Youtube of CCW defender
Here's the security cam video. Nice soundtrack, too. Looks like the robber enters, goes to counter at extreme right, one motel clerk begins emptying the till for him. The guy on the laptop at left gets up, casually wanders over to help her, then draws and fires. The guy drops right outside the door. BTW, the comments say the camera angle is deceptive -- the lady with the kid wasn't actually standing right next to the armed robber while he was doing his thing, nor in the line of fire.
The CCW holder looks to have been a cool hand, up until he drew you'd swear he was just helping make sure the robber got his money -- reportedly, three shots and three hits.
[Update: the camera angle and setting may be deceiving, as has been reported -- the lady with the child may have been out of the way. As a pure legal-type, there might be some question around shooting him in the back. I'd hope that the police are like those around here, inclined to say "good shooting" rather than "let's ask for a legal opinion." And inclined to understand that once a gun battle begins, it doesn't stop because the other guy turns away. We can put all sorts of legal constructs on that -- "well, he could still have turned and resumed the fight" -- but the bottom line is that once a person begins a fight for his life at close range, it's too much to expect that in a tenth of a second they will judge "hey, he's turning way, I should cease fire under sundry provisions of state law." As the pragmatic judge Oliver Wendell Holmes observed, it is too much to expect distinterested contemplation in the presence of an uplifted knife (paraphrase, I forget his exact wording).]
dude is an arfcommer and posted that after all the legal wrangling. did you notice how sweet his draw was? calmly walks behind the girl, draws, and comes out shooting.
Posted by: SayUncle at May 4, 2007 08:24 PM
This is a perfect example of the idiocy that tarnishes the image of concealed carry permit holders in the eyes of the general public. Instead of giving the guy the money and going with the odds that the guy was unlikely to shoot anyone, he decides to start a shootout in close proximity to at least three innocent bystanders. He creates a situation where innocent people are a lot more likely to get hurt than they would be if he just let her give up the money. Then when he pulls his gun and the robber is presumably pointing a gun back at him, he doesn't shoot, but instead waits for the robber to shoot. This reminds me of those stupid scenes you sometimes see in the movies were a murderer and a good guy are standing there with their guns pointed at each other's heads, but neither of them shoot. If a bad guy has a gun pointed at you and you have a gun pointed at him - SHOOT IMMEDIATELY. Don't wait around like an idiot for him to blow your brains out. But no, this guy lets the robber get a shot off which could have brought him down and left the robber to kill off the witnesses. Next he discharges his gun, indoors, three times, with the muzzle blast headed almost directly towards the mother and child, possibly leaving them and others in the room with permanent hearing loss. He wouldn't have had to do that if he had let things blow over. Notwithstanding his clever draw and good shooting, this guy needs to have his concealed carry permit revoked. Maybe he should be charged with reckless endangerment of the ladies as well. It was reckless because if you're going to carry a gun, you're supposed to have worked out a reasonable strategy for the most common situations, such as a normal armed robbery.
Posted by: Critic at May 5, 2007 12:20 AM
What is a "normal armed robbery"? Critic has his head up his ass! What if normal included killing all witnesses? Would that be "normal"? I'll just bet that critic has never been shot at, or even heard a shot fired in anger. I'll bet critic is just an opinionated buffoon, and thus dead wood when it comes to the crunch.
Posted by: Keith at May 5, 2007 01:24 AM
Well I guess I should have read a little more about it before I got critical. The guy who shot the crook was an NRA instructor. Apparently when he drew on the crook the crook had his gun at his side, thus it was logical not to shoot yet. Also the crook didn't shoot, everyone just flinched in the video when the crook raised his gun.
Of course the fact that the crook had his gun at his side means it was an even bigger mistake to start a confrontation and shootout. Also the mistake wasn't just made by any random permit holder, but by someone who should have known better.
Maybe it was only an obvious mistake in hindsight. If the guy was alone then I'd say his actions were reasonable enough. Maybe he hadn't considered adjusting his tactics for when there were people nearby. I can't say I've thought about that before myself. Though I don't carry either. Nor am I an instructor.
It seems the guy calls himself rooftop voter and he writes about the event on this thread
Rooftop Voter says the first post in the thread was posted under his alias by his roommate who made the video.
Posted by: Critic at May 5, 2007 03:12 AM
What if normal included killing all witnesses?
