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View Full Version : Interesting Robbery Shootout with IPSC Grandmaster


Bartholomew Roberts
February 10, 2011, 10:17 AM
Source: http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/feb/08/sandy-thalheimer-jeweler-armed-robbery-shot-back/

Apparently, the owner of a defensive shooting school and a Grandmaster IPSC shooter, Sandy Thalheimer, happened upon a robbery outside his jewelry store. 4 robbers had just robbed the man delivering jewelry to his jewelry store and were escaping in a black Ford Taurus.

Thalheimer was already in his truck, heading out to 7-11, and saw them speeding off in the Taurus. He rammed the Taurus with his truck, causing the airbags to deploy and disabling their vehicle. He then exited his vehicle and proceed to get in a gunfight with a 5-shot pocket pistol.

As it turned out, there were more than 4 robbers. Apparently there were some additional lookouts with vehicles who also opened fire on Thalheimer and collected the bad guys. Bad guys escaped with no reports of injuries on either side.

I thought this would be an interesting discussion for Tactics because several of the decisions Mr. Thalheimer made, while undoubtedly brave, are controversial:

1. Engage in pursuit after the robbery had happened to retrieve property?
2. Start a gunfight at car-length distances with a pokcet-pistol that holds 5 shots when the other car had four men in it?

I think it also highlights the importance of not getting tunnel vision as well. I don't think it would have occured to me, had I been in a gunfight with FOUR men, that there might actually be even more bad guys nearby.

Glad to read that Mr. Thalheimer survived the incident without injury and hopefully will be able to incorporate some of this experience into his future training.

tighty whitey
February 10, 2011, 10:22 AM
I think his decisions were epically bad. Insurance would have paid the supplier on a legitmate claim, and he may face criminal charges himself. He simply needed to pick up his cell phone and call the police.

JerryM
February 10, 2011, 10:27 AM
A good lesson for each of us. I am not an off duty police officer, and have no reason to attempt to catch the BG. To take them on with a 5 shot handgun was unwise.

Now he has a damaged truck, and maybe some minor injuries, and the
BG are loose.

I am convinced that many instructors, and some skillful shooters greatly underestimate how different a real gunfight is.

Regards,
Jerry

sirsloop
February 10, 2011, 10:46 AM
Big mistake trying to be the hero. Hopefully he and his family do not become targets of gang related retaliation as a result of this.

TailGator
February 10, 2011, 10:54 AM
For the reasons given above, it is clear that he was not thinking on his feet very well, and did not have much of a plan. A bit of bravura seems to permeate his actions and perhaps his comments afterward. I hope it doesn't get him killed anytime soon. He is lucky he got out of this OK, in my opinion. This would be a good "what not to do" lesson at his school.

If he wanted to be a hero, following the robbers while he was on the phone to 911 would have been a lot better way to recover the stolen goods. He put himself and bystanders at risk and accomplished nothing.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 10, 2011, 10:54 AM
One can try to psychoanalyze motivations and tactically analyze the situation. That would be fun.

For now, I'll say - You had a situation that did not involve an active threat of grievous bodily harm to anyone. The robbery was over.

You then caused numerous rounds to be launched into the neighborhood over potentially recoverable or insured property.

Was it worth it? Of course, we can talk about being a coward, crime must be stopped, etc. If you go that route and screw up - you need to accept responsibility for it.

I've been 'shot' with sims in a simulated altercation by the good guy who should have minded his own business. In the inner thigh - good thing it was just a bruise.

PS - from a pure RKBA PR view. We don't need ineffectual interventionists tooting their horn in failure filled after action reports.

Brian Pfleuger
February 10, 2011, 11:16 AM
I'm with Glenn on this one, for sure.



Thalheimer could have hardly done worse, short of hurting an innocent.

booker_t
February 10, 2011, 11:22 AM
This is just bizarre. After the first decision to ram the robbers' vehicle..

Thalheimer planned to back away, but his truck was stuck, entangled in their car, he said. “At that point, I didn’t want to get executed sitting on my gun,” Thalheimer said. He got out of his truck. “There was nowhere to run. I had to deal with it,” he said. He and the suspects, who were also wearing bandanas, exchanged gunfire, Thalheimer said.

So if we believe Thalheimer, his original intent was not to initiate a gunfight, rather to slow or stop the apparent thieves' flight. Is this an unreasonable act as a business owner?

Once engaged with the thieves, however, he had put himself in a situation that required force as he was in fear for his life.

All he had was a 5-shot pistol in the truck, which was a decision made well before this incident. Perhaps not a very good one.

I'm not sure why the reporter felt the need to inlude "who were also wearing bandanas," as if that makes them all the more menacing.

“You just react and you’re just doing it … I was looking at the front sights and thinking about the trigger." No one was injured as a result of the shots fired, said Naples police Lt. John Barkley at the scene. However, Thalheimer said he wasn’t sure whether a bullet from his gun may have hit at least one of the suspects. There was no trace of blood reported at the scene.

Not even sure what to say about that.

Overall it's easy to say hey everything was insured, he should have just let them go, get the license plate... but the thieves used two switch cars, likely stolen. So that would have been worthless.

Brian Pfleuger
February 10, 2011, 11:23 AM
Is this an unreasonable act as a business owner?

Yes.

booker_t
February 10, 2011, 11:33 AM
Originally Posted by peetzakilla
Yes.

Oh, well that clears that up.

KLRANGL
February 10, 2011, 11:43 AM
Thalheimer didn't strike me as the gung-ho type. I don't think it is a good idea to try and stop robbers once a robbery is over, but I can see how someone can make a snap decision (such as ramming the robbers car) without thinking through all the consequences. It was my impression that he did not want to start a gunfight, but he did put himself into a position that instigated one. I think he got really lucky and made some choices that, in hindsight, were rather poor...

I do think its curious that he was talking to reporters so quickly after the incident though...

Glenn E. Meyer
February 10, 2011, 12:14 PM
That's easy to explain. When one engages in a high stress incident, you want the emotional release to talk about it and you want confirmation that you did the right thing. You want to be stroked and in some sense comforted.

Did I do OK?

Being a grandmaster - one must feel some unease at not really saving the day. You know that you really didn't hit anyone, save anyone and if clued into the SD issues - maybe screwed up. So comfort me.

Of course, in a situation like this - if it had gone awry - talking might not be the best legal strategy. Hence, all the training to keep your utterances to those that would be to your benefit. Like - where's my lawyer?

IPSC shooting and IDPA are games. Not tactical common sense scenarios. I don't know how many times when we read an IDPA scenario - we laugh to say our really response is fleeing in terror at top speed, rather than charging down the hallway to meet and greet the nine targets (who conveniently are cardboard).

One important point in this incident is the hidden backup. In good FOF, you run into those - oops. Been shot with airsoft and sims by such - a mildly painful lesson.

stephen426
February 10, 2011, 12:18 PM
Technically, since the robbery was over and the robbers were not threatening anyone at the time, rammng the get away car could be considered assault. I doubt the robbers would try and press charges, but it was a bone headed move. He should have gotten a good look at the vehicle and license plate and maybe followed discreetly at a distance. I doubt the robbers knew who he was. He could have had the cops surrounding them up ahead. Instead, he "initiated" a gun fight that could have gone very badly for himself and others. He could also be the target of retaliation attacks as previously mentioned. That was a heck of a bone headed move in my opinion.

Vanya
February 10, 2011, 12:19 PM
Once engaged with the thieves, however, he had put himself in a situation that required force as he was in fear for his life.

And that's the problem -- he put himself in a situation which he could have avoided. The thieves were leaving -- driving away -- when he decided to engage them: no lives, neither his own nor anyone else's, were being threatened at that point.

It's hardly "self-defense" if someone chooses to put himself in harm's way: it's akin, logically, to the famous story about the fellow who kills his parents and then asks the court to have mercy, because he's a poor orphan.

I do think its curious that he was talking to reporters so quickly after the incident though...

Maybe not -- the article says he has "taught hundreds of people defensive shooting tactics at Sandy Thalheimer Defensive Gun School."

He probably thinks it's great publicity for his other business. I find it sort of frightening that someone with such poor judgment is actually teaching this stuff. :eek:

And I think there are lessons to be learned from this about the difference between training to shoot -- which Mr. Thalheimer clearly has done rather extensively -- and what actually happens in a gunfight. It's very fortunate that no bystanders were hit.

I was also struck by his statement that "...he couldn’t describe the suspects because he was concerned more about shooting the armed men and avoiding being shot."

So much for being a good witness. Descriptions and license plate numbers might have been more valuable than his attempt to play hero in catching the robbers and recovering the stolen property.

FM12
February 10, 2011, 12:28 PM
I was expecting an ending with a large bad guy body count!

ripnbst
February 10, 2011, 12:40 PM
^To that effect the grandmaster scored zero hits from a car length away...

Very different when you have living breathing dynamic targets.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 10, 2011, 12:47 PM
Yes, another point the story highlights is that there is much more to gunfighting than shooting well.

BGutzman
February 10, 2011, 01:00 PM
Shooting various targets and going through obstacles is one thing, when hot lead is pointed at you it gains a whole new weight.

The fact that he was uninjured leads one to postulate that we was firing from a defensive position although he was seemingly in aggression mode. I could be totally wrong but its a reasonable guess and probably a reasonable action if one thinks his overall actions are justified.

I think defending his place was not a bad idea but once they left IMHO I think he lost some of his legal standing in this matter.

I do think you should be able to defend your stuff.... I dont know... this ones going to leave me thinking for sure...

Great post..

Tom Servo
February 10, 2011, 01:02 PM
I find it sort of frightening that someone with such poor judgment is actually teaching this stuff.
Agreed. As others have pointed out, he was in no danger, and the robbers were leaving the scene without having harmed anyone.

Very, very bad tactics, from the standpoints of both safety and legal strategy.

Ronbert
February 10, 2011, 01:16 PM
And the robbers know who he is and may be back for revenge.

mete
February 10, 2011, 01:27 PM
That's one school not to go to !! :rolleyes:

If it was Jim Cirillo it would have been a bit different .

Shooting BGs after the fact makes Mr Grandmaster :( an agressor not a defender . Maybe a high risk jewelry store owner should carry more than 5 shots.

Ludarue
February 10, 2011, 01:31 PM
Big mistake trying to be the hero. Hopefully he and his family do not become targets of gang related retaliation as a result of this.

This is a very good point sirsloop. I honestly believe that his act was not needed for the current situation at all. Not only that but the bad guys got away. Leaving a retaliation towards him or his family a possibility. :eek: Those of you that think those things don't happen are wrong. I live in a good neighborhood, and about a month ago less than a mile from my house there was a shooting. The guy at the house was a witness for an upcoming case. The gang decided to send him a message using 25 rounds through his living room wall.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 10, 2011, 01:35 PM
Here is another story with some more details on the shooting:
http://www.marconews.com/news/2011/feb/09/Sandy-Thalheimer-jewelers-robbery-shoot-east-coast/

Apparently, Thalheimer fired only one shot in the initial confrontation after the crash, after one of the people exiting the sedan pointed a gun at him. After he fired, that guy ran and somebody by one of the extra vehicles began firing at Thalheimer - he emptied his remaining shots at that person.

