52 year-old FBI Special Agent Barry Bush was accidentally shot and killed by another agent duiring a surveillance operation on a group of three suspects wanted for robbing several banks in central New Jersey.
Bush was in a car that tried to block one suspect acting as a scout for his accomplices outside the PNC Bank in Readington, New Jersey. A van full of agents pulled up next to the suspect's car, and one of the agents accidentally fired his rifle as he exited the vehicle.
The FBI and legendary Director, J. Edgar Hoover were victims of their own over-promotion. They have given themselves an undeserved reputation as an elite and superior force with training that is somehow far beyond that of mere policemen.
The effectiveness of police combat techniques are shaped by a combination of training and actual field experience with violent and near violent encounters with dangerous criminals. Hoover was a world class PR man who could have made millions with ad campaigns. The public’s perception of FBI agents, have been formed by over playing their shootouts with bank robbers. Local cops deal with many more bank robbers than all of the FBI’s finest.
FBI agents for the most part really don’t become involved with that many dangerous criminals. Their prey is a more often older White Collar criminals these days. They arrest more people for nothing more than simply lying to them during interviews. Martha Stewart and crooked politicians are just not known for violent encounters.
Street cops on the other hand get superior firearms training and lots of experience with violence at every level of arrest they make. Cops have to use their side arms nearly every day. Thankfully they can control these encounters and rarely ever have to even fire a single shot. Crossfire scenarios are the constant companion of street cops and not FBI agents.
An even more horrible and tragic event took the life of rookie Special Agent Robin Ahrens in Phoenix
If you look at FBI line of duty deaths in recent years you can quickly see that they have had more than their share of mishaps involving their own firearms. FBI agents just don’t have the street crime experience and it shows. I think perhaps FBI agents need to spend a few months interning in a hot local police district as part of their training.
On its face this latest case looks to be an act of negligence, but without all the facts I’m withholding judgment until I know more.