Bullet Riddled: The First S.W.A.T. Officer Inside Columbine…and Beyond by Grant M. Whitus and Thom Vines (AUDIOBOOK REVIEW)

Bullet Riddled: The First S.W.A.T. Officer Inside Columbine...and Beyond Title: Bullet Riddled: The First S.W.A.T. Officer Inside Columbine…and Beyond

Author: Grant M. Whitus and Thom Vines
Narrated:  J. Scott Bennett
Genre: Non-Fiction, Personal Memoirs
Publisher: Waldorf Publishing
Publication Date: May 2016
Length: 5 hrs and 12 mins
How did I get this book: Audio ARC from Audiobook Boom


Description (Goodreads)

Grant Whitus joined the Colorado SWAT in 1992. His 17 year career was one of constant headlines. Among leading countless drug raids and hostage situations, he was on the front lines of the Columbine Massacre, the Platte County Tragedy, the Albert Petrosky shooting, and the Granby tank rampage.

Speaking for the first time, Whitus gives the unvarnished truth of those, and many other, major SWAT operations. Now retired, he opens up about his time behind the shield. Bullet Riddled is the full unabridged disclosure of what happened during his storied career; including the brutal morning of the Columbine Massacre. More than just a retelling, Bullet Riddled is an in-depth look at the day-to-day of SWAT and focuses on the men and women who inherit so much pain to keep us safe.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the aftermath of the Columbine tragedy. The following days saw major changes within SWAT: Men cracked, leaders folded and the entire country demanded changes. But these changes, like all reforms, met with stiff resistance from the old guard. Friendships turned into rivals and the infrastructure of SWAT began to unravel. As resignations piled up, Grant rebuilt the entire team from hand-selected recruits. He finally had his elite team, one that would face new demons and disorders.


My Thoughts

Grant tells the story of his 17 years on the Colorado SWAT. This was a painful story to read a times because Grant takes us into the Columbine Massacre and explains what happened on that horrible day. We all have seen the news, read the stories, or even watched the movies, but listening to the person that was first on scene…well, there is no words for it.

Grant explains how the events played out and where improvements are needed in SWAT. After Columbine, Grant knew that changes had to be made and started building a better time.

Even though, this story was a short 5 hours and 12 minutes, I still found it dragged on in spots. Bennett was easy to listen to, but there was times that the spacing was just a bit too slow. However, during the times when tensions were high and action was needed, I was holding onto every word that Bennett used.

I found it interesting looking into the life of someone that has seen so many terrible things, but at the same time it was difficult listening to how mean and bitter he could be at times. We do get a glimpse at how these horrible events affect each individual differently.


This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.



2 thoughts on “Bullet Riddled: The First S.W.A.T. Officer Inside Columbine…and Beyond by Grant M. Whitus and Thom Vines (AUDIOBOOK REVIEW)

  1. This would’ve definitely been a hard listen for me. It’s insightful to get a glimpse of what happened from someone who was there. I’m glad that you were able to enjoy most of the story.


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