Looks like a lot of the details are still murky and several of the reported "facts" may be more accurately characterized as speculation and/or eyewitness statements.

rgkeller
February 10, 2011, 02:19 PM
Sandy is a Limited Master in USPSA

TXAZ
February 10, 2011, 03:12 PM
In this instance I have to wonder if a bigger magazine would have been of any value, if not a detriment. Conversely after watching a couple of cops shoot (aka miss big time) at the range, I'm wondering if street officers shouldn't have to have high range scores to carry. It reminded me of the Detroit shootout a couple of years ago where officers fired 40 rounds and missed the BG totally.

B.N.Real
February 10, 2011, 03:43 PM
The good thing is the robbers retreated from the guy instead of actually looking at what he was shooting.

They were already trying to get away from the area and the closing-"they probably thought" police.

I'm would'nt do it but this guy stood up and scared the living Jesus out of these guys.

I'm going to say bad idea but good outcome.

Yes,the bad guys are still lose but now they know-people are going to come out of the woodworks at the strangest times to screw up their plans.

Mr.Hero definitely needs to rearm with a semi auto with more rounds and extra clips and be ready if these guys come back for revenge.

I hope the bad guys get arrested or that some of them simply say "blank this" the next time one of their idiot friends say,"Let's go rob somebody."

smince
February 10, 2011, 05:36 PM
This just provides more evidence that you never know what 'your gunfight, if it comes' will entail.

I bet he was very happy he had a 5-shooter and no reloads :rolleyes:

Ben Towe
February 10, 2011, 06:52 PM
From the tone of the police quote, it doesn't sound like they are very interested in charging him with a crime. His decisions may not have been the best but they were likely not criminal. He let two suspects run away without firing upon them and did not fire until the third brandished a weapon. No one knows what they will do in a situation until you are there. It's easy to pick it apart hours or days after the fact. No one's reactions are the same and a given person will react differently on different days depending on a variety of factors.

I'm just saying don't tear the man down too much, YOU WEREN'T THERE!

Deaf Smith
February 10, 2011, 07:32 PM
And so a IPSC Grandmaster, instead of carrying the gun he used to make that 'Grandmaster' used a 5 shooter and apparently got no hits.

Well that alone is a lesson to learn!

If you shoot IDPA or IPSC, use the same gun you carry. Sure you won't make Grandmaster but you will become very good with your carry gun!

Deaf

WANT A LCR 22LR
February 10, 2011, 08:21 PM
Some thoughts.

Sitting at home ( or a safe jury box ) is way different than being dropped in to a situation unannounced.

If robbers don't encounter resistance they will become even bolder knowing the victims won't put up a fight.

One must have a plan beyond ramming the robbers car.

When the lookout started firing, there was really no way for Thalheimer to know where the rounds were coming from and he probably just started firing in the general direction of the noise.

The robbers would be just as likely to return and rob again if Thalheimer let them go as they are to retaliate when he intervened.

Being charged for assault for ramming the robbers car? I don't think so, I'm not going to live my life giving robbers special privledges while a victim standing their ground is punished.

Glenn Bartley
February 10, 2011, 09:22 PM
Apparently, Thalheimer fired only one shot in the initial confrontation after the crash, after one of the people exiting the sedan pointed a gun at him. After he fired, that guy ran and somebody by one of the extra vehicles began firing at Thalheimer - he emptied his remaining shots at that person.
Had an LEO vehicle been driving by, and the officers had not yet received the call about the robbery (maybe not the right department, maybe even feds) and had they seen the crazy red-neck (not what I think of him but very possibly what police may have thought) crash into the other guys' car, then jump out and start shooting, what could the result have been? It could have been they get out of their car and start shooting at Thalheimer and he turns and shoots the 4 remaining shots in his gun at the LEOs and kills one of them or is killed himself. He is pretty darned lucky that the second car had bad guys in it and not cops who may have thought he was the bad guy.

His reactions - and mind you he is quoted as saying he just reacted - are the sign of a person with very poor training in defensive shooting and tactical shooting or a sign of maybe none at all. What did he say? He just looked at the front sight and concentrated on the trigger. Did he ever actually assess the situation, give it a moment's thought, then act instead of react. It does not sound like it. Had he done so he would not have done any of what he did except maybe follow them to give the police a description. He should stick to playing games or maybe better yet, he should get himself some training in defensive tactics.

I will be quite surprised if he is not charged with a felony or at least a misdemeanor charge for reckless endangerment or something along those lines.

All the best,
Glenn B

KLRANGL
February 10, 2011, 11:12 PM
Just an FYI. If I read this all correctly, he fired at the lookout car across the street which, according to Google Earth, is about 35 yards at its closest to where he rammed the car.

Doc Intrepid
February 10, 2011, 11:31 PM
In most states where concealed carry is authorized, a civilian - and I'm assuming that Sandy is a civilian - can only lawfully use deadly force when they or a third party are in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.

But when you take the fight to the bad guys by ramming their vehicle, you lose or reduce the protection of 'self defense' as an active defense.

As others have noted, at the time Sandy rammed their vehicle the BGs were retreating - no one was in imminent danger of death. Deadly force would not have been authorized, and ramming someone with your vehicle is arguably as potentially deadly as shooting at them.

AFAIC it's a textbook case of how to put yourself in a position to have all sorts of charges and liability laid on you.

flyboyjake
February 11, 2011, 05:43 AM
Listen to you guys...the man tried to thwart a robbery of HIS property, which then escalated into a situation that farced him to use his weapon. Why is it so acceptable when a police officer dumps 3 magazines into a perp with only a 10% hit rate, but all of the sudden when a civilian shoots 5 rounds to protect his life, he is a fool for putting bystanders in danger.

All the people saying he should have called the police, I am sure he did...but as is said, when seconds count, police are only minutes away. I someone takes your wallet from a counter at a tacobell and walks off, do you just call the police and wait, or do you confront the man and retrive your property...

I dont give a rats patoot if that jewelry would all be replaced for free (which I guarantee it was not). God bless the man for risking his own life if even to show the BG that crime will not always be so easy. I hope I would have the intestinal fortitude to do the same thing in his shoes.

Micahweeks
February 11, 2011, 07:36 AM
To a degree, flyboy, I sympathize with your point of view. Continuing down the road of "no sweat, the insurance will handle it" can have some very disheartening results. Since the first of the year, I've responded to five robberies/break-ins in the Memphis area. Each time, without fail, the business owners give me the whole spill about they aren't worried since they have insurance. Well, here is the interesting twist. Three of those calls were to the same property. Now, that business owner is begging for police to step up activity in his area because he can't afford another insurance premium increase. He says if that happens he'll be out of business by the year's end.

Being too laissez-faire about being robbed can have the unwanted consequence of emboldening the criminals. To them it becomes a win-win situation. You get replacement product. They get free product. Now, your business is a criminal cash cow.

I'm not advocating ramming robbers with your vehicle, by any means. But you can't expect crime to go down if there isn't some real threat of harm to the criminal. If police are on the scene, sure, that is exactly what they are paid to provide. But, in a fast snatch-and-grab, you have to decide for yourself what is worth it. This man sent a clear message that robbing THIS store will get you run down by a car. At the same time, he put himself at risk of harm, prosecution, or even further violence. But, he took that risk himself, and he'll have to live with any consequences or benefits. When/if it's your call, decide quickly what you can live with.

smince
February 11, 2011, 08:42 AM
which then escalated into a situation I think the point is 'he' escalated the situation into a shooting event when he intervened.

Ludarue
February 11, 2011, 09:09 AM
Although I have stated earlier that the individual did not need to do what he did due to the situation. I do agree with flyboy on not letting yourselves fall victim by constantly relying on the police who are minutes away. But where do you draw that line? Where and when do you say okay, it doesn't seem as though anybody is going to die tonight, but this type of incident just keeps happening until somebody does soemthing about it? I read a story awhile back about a city in California that has insane crime rates all because the people there believe it is not their job to stick up for themselves. They also believed that the criminals are only doing what they are doing because society has already dealt them a bad hand, and therefore they think the BG is the victim.

chucky222
February 11, 2011, 09:19 AM
if a bad guy ended up dead, he might go to prison, if wounded, he would be sued and lose (probably).
took my lovely wife to sherrif dept basic course, "if someone is running out of your house with your DVD player an you shoot him (in the back) you will go to prison."
A few more quotes of interest:

every bullet has a Lawyer attached to it

laser grips are a gimmick (opinion), defensive scenario=point shooting

open carry (Alabama) your asking for trouble, AND, you are the first target for BG, immediate threat. besides, you have to WALK everywhere you go, not even horseback or bicycles are allowed.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 11, 2011, 09:54 AM
As I predicted we are starting to see some chestpounding about Damn the Consequences - start a risky gun fight for the greater good. Even when lives where no longer directly at risk. He could have followed the get away car while phoning the law.

The blazing shoot out is fun for gun boys but it's not really tactics that are reasonable. Do we have anymore to is actually analytic.

I assume the blazing gun fight crowd if they had shot an innocent would please guilty to the charges brought against them and not fight the civil court suit - just hand over their assets. If you don't say that - then you are kind of spouting hot air.

Also, the point about police arriving on the seen and shooting YOU is well taken. It happens to undercover cops and almost happened to some commando civilians at times.

Micahweeks
February 11, 2011, 10:22 AM
I've been reading the replies here, Glenn, and I have to respectfully disagree. I've seen very little "chest-pounding" from the responders. Flyboyjake's response has been the most impassioned thus far (at least to me), and it seems to be more an outward expression of frustration that we, the law-abiding citizens, are supposed to just be good little victims and watch our assailants make off easy with the things we work an honest job for. In Flyboy's defense, I think even he can admit this man's gun fight could, and should, have been avoided. I think he just empathizing.

It is understandable. My own co-worker, an Iraq vet, expressed the same kind of frustration. They were instructed not to fire on unarmed people. Insurgent snipers would then load one bullet in a rifle, try to snipe a soldier, throw the gun, and walk away. Our guys could not pursue or return fire. At a certain point, that frustration was so great that they said to hell with our orders and shot the cowards anyway. They decided it was worth risking disciplinary action. I kind of understand how we, as a society, could grow weary of not acting and being threatened by the very law we were thoughtful enough to follow if we should stick up for our own welfare. I would not have done what this man did nor advocate for it. But, I certainly understand the frustration of a citizen wanting to stand up and say, "Not this time."

Bartholomew Roberts
February 11, 2011, 10:45 AM
I think everybody can sympathize with the situation and wants to see the bad guys get their comeuppance; but I think the question here is what is the best way to do that?

We have the benefit of hindsight and a great deal of time to work out a solution. Mr. Thalheimer didn't have those, so it can be easy to see a search for a better solution as criticism of his actions; but I think even Mr. Thalheimer would agree the outcome here wasn't what he was looking for.

The bad guys got away, around 10+ rounds were flying around a strip mall, the jewelry is gone and Mr. Thalheimer's truck is damaged. That doesn't seem like the kind of outcome worth risking your life over. So what tactics would have produced a better outcome? What could have been done to reduce the risk Mr. Thalheimer faced but still improve the outcome?

