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Old December 25, 2004, 04:51 PM   #1
jacob
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hypothetical armed robber unaware of you

Hypothetical scenario: you are in a bank, store, or other business establishment. A person is holding a gun on a clerk, for a stickup. The BG is unaware of your presence and armed status. There are no non-belligerents behind the BG (in line with him), and you are somewhat behind him. What do you do? I have given this some thought, but I will hold my opinion until receiving some others.
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Old December 25, 2004, 05:43 PM   #2
michael t
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Not my fault clerk didn't bring a gun. But to be serious, Iam not a LEO so I would most likely take cover and hope he takes the money and goes. If looks like clerk is gonna get shot or he spots me then I guess Iam involved other wise its observe and report. Thats my .02 Ive got a house full of kids and I don't get paid to be a cop..
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Old December 25, 2004, 05:52 PM   #3
KurtC
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That depends on the jurisdiction. Appropriate action differs greatly from rural Republican Idaho and urban Democratic New Jersey.

It also depends on the actual demeanor of the BG. If the BG gives no indication that he actually intends to use the firearm, the last thing you want to do is escalate the situation.

One would need to know more specifics before giving an answer.
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Old December 25, 2004, 06:05 PM   #4
Derius_T
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personally, i try to remain as unnoticed as i can, and hopefully he leaves without hurting anyone. But if he were to start hurting people, taking/killing hostages, ect. i think i would have to attempt to stop him.....
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Old December 25, 2004, 06:15 PM   #5
Avizpls
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Ok, lets just say for the sake of argument that it seems he is going to do somehting deadly with his gun to the clerk. As he mentioned, you are behind him, with a clear area if you miss or penetrate thru. Is shooting him from behind OK in this case? Just suppose that all other variables result in your feeling justified in shooting the BG. Will you do it from behind?
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Old December 25, 2004, 06:15 PM   #6
nemesis
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The question here is regarding "another" person, a clerk, being held at gun point and whether anyone would take any action to end the act.

Let's change the question. Suppose it's you held at gun point. Not happy with that? OK, it's your teenage part-time-employee kid held at gun point. Does that change anything for you? What would you like me to do?

You see, I don't want to get involved. It's not my job, I'm not a LEO. As a matter of fact, since the BG didn't see me; I'm just going to crawl out the side door. Sorry! Call 911, they can take care of it. It's nothing to do with me.

I think I justified a withdrawal pretty well. It's nothing do do with me!

Otherwise, Texas law says...............

Quote:
PC §9.32. DEADLY FORCE IN DEFENSE OF PERSON. (a) A person
is justified in using deadly force against another:

(1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under
Section 9.31;

(2) if a reasonable person in the actor's situation would not have
retreated; and

(3) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly
force is immediately necessary:


(A) to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use
of unlawful deadly force; or

(B) to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated
kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault,
robbery, or aggravated robbery.
\
Hey, pardner; I'm sorry he's holding a gun on you. I know he might force you into the backroom and kill you there but, hey, this is none of my business and I've got myself to think of. I know you'll understand.
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Old December 25, 2004, 06:46 PM   #7
XavierBreath
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First off, I doubt I'll be in line behind a robber. The first thing a robber will do is get in the back of the line, or come when it's less crowded. The second thing he will do is clear the immediate area around him.

However, if I AM behind him, I will simply put my gun to his skull and either allow him to drop his weapon or take his life as he turns to try to take mine. I have no problem shooting someone in the back of the head if he is turning to shoot me.

I seriously doubt that scenerio will ever play out though, for the reasons I've stated. When the BG robs at gunpoint, he is employing lethal force to accomplish the robbery. I believe the shooting of this BG would meet the criteria for intervention with lethal force in my state. I would not gamble the bank teller's life on the BG's goodwill. That bank teller could be someone's mother or father. If I felt the BG was a threat, and I could take him out with no others being hurt, I would do so. I can also understand why others might not.
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Old December 25, 2004, 07:14 PM   #8
Angelsboy
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I'd be the best witness I could be.
If the bad guy is not out of control, then escalating the situation by confronting him is foolish and dangerous to everyone in the building.
If the bad guy is out of control, it's time to cap him without warning.
Let the on-duty cops confront him after he leaves, as long as he isn't out of control.
BTW, I am a cop.
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Old December 25, 2004, 07:53 PM   #9
Derius_T
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As I said before, best not to act, because in my state you can be charged and held responsible for escelating (sp?) the situation, and will probly be sued if you traumatize some schmuck by getting BG blood on them, or using a dirty, dirty, gun in their presense. :barf:



But this is AMERICA......and it wasn't that long ago in the GREAT, AWESOME country we call home, that a BG threatening some innocent person's life faced the chance of getting a hail of bullets from almost every red-blooded, honest, stand up, patriotic, take no crap AMERICAN in the bank.....

