It was with astonishment, disbelief and disgust that I read a report that the nine bystanders shot near the Empire State Building were hit not by the gunman whom police were confronting but by police [“9 hurt near N.Y. landmark were hit by police gunfire,” news article, Aug. 26].

I taught marksmanship and firearm safety for more than 30 years, certifying more than 2,000 students. Among the paramount points that I stressed were that the shooter should be sure of the target and know what was behind the target and where the rounds would go, should he or she miss.

For two supposedly trained police officers, sworn to protect and serve, to adopt what was apparently a spray-and-pray method on a crowded street is a disgrace to every law enforcement officer in the country. Had someone other than law enforcement officers perpetrated such carelessness, there would have been front-page articles calling for gun control.

Marvin Shoaf, Sterling