Brian Pfleuger
February 11, 2011, 10:52 AM
I think everybody can sympathize with the situation and wants to see the bad guys get their comeuppance; but I think the question here is what is the best way to do that?


Exactly. Who says that starting a gun fight is the only way, or even remotely close to the best way, to see the badguys "pay the price". The only reason it could be the best way, the only reason, is if we believe that these people should die for being thieves.

The stuff they stole is no excuse for trying to kill them. Stuff is replaceable. That's why business owners have insurance. I guarantee the $500 deductible is cheaper than a retainer for a defense lawyer.

Firearms are for defense of life, not property.

Micahweeks
February 11, 2011, 10:52 AM
Agreed. The problem with determining any tactic is that you have to do it assuming you don't know the lookout car is there. Trying to follow the getaway car might get you run or gunned off the road by the ones you didn't know about. With that in mind, I believe the best solution here is, one, a high quality camera system and, two, good observation of the license, car, and robbers. I think we can all agree that any attempt to act on the first car would undoubtedly provoke the other.

Micahweeks
February 11, 2011, 10:57 AM
Peetza, merchants build their livelihood on that "stuff," and that deductible gets significantly higher than 500 dollars. To them, and their employees, it is what sustains them. It is not unreasonable to want to protect that. Personally, I wouldn't, but I'm in the business of criminal justice, not stuff.

Coop de Ville
February 11, 2011, 11:28 AM
When tshtf don't we all default to the level of our training?

As an LEO, I've found myself running into a situation to get the bg, and only later examined how I put myself in danger.

As someone who has been in IDPA for some time, I can only imagine that the default level of a GM IPSC shooter is to engage the target. At that level it must be second nature.

Not saying it's right, but training has this effect. I believe it's also personality. Some run to the fight, some don't.

Best,

-Coop

Brian Pfleuger
February 11, 2011, 11:34 AM
Peetza, merchants build their livelihood on that "stuff," and that deductible gets significantly higher than 500 dollars. To them, and their employees, it is what sustains them. It is not unreasonable to want to protect that. Personally, I wouldn't, but I'm in the business of criminal justice, not stuff.

I am a business owner. I would not use deadly force to defend or recover property and would be extremely angry with anyone who tried to do so on my behalf.


When tshtf don't we all default to the level of our training?

As an LEO, I've found myself running into a situation to get the bg, and only later examined how I put myself in danger.

As someone who has been in IDPA for some time, I can only imagine that the default level of a GM IPSC shooter is to engage the target. At that level it must be second nature.

You've got a point there for police officers but I don't think it's reasonable to extrapolate this guys training to this situation. I mean, he shoots IPSC. Unless the jewelry was stolen by metal gong targets, I don't see how it applies. That's like saying that I would throw sauce and cheese at robbers because I make pizza all day.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 11, 2011, 12:39 PM
When folks start posting 'patoot' , then TLF mods must rope in the conversation.

The point about defaulting to being a IPSC master is interesting. It might be used as an example why one needs to train in realistic scenarios and why competitors should realize it is a big game.

Your automatic, preconscious reflexes shouldn't make you act stupidly. One can train those to be more sensible - as the critical incidnet training literature shows.

Last, I really don't care about paens of frustration. That's not T and T is about. It is about realism.

As far as saying it is a personality issue - that also implies the 'cowardice' line I cautioned about before. The Charge of the Light Brigade may be honorable but you win wars by using your head also.

youngunz4life
February 11, 2011, 12:44 PM
the BGs rolled the dice and got a little something they weren't expecting. They were lucky that time. that was a real situation that played out in a different way than expected as they do oftentimes. actions will create reactions whether correct or not.

Micahweeks
February 11, 2011, 01:10 PM
I am a business owner. I would not use deadly force to defend or recover property and would be extremely angry with anyone who tried to do so on my behalf.


Really? How easy my job would be if Memphis business owners felt that way. Or Mississippians for that matter. I could just resond to a call and sit in my patrol vehicle until it's over then go write a report! And everyone would thank me for not being so foolish as to try and defend their stuff!

Just like all those YouTube commentators that think it is reckless to pursue speeders! They'll all thank me for not chasing reckless drivers and adding to the danger already on the road.

I'm just saying that YOU may not want stuff protected, but, believe me, I hear a plethora of gripes everyday from people who do. I respect your feelings on it, truly. I just have to hear to much to the contrary for my taste and have to accommodate them, too.

retiredcoasty
February 11, 2011, 01:26 PM
I am pretty thorn on this one. On the surface, I think that Thalheimer made a dangerous error and was lucky no one, including innocent bystanders, got hurt. Items can be replaced, even if the store owner had no insurance. But being a business owner, I think I would stand up to robbers coming into my establishment and trying to rob me (for the reasons below).

But then there is the emotional part of me. There is a portion that says that I am sick and tired of being the victim. I am tired of watching evil people push law-abiding citizens around. I grow tired of the revolving door of the criminal justice system. I am tired of watching evil ‘win’ in our society. And if ‘I’ don’t stand up to stop it, who will?

Personally, I would not have used force to thwart the crime but I can understand why Thalheimer did. Some folks are just getting tired of being pushed around by criminals that get a slap on the wrist and then are set free to rob/harm others.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 11, 2011, 02:11 PM
However, T and T isn't about how your emotions play out. It's about what is the sensible action and techniques.

We all feel outrage about this and that. I could expound on the causes of crime - that's not T and T.

Brian Pfleuger
February 11, 2011, 04:08 PM
Really? How easy my job would be if Memphis business owners felt that way. Or Mississippians for that matter. I could just resond to a call and sit in my patrol vehicle until it's over then go write a report! And everyone would thank me for not being so foolish as to try and defend their stuff!


Your a cop. It's your job.... though I don't expect you to shoot people for my stuff either. You are SUPPOSED TO interrupt robberies. You are SUPPOSED TO be ready for violence. You are TRAINED to respond and have the AUTHORITY to do so.


Some dude who happens to be in the area and decides to ram a vehicle can not reasonably be compared to a police officer responding to a robbery call.

Rifleman1776
February 11, 2011, 04:19 PM
He was reasoning with his gonads.
He is lucky to still be alive.

TailGator
February 11, 2011, 05:14 PM
I can understand the frustration that comes from seeing evil doers get away. But I haven't read any posts on here that says they hope the bad guys get away scott free. Arguing against that position is a straw man argument. The question at hand is, were valid tactics used?

If I understand the situation correctly, the jewelry store owner saw the robbers accost a person delivering jewelry to his store. It would seem that he was not even financially responsible for the merchandise at that point. Although he was justifiably outraged at seeing an acquaintance robbed of their possessions, the robbers had someone else's stuff in their hands and were leaving. No lives were at risk at that point. He had no dog in this fight except his own sense of justice.

He chose to ram their car, thus escalating the situation to the point of gunfire. If an earlier post on this thread is correct, he also took shots at a range of at least 35 yards with a snubby revolver. All this took place in a shopping center, presumably with other people around at that time of day. I have to wonder, too, if the 35-yard shots were across a road with traffic passing by.

I am not advocating charges against this guy, but he put a lot of people, including himself, at unnecessary risk. Only blind dumb luck prevented casualties among passersby. This is not a responsible use of a firearm. This is not just a matter of "let the insurance company cover it," as some on here have said. It is a matter of making a responsible decision to value one's own life and the lives of innocent bystanders over material possessions. He did not do that. He let his anger, as justified as it might be, override good judgment and the safety of those around him. That is vigilantism, not tactics.

Bad call. Very bad.

markj
February 11, 2011, 05:20 PM
He more than likely reacted without thinking the whole thing thru.

If they were being delivered and not recieved then they are still the property of the company bringing them and I bet they have insurance.

I would find it very hard to shoot someone that took property from me. It doesnt hurt me physically, so it cannot be a threat to my personal well being so no gun play or jail time is on the horizon, this is my way of thinking, I would smile and wave as they drove off writing down the plate number and as much info on the guys as I could.

My super man costume is on the fritz......

KLRANGL
February 11, 2011, 07:22 PM
He chose to ram their car, thus escalating the situation to the point of gunfire.
I'm not so sure that is a valid argument. Ramming someones car doesn't escalate a situation into a gunfight (but it can put you a lot closer to being in one). The gunfight was really started by the robbers, when one brandished a weapon at the store owner. I'm not saying the store owner was right in his actions, but I think in his mind he didn't think he would have to be in a gun fight when he made the decision to ram the car.

I'm pretty sure that in most jurisdictions, it is lawful to use a certain level of force to recover stolen property (I don't know for sure, because I never plan on doing that). But taken in that context, it is possible that the store owner thought he was using a reasonable amount of force (ramming the car) to prevent people from stealing property.
Unfortunately, at that point, it turned into a gunfight, but you can't blame the store owner for starting the gunfight. Just being reckless enough to put himself in a situation that had a higher chance of one happening...

Brian Pfleuger
February 11, 2011, 07:29 PM
He more than likely reacted without thinking the whole thing thru.

I think in his mind he didn't think he would have to be in a gun fight when he made the decision to ram the car.



That's the crux of the problem right there.

He either:

A)Didn't think it through; or

B)Thought it through and thought it was OK.


Really, he's sort of doubly wrong either way.

Personally, I believe that when we choose to carry a gun, we have a real responsibility to think about the implications of our decisions LONG before we are actually in a position to make them.

So, if (A), he fails for not thinking it through ahead of time, if (B), he fails for thinking it through and believing his actions were appropriate.

One of the reasons why I believe this forum to be so valuable is because it gives each of us the ability to think these things through without having to be there. I believe there is a MUCH higher probability of doing the right thing if you have thoroughly considered the implications beforehand.

youngunz4life
February 11, 2011, 08:07 PM
I will make the point that he probably doesn't care what you all think about his decision. Personally, I wouldn't have made the decision grandmaster(if I have that right) did. Its probably been easy for him to look back and realize what he should've done and/or what he would do if the same situation happened again.

gew98
February 11, 2011, 08:26 PM
If he hit 5 perps and got his merchandise back would some of us armchair commandos think differently ?. I'd wager some would.

Slamfire
February 11, 2011, 08:29 PM
Great guy, the sort you want covering your back,

but he

rammed his truck into another vehicle. Be interesting to find out if his insurance company covers the damage.

Fired shots and missed!. If he had hit the bad guys, they might have sued him.

If they had hit him, he would be in a world of hurt, and who is going to pay his medical bills?

He had a lot to lose over a property crime, and I suspect, he is going to lose a lot.

I wish him luck.

jimbob86
February 11, 2011, 08:49 PM
Wise?

No.

Kudos to him, though.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 11, 2011, 09:09 PM
Nope, I'm not going to let surface emotions generate kudos from me for a basically flawed action.

flyboyjake
February 11, 2011, 09:54 PM
Perhaps im mistaken...Many of you appear to charge this man with the responsibiliy for starting the gunfight. To this effect I would submit the chicken or the egg test. was he the one who should be held accountable for starting a gun fight (I sincerely doubt its what he wanted, especially with a 5 shot gun)? All he did is pursue and stop the men. To my knowledge, they fired first... Can we go back a step and say it was the criminals fault for robbing the gun store? Or go back further still and say it was his fault for opening a jewely store?