I don't think that's normal. The idea in a situation like this is to minimize the probability of injury or death of innocent people. Starting a shootout with several people around is probably a lot more risky than just handing over the money and letting the robber go. Sure the robber MIGHT have killed everyone anyway but then someone MIGHT have gotten hit by the robber in the shootout. You've got to go with the odds when they're clear. I'm pretty sure the vast majority of robbers don't shoot. This robber wasn't even pointing his gun at them. Sometimes it may be worth taking some extra risk to yourself to end the robber's career, but not with four lives at immediate risk.
Posted by: Critic at May 5, 2007 03:27 AM
"He creates a situation where innocent people are a lot more likely to get hurt than they would be if he just let her give up the money."
Did anyone get hurt? Well, other than the robber.
Posted by: SayUncle at May 5, 2007 06:29 AM
He creates a situation where innocent people are a lot more likely to get hurt
And therein lies the flaw in your position. The defender didn't "create" any situation, he reacted to the situation that was thrust upon him. In the few seconds of action, he had to evaluate the situation (that the bad guy created) assess the risks, formulate a plan of action and put that plan into practice...all while fighting the natural fear, excitement and adrenaline rush that inevitably accompanies such an incident.
You can sit in your comfy chair, free from danger or fear, taking your time to analyze the video and form an opinion, but said opinion is completely moot and invalid. You weren't there. He did what he felt was the right thing to do...successfully I might add...perhaps had he the time to reflect and analyze the situation, he might have adjusted or re-evaluated his response; but he didn't have that luxury. He reacted as he trained, didn't panic, kept himself under control and resolved the crises effectively and successfully. Second guessing him now because of what MIGHT have happened (but didn't) is ridiculous.
You are free to opine about any event you are so inclined...and I am just as free to say that, in my humble opinion, your opinion is ill-informed, judgmental and borders on hysterical.
Posted by: Sailorcurt at May 5, 2007 08:23 AM
It never ceases to amaze me that someone who concedes that he or she doesn't carry, and hasn't really thought much about how she or he might react in a potentially lethal confrontation is nonetheless perfectly willing to evaluate a shooting based on a single clip from a security camera, concluding (as most such experts seem to do) that the shooter was in the wrong and should have behaved differently (almost always more passively). As an instructor and training counselor who's actually been involved in such real-life instant decisions, I'm unwilling to judge conclusively one way or another with nothing more than a poor quality video as a basis. In the absence of any better evidence, however, my tendency would be to assume that the good guy did the right thing, while the bad guy did the wrong thing rather than the more popular opposite.
Posted by: Ken at May 5, 2007 11:11 AM
If the guy behind the counter was a police officer , I am sure some people would then say it was ok, as the police are viewed by these people as the only ones empowered by their god, the State, to use deadly force in defense of themselves and the State.
“In weighing the high likelihood of serious injury or death to respondent that Scott’s actions posed against the actual and imminent threat that respondent posed to the lives of others, the Court takes account of the number of lives at risk and the relative culpability of the parties involved. Respondent intentionally placed himself and the public in danger by unlawfully engaging in reckless, high-speed flight; those who might have been harmed had Scott not forced respondent off the road were entirely innocent. The Court concludes that it was reasonable for Scott to take the action he did. It rejects respondent’s argument that safety could have been assured if the police simply ceased their pursuit. The Court rules that a police officer’s attempt to terminate a dangerous high-speed car chase that threatens the lives of innocent bystanders does not violate the Fourth Amendment , even when it places the fleeing motorist at risk of serious injury or death. Pp. 10–13.” Scott v. Harris, __US ___2007
Posted by: Rudy DiGiacinto at May 5, 2007 11:13 AM
Why can I not post a comment?I can't find any questionable content in my comment.
Posted by: straightarrow at May 5, 2007 01:17 PM
"Rooftop voter"? I know what that's all about. Sound like the shooter is a fan of subguns.com and a hardcore gunnie.
Posted by: Brad at May 5, 2007 04:03 PM
When all else fails, vote from the rooftops!
Posted by: Brad at May 5, 2007 04:08 PM
>Did anyone get hurt? Well, other than the robber.
Just because you got lucky doesn't mean you didn't make a mistake.
>The defender didn't "create" any situation
I probably should have worded it different. Put another way, the defender changed the course of the events to a more dangerous course than just doing nothing and sitting it out.
>You can sit in your comfy chair, free from danger or fear, taking your time to analyze the video and form an opinion, but said opinion is completely moot and invalid.
Hindsight is 20/20. It's easy for me to criticize, you're right. I may have reacted much worse in that situation. But just because we have more time to evaluate the possibilities doesn't make our analysis invalid. Just the opposite in fact.