And the LEO's of the time woulda came in.....well, he tried to rob the bank huh? Threatened to kill you huh? Waving a gun in a threatening manner huh? So you shot him......good for you......somebody go get the undertaker....hey you there.....drag this guy outside......
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Old December 25, 2004, 08:35 PM   #10
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I suspect you have a concealed handgun license, if so you surely were told that the only justification for "deadly force" is in defense of your life or another persons.
SO let say you get a clear shot and you talk it, bad guy goes down and everybody is happy. Now comes the detectives and one of the first people they talk to is the clerk who was being robbed. NOW your case hang on what the clerk says. IF they say "he was about to shoot me" all is well, BUT what if they say "all this guy wanted was a few bucks for Christmas and he never had any intention of shooting me, I was not afraid and know he would be on his way, I'm not even sure he had a real gun", guess what happens now. Life as you know it is over.

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Old December 25, 2004, 09:44 PM   #11
FrankDrebin
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Quote:
However, if I AM behind him, I will simply put my gun to his skull and either allow him to drop his weapon or take his life as he turns to try to take mine.
Put the gun to his head, huh?? Why not just hand it to him so as not to **** him off by making him go through the trouble of taking it away from you?
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Old December 25, 2004, 10:14 PM   #12
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If he is able to turn around, spot the weapon, lift his arm, grasp the weapon, and lower his arm before Xavier can pull a trigger, he is superman and you shouldnt haver ****** him off in the first place.
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Old December 25, 2004, 10:20 PM   #13
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Take the shot, call my lawyer, talk to the media...
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Old December 25, 2004, 10:33 PM   #14
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What Angelsboy said, exactly.
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Old December 26, 2004, 12:25 AM   #15
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So you are somewhere behind a robber who is robbing a store at gunpoint to the clerk, he appears to be about to harm the clerk, and he does not know you are there or armed.

Most states are going to have laws that allow you to use lethal force justifiably in that sort of situation, should you decide to act. Is shooting from behind okay in this case? Sure, assuming you are legally justified in using lethal force. There aren't any laws about which I am aware that stipulate where lethal force can be applied to the bad guy's body. Tactically, his back to you is a pretty sweet situation for you and a horrible tactical situation for the robber. Being able to dispatch the robber before he knows you are there will mean that he isn't going to be able to stop or counter your attack.

Walking up and putting your gun to his head is a tactical blunder on your part if you do it. Why? Simple. Distance is your friend and works in your favor in such a situation. The closer you are in proximity to the danger, the more likely it is that you could end up injured or killed. Note, the closer the proximity of you to the bad guy, the less skill he will need to be able to shoot at and hit you.

Note, that contrary to Avizipls, the bad guy does not need to be superman to defeat your gun to his head. A quick pivot spin around will break the muzzle his head, hence defeating or delaying your first shot, assuming he has presence of mind to try it. Once spinning, it is likely he will be able to get off shots toward or into you. Because you are in such close proximity to the robber, the robber is going to pretty well know exactly where you are before he pivots and where you will be after he pivots, pretty much in the same place. At that range, arm's length, he is going to be able to get off shots without the need for aiming.

On top of that, he has another advantage that you won't have. He isn't going to care if he has one or more errant shots that hurt or kill somebody down range behind you. The consequences of hitting a bystander simply won't be a significant consideration for him. You, however, must take bystanders into consideration. You probably can't payoff the civil lawsuit(s) filed against you for hitting the bystander. On top of that, the shooting of a bystander may result in criminal charges filed against you.

These sorts of hypothetical senarios, however, often provide the good guy with one aspect that would not be present in real life. That is, total situational awareness. How can you be certain that the robber is acting alone? Obviously, the robber did not know you were there because he was fixated on the clerk and collecting the till. Like the robber, you may be fixated as well, but on him, and hence not aware of any bad guys that might be behind you or somewhere off to your periphery, unnoticed. Before pulling your gun, did you first check your six and other directions to verify that the robber is alone? Such an act would be most prudent. If there is another bad guy behind you somewhere, he may opt to start shooting you while you attempt to draw your gun. Since you didn't meantion clearing your six and other directions, not going for your gun is a reasonable idea. After all, many such crimes are performed by more than one robber working as a team.
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Old December 26, 2004, 12:32 AM   #16
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This will give you plenty to read.

Loaded question, who do you protect?
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Old December 26, 2004, 07:36 AM   #17
XavierBreath
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You know, looking at this thread, I am rather surprised at my response, and wonder where it came from. It certainly would not have come from me twenty years ago, or even five years ago. I have little doubt that given the opportunity to save a life with minimum chance of injuring innocents vs watching an innocent be murdered, I would take action. I think it is all in the perception of the threat to the teller's life.

I have been trying to figure out where this response came from for the past several hours. Then I recalled a crusty old Master Chief I knew in the Philipines. He would go out every Friday night he could and find a young Marine to fight. When the gator freighters were not at Subic Bay, the pickings for a fight would be pretty slim. It seemed every Marine on base knew this man's reputation, knew that he could and would fight, that he would spend the weekend in the brig or the hospital until the CO got him out on Monday and drove him to work. Master Chief McClary was never, to my knowlege, busted. Why? He was the kind of guy you wanted at your back. He was honorable and trustworthy. He just felt a need to show himself that he still had what it takes to go against young men. He had also lived his life, he had made his contributions, and he would rather die in a barfight in Barrio Baretta than in a nursing home in Boise Idaho. He basically had nothing to loose. I remember one time that McClary told me "There comes a time when a man doesn't care about what will happen, but instead how he will be remembered." I never forgot that.