If you separate the gunfight from the pursuit, I think you may see things differently. If a man stole my VCR, I would never use deadly force and shoot him in the back. Its both legally and morally wrong to me, however, I wouldn't hesitate to deliver a cold clock to the back of his head and retrieve my property. If he decides to pull a gun on me, now deadly force is in the picture.

Thalheimer is niether smart nor stupid for his actions. There was a risk and he accepted it. I would have probably followed the car, but there is risk to that too as they fly down the expressway at 120mph. I am sure he has his regrets, but there will always be something you wished you had done differently.

I am not a gun toting hard liner. I think in the perfect situation, he would do a few things differently, but overall, I commend him for taking action. I contend that it is not his fault they decided to shoot at him.

Id love to see the lawsuit of one of those criminals were they actually hit by a bullet...

armoredman
February 11, 2011, 10:11 PM
The wounded criminal would most likely win. Why? The ORIGINAL criminal act was concluded. The law will likely not look as this individual acting to prevent a crime, but in revenge of a past action, an illegal act in itself. This changes the legal perspective to the point that the original criminal actors may now lay claim to self defense! I am not a lawyer, but with my reading into past shootings and from experts in the field such as Ayoob and Marshall, if someone HAD been injured/killed due to his actions in this confrontation, I dare say he would find himself in very hot legal water.
I agree that we are all frustrated about criminals getting away scot free, and relying on insurance to cover losses. I have good insurance, but I have items that I put a good amout of time and effort into that wouldn't be the same if just replaced by the insurance company, and BTW, most insurance is NOT "replacement cost", but "actual cash value", which is a LOT different - check your policies. However, this does not allow vigilantism or any other actions that abrogate law enforcment powers upon yourself illegally, unless you REALLY want to be that test case. I work in prison - I have no desire whatsoever to live here.

Coop de Ville
February 11, 2011, 11:56 PM
Glenn,

I did not mean to imply that if you don't bullhead into a bad situation then you are a coward... Just saying that some people run this way and some that way. When someone caps off a few rounds here in the hood, half the rookies duck behind the cruiser and the other half take a few steps towards the gunshots...

Maybe I mis spoke. It's not so much personality but instinct or reaction.

Another point. Are we condemning his actions because they may be illegal or because they are wrong.... Legal and right are often dissimilar.

And, as for the argument of putting himself in harms way... No matter how much we espouse saving our own skin... Some people really aren't afraid of dying.

I am glad we are able to discuss this scenerio. Even though it happened it seems to be a much more realistic scenerio than most ;)

Hiker 1
February 12, 2011, 12:01 AM
IPSC shooting and IDPA are games. Not tactical common sense scenarios.

Exactly.

Coop de Ville
February 12, 2011, 12:11 AM
IPSC shooting and IDPA are games. Not tactical common sense scenarios.

Exactly.

I agree. But training is training. And you know that some people are just living for that moment to make it happen.

We all say, I hope the moment never comes, but really.

We are all waiting for it... in some respect or another.

-Coop

Rufus T Firefly
February 12, 2011, 12:54 AM
I would in no way participate in that scenario. First, he is not obligated to act. He is no longer a "reluctant participant" in the situation. He became an aggressor. Open to a civil suit by law.

So for his efforts, he has a banged up truck that the Insurance Company will not pay for. He will have lawsuits from the perps relatives. He will have to justify why he used lethal force in court.

It stinks, but the laws are against him. The little title of hero that the newspaper gives him will not be worth crap at the bank where his defense fund is set up.

He violated the first rule of self defense. You need to be in danger or required by law to render assistance to a victim. No, he was a cop wanna be.

I am sure one of the bad guys will enjoy living in his house when he loses everything in a court civil suit.

Stay safe....

Rufus T Firefly
February 12, 2011, 01:01 AM
It makes me wonder how many people would take action like the guy did and not know the legal ramifications of what the guy did.

God help us that we all think first before we act with the force that we have been given.

I personally are not required to be a hero. I am required by our law to help an injured person or a person that visually is in danger of great bodily harm.

Let the bad guy go. The Police are obligated to catch him, not me.

TeamSinglestack
February 12, 2011, 03:41 AM
Legally: Bad move.
1. Intent to cause him great bodily harm or death?
A. Hard to justify in court.
2. Ability to achieve intent?
A. 4 vs. 1, certainly.
3. Immediate need to use deadly force?
A. Again, hard to justify in court.

Conclusion: Failure on 2 of 3 elements that could justify the use of deadly force in court.

Tactically: Bad move.
1. Outnumbered.
A. Could have been fixed in position by fire while baddies move to position of greater advantage.
2. Out gunned.
A. 5 rounds vs. 4 baddies is NOT something I would initiate with. Defend with? Sure, as it's better than a fist.

Conclusion: Tactical failures too numerous to list.

All in all, good initiative (eliminating criminals), poor judgment (Lack of legal authority and poor conditions).

My .02c. Worth everything you paid for it...

:D

Edited: Format

flyboyjake
February 12, 2011, 03:48 AM
Armmoredman, I would disagree to the notion that the criminal act was done. Please remember he did not shoot at them because they stole his stuff...He shot at them because they shot at him. If they opened fire on him, and he shot them, I am confident no legal recourse would come to him unless he lived in new Jersey or a similar state. The man did not run and start a gunfight, he ran to retrieve his property, and they shot at him. Id hate for you all to be a jury of my peers if it came to that...Maybe im just bullheaded and stubborn (ive been called worse) but this is cut and dry for me...

call me crazy or stupid, but id like to think that if each and any of you all were being shot at, and I could easily distinguish the BG vs the GG...id come to your aid with all the firepower I had available. Thats not me running my mouth off because I love guns and want to use them. Thats me standing up for what I believe is right.

Lokpyrite
February 12, 2011, 04:02 AM
All I can say is too bad he didn't kill any of the walking feces.

JohnKSa
February 12, 2011, 05:03 AM
Pretty impressively bad judgement.

First of all he intentionally rammed another vehicle. Besides what that does to your insurance, it is also illegal. My guess goes along with what stephen426 says--intentionally ramming an occupied vehicle would qualify as assault with a deadly weapon.

Given that he initiated the confrontation that led to the gunfight, had they killed or injured him I suspect that they could have legally claimed self-defense. Had he killed or injured one of them it's likely that he would not be able to self-defense as Vanya and Doc Intrepid correctly point out. In fact, he may be open for a charge of attempted murder or at least some more charges of assault with a deadly weapon.All he did is pursue and stop the men. To my knowledge, they fired first... Can we go back a step and say it was the criminals fault for robbing the gun store? Or go back further still and say it was his fault for opening a jewely store?He initiated the confrontation by assaulting them with his vehicle. A person in that situation could very well be legally justified in firing at the ramming driver in self-defense.

The answer to your other questions is that he probably can't legally try to tie all the events together all the way back to the initial robbery. Once the criminals left the scene, the initial confrontation was probably legally over. The second confrontation was initiated by the store owner when he rammed the vehicle of the robbers. Initiating a confrontation can definitely hinder your ability to claim self-defense.

I don't know what the law in FL is, but unless it allows the use of force to retrieve stolen property then he's very lucky he's not in jail. TX does allow the use of force and even deadly force in some circumstances to retrieve stolen property depending on a number of criteria. However I don't believe this situation would not qualify even in TX since he didn't actually witness the robbery and couldn't verify that the crime that resulted in the property being stolen was a crime that qualified for the use of force or deadly force.

His final mistake is running off his mouth. By admitting that he didn't even actually see the crime but rather took action because he "became suspicious of masked men speeding in his parking lot" he may eliminate his last shred of a chance at legally justifying his actions.

Ben Towe
February 12, 2011, 05:04 AM
We all say, I hope the moment never comes, but really.

We are all waiting for it... in some respect or another.

That's the most truthful post I have ever seen on this forum. Thank you Coop.

"Sometimes doin' the right thing ain't doin' the right thing."-Sgt. Hondo Harrelson

flyboyjake
February 12, 2011, 05:16 AM
"His final mistake is running off his mouth. By admitting that he didn't even actually see the crime but rather took action because he "became suspicious of masked men speeding in his parking lot" he may eliminate his last shred of a chance at legally justifying his actions."

I agree to this.

everragenepa
February 12, 2011, 05:32 AM
I wounder if FL Castle Doctorine protects him on this? It is kind of a grey area in that.

smince
February 12, 2011, 06:13 AM
But training is training.IDPA/IPSC is not 'training'. They are games played with guns.
the sort you want covering your backSorry, but I wouldn't.

flyboyjake
February 12, 2011, 07:42 AM
The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:

(1) Whenever necessarily used by a public officer in the performance of a legal duty, or a person assisting the officer and acting under the officer's direction;

(2) Whenever necessarily used by a person arresting one who has committed a felony and delivering him or her to a public officer competent to receive him or her into custody;

(3) Whenever used by a party about to be injured, or by another lawfully aiding him or her, in preventing or attempting to prevent an offense against his or her person, or a malicious trespass, or other malicious interference with real or personal property lawfully in his or her possession, in case the force is not more than is necessary;

(4) Whenever reasonably used by a person to detain someone who enters or remains unlawfully in a building or on real property lawfully in the possession of such person, so long as such detention is reasonable in duration and manner to investigate the reason for the detained person's presence on the premises, and so long as the premises in question did not reasonably appear to be intended to be open to members of the public;

(5) Whenever used by a carrier of passengers or the carrier's authorized agent or servant, or other person assisting them at their request in expelling from a carriage, railway car, vessel, or other vehicle, a passenger who refuses to obey a lawful and reasonable regulation prescribed for the conduct of passengers, if such vehicle has first been stopped and the force used is not more than is necessary to expel the offender with reasonable regard to the offender's personal safety;

(6) Whenever used by any person to prevent a mentally ill, mentally incompetent, or mentally disabled person from committing an act dangerous to any person, or in enforcing necessary restraint for the protection or restoration to health of the person, during such period only as is necessary to obtain legal authority for the restraint or custody of the person.




Of note is that "injury" in the legal realm is not restricted to personal injury but of property, rights, reputation, etc... I would say 2 and 3 could both apply to this condition, however, if his store was not yet in possession of the jewelry, 3 may be an issue. In any case, who is thinking about these things in the heat of the moment. I still like what he did :-D

Brian Pfleuger
February 12, 2011, 10:34 AM
Many, if not most, states have use of force provisions for stopping/preventing the flight of perpetrators of certain violent crimes.

It's highly unlikely that his (the vigilante's) actions are "illegal".... but "legal" and "smart" are not synonymous.

I assume FlyBoy's citation above is FL law?

Wag
February 12, 2011, 11:36 AM
Unnecessary use of force. The guy is not a police officer and has no business pursuing someone guilty of a mere property crime. Or ramming the car in an attempt to stop them.

Sympathize? Yes. Agree? No. Hopefully, I'll have the sense to abide by my own advice should I ever find myself in that situation of "uncontrollable" rage.