I've worked in a place where I was subject to just the same kind of situation, except that I was almost sure to be alone, and stray bullets were no danger to anyone. I considered getting a gun and how I would use it. The challenging scenario is what to do if the robber has his gun pointed at your head. Do you duck, draw, and get in a shootout that has something close to 50/50 odds, or do you go with the probably safer option that he won't shoot, like robbers usually don't, and just stand there a millisecond from having your brains blown out. I'm probably more inclined to take the opportunity to end the robbers career to spite the risk. But if the robber isn't pointing the gun at you or anyone else, then it seems very clear that you don't start shooting unless there is some reason to believe that the danger will increase later in the encounter.
>I'm unwilling to judge conclusively one way or another with nothing more than a poor quality video as a basis.
I'm don't know why you would think my judgment was meant to be conclusive. Critical review of past mistakes is a valuable learning tool regardless of the fact that one never has all the evidence. Also, I linked to a thread above where the guy who shot the robber gives a first hand report of the situation.
>In the absence of any better evidence, however, my tendency would be to assume that the good guy did the right thing, while the bad guy did the wrong thing
I see no reason to say that just because he was a good guy that he made a good decision. The evidence of the video and the good guy's report of the incident is quite strong, though not conclusive. The good guy reports that the bad guy was pointing his gun at the ground when the good guy drew on the bad guy. Drawing under those circumstances seems to me like a dangerous mistake. I have yet to see anyone make a reasonable argument that that was the right decision. Even when the good guy responded to criticism of his actions, his only defense was that he had to make a quick decision. That may excuse his mistake but it doesn't mean it wasn't a mistake.
There seems to be a lot of people on various forums that don't know what the proper course of action is under these circumstances. If they're carrying then they ought to know, because this is one of the most common situations one might get into a gunfight, at least for an employee at a place like that. Indeed I think this is one of the most common criticisms of concealed carry made by our opponents; that civilians with guns will more often just make things worse and get people killed than help the situation. The good guys got lucky this time. Lets spread the word so this mistake will be less likely to happen again.
Posted by: Critic at May 5, 2007 05:14 PM
>>Critical review of past mistakes is a valuable learning tool regardless of the fact that one never has all the evidence.
>>I see no reason to say that just because he was a good guy that he made a good decision.
But you certainly seem to be willing to conclude that he made mistakes. Based on the video, I don't see any obvious mistakes, though as I stated, I'm don't know whether or how I might have responded differently.
Drawing when the bad guy's gun is pointed away from any innocents is IMHO the ideal to draw one's own gun. It's totally justified, since he still represents an imminent threat of death or serious injury, and the odds of you're getting on target before he can act are much better than if he had the gun pointed at you or someone else. Would you suggest that the good guy wait into the assailant's gun is pointed at the child or himself before taking action that's quite likely to result in the assailant firing in response?
The proper course of action depends on how good a shot one is, how quickly one can draw, the exact positioning and movements of everybody in sight, subtle details about the behavior of the bad guy, and dozens of other things. You seem to believe that the shooter took the wrong course, from which I infer that you think you would behave differently. You also state that those of us who carry should know how we'd react in this particular situation. My experience and training both tell me that my actions would depend on more than I can see and read here. It's precisely because of that that I won't state "this is what I would have done."
I worry about people who either fool themselves that they know exactly what they'd do in a situation with so many unknown details, or would ignore all those details in an attempt to force real life to fit into a small collection of fixed scenarios. Thinking about situations, making plans and practicing are all essential to survival and good decisions. Just don't fool yourself by believing that the world will always be a good enough fit for those nice plans.
Posted by: Ken at May 5, 2007 06:19 PM
>I don't see any obvious mistakes ... Drawing when the bad guy's gun is pointed away from any innocents is IMHO the ideal to draw one's own gun.
The obvious (or apparent) mistake was needlessly escalating the situation with bystanders in harms way. The question isn't when was the best time for him to draw his gun. The question was whether it was likely to be necessary for him to draw his gun at all. Given what we know and making a reasonable estimate of what we don't know, it probably would have been safer to just hope the bad guy wouldn't shoot the baby or anyone else. By keeping his gun down the bad guy was demonstrating his desire to keep the threat level down. I'm guessing that among robbers that hold their gun down, not one in a thousand shoots anyone if allowed to leave with the money.
>The proper course of action depends on how good a shot one is, how quickly one can draw, the exact positioning and movements of everybody in sight, subtle details about the behavior of the bad guy, and dozens of other things.
Every situation is different, and we don't know everything about this one, but that doesn't mean that just because we can't be certain, that therefore we shouldn't make any evaluation of the incident and learn from any apparent mistakes. When criticized for escalating the situation he didn't give any reasonable justification, such as subtle clues not seen in the video.
