rd mags.

    So is there really a caliber war between the 9 and the .45, yes and no its personal taste mainly now. Just be sure
    the 9′s do not have the aluminum alloy slides or recievers
    after a few thousand rounds my old M92 started showing signs of excessive wear with factory loads while one of the .45s I’ve owned (a Thompson knockoff I believe..twas years ago) would take some of my way overloaded rounds
    and feed them with ease never jamming. And with newer models of .45 with straight in feed (like the berettas) you dont have to sit and polish the feed ramp for hours to prevent jamming on the bullet ogive due to the angle of feed from the magazine. But even I have to admit thee are many reasons to choose the 9 as well over the .45. I just still love the Ole Gal.

    How overloaded were my overloads..LOL The punched primer was flattened such that the indent from the firing pin tip was hard to see and there was a sprue of metal
    on the primer from where the firing pin ripped itself out of the primer during extraction pulling metal with it. I could not reuse the brass afterwards either they were little ballons. Thompson Auto Ordance Co. advertized an almost indestructible M1911 knock off with the best steel and I tested it this was back in the early 80′s. If memory serves the load was 9.5 gr of Win Western 231 with CCi 350 primer
    when the speer manual cautions at 7.5 gr of 231 max. LOL
    Oh yeah couldnt hit sh*t with those rounds either. LOL

  5. Raptor Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    PPD can carry .45 Glocks now? Last I heard (this was recent, and I think it was from you, Wyatt,) y’all were limited to the Glock 17 and a really wussy duty load (forget exactly what).

  6. Jon Brooks Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Sorry for the long comment earlier.

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Rick – All comes down to stopping power. Sometimes the 9mm is up to the task. Sometimes not.

    Jon – I want the rounds Jimmy Caan had in Alien nation.

    Raptor – Yeah, we were cleared for them last December. Of course, the city ran out because demand was so high, so there’s a waiting list now.

  8. kaveman Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 9:37 pm

    I really need to start shopping for a new CCW gun. I normally carry the PPK in .380 with hollow points simply because it’s the most comfortable and the most easily concealed no matter what I happen to be wearing. The PPK with its hammer block is also ideal for carrying with one in the pipe. With a decent coat, I switch to the .357 magnum revolver with hollow points.

    Maybe as winter approaches I should start wearing the trench coat and holster up the Ruger Vaquero in .45 long colt.

    oh yeah

  9. Robert B. Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    As a Texas LEO replied to a reporter when asked “Why do you carry a .45?”

    “Because they don’t make a .46.”

  10. richard mcenroe Says:
    September 28th, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    But they’re giiiiiiiiirls….

  11. Andrew Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I agree. Was at the range the other day firing a Springfield XD in 9mm. Then switched to a Taurus .45 1911 – you can really feel the difference. Definitely more effective I’ll bet in this type of situation.

    All in all, job well done by these officers.

  12. Loaded Dice in Vegas Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 12:30 am

    As a Texas LEO replied to a reporter when asked “Why do you carry a .45?”

    “Because they don’t make a .46.”

    That was a Texas Ranger………and I don’t mean the baseball team……

    Seriously, if you can carry a .45 do so. If you ever need it you’ll know why………

  13. ajdshootist Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Back when we in the UK could have pistols i had two .41s a 41ae and a 41avenger plus two 45acp 1911s a Gold Cup and an 1911 made in 1916 liked all of them, the Avenger was very fast but the 41ae was the one i would have chosen
    if i could have carried good mag cap and with the Sierra 210grn JHC good knock down power,never liked the 40s&w it was something and nothing better than 9mm but not up to the 10mill.

  14. Hyman Roth Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:19 am

    This particular incident sounds more like poor shot placement than poor bullet performance.

    How else could someone be shot in the face and only get damaged teeth?

  15. Jon Brooks Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:26 am

    Wyatt is that a .454 Casull? I want one. I want one..bouncing in chair… Although at about $2K per gun I’ve heard, I’ll have to settle for firing it in my dreams.

    Kaveman, do Desert Eagles come in .45 Long Colt? Now picture that being pulled out of the trench coat:) Hell go akimbo. LOL

  16. Wyatt Earp Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:42 am

    Kaveman – My father-in-law gave me his Koread War-era 1911 last month. Haven’t shot it yet, but I’m dying to do so.

    Robert B. – Not yet. Heh.