However, for the sake of discussion, assume he was well within his rights and is dismissed by the judge or the jury in both the criminal and civil suits. He still have a monstrous legal bill to pay. With any luck, he has the NRA insurance to pay his legal bills for him. Otherwise, it's likely to be $30k off the top on the cheap.

Personally, I don't want legal bills that high unless I had the clear right to draw and fire.

This case doesn't appear to present such a clear right.

--Wag--

Glenn Bartley
February 12, 2011, 12:45 PM
Micahweeks,

Are you a law enforcement officer? If so, I have to wonder about your below reply to this quote:

I am a business owner. I would not use deadly force to defend or recover property and would be extremely angry with anyone who tried to do so on my behalf.

Here was your reply, the one I would question:

Really? How easy my job would be if Memphis business owners felt that way. Or Mississippians for that matter. I could just resond to a call and sit in my patrol vehicle until it's over then go write a report! And everyone would thank me for not being so foolish as to try and defend their stuff!

Just like all those YouTube commentators that think it is reckless to pursue speeders! They'll all thank me for not chasing reckless drivers and adding to the danger already on the road.

I'm just saying that YOU may not want stuff protected, but, believe me, I hear a plethora of gripes everyday from people who do. I respect your feelings on it, truly. I just have to hear to much to the contrary for my taste and have to accommodate them, too.

Are you implying that you would indeed use deadly force to protect a shop keeper's property? So if someone stole some jewelry, even at gun point, then was making a get away, would you shoot him even if he was not at that point posing a threat to someone else? Note that the person to whom you replied did not say he would not use deadly force to defend a life, nor did he say that he does not want his property protected, but simply that as a business owner he would not use deadly force, and would be angry with others who did use it, to merely recover or defend his property. He was not, it seems, talking about justifiably shooting someone who posed a threat of serious bodily injury or death.

While the law may allow you to use deadly force on fleeing felons, I am fairly certain that even then the requirement, in most jurisdictions that allow such, is that the fleeing felon poses an imminent threat to someone. You seem to have implied you would use deadly force merely to recover property or protect it. Is that legal in your jurisdiction? Even if legal, can you understand how some people may not think their property is worth taking a life?

Me personally, I'd like to see the thugs brought down right out. I would like to have seen Thalheimer get them all, but that is only a small part of my personal view point. Then again there are laws and truth be told, I choose to follow the law over that personal desire (yet while trying to change the law through legal options to make it easier to get the bad guys) and not become a thug myself so long as the laws are not tyranical and unjust to the extreme.

All the best,
Glenn B

FreakGasolineFight
February 12, 2011, 01:01 PM
1. Engage in pursuit after the robbery had happened to retrieve property?
2. Start a gunfight at car-length distances with a pokcet-pistol that holds 5 shots when the other car had four men in it?

Ha ha, wow. The intent was good -- the methods not so much.

1: It's not your property -- not your problem. If you, say, caught a robber in the process of actually stealing somebody's property, and you could easily overcome him without fear of injury to either yourself or bystanders, there's no reason not to. But, in that situation, he had no idea what he was up against and he engaged in several actions that could have caused the death of either himself or any of the four men in the other car. Not real bright.

2: I don't care about car-length distances or pocket pistols. He shouldn't have started a gunfight at all. There's no reason you ever need to start a gunfight. Jewelry is worth no one's life, not even the robbers.

The only reason I would ever intervene in a robbery would be if either it was apparent that I could easily overpower said robber, or if the lives of anyone in the vicinity of said robber appeared to be in jeopardy because of his actions.

youngunz4life
February 12, 2011, 01:28 PM
The only reason I would ever intervene in a robbery would be if either it was apparent that I could easily overpower said robber

freakgas, maybe he thought what you said above. he only had some moments to make a decision.

its his life and he figured I'm going to do something about this. did his action lead to the robbers' apprehension?

I am not even going to ask if he was charged because I know he wasn't.

also, WAG, you made some good points but money isn't everything. there are people who can afford the legal bill. whether homeless or a millionaire, it should be legal or not. we all know that isn't always the case.

Vanya
February 12, 2011, 01:31 PM
The use, attempt, or offer to use force upon or toward the person of another is not unlawful in the following cases:
It would have been helpful, Flyboy, if you had provided a source for the material you quoted in this post.

Even without that, however, it's worth noting that there is a major difference between "use of force," as justified in the paragraphs you quoted, and "use of deadly force," which generally has much stricter requirements for justification.

As JohnKSa and stephen426 noted: "intentionally ramming an occupied vehicle would qualify as assault with a deadly weapon."

So Mr. Thalheimer's initial action, ramming the robbers' car, already involved the use of deadly force -- which is not justified by anything in the passage you quoted.

Erik
February 12, 2011, 02:13 PM
There's a robbery. They are getting away. I can stop them. Ha! Retreat! Oops, I can't. Oh crap. Front sight, press. Oh crap, again. Front sight, press. Retreat!

That's likely the thought process, processed immediately, under stress, following an adrenaline dump and operating under a collapsing time frame.

And things like that cause folks to make decisions which, with the benefit of hindsight, are often determined to be poorly "thought" out decisions. Its why LEOs are held to a standard which considers what is reasonable and necessary as perceived at the moment of the action, taking into account knowledge, training and ability. Applying that standard here? Sure, mistakes were made. But I can understand the impulse to act.

Erik - Who would advised folks, should they find themselves in similar circumstances, to not go on the offensive and to serve as good witnesses.

--

Note: It is an assumption to assert that he missed with his shots, the first shot in particular.

Glenn E. Meyer
February 12, 2011, 03:16 PM
Interesting about snubbies and IPSC/IDPA has training. In the recent IDPA magazine a letter asked about more realistic rules and matches for pocket guns. The answer was that IDPA was a game and not for training. That says it.

They also said you can shoot IDPA with a snubby. I have. Claude Werner who teaches a great snubby class has. So it gives you trigger time with the gun. Don't expect to win - but that's a gamer attitude anyway.

It's certainly not a tactical training experience. It's a trigger time experience - which is certainly useful.

bds32
February 12, 2011, 03:43 PM
Technically, since the robbery was over and the robbers were not threatening anyone at the time, rammng the get away car could be considered assault.

I am surprised at the some of the comments about whether or not force to stop the suspects in this case by a private citizen are justified or not. Grand juries are not inclined to indict people trying to stop violent felony criminals unless it is obviously unreasonable for the circumstances. This was not a shoplifter at Wal-mart. Masked men sticking a gun in someone's face in a parking lot is a high level felony and the action of ramming the getaway car thereby stopping its mobility doesn't even come close to being unreasonable in the eyes of the law (at least not here in Texas where I am at). Now, when one of the suspects jumped out and pointed a gun at him, he had every right to defend himself which he did. His initial action of ramming the car was an attempt to stop armed felony suspects and did not amount to deadly force. However, this action did set a series of events in motion that could have caused a tragedy and I agree that it was very fortunate that no innocents were injured or killed.

Debating the tactics are very appropriate here but I have to say that I think the guy is a warrior at heart, not motivated by any hero syndrome, and is probably guided by conscience to do what needs to be done to thwart the escape of violent fleeing felons.

smince
February 12, 2011, 06:56 PM
So it gives you trigger time with the gun. Don't expect to win - but that's a gamer attitude anyway.

It's certainly not a tactical training experience. It's a trigger time experience - which is certainly useful. When I did shoot competition, I usually finished middle of the pack. I shot too 'tactically' to win against the gamers.

JohnKSa
February 12, 2011, 10:23 PM
Masked men sticking a gun in someone's face in a parking lot is a high level felony and the action of ramming the getaway car thereby stopping its mobility doesn't even come close to being unreasonable in the eyes of the law...Had he witnessed the crime he might have been able to use that as justification for his actions. The problem is that by his own admission he did not witness the crime.

He rammed the car after he became suspicious because he saw masked persons in a car speeding through the parking lot.His initial action of ramming the car was an attempt to stop armed felony suspects and did not amount to deadly force.1. He had no knowledge tht the persons in the car were armed.
2. He did not know that they had committed a felony, he merely became suspicious because of their appearance and actions.
3. Deadly force is deadly force even when it's justified. You can argue that what he did was justified--although there's not much evidence to support that argument--but there's no doubt at all that what he did amounted to deadly force....probably guided by conscience to do what needs to be done to thwart the escape of violent fleeing felons.Again, he didn't know they were violent because he didn't witness the crime nor did he know that they were felons, nor did he know that they were fleeing. All he knew was that he saw masked persons in a car driving fast. He assumed they were criminals leaving the scene of a crime but they could have been on their way to a crime or they might have been some stupid kids on their way to pull a prank or leaving the scene of a prank they had already pulled.

The only way to sum this up is that he used impressively bad judgement and that he's very, VERY lucky that he guessed right (that they were, in fact criminals and not stupid kids playing a prank), that no one was hurt and that for whatever reason the local authorities decided not to try to prosecute him.

Deaf Smith
February 12, 2011, 11:10 PM
Interesting about snubbies and IPSC/IDPA has training. In the recent IDPA magazine a letter asked about more realistic rules and matches for pocket guns. The answer was that IDPA was a game and not for training. That says it.

They also said you can shoot IDPA with a snubby. I have. Claude Werner who teaches a great snubby class has. So it gives you trigger time with the gun. Don't expect to win - but that's a gamer attitude anyway.

It's certainly not a tactical training experience. It's a trigger time experience - which is certainly useful.

Glenn, 'Always cheat, always win' and that ain't a gamer rule!

But except for BUG matches I don't think IDPA allows the use of 5 shot snubs.

What I do is this.

I have a Dillon SDB in .38 spl and yes a 640 (.357 5 shooter) as a dedicated practice gun. I shoot it quite often. I also have a .22 Smith 63, 2 inch, as an understudy.

Add to that both a 'red' ASP J .38 and an aluminum J 38 (used to make holsters with.) When doing bag work at the gym the guy lets me were the holsters under my t-shirt and practice H2H and drawing at the same time (there is forest of bags and no one else there when I practice.)

And Yep, my Glock 26 has a setup almost like that (but with a AACK .22 unit.)

But then I am serious with my snubs!

Deaf

guf
February 12, 2011, 11:29 PM
After all he was driving a RAM pickup! :D

Lost Sheep
February 13, 2011, 02:46 AM
Does the insurance industry have any bearing on our tactics or our training? Should it?

I apologize for introducing the insurance question into a strictly Tactics and Training forum, but since the "the stolen goods are covered by insurance" argument has been mentioned, and the spectre of legal bills for defending Mr. Thalmeier against civil or criminal charges, and the question of the damage to his pickup truck have all been raised, I wondered:

If Mr. Thalmeier's insurance for Loss by Theft for his store, Automobile Comp, Collision and Liability and his personal Liability insurance policies are carried by the same company, are his policies being reviewed for cancellation or re-pricing?

What does his insurance adjuster or agent say about these actions.

Should we take our insurance into account when planning our tactics or taking our training?

If not, should we even mention it in these threads?

