Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 52 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't post much, but thought I'd see what other people's thoughts are on this experience I had.

Over the weekend, I went into my small town convenience store. There's a dude at the cashier's desk who looks pretty shady. I go to the restroom, and when I come out, he's having words with the girl running the register. We are the only two customers in the building. In waving his arms over whatever he's upset about, his shirt rises enough I see a subcompact semi (appeared to be a Glock) worn OWB but partially covered by a shirt. I'm not sure if "showing" it was an accident or an attempt to intimidate the girl at the counter.

I'm 8 to 10 feet behind him. I'm pretty sure he has no clue I've come out of the restroom. I have my CC piece in my right front pocket, my hand on the grip and ready to pull. I've made the decision if that Glock comes out, mine is coming out. I quietly take a couple steps to the side to gain partial concealment (not cover) behind a rack of beef jerky and to have an angle that won't hit the girl if I have to shoot. Thankfully, he finally slaps his hand on the counter, walks out and drives off. I buy a soda, don't say a word about it, and leave.

Lying in bed that night, I pondered. If he'd put his hand on it, I was pulling. My Monday morning quarterbacking of my own plan is thus... Once he pulled the piece on that girl, I'd have had every legal right in my state to fire, and that was in fact my intent at the time. No "Hands up drop the gun!" movie BS, just action.

Upon further analysis, and having recently just read "Violence of Mind" by Varg Freeborn (excellent book by the way), I wondered if that would have been the right thing? It would have been an easy shot to the point of being almost execution like. From the book, I've defined my mission as keeping myself safe and alive and available to provide for my family (not in jail or destitute from paying legal defenses), while also keeping them safe and alive. In keeping with that mission, I'm second guessing my better bet would have been to pull, aim, and not shoot unless he started to turn towards me or fired at the cashier (but then she could be dead). Let him rob it and walk away because a few hundred bucks isn't worth me taking a life when I wasn't truly doing it in self defense. Maybe legal in my state, but when the day comes I meet God face to face, could I honestly say I had no other choice? Then again, if I didn't shoot immediately, and he kills the cashier, her death would be on my conscience and I'd have to live with that.

Thankfully, nothing happened and these are just hypothetical thoughts while trying to drift off to sleep. I long ago made the decision I would have zero issues pulling the trigger in defense of myself or my loved ones, but this felt somewhere in between.

Anyway, just thought I'd share my experience and my thoughts. I don't think there's a 100% right answer to this one. Maybe a legal answer. Maybe a tactically sound answer. But not a RIGHT answer. Or maybe the right answer is different for everyone. Who knows....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,121 Posts
In the situation described if he drew on an unarmed clerk I would of shot him in self defense. If he will gun down her he would find you and kill you too.

Another thought is just because someone is carrying doesn't mean he means to murder someone. He didn't. You didn't.

Having been in previous debates here some will opine you by carrying are like member of pseudo public guardianship and must respond. Not me. I do not run toward sound of gunfire. I carry for my safety first and foremost. Remember a couple years ago video of a couple who just started randomly shooting people in WalMart. Brave citizen got drop on dude but didn't see dudette who took him out. If I had no way out I might take my shots but not go hunting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
355 Posts
IMO it comes down to whether an innocent life is in danger, whether that life is yours or the girl behind the counter. Think about it this way. He draws, then you draw, but you wait because you don't want to shoot needlessly. But then he shoots and kills her, followed by you shooting and killing him. If I was in that situation it would tear me up inside knowing that she lost her life because I hesitated. If he draws on an unarmed person out of anger/aggression, I think it's a very fair assumption that he is an immediate threat to her life. It's a race to stop him before he carries that violent intent from his mind to his trigger finger. And I'm also pretty sure most cops would recognize that fact and you would not be charged with anything. As law abiding citizens carrying concealed we don't seek out violence but what is the point of being capable of violence, just to deny a helpless person life saving assistance out of a desire to shield ourselves from legal trouble that likely would not have resulted in legal trouble anyway? One thing I would add to that scenario if the time allowed for it though is as soon as you see him reach for his gun, a very load command can be given to stop or you will shoot. And if he either doesn't hear you or ignores you, I would fire for the above reasons.