I have to wonder if there is an age or experience division that separates the people who would act and the people who would stand by. I see my life now as winding down, much like McClary did. My thoughts and resolve are now very different than they were thirty years ago. I do not believe a man could turn and take my gun from me before I could put a bullet in his skull, and yes, I know action beats reaction. All I know is if his gun did not hit the counter immediately, my trigger would be pulled. I would never wait for him to begin to turn. Beware the old man such as McClary and now myself. Our actions may not fit the mold, and we might even be surprised ourselves.
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Old December 26, 2004, 08:40 AM   #18
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If he is able to turn around, spot the weapon, lift his arm, grasp the weapon, and lower his arm before Xavier can pull a trigger, he is superman and you shouldnt haver ****** him off in the first place.
No, not Superman, just practiced.

Many, many, many, MANY moons ago, my old sensei and I had a rather long chat about the virtues of 'Glock-Fu'. That is, the use of 9mm semi-automatic weapons platforms in close combat. My opinion, at the time, was that someone with a pistol would always win out on unarmed opponent. So he decided to show me differently.

We spent about two hours going through different scenarios. I was using a small cap pistol, a revolver, to simulate a .38. Face to face, he was able to relieve me of my 'weapon' about 8 out of 10 times, and this was while I was -expecting- him to take it. Then I decided to be cute.

As he turned away, I put the cap pistol to the back of his head. I intended to pull the trigger the moment that it contacted. I didn't have the opportunity.

The second the cap pistol touched his head he dropped low, breaking the line of fire to his head. He spun to his right, moving about 1-1/2 feet to my right, leading with his right hand, which closed on the 'weapon'. His left came up for a heel shot to my kidneys.

The next thing I knew I was on the ground, hurting, and my sensei has the cap pistol in his hands, and the biggest sh*t eating grin I've seen in a long time.

Now, the fact is that 96% of the population is not going to have that degree of training. And those that do are highly unlikely to be found committing an armed robbery. But the possibility does exist. Why risk it?
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Old December 26, 2004, 09:47 AM   #19
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Sir Robert Peel, considered to be the Father of modern policing, noted that there is a historic tradition "that the police are the public and that the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen, in the interests of community welfare and existence."

Slinking away and "being a good witness" when you have the ability, the means, and the training to put an immediate end to an imminent deadly threat against the life of another means that you are shirking your solemn duty as a citizen of our society.
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Old December 26, 2004, 10:18 AM   #20
FrankDrebin
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If he is able to turn around, spot the weapon, lift his arm, grasp the weapon, and lower his arm before Xavier can pull a trigger, he is superman and you shouldnt haver ****** him off in the first place.
As was already explalined to you, a guy who knows what he's doing will disarm you in about a quarter of a second. A guy who DOESN'T know what he's doing will still be able to shoot and kill you either just before or just after you shoot him, assuming you're able to hit him before you die. Either way, it's a dumb idea to use a weapon with an effective range of many feet as a contact weapon.
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Old December 26, 2004, 03:07 PM   #21
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I don't know that the situations you or I so simply hypothesize can or have or will actually exist in real life, but I will take a stab at answering your question.

IF I am sure that there is no seeded backup
AND I think that the perp might shoot someone
AND my state permits me to shoot in those circumstances

OR (I think the perp might shoot me
AND there is no seeded backup)

OR I think the perp will shoot me

THEN I will shoot him in the head repeatedly without warning

OTHERWISE I will not even think about my gun.

As far as your relatives or self being in the position of the teller, I advise you and your relatives to move to Texas and don't bother trying to lay any guilt trips on me for YOUR personal choices. I don't blame anyone in Texas for my living in MA, and I don't expect them to blame me for where they live. You want to be protected, hire a bodyguard or buy your own gun.
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Old December 26, 2004, 04:53 PM   #22
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This is a quote from my local paper today:

"Dec. 21 - A man with a gun who tried to rob The Final Fade barbershop on North Plum St. got a suprise when a barber and a customer pulled out guns and fired at him. Police do not know if the man was hit"

I think there is no clear answer, it all depends on the each situation at the time.
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Old December 26, 2004, 05:07 PM   #23
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Quote:
"Dec. 21 - A man with a gun who tried to rob The Final Fade barbershop on North Plum St. got a suprise when a barber and a customer pulled out guns and fired at him. Police do not know if the man was hit"
See, they should have shot him in the head repeatedly, then there would be no question.
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Old December 26, 2004, 05:10 PM   #24
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Yea, made me wonder...did he run real fast or were they poor shots? I bet the would be robbers pants were in a need of a cleaning, though.
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Old December 26, 2004, 05:35 PM   #25
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Two shots, center of mass. I'd tip my hat and say "good day ma'am."
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