Lost Sheep

Micahweeks
February 13, 2011, 03:12 AM
Mr. Barley,

My comment is specifically referring to the pursuit of a felon, not the use of deadly force, hence the analogy with pursuing reckless drivers. I get the feeling that in very misguided attempts to sound level-headed, some posters on here would not advocate any action other than no-action. That was the point of my earlier comment about the dangers of crooks getting used to the victim doing nothing and its emboldening effect. I've been LE and private security, and the expectation is for us to act SOMEHOW.

It is easy to preach on the Internet, and my point is simply that while some people "chest-pound" to sound like bad ***es, the opposite is also true. Some just preach to appear more righteous-than-thou by criticizing and over-analyzing every incident they can find.

Sarge
February 13, 2011, 03:56 AM
Some folks are scrappier than others... time will tell exactly what it's going to cost him. At the least he convinced some robbers that not everybody is sheep.

KellyTTE
February 13, 2011, 04:10 AM
1) The bad guy gets a vote in the fight, never forget/discount that fact.
2) The IDPA/IPSC/Whatever guy was dumb, period.
3) Paul Howe @ CSAT has amassed a collection of anecdotal examples of LE personnel hurt/killed from reverting to habits picked up playing gun games. They're not training, they're F**KING GAMES WITH BULLETS.
4) The IDPA/IPSC/Whatever guy was dumb.

Noreaster
February 13, 2011, 04:59 AM
Wow he didn't jump out into the weaver stance, focus on the front sight and his breathing, trigger squeeze, trigger reset... Real world aint the range and paper target bulleyes!

Ben Towe
February 13, 2011, 05:33 AM
Micahweeks brings up a valid point: if many of the opinions expressed here are honest, and not sugarcoated to placate the anti-gun crowd or the (generally) ignorant public, then I have concern that many here would be better advised to leave their weapons in the safe. If the worst happens and you over-analyze instead of acting, then you lose. Or someone you could have protected loses. This does not mean I advocate gunning down some kid stealing a CD from the local Wal-Mart, but when you choose to carry a weapon then you take on responsibilities. Some of these are law, and some are unwritten, but they are responsibilities nonetheless.

flyboyjake
February 13, 2011, 06:10 AM
well written Ben

TeamSinglestack
February 13, 2011, 06:17 AM
IDPA/IPSC is not 'training'. They are games played with guns.

Individual training tasks performed during gun games off the top of my head:

1. Load weapon.
2. Draw weapon and engage target/s.
-static
-dynamic
-various ranges
-percentage shots
3. Engage target with strong hand.
4. Engage target with weak hand.
5. Emergency mag change.
6. "Tactical" mag change.
7. Reduce stoppage.
-immediate action
-remedial action
8. Engage target from covered position.
9. Engage target from alternate firing position.
10. Unload weapon.
11. Clear weapon.

The tasks above are included in EVERY decent shooting curriculum offered by ANY competent course of instruction, and are similar to the tasks I trained and used in places like Panama, Afghanistan, and Iraq to clear compounds and buildings of bad dudes.

Amazingly enough, the individual and collective (that means team / more than one for those unfamiliar with training terms) live fire courses of fire used in military and LEO training, resembles courses of fire used in "gun games". Go figure.

A shooter can be as "tacticool" or as "gamey" as they want while shooting a gun game, as long as they are safe, and to say that there is no training value derived from "gun games" is just plain ignorant. PERIOD.

Skadoosh
February 13, 2011, 07:09 AM
If the worst happens and you over-analyze instead of acting, then you lose.

Under-analyze and/or acting too soon, then you can lose just as easily.

The point we should all be taking is that the man over-reacted and is likely going to pay very dearly for his actions.

flyboyjake
February 13, 2011, 07:20 AM
"The point we should all be taking is that the man over-reacted and is likely going to pay very dearly for his actions."

I doubt it. He acted entirely within the law.

WANT A LCR 22LR
February 13, 2011, 08:27 AM
Before this subject goes too far, we need to find out what the latest news reports say and any police reports if possible.

1: " Ramming " needs to be defined, it could be news speak for placing his truck in a position where the BG can't escape and causing the equivalent of a parking lot oops.

2: A better description on how the owner determined the BG were in fact BG.

While the owners actions were risky, not taking action just emboldens criminal activity. Fear of prosecution or being shot by police sure isn't keeping criminals at bay, fear of being shot by a victim at the scene would sure make them think twice.

skoro
February 13, 2011, 08:34 AM
I'm glad Thalheimer is uninjured after that blow up.

My cop brothers have told me in the past that instead of engaging BGs who are leaving the scene, the best thing to do is to be a good witness. Be able to describe to the police the license #, automobile, perps, and actions.

youngunz4life
February 13, 2011, 08:36 AM
yeah I'm not buying that deadly weapon car bit either. Let's be frank since the subject has been brought up. The man can technically be charged with assault with a deadly weapon for using his fists especially if he has martial arts training. Circumstances lead him to use his pistol instead.

If your wife gets in an accident, does she get assault with a deadly weapon? Really, the question doesn't even need to be asked. That charge is reserved for nimwits fleeing police who choose stupidly to ram, touch, or graze a police vehicle as well as other examples. Can the charge be used in other cases. Yes, I will concede it can but much of life is still common sense whether people believe they're going to get screwed some way or another.

The guy rammed the vehicle because he knew the assailants were the masked men. Let's please not get that twisted. In the event in the 1 in 100,000,000 chance they were pranksters then they're idiots to be driving around(speeding around I should say recklessly) with ski masks on). That is a charge in itself. At that point there was a gunfight; he basically Had to pull his pocket pistol. Meeting in the middle wasn't possible at that point.

youngunz4life
February 13, 2011, 08:44 AM
sorry about the edit- I thought I posted it in time

TailGator
February 13, 2011, 08:56 AM
If your wife gets in an accident, does she get assault with a deadly weapon? Really, the question doesn't even need to be asked. That charge is reserved for nimwits fleeing police who choose stupidly to ram, touch, or graze a police vehicle as well as other examples.

The difference is not whether it was a police vehicle or not - the difference is intent. If you intentionally run someone down and kill them, you will be charged with murder, and if they don't die, you will be charged with some sort of assault. Your intent was to commit injury. A car accident is an entirely different scenario.

I still keep coming back to this: The guy fired five rounds. I haven't seen an indication of how many rounds the BGs fired. Those rounds hit something somewhere. This was an incident that occurred in a public place and although some on this board don't seem to agree, it seems clear to me that the jewelry store owner turned a non-shooting crime into a shooting. He needlessly endangered the public. If a kid or a grandma or a pregnant woman had been killed by flying lead, how many would still defend him? What happened to the safety rule that we must be sure of our target and anything behind it? Are we allowed to ditch all our training when we are hacked off?

And all this started without him having certain knowledge that a crime was committed, beyond seeing a car speeding in his parking lot?

With apologies to those will undoubtedly disagree, but this remains indefensible to me.

therealdeal
February 13, 2011, 09:58 AM
yes, intent is definately an issue and thats obvious but a good point by you.

however, a person who UNintentionally kills an innocent person while driving can be convicted of vehicular homicide and go to prison as well. DUI's are a good example.

I think that was youngunz point: tecnically charges of this and that can be drawn on someone but wouldn't be. are you suggesting that grandmaster would be charged with assault with a deadly weapon(deadly weapon being his vehicle)? I seriously hope not.

also I will point out the other post didn't say it had to be a police vehicle. the post used the police vehicle and stated that was an example.

Micahweeks
February 13, 2011, 10:28 AM
Skoro, your brothers are right. Good observation skills and a quality CC camera system are extremely helpful in not only the investigation and apprehension but prosecution as well.

And, Ben Towe, thank you for helping better articulate my point. It doesn't help to overthink when in the heat of moment you won't be thinking much at all. You have to act, and you'll act according to the lowest level of your training. I think drilling on tactics to defend yourself or a loved one with is good, but people could definitely drill themselves on observation skills and operating under stress and be just as helpful in the event like this one.

It speaks volumes that people can jump immediately to criticize the store owner's actions but don't say a word about the complete lack of information about the criminals. Why don't our tactics include observation skills? Why does shooting at plates teach you how to keep your cool under stress? It doesn't. There is a real need to mentally condition one's self to make the most out of their position in a situation like this.

I would just personally like to see gun owners just as concerned about their ability to be a good witness as they are about marksmanship or tactics. There is more to the sheep dog than his bite.

Coop de Ville
February 13, 2011, 10:51 AM
2) The IDPA/IPSC/Whatever guy was dumb, period.
4) The IDPA/IPSC/Whatever guy was dumb.


Really?

What I will tell you is that police training IS IDPA training... with a lot less targets and a lot less movement.

When the target faces draw and fire two rounds.... When the target faces draw and fire one round standing and two rounds kneeling.... When the target faces draw and fire two rounds....etc.........

It's paper....all training is paper.

So, he's not a cop

So what's his training? More paper... except probably more dynamic than actual police training. So what's my point?

There is no tactical training except PAPER. It's all paper anyway. What training are you talking about where people engage real life targets with real weapons and really shoot people? You either practice on paper or read a book.

Except for MILO 2000 and Sims.

I admit that that Sims can be interesting and useful, but I'm a cop, we get SIMS. I'm willing to bet there aren't many forum members using Sims as a regular training tool.

So it's back to paper.

And to clarify.

I did not say that IDPA or IPSC were proper training for a gunfight. I said it is a fact that one will revert to a way of executing a task based on how they have previously performed the task... given enough repetition.

-Coop

bds32
February 13, 2011, 11:28 AM
Again, he didn't know they were violent because he didn't witness the crime nor did he know that they were felons, nor did he know that they were fleeing.

The two news stories seem to conflict. In the second article posted here: http://www.marconews.com/news/2011/feb/09/Sandy-Thalheimer-jewelers-robbery-shoot-east-coast/
Reporter Kelly Farrell makes it sound like he did witness the incident:


After witnessing Tuesday’s armed jewelry robbery, Naples jewelry store owner Sandy Thalheimer exchanged the first shot at armed suspects fleeing the scene

and

A violent felony was being committed in (Thalheimer’s) presence and he took the steps he felt necessary,” Barkley said (the above statement is the police spokesman's quote.)

It further states that he was leaving to go to the convenience store from his Jewelry store. Since the salesman was delivering jewelry to his jewelry store, and he was in the process of going to the local convenience store, I think its possible that he could have seen something going down (i.e., salesman running from the parking lot towards the store). He may not have actually seen the robbery as it was occurring but I think he appropriately put two and two together deducing that they were not out trick or treating.

There is still absolutely no way I can believe that any grand jury would find fault with his actions under these particular sets of circumstances (let's just see if he gets indicted). Yes, he was lucky they were not kids out pulling a prank but the perception abilities of the human mind, based on life experiences, training, and just basic common sense, allowed him to correctly understand the nature of what was happening up to the point he made the decision to get involved.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 13, 2011, 11:55 AM
Legally, it appears Chapter 776 of Florida law limits the use of deadly force to preventing the imminent commission of a certain felonies. It looks like the local police and prosecutor are taking the view that the robbery was still in progress, which is good news for Mr. Thalheimer and goes to show how the police and prosecutor viewing a single fact can be important in the post-legal aftermath.