I think you made the best call there and handled it quite properly. It's a fine line that we have to follow between acting when we need to but not acting in a way that gets us charged with a crime.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I forgot to say, props to the girl behind the counter. She was cool and collected, and even though she almost certainly had to have seen me, her eyes never gave any indication that I'd entered the picture. Even when I stepped to the left behind the slim jims lining up for a shot at a 45 degree angle instead of directly towards where she was standing. She never said a word when I checked out so I didn't either, so must be just another day at the office for her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Same as was said. By noticing he was carrying you had a good half second or so lead on him by having yours in your grip while his was still in holster with his hands waving around in front of him or beating on the counter or whatever. Enough time for one single very short loud clear command if he starts to reach for it. You'd burn up that half second just by giving the command, giving him some sort of chance to respond to it, realizing he's not going to stop, and giving yourself the go ahead to shoot. Maybe even longer. If he was committed to using his he would've had his hand on it at least and probably be clearing the holster by then. At that point he should start taking hits, before his muzzle is up enough to put one in the clerk or you. Him being the aggressor and having it in his hand is enough reason. Would look a lot better on the report if his gun wasn't still holstered.

Or maybe that reach wasn't part of a draw motion at all and he was just gonna grab his car keys out of his pocket and stomp out in disgust.
I lost my crystal ball but it never really worked very well anyway.

It's good to pick this stuff apart and see what there is to learn from after the fact, just not to the point you start doubting yourself or hesitating when you shouldn't. In the end you made good decisions, gave yourself an advantage if things did go sideways, and everyone walked away.

BTW, great move finding a bit of concealment and getting an angle that was safe for the cashier. That's good awareness, thinking, and reaction in a tense situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
46 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
One other thing this little "almost incident" did was reinforce to me the importance of carrying. As warmer weather comes on, and the weekend outfit of basketball shorts and t-shirts becomes the norm, it's tempting to get lazy about it, especially on a warm Saturday morning in small town America just popping into the convenience store for a Coke Zero and to take a leak. 999 times out of a thousand it's a non-event. But this almost was. Just glad it came to nothing except a theoretical "what if" on an internet forum.
 

·
What would Mal do
Joined
·
4,823 Posts
Not that things go according to plan. But my "plan" would always be to :
1) leave my merchandise and quickly exit the building
2) The store clerk, male or female, has assumed their own responsibility when they took the job. My gun is for me and my family's personal defense outside the home.
3) the risk of liability, loss of liberty, loss of freedom these days is so great, that I can't imagine pressing deadly force into most situations on the street.

This was the thought process when I trained my crew when I owned the pro concert biz. All folks in the biz carry. But I instructed my crew that if it broke out during a gig, they were to run for cover as if they were unarmed. Seek shelter, and unless it's a personal defense then you don't pull. Those 10,000 folks in the street festival, made their own choice to come out. There was a risk that they might be in a car wreck on the way there or home, there's a risk that they could get horribly sick from the food truck junk and there's a risk of violence.
Pulling a gun...you might shoot and miss the perp, killing someone behind the perp. You might hit , but shoot through the perp and still injur or kill someone else. You might miss and then the perp's attention is turned to you and anyone around you may be shot, you have drawn fire on others. Responding police don't know you from the perp. They will fire on you, or be distracted by your actions and the perp shoots the cops and others.
The balance of scenarios as part of my "planning" just has me leaning towards evac rather than engagement.
Me going home to my wife and kids is my priority..sorry if it sounds cowardly, but it's actually the harder plan, rather than thinking my CWP means I can play hero.
 

