Shocking, heartbreaking, and eye-opening, the up-close-and-personal accounts in Shots Fired will make you reconsider all you thought you knew about police work.”
- Catherine Pelonero, New York Times bestselling author of Kitty Genovese

An Important New Look at Deadly Police Encounters

Shots Fired, new book coverToday’s media is filled with discussions about officer-involved shootings. Too often missing from that discussion are the police officers’ voices and the reality of what happens in actual shooting incidents. Through interviews with involved officers, this book addresses common myths and misunderstandings about these shootings.

Shots Fired: The Misunderstandings, Misconceptions, and Myths about Police Shootings  is a journey “behind the shield” which highlights the experiences of the real human beings in the line of fire. It explores true events through the participants’ own eyes and takes readers inside the minds of officers during the actual event. The officers detail the roller coaster of emotions and severe trauma experienced during and after a shooting event.

Along with the intimate, in-depth explorations of the incidents themselves, the book touches the aftermath of police-involved shootings—the debriefings, internal and external investigations, and psychological evaluations. It challenges many commonly held assumptions created by the media such as the meaning of “unarmed” and why the police can’t just “shoot him in the leg,” creating an understanding that reaches beyond slogans such as “hands up, don’t shoot.”

The book, written by Joseph K. Loughlin and Kate Clark Flora,  is valuable reading for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of police shootings—officers and police departments, reporters and politicians, and the public who rely on the police to keep them safe.

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Listen to what retired NJ police officer, Kevin Donaldson, author of "The Suffering Podcast" has to say about Shots Fired.


FINDING AMY: A True Story of Murder in Maine

Finding Amy, A True Story of Murder in Maine Missing Poster for Amy St.Laurent

An earlier book by Deputy Chief Joseph K. Loughlin and Kate Clark Flora

"This is one of the best true crime stories to be published in recent years...This book should reaffirm the public's faith in the police, prosecutors, and Maine's judicial system."--Brunswick Times Record

"Few true crime books get behind the scenes and explain how homicide detectives do their jobs the way Finding Amy does."--Bangor Daily News

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LET Radio Show

The Suffering Podcast logoThe Suffering Podcast by Kevin Donaldson, retired NJ police officer, talks with officers involved in shootings and how 'Shots Fired' helped them.


TNA, The New American magazine Watch the video, "Misconceptions of Police Shootings", with author Joseph K. Loughlin interviewed for The New American magazine.


PoliceOne""Shots Fired" takes readers inside the minds of LEOs during officer-involved shootings" Read an excerpt.


Shots Fired, new book coverClick to see Joe and Kate on NBC affiliate WCSH Portland, ME.




Listen to the interview with Joseph K. Loughlin and Kate Clark Flora on Love Maine Radio.

The Authors

Joseph K. Loughlin

Joseph K. Loughlin

JOSEPH K. LOUGHLIN is a former assistant chief of police for the City of Portland, Maine, and also served as the commander of the Special Reaction Team and was a team member for more than twenty years. Loughlin is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Command training in Quantico, Virginia. He currently consults for 3SI International Security Systems and functions as a  regional coordinator of police trainings and special projects. Loughlin currently resides in South Portland, Maine. Click to email him.

Kate Clark Flora

Kate Clark Flora

KATE CLARK FLORA writes true crime and police procedurals. A Good Man with a Dog is a memoir she cowrote with a retired Maine game warden. Her fascination with people’s bad behavior began in the Maine attorney general’s office, where she chased deadbeat dads and protected battered children. Flora lives in Concord, Massachusetts. Visit her website.

Joe and Kate collaborated before on the book: Finding Amy: A True Story of Murder in Maine.

Praise for SHOTS FIRED

“In an era when so many are demonizing law enforcement, this book reveals the humanity of those brave souls who walk the thin blue line.”

– Thomas Jackson, former police chief of Ferguson, Missouri, and author of Policing Ferguson, Policing America

“The authors invite you to step out of your preconceptions and into the cop’s unique life-or-death frame of reference. Accept the invitation, and one thing is certain: you will think hard before you pass judgment on the next news story that comes your way concerning an ‘officer-involved shooting.’”

– Alan Axelrod, author of Cops, Crooks, and Criminologists and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Forensics

“Provides compelling information about the critical matter of the role that deadly force plays in modern American police work.”

– David Klinger, professor of criminology and criminal justice at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, author of Into the Kill Zone

“All concerned and interested citizens should read it, and if I had my way it would be mandatory reading for any reporter contemplating a story on a police shooting.”

– Urey W. Patrick, author of In Defense of Self and Others

“A valuable addition to the literature of use of force, and a breath of fresh air and common sense in the current debate.”

– Massad Ayoob, author of Deadly Force: Understanding Your Right to Self Defense

“A fascinating and heartfelt journey behind the shield. This is a book that should be read by all—our law enforcement communities deserve that the public know the truth beyond sensational and often inaccurate news stories.”

– Don D. Mann, Navy SEAL Team SIX (ret.), New York Times bestselling author of Inside SEAL Team SIX

“These accounts remind us there is always more than one side to the story.”

– Lynne Finch, author of Female and Armed