Lessons from an American Warrior

Jim Cirillo, one of the last modern gunfighters, died July…

Jim Cirillo, one of the last modern gunfighters, died July 2007 at age 76, killed in a motor vehicle accident. For those who had the pleasure of knowing Jim, to have read some of his infrequent articles or were taught by him, you are quite fortunate; you were with a gentleman and a warrior, and could not help but benefit from the encounter. Crafting the usual eulogy to such a man perhaps would be a disservice. To gain a better understanding and appreciation of him it’s better to examine his first New York City Police Department (NYPD) Stakeout Unit shooting of three armed men.

jim2.jpgJim was a reluctant warrior in the American tradition. He was a “gun guy”—a hunter, reloader and Police Pistol Combat (PPC) competitor, where he won his fair share of championships. Having such interests, it was almost forgone that he would find himself teaching defensive firearms at the NYPD academy. Although quite content to remain there until retirement, budget cutbacks removed him and others, who were then offered a chance to become part of a newly formed Stakeout Unit.

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