As to gun games being training, I think gun games are useful in teaching how to use and manipulate weapons under stress; but that is just a small part of a gunfight.

As for criticizing the store owners tactics, the whole idea here is to come up with tactics that might provide a better outcome than the ones used. In this case, there are several obvious places to improve. I can't speak for everyone; but I don't mean that as criticism of Mr. Thalheimer's character or to suggest I would do any better in that scenario. Lord knows that analyzing the bad tactics I have used in FoF could keep us all busy for days.

For me, reading these stories and discussing them serves an important function in helping me set the limits of where I will get involved and preplan some actions if I do choose to get involved. So naturally, I am interested in what might be done better.

pax
February 13, 2011, 02:34 PM
The shooter will be interviewed on the radio tonight, on the nationally syndicated Armed American Radio, by my friend Mark Walters. There are apparently a few facts that didn't come out in the news clips or newspaper articles, so it'll be interesting to hear what Thalheimer has to say live.

Catch the show online at www.armedamericanradio.org, or (possibly) on your local radio stations.

pax

TailGator
February 13, 2011, 03:38 PM
however, a person who UNintentionally kills an innocent person while driving can be convicted of vehicular homicide and go to prison as well. DUI's are a good example.

And that is kind of my point. It wasn't an accident that the guy rammed the getaway car and a gunfight started. Negligence - poor planning like driving drunk or ramming someone's car or firing a gun with poor discretion - can rise to the point of criminal charges. No, I did not say that charges should be filed in this case, but if they were they would be expensive and a little iffy to fight.

I'll be interested to hear what the guy has to say, as per Pax's post.

also I will point out the other post didn't say it had to be a police vehicle

Well, sorta yes, sorta no.

That charge is reserved for nimwits fleeing police who choose stupidly to ram, touch, or graze a police vehicle as well as other examples.

That was the only example he gave of actions for which such a charge would be "reserved," so it is kind of hard for me to see that his "other examples" don't include someone who rams a civilian vehicle.

Again, I am not saying that charges should be filed, but it seems like a close call to me. Not to flog a dead horse, but still no one is talking about where those several rounds went and what the consequences could have been if one of those stray rounds hit someone. The question that is still before us is, was this a tactically sound engagement? I maintain that taking the actions he did, based as they seem to be on suspicion and anger rather than hard knowledge and planning, is unwise. It was an avoidable action that could have resulted in casualties to innocents. Do you think that if one of those shots that he lobbed at the second car had killed someone driving by, the prosecutor might feel some pressure to file some charges? I understand that the BGs were BGs and none of this would have happened if they had not robbed the jewelry delivery. But we really need to realize that the presence of a BG does not fully indemnify us for the consequences of our actions. It is wrong to think, legally or in my opinion morally, that we can deploy firearms without regard for innocents around us just because we are the good guy and someone else nearby is a bad guy.

Would I ram my car into one of an escaping thief in an effort to recover stolen property for someone? No I would not. If you would choose to do so, I sincerely hope that no gunfight ensues, or that if one does (not an possibility that should escape one's notice) that neither you nor any bystanders are hurt. And I really, really hope that the owner of the property is grateful enough to cover your legal bills, because they could be substantial and the person you helped is under no obligation to you. It is not a situation in which I would willingly place myself.

smince
February 13, 2011, 03:54 PM
When Beating Your Friends Is More Important Than Defeating Your Enemies

http://www.warriortalknews.com/2011/01/when-beating-your-friends-is-more-important-than-defeating-your-enemies.htmlAnd which guns are my IDPA friends using when they are not at a match? Probably NOT the gun they shot the match with.Those who train to defeat their enemies, but also compete in the gun games at a high level know that the two are not the same.

Rufus T Firefly
February 14, 2011, 01:20 AM
"I need to talk with my attourney and I don't consent to any search".

oden
February 16, 2011, 10:05 PM
The best training schools in the country can teach how to shoot but cant teach what to do when the PUCKER FACTOR is 100%.
In coming fire does raise the pucker factor every time.

Double Naught Spy
February 16, 2011, 11:27 PM
What I will tell you is that police training IS IDPA training... with a lot less targets and a lot less movement.

When the target faces draw and fire two rounds.... When the target faces draw and fire one round standing and two rounds kneeling.... When the target faces draw and fire two rounds....etc.........

It's paper....all training is paper.

There is no tactical training except PAPER. It's all paper anyway. What training are you talking about where people engage real life targets with real weapons and really shoot people? You either practice on paper or read a book.

I am not too certain that game training is the same thing as police training. What I am certain about is that not all training is paper and not all police training is paper (never mind the fact that some train against steel).

What training is there where you engage real people with real weapons and really shoot people?

Simunition Force on Force Training.

So your information about all training being on paper is about 20+ years out of date, 10+ if you consider when it started becoming more commonplace.

StrongSideArmsInc
February 17, 2011, 01:13 AM
Hats off to the guy for doing something, all you people in the forum that would have done nothing, your exactly the reason why the country in the current state that it is. I can't believe people on this forum are not willing to put their lives on the line for what is right and just. Once more, most people on this sight have some sort of trainning with firearms, so thats make you the perfect asset when something like this goes down. This guy just scored big points for the pro gun crowd and your ripping him down because your a *****. What is right, is right and with what some of you people wrote, I guess if they pass a law and ban firearms, you will just give them over without a hitch. Just because the law states one thing, doesn't make it right, and when people sit on their ass, and just take it, I see you as part of the problem and a target. I am glad are fore fathers stuck their middle fingers to the king. That took guts, and that is what is going to be needed to get are country strait. MLK saw certain laws in this country unfair, he marched and made a difference. America went to fight in WW2, so you wouldn't be speaking German right now. So many examples of Americans standing on what is right, and fighting, this guy did that very thing. I am not advocating breaking the law, but if the law violates are consitution, then its not a law. I believe using all avenues to fight violations, such as lawsuits, marches, and ralleys. Your allowing thugs to run around and do whatever the hell they want to do, expecting are harsh prison system to turn them around. I'm glad are men and women in the military don't have the same mentality as some of the people that I have read in this thread. Enough is enough, people need to stand up and help one another, and incidents like this are a great place to start in changing thug's mind about doing crap like this. When I saw what happen in Arizona and in Destin, Florida, I was so disappointed that no one had a CCW to stop these horric acts on innocent people. After reading this thread, I imagine now that there were people with CCWS just sitting there saying, "well it's not my issue."
As far as the law goes, number one he didn't fire untill he was fire upon, second, in the state of Florida, he had the ability to make a lawful arrest, beacause it was a foricable felony in progress, thats why he is not in jail. He can use anything inside the force matrix to ascert an arrest, given reasonable circumstances. Also, in Florida you covered under the "good faith" act in this situation, and you do not have to make an attempt to retreat her either. Are laws are set up here so people can self-govern and protect themselves so they don't have to stand-by and do nothing.
Food for thought, if I had been the officer responding, I would have gave him a medal because he attempted to save the tax payers of Florida alot of money.

triumph666
February 17, 2011, 03:01 AM
so from what i get here off this posting is a lot of people saying this guy and other people should never risk their lives to stop crime? did anyone post on the fact that maybe some of these criminals are suredly having second thoughts about their activities now? or about the fact these low lifes now have to worry about regular joes and not just police who are 5 to 15min away?


sometimes stopping crime starts with you...not the police

BlueTrain
February 17, 2011, 06:53 AM
Not to throw a monkey wrench into the mixer but before WWII, most Americans rather admired the Germans.

Traditionally, Americans have only gone out to right wrongs after dark. And by the way, did he really have a Dodge Ram truck, the one with the sheep's head on the grill?

Bartholomew Roberts
February 17, 2011, 10:49 AM
Hats off to the guy for doing something, all you people in the forum that would have done nothing, your exactly the reason why the country in the current state that it is.

Well as long as we are offering stupid speculations on the state of the country extrapolated from a single incident, I would propose that the country is in such a sorry state because we spend too much time demanding someone "do something" and not enough time contemplating whether that action would actually help the situation.

Considering that doing nothing would result in the same outcome but with fewer negatives for Mr. Thalheimer, I think you are mistaken to dismiss it as a viable option.

flyboyjake
February 17, 2011, 11:02 AM
we can not determine what options he should have taken based on the outcome in any case. The actions he should have taken should be considered from what you suspect "would" happen, not what did happen. Otherwise, once I realized I would fall down while learning to ride a bike, id come to the conclusion when I ride bikes I fall down, and would never try again.

Lokpyrite
February 17, 2011, 11:25 AM
+1 to the guy with the wallo'text

Bartholomew Roberts
February 17, 2011, 01:29 PM
we can not determine what options he should have taken based on the outcome in any case. The actions he should have taken should be considered from what you suspect "would" happen, not what did happen

My point was that results matter. Just "doing something" isn't the same as "effectively doing something." While I am a big fan of the idea that an OK plan executed decisively now is better than a perfect place executed a week from now, a bad plan is a bad plan no matter how fast, well-intentioned, or decisively it is executed.

The whole purpose of Tactics and Training is to discuss... TACTICS. If we aren't going to discuss why certain tactics weren't appropriate in a given scenario out of fear that such discussion will be seen as criticizing someone who "did something" then there isn't any point to having a discussion.

I think that if all you have is a pickup truck and a 5-shot revolver, then doing nothing more than observing is a viable tactic in a situation with a minimum of 4 armed robbers in a public strip mall - and if someone wants to criticize that tactic, then they should put aside their emotions and criticize the TACTIC rather than rant unproductively.

Don P
February 17, 2011, 03:30 PM
I'm with Glenn on this one, for sure.

Ditto for me. CCW don't make anyone a free lance police officer. Threat was gone, done deal. As Mas wrote in this issue of Combat Hand Guns, leaving the safety of ones home to pursue a failed home break in suspect and shots fired mean trouble for the pursuer. It applies to the OP

smince
February 17, 2011, 07:02 PM
we spend too much time demanding someone "do something" and not enough time contemplating whether that action would actually help the situation.Seems this is where a lot of the gun laws we are always fighting against come from.

Daugherty16
February 18, 2011, 03:49 PM
Lots of talk about he should have done this, or shouldn't have done that.
IMHO, the man got angry and didn't stop to evaluate. He saw enough to know his client/manuf. rep had been robbed, got mad, and he stomped the gas. I doubt anyone who isn't bulletproof would make that decision rationally -especially knowing he only had a 5 shotter and was going up against 4 armed BG.

Evaluated in the cold light of day, he was completely wrong, even if not acting outside the law. The actual crime was already over when he became aware of it. He should have been a good witness. If there was any question about the condition of his sales rep, his witnessing should have been done AFTER checking on his friend, since the BGs were already leaving and the imminent threat (to him) was going away. It is very clear that his actions precipitated the gunfight.