Also, unless you have plenty of combat experience you should probably assume that you will be a bad shot. It seems people tend to shoot much poorer in dangerous situations than they do in practice.
Posted by: Critic at May 5, 2007 07:30 PM
"Just because you got lucky doesn't mean you didn't make a mistake."
Lucky? Right. Looked pretty skillful to me.
Posted by: SayUncle at May 6, 2007 06:17 AM
>>"Just because you got lucky doesn't mean you didn't make a mistake."
>Lucky? Right. Looked pretty skillful to me.
Lucky the robber ran instead of shooting and hitting someone.
Posted by: Critic at May 6, 2007 07:15 AM
"Lucky the robber ran instead of shooting and hitting someone."
The robber had no chance. Period. The guy in that video knew his stuff.
Posted by: SayUncle at May 6, 2007 08:13 PM
Note that the shooter gets off 3 shots at the perp in approximately 1 second and does NOT hit the glass wall or glass door. That guy knew what he was doing. He did NOT put any innocent life at risk from his own shots. To suggest that no innocent life was at risk because an armed robber was not at some particular instant pointing his gun directly at someone strikes me as naive in the extreme.
Posted by: wrangler5 at May 6, 2007 10:22 PM
>The robber had no chance. Period. The guy in that video knew his stuff.
Did you even watch the video? It happened pretty fast, try slow motion. First, when the robber raised his gun, the good guy should have been ready and fired instantly. But he didn't. Instead he flinched and ducked. If the robber had just pointed and pulled the trigger he might well have hit someone. Only after the robber had ran a few feet towards the door, and had his back to the good guy, did the good guy put three shots in the robber's back as the robber was running away.
>That guy knew what he was doing. He did NOT put any innocent life at risk from his own shots.[emphasis added]
Not much from his own shots. He was lucky the robber didn't hit anyone. But even if you're a good shot, there's a big chance you'll become a bad shot in a situation like this. So you shouldn't make your tactical decisions on the assumption that you'll be anywhere near as good a shot as you are in practice.
>To suggest that no innocent life was at risk because an armed robber was not at some particular instant pointing his gun directly at someone strikes me as naive in the extreme.
I never suggested that no innocent life was at risk. I said there would have been less risk if he had just waited to see if everything would go smoothly.
Posted by: Critic at May 6, 2007 10:57 PM
"I never suggested that no innocent life was at risk. I said there would have been less risk if he had just waited to see if everything would go smoothly."
Which means he should have waited until the robber pulled the trigger first. Good job.
Posted by: Jonas Salk at May 7, 2007 12:54 AM
JONAS SALK wrote:
>Which means he should have waited until the robber pulled the trigger first. Good job.
Waiting for the bad guy to initiate a shootout puts the defender at a serious disadvantage if a shootout takes place. But waiting has the huge advantage of avoiding a shootout at all, if it's unlikely there would be one anyway. Sometimes there are no good choices, you just have to go with the least bad option. It might leave you vulnerable, but the alternative might be even more dangerous. In this case, it appears unlikely the robber would have shot anyone.
Posted by: Critic at May 7, 2007 02:04 AM
"Did you even watch the video? It happened pretty fast, try slow motion. "
I've seen the video a lot. Even better, I criticized the guy after it first hit the internet and had a conversation with him about it. The angle of the video, per him and his counsel, makes it look as though he was closer to the woman and child than he was. I even, iirc, opined that the child would be deaf for life after that. As a result of this video, the good guy had to go to trial. this video was evidence used to clear him
Posted by: SayUncle at May 7, 2007 06:19 AM
If this thread demonstrates anything, it is that there is always somebody willing to claim that firing a weapon is THE WRONG THING TO DO, because IT ENDANGERS INNOCENT BYSTANDERS.
It's like a broken record, really.
Posted by: mariner at May 9, 2007 03:29 PM
"Waiting for the bad guy to initiate a shootout puts the defender at a serious disadvantage if a shootout takes place. But waiting has the huge advantage of avoiding a shootout at all, if it's unlikely there would be one anyway. Sometimes there are no good choices, you just have to go with the least bad option. It might leave you vulnerable, but the alternative might be even more dangerous. In this case, it appears unlikely the robber would have shot anyone."
My statement still stands: You're asking him to wait until they get shot at first. I say that that is wholly unreasonable, and endangers the very innocent people you so desperately proclaim you want to protect. I say you don't want to protect anyone, and that you're just putting on a big show because you don't like to see people defending themselves.
Posted by: Jonas Salk at May 11, 2007 10:45 PM