·
KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
Joined
·
7,982 Posts
Good job...you guarded w/o challenge....Things have changed w the Active Shooter Protocols..once a shot is fired,warnings arent needed..if you go into a scene and somebody has fired and he is showing armed(displaying) you shoot the moron..you prob would have been alright firing w/o waiting on him to shoot since he was displaying aggression...remember the Cardinal Rule:Its All How You Write The Report-(Or how you make the statement..I was scared for my life and that of the clerk..he was aggressive,threatening and appeared to be deranged or under the influence) (you cannot be taken to task on what you BELIEVED he was/would do)..as long as The Reasonable Man defense can apply(what would ANY reasonable person do under similar circumstances) you be ok criminal charges wise-except in a dim/lib city/county/state/metro area..civilly,you WILL be sued by the young gentleman's family since he was an aspiring rapper who was planning on starting college classes in the fall(they ALL are)((Sarcasm))
Nice Job
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
555 Posts
I have always said, "I am not a vigilante, LEO or wannabe hero." And "Not my circus, not my monkeys." For all you know, the guy might have been an off-duty cop. That would not mean he would have been justified in pulling a gun on her, but it would have complicated the legal situation. Also, nowadays, you have to also know you are going to get sued by the guy's family and pay at least 10 grand in legal fees just getting out from under that, more if they win.

My rules for third party defense: I will shoot if 1) I know what the situation is all about and that I am in the right. 2) I know I can make a decisive difference with the gun and the skills I have. 3) I can do it without making the situation worse.

I also don't assume that someone carrying a gun is a danger, even if they are arguing with someone. That is what the anti-gunners do, paint CC'ers as dangerous. Especially a gun in an OWB holster. Criminals don't usually do that. Should people think you are a danger because you are carrying a gun?

BTW, all these complexities are why I have CCW Safe (NFI). It helps me feel secure that if I make a choice to shoot, I am protected legally and financially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
174 Posts
Eh, in this one single situation here the trigger (not gonna pardon that pun) is the fraction of a second the guy does or does not go from being just another irate customer to something that really is an immediate threat to life and limb.
I think the OP handled it well. Used information to gain advantage, positioned to keep bad guy in sights and innocents safe, held off on pulling it while the guy was still just an irate customer, etc.

As far as playing hero to a third party that also depends on the situation. In this one everyone is within a few feet of each other and are the only ones in the store. If the guy doesn't have a problem shooting her he probably doesn't have a problem shooting you either, whether to get rid of the witness or just because he's a raging psycho, why doesn't matter at that point. I'm not so sure I'd bet the farm on being partially concealed by some slimjims, hoping my instinct it right and he doesn't know I'm there, and hoping after he shoots the girl he doesn't figure hey may as well grab some slimjims while I'm here.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,011 Posts
Great thread to think about. Sounds like you did everything "right".

One thing maybe worth the mental exercise is what the steps would be after you shot him and any variables that go with it.

For example:

If he drew and you shot him and he became incapacitated would you render life saving measures (if you deemed it safely to do so)?
Who and how would you call it in?

Any LEO's here that can chime in on what you should say to a dispatcher that would not invoke a dangerous response when the LEO arrive on the scene would be really helpful.
 

·
KOAD; FOAD; ESAD
Joined
·
7,982 Posts
911''Help..I just had to shoot someone"..describe you,your clothes and as many details as they ask for THAT DOESNT INCLUDE FACTS ABOUT THE SHOOTING..you're going into shock..when Officers arrive,on knees,hands up,guns away from you..when you clear them then you are in shock and cant talk anymore til the lawyer gets there..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
451 Posts
How would you have felt if the perp drew on the clerk, you shot the perp and the clerk thinks you overreacted, and / or didn't see the perp pull a weapon on her, for whatever reason.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,869 Posts
retired cop here.

So feel free to ignore my old man advise.

But RETREAT to where you were and CALL 9/11

Then any action you take makes you at least a better good guy.

And you do know most 'choke & pukes' 'shop & robs' have cameras.

So whatever you did ,or did not was likely recorded.

Also note ,not inconceivable there was a patrol officer outside looking in !.

That should pucker your butt !.
 
1 - 20 of 52 Posts
Top