That said, i am glad he is ok and no innocents were hurt. He made a huge tactical mistake up front, but acquitted himself well enough to still be alive, even though undergunned. Unless you've been in real life Close Quarters Combat, and i have not, i don't think a single one of us should question why he didn't gun those guys down. He didn't freeze, and he didn't die, and if he missed them i'll bet the BGs still needed new underwear afterward. And one other thing - afterward they might have been much more reluctant to brandish guns, perhaps saving the life of someone else like Thalheimer at another place.

So, God bless him. Hope he isn't so rash the next time, or shoots straighter. Something tells me he will do both.

k31
February 18, 2011, 04:08 PM
heat of the moment kind of thing
i have found in life it is simply a matter of you did or you didnt. weather it is right or wrong there isnt much else other than what was done. weather it was right or wrong is his opinion. not even jail time will change what he did or didnt do. the way i see it is that it was rash but to a point helpful. he identified the fact that there wer multiple drivers and getaway cars. as well as slowed down the getaway. again right or wrong aside it did slow them down. the extra drive time and not seeing second getaway vehicles would make it an even harder case to work. he also got a point across to would be thieves. some folks dont put up with bull c@#p, even if it gets them in trouble too.i dont see his store getting hit within the next year either.worse things have been done with the best intent possible.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 18, 2011, 04:20 PM
Actually the http://armedamericanradio.org/ link Pax posted has a great interview with Mr. Thalheimer that sheds some new light on the topic.

According to the interview, saw the men going TO the robbery, presumed they were there to target the jewelry salesman and decided to ram them as they came back through - assuming that his 3/4 ton Dodge would disable their vehicle and that he could back up and drive away.

He estimated the distances as about 25ft for the first shot at the man exiting the disabled car and 35yds to the second vehicle.

He also discussed his belief that the four men were wearing body armor as he feels certain he hit the first man and there were no bullets found in/on the wall behind that man.

Lots of good information in the link, and you can listen to the interview via podcast as well.

bds32
February 18, 2011, 05:08 PM
I listened to his interview and I think it is pretty clear that he knew exactly what was going down even though he did not witness the actual robbery. He knew about Columbian robbery teams hitting jewelry salesman. He saw them coming, masked up, stopping at the jewelry store, and then attempting to flee the scene a moment later. He didn't know if the salesman had been harmed or if anyone else had. He made a split second decision to try and stop them with his 7,500 truck. I applaud that. All of this talk of him reacting out of anger or wanting to be hero is nonsense. There is no time for any of that. As an LEO, I've rolled up on or observed crimes in progress with no advance warning. Your actions in those situations are instantaneous without a lot of real thought process, at least initially. Most of the thinking takes place long before hand and hopefully includes some training. If this guy Sandy had a warrior mindset coming in to it, which I think he did, that was the guiding principle for his immediate decision to get involved. Had he not gotten involved, I wouldn't have denounced him for it for some of the reasons stated in this thread. However, I don't think its right to dump on the guy for getting involved. I think its more appropriate to say "I wouldn't have gotten involved in this set of circumstances because of...."

Double Naught Spy
February 18, 2011, 06:49 PM
According to the interview, saw the men going TO the robbery, presumed they were there to target the jewelry salesman ...

Actually, he said this explicitly in the original link you posted.

Why the guy saw the on the way to do their robbery and waited for them to come out so that he could ram them and then didn't have his own gun ready really is mind boggling.

i dont see his store getting hit within the next year either.worse things have been done with the best intent possible.
No, it may not be hit, per se. They may consider it safer to just torch the man's business, after hours, when no confrontation is likely.

StrongSideArmsInc
February 18, 2011, 09:02 PM
Well as long as we are offering stupid speculations on the state of the country extrapolated from a single incident, I would propose that the country is in such a sorry state because we spend too much time demanding someone "do something" and not enough time contemplating whether that action would actually help the situation.

Considering that doing nothing would result in the same outcome but with fewer negatives for Mr. Thalheimer, I think you are mistaken to dismiss it as a viable option.

Hey Mr. Roberts, pick up your weapon and follow me. I will teach, you will learn by the numbers. When your grandson is sitting on year knee in the near future, you won't have to tell him that you shoveled **** in Texas, that you made a difference, you did the right thing. You won't have to tell him you didn't stand there and die while contemptplating your actions, and their effect on the starving kids in Uganda. You summed up the of the state of the Union when you wrote a statement like "not enough contemplating." Give me a break, really?? The same outcome would have occurred?? Seriously? These scum bag dirt balls will seriously think next time about doing this crap again, probably even keeping them from robbering you while your disecting the next law enforcement involved shooting. So inturn, he saved your life and others. You need to seriously to take a long look at history, and how this country was formed. The sacrifices made by great people in order for you to sergate opinions about a guy defending himself and others from low lifes. You make me sick, :barf:

Double Naught Spy
February 19, 2011, 12:49 AM
The sacrifices made by great people in order for you to sergate opinions about a guy defending himself and others from low lifes. You make me sick,

Sorry, but I have no idea what "sergate" means. Even so, whatever sacrifices folks might have made in the past that allows us to be able to express opinoins has nothing to do with the validity, correctness, or obligation to act in this manner.

Attacking people who are not attacking you and not attacking anyone else isn't self defense.

This reminds me of those folks who claim that they were attacked by animals, but when the events are made known, it was the people who were hunting and trying to kill the animal that acted in self defense against its attackers.

You may consider the guy's actions heroic, but being heroic doesn't mean that his actions were smart or appropriate.

In the grand scheme, I really don't have a problem with the guy doing what he did to prevent the theft of valuables from the standpoint that such roberies can destroy a person's life. That was his call to make. However, at the time he did what he did, he had no knowledge as to whether or not the perps actually had any stolen property. He certainly didn't know if any of the property potentially taken was his or not. Putting his life on the line to prevent the loss of possible property that may not even be his isn't smart from a self defense perspective and certainly may be questionable from legal and civil liability perspectives. Not only that, but it probably wasn't smart from a financial perspective either. He is going to be out hundreds or thousands of dollars in truck repairs alone. His insurance isn't likely to pay for the damages to his vehicle because he intentionally wrecked it.

These scum bag dirt balls will seriously think next time about doing this crap again, probably even keeping them from robbering you while your disecting the next law enforcement involved shooting. So inturn, he saved your life and others.

Yep, they will think twice and refine their plan such that should somebody attempt to intervene in the future, they will have a better solution in mind for handling the problem. Next time, they may come with more people, more cars, and better firepower.

Given that the guys were potentially gang members and had a pretty good plan for the robbery, to believe that Thalhiemer's actions will preclude them from doing this in the future show an alarming naiveté.

So just what percentage of experienced criminals like these do you think will go straight after being involved in a single gun battle? If they were gang members, then this incident will no doubt bolster their reputation with their peers and likely confirm to them they they are good enough at what they do that they can handle dealing with such a threat and still get away with the goods.

Unless one of the criminals dies as a result of injuries suffered in the event, Thalhiemer's actions probably won't change a thing in the future in regard to saving lives.

JohnKSa
February 19, 2011, 01:33 AM
Hats off to the guy for doing something, all you people in the forum that would have done nothing, your exactly the reason why the country in the current state that it is.This forum was founded to foster the "discussion and advancement of responsible firearms ownership". That principle is inconsistent with the idea that "doing something" is a good idea/commendable even if it's not legal or prudent/responsible.This guy just scored big points for the pro gun crowd and your ripping him down because your a *****.This forum requires that members get their points across without insulting those who disagree and without using language that "would be inappropriate in the polite company of strangers"....I see you as part of the problem and a target.I sincerely hope that I'm misunderstanding your meaning here.When I saw what happen in Arizona and in Destin, Florida, I was so disappointed that no one had a CCW to stop these horric acts on innocent people. After reading this thread, I imagine now that there were people with CCWS just sitting there saying, "well it's not my issue."The fact is, there was a CCW present at the Arizona shooting but he prudently determined that it would be unwise to draw and fire into the crowd so he took action but without using his firearm. Hey Mr. Roberts, pick up your weapon and follow me. I will teach, you will learn by the numbers. When your grandson is sitting on year knee in the near future, you won't have to tell him that you shoveled **** in Texas, that you made a difference, you did the right thing.Your implication that every crime scenario can be solved or should be solved with a weapon is alarming and, again, is not consistent with the "advancement of responsible firearms ownership" and therefore not consistent with the principles upon which this forum was founded.

I have to say that I'm disappointed to see how many people apparently believe that the desire to see criminals "get what's coming to them" is sufficient justification for use of deadly force even under circumstances where it might be illegal or unwise.

flyboyjake
February 19, 2011, 09:01 AM
this crime was not resolved or attempted to be resolved with the use of a weapon. He used his truck to try to prevent them from getting away. When they opened fire on him, his gun came out. Why the @#$@^ do you people keep alluding that he went in guns blazing to stop a robbery? I know you all have better critical thinking skills than this. I am beginning to think many of you are arguing just to argue, ignoring the facts of the topic.

I would never ask any of you to get involved if someone were stealing from my home (though I assure you, I would get involved for you) but I sincerely hope if I were being shot at from thugs in a car, you would return fire for me. If your answer to that is "let me think about it for a while...its really not my problem" then I fear America is in worse shape than I thought...

smince
February 19, 2011, 09:09 AM
Based on the interview on the link, I'd suggest that Mr. Thalheimer learned very little from this encounter (if anything at all). I got from it is that he thinks not being far from a 1911 will solve any future problems.

smince
February 19, 2011, 09:11 AM
this crime was not resolved or attempted to be resolved with the use of a weapon. He used his truck to try to prevent them from getting away. When they opened fire on him, his gun came out. Why the @#$@^ do you people keep alluding that he went in guns blazing to stop a robbery? I know you all have better critical thinking skills than this. I am beginning to think many of you are arguing just to argue, ignoring the facts of the topic.The 'firefight', possibly endangering innocent lives, would never have happened if he hadn't felt compelled to 'do something'.

Bartholomew Roberts
February 19, 2011, 09:38 AM
Why the @#$@^ do you people keep alluding that he went in guns blazing to stop a robbery?

I am guessing that most of us presume that ramming a car of 4 Colombian armed robbers specializing in jewelry heists has a high probability of leading to a gunfight amd we assume Mr. Thalheimer shared that presumption.

Sarge
February 19, 2011, 11:57 AM
I am beginning to think many of you are arguing just to argue, ignoring the facts of the topic.

Find a cure for THAT and all the threads on TFL would be 7-10 replies long, literally oozing useful information. Wouldn't that be a shocker!

I'm inclined to agree with your perspective on the negative social consequences that result when good folks turn a blind eye to mayhem occurring right under their noses. The murder of Kitty Genovese is the contemporary example of this. The citizens of Northfield, Minnesota took a different approach, during a bank robbery some 87 years previous.

The decision to 'get involved' is a personal one and certainly not one I would try to make for you- but anybody with a heart can tell which one of those events they would rather have been present at.

Capt Charlie
February 19, 2011, 01:34 PM
This thread's been interesting from the beginning, and there's certainly food for thought here.

However, after 140 posts, it's clear that opinions are seriously polarized and tempers are frayed. When members stop debating the idea and start attacking the poster, and when they think that attempts at profanity will somehow enhance their position, it's time for the referee to step in and end it.

With apologies to the OP, closed.