Police said Jiverly Wong, 41, was wearing a “bulletproof vest” when he burst into the American Civic Association in Binghamton, N.Y., on Friday and killed 13 people before taking his own life. Richard Poplawski, 23, was wearing one when he killed three Pittsburgh police officers who were responding to a domestic disturbance call Saturday. John Grebert of the New York State Police Chiefs Association tells the Associated Press officers are trained “to fire on two kill zones – two bullets fired at the chest, a third at the head, in case the person is wearing a vest.”
More companies are making body armor, and there are now more places to buy it, law enforcement officials say. Companies that sell body armor do not need any special licenses, nor are they required to run background checks. For many years, bullet-resistant vests were made from woven Kevlar, but newer materials have since been developed that are lighter, thinner and more resistant, although much more expensive. The cost ranges from several hundred dollars to more than $1,300 for top-quality, highly resistant ones. The term “bulletproof” is a misnomer because the vests may provide little or no protection against rifle ammunition, high velocity pistol ammunition, pistol ammo fired from a rifle barrel, armor piercing ammunition, and sharp-edged or pointed instruments, such as knives or icepicks.