    Richard – There are a few female officers in my division with the .45. You’d be surprised.

    Andrew – Yeah, it was a shock the first time I fired one after shooting 9mm all the time.

    LDIV – Being a detective, I most likely won’t, but I’m on the waiting list anyway.

    Ajdshootist – I’ve got a S&W .38 snubnose. Little heavy, but I love it.

    Hyman – I’m in work today. Asked around and the officer was going for a head shot. Struck the choppers instead. Scumbag is still in critical condition, but expected to survive.

    Jon – It is indeed. Hand cannon extraordinairre.

  17. Bob G. Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Be nice to see the PPD go to .45s.
    I remember the old .38 special wheelgun days…
    (and those block long Dodge cruisers)
    MY father-in-law was one of the first in the PPD pilot project to get the Glock 9mm…nice pistol (at the time).

    I purchased an inexpensive 9mm years ago, but last year, I decided to “up my ante” and got a Taurus PT 145 (MIilenium) and with 10+1 of Hornady 230 gr.TAP CQ available, what gets hit…STAYS hit!
    (the mousegun that ROARED…lol)

    Gimme a nice big SLOW slug anyday…less chance for ricochet or over penetration into something you were NOT shooting.

    Good post – love a happy ending.

    Stay safe out there.

  18. E Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Guy is definitely being kept alive on life support. They want to see if they can use any of his organs. Bullet went through his teeth, shattered his V2 vertebrae and destroyed his brain stem.
    So yeah, 9mm works.

  19. Wyatt Earp Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Bob G. – Best part? No officers were hurt.

    E – This happened in my division and I didn’t hear that. Not saying it isn’t true, but we weren’t notified.

  20. E Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Wyatt – Wife saw the MRI yesterday. She works at Einstein.

  21. Wyatt Earp Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 11:40 am

    E – Good enough for me, then. Thanks for the info, and thank the missus for her service. The folks at Einstein always treat us like gold.

  22. C/A Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Bitter- I suppose I’ll be labeled a sexist for this one but it’s sooooo worth it!

    I hope you and Wyatt appreciate I spent an HOUR tracking this clip down!

    After all it’s about guns…. :)

  23. 1oldleg Says:
    September 29th, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Ruger P97DC in .45acp 8+1 carrying jacketed ball. I’ve seen meth heads shake off 9mm hits, I’ve never seen one get up from a .45 in the zone.

    As far as caliber goes, a .22 will kill ya just as quick as a casull will.

  24. Ingineer66 Says:
    September 30th, 2010 at 12:22 am

    Today there is an a photo in the local paper of a guy being arrested without his shirt on and it made me wonder if it is written in the Constitution that before you commit a felony that you have to take your shirt off. After reading “….an employee at the library watched Cottman remove his shirt and calmly exit the library…” I am beginning to believe that it is true.

  25. Wyatt Earp Says:
    September 30th, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Captain – I like the interview scene better. Classic Eastwood.

    1oldleg – “The bullet just rattles around your brain until you die.” – Vincent Antonelli, My Blue Heaven

    Ingineer66 – Criminals like to get back to their white trash roots.

  26. Philly Cop Allegedly Found Card-Counting | Support Your Local Gunfighter Says:
    September 30th, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    [...] Philadelphia Police Department. Almost immediately after an officer does a fantastic job – like this one – there is another officer who embarrasses the rest of [...]

  27. ed Says:
    October 2nd, 2010 at 12:48 am

    Yes, Cottman is still listed in critical condition, but this wouldn’t be the case if these officers applied for their .45-caliber Glock 21s. In this day and age, there is no reason for an officer to be carrying a 9mm pistol.

    OK, I’m late to this thread, but here’s my take on it. I like the .45.

    But you are talking about a double stack .45 Glock. Which has a big grip. Plus the .45 has more recoil than the 9mm.

    Well, I’m sure you can handle that much gun. Which is cool.

    But what about a female? Some women can handle it just fine.

    But if you are a small woman with small hands, and weigh something like 105 lbs or something, it may be more than she can handle effectively. She may not be able to control the recoil.

    In which case, I’d say this hypothetical small framed female cop would be better armed and more effective in a gun fight armed with a 9mm. Better shot placement and all that.

    So anyway, since you are in the Philly PD, can you shed any light onto this? Was the female cop who shot this guy big or small?