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View Poll Results: If armed, would you get involved if a Robbery is taking place?
I would get involved, shooting if necessary 23 28.75%
I would give warning and shoot if weapon visible 6 7.50%
I would shoot without warning if weapon visible 25 31.25%
I would not get involved and try to leave if possible 26 32.50%
Voters: 80. You may not vote on this poll

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Old September 29, 2005, 04:19 PM   #1
swmike
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Customer Shoots Robbery Suspect. Clerk also wounded

This morning a shootout in a Tacoma, WA Auto Parts Store sent the robbery suspect and a clerk to the hospital. An armed customer intervened when the robber pulled a gun and demanded cash while apparently in the process of stealing a motorcycle. The clerk did not suffer life threatening wounds and it is not sure who hit her, the customer or the BG.

Attached is a link to the article. All the facts are not in yet but let the discussion begin. At the very least, it illustrates the need to be sure of your background. Also an arguement for lots of practice so one can anticipate where his rounds will go. Even if the BG's round hit the clerk, it can provide a lesson on the possible consequences of getting into a shootout.

JMHO

http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/b...-4739117c.html
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Old September 29, 2005, 05:04 PM   #2
leadcounsel
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This is a really tough situation.

I don't think that any one answer fits the mold....

If you don't get involved at your soonest opportunity, you risk losing the window of opportunity and being executed ala Wendys shooting a few years back. However, if you don't get involved maybe the puke will just steal some money and leave.

If you get involved and give a warning, you risk the BG shooting/stabbing first or taking a hostage.

If you don't give a warning, and simply shoot the BG, he may shoot you or someone else whom he may have otherwise not shot nor did he "intend" to shoot.

I suppose that one would have to weigh many factors such as whether the BG seemed ruthless enough to kill or was his threat with a weapon and idle threat; whether you could SAFELY intervene without alerting him/them; whehter you could safely shoot and what the background is; whether you are outgunned; the number of witnesses; likelihood that the situation will turn messy or whether (using your best guess) intervention would be necessary or successful.

I do recognize I'm not a cop and don't act like a cop.

That being said, IF I could intervene without alerting the BG and IF I was outnumbered and thought that I could successfully intervene, I would not give a warning. I voted to shoot the BG.
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Old September 29, 2005, 05:05 PM   #3
westphoenix
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● If I have a clean shot at an armed robber Id take it (without warning)

Even if everyone cooperates, the robber may still shoot (video).

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Old September 29, 2005, 05:09 PM   #4
Glenn E. Meyer
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I will opine that before one offers an armchair opinion of what one would do, one should try this in well supervised FOF training exercises, offered by many instructors.

It will cure you of ninja-itis and make you take a sober look at the actions which is not available to the autodidatic warrior.

Waiting for a plane, so I can't type a long piece about what I've seen and been in.
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Old September 29, 2005, 05:18 PM   #5
rgoudy1975
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Why didn't the armed customer just shoot the gun out of the BG's hand?

Just kidding. Yeah, this is a tough one. I don't think I could turn my back on someone who has a BG's gun pointed at them, but getting involved could result in an innocent person getting hurt (like the clerk) when they may not have if you hadn't intervened.
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Old September 29, 2005, 05:34 PM   #6
tsavo
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I would arm myself and stay out of his way. Protect myself and not risk getting shot by the BG for 180 dollars in the cash register.
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Old September 29, 2005, 05:44 PM   #7
leadcounsel
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I want to add to my above statement:

Nobody here (unless law enforcement) has any legal obligation to stop a crime. You are perfectly within your right to turn your head and exit at the first opportunity.

That said, I think we all should feel some ethical or moral obligation, particularly as CCW permit holders who could save someones' life or livlihood, to intervene when we can safely do so, "safe" being the operative term.

I would be hard pressed to stand by in a Wendy's while armed thugs round up people to take them to their certain executions. If I remember right the 2 or 3 thugs rounded up 5 people, took them into the back, and executed them. If I saw those cards begin to get dealt, I'd rather go down shooting...

Finally, we gun owners should WANT to stop crimes when we can safely and responsibly intervene because it turns the tide in our CCW and pro-gun rights favor. Who knows, that woman you saved in the convenience store could turn out to be the next Sarah Brady if she is shot, or she could turn out to be the next PRO-gun activist if you save her with your legally carried concealed gun.

For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:07 PM   #8
wayneinFL
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I would be hard pressed to sit by and do nothing.

There are too many variables to concretely say "I would have done this" or "I would have done that" in this particular situation. You not only have to consider your backstop, you have to consider where your backstop will be if the bad guy moves, and you have to consider the bad guy's backstop if he misses you.
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:20 PM   #9
AAshooter
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Several thoughts come to mind as far as getting involved.

First, I would be trying to decide if I was about to witness a robbery or a shooting/murder. What was the bad guy's intent and if he was likely to shoot? I am not sure preventing a $300 robbery is worth a $25,000 lawsuit. The victory of right over wrong is sometimes too costly.

Second, could I exit the scene to safety? The reason I carry a firearm is for the defense of my life and those of my loved ones. I don't need to be the white knight. I don't need to risk my life and ruining the lives of my family if I should get shot, disabled or killed to defend someone who has chosen not to defend themselves. This point could be state more eloquently; however, I think you get the point. I am neither legally or morally required to step in without fully considering the risks.

Third, are you absolutely sure that the bad guy was acting alone? Are you sure that none of the other patrons in the store were working with him? Multiple gunman make the situation complex.
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:24 PM   #10
tsavo
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I agree partly with leadcounsel, except the opposite could happen where the clerk gets shot, like the situation in this thread, and it could turn the tide in a bad direction for ccw rights. I don't know about you guys, but I got my ccw so I could protect MY life and MY loved ones. If I wanted to risk my life where ever there was a crime to save innocent people I would have became a police officer. If you plan on stopping crimes like a simple hold up I suggest you look into law enforcement which would better suit you.
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:35 PM   #11
blackmind
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Tough call, yes, but I answered with the first poll option. I think that that option leaves open the possibility of the remaining three.

It might be viewed as violent, bloodthirsty vigilantism if you dropped the robber without so much as a, "FREEZE!"

Assume that you are justifying shooting the robber in court.
Would the jury understand that "forewarned is forearmed," and that forewarning the robber that you are present and ready to shoot him might cause him to preemptively:
- take the clerk hostage
- shoot the clerk
- shoot you?

While it may be tactically best, for YOUR safety, to just shoot without shouting, "DROP IT!" a jury might think, because of all the movies they've seen, that you should have done so. (Why they would think you should "give the robber a chance" is beyond me. What courtesy or advantage do you owe this guy?)

But perhaps, if one is less cynical and more optimistic, the judge would instruct the jury that there is nothing illegal about shooting an armed man who is committing a forcible robbery without first telling him a single word.

I would hope that they could be made to realize that it would jeopardize innocents to alert the robber that he faces opposition that could otherwise remain covert.

-blackmind
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Nobody here (unless law enforcement) has any legal obligation to stop a crime.
Actually, not even LEOs have an obligation.

Old thead

As far as the scenario goes, I can't say what I would do. It would be either option 1, 2, or 3, depending on the infinite variables of the real world. I would not even consider doing nothing. For me, there is no escuse for not engaging. This sort of stuff is not LEO-only.
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:39 PM   #13
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There are many pitfalls in any way this scenario goes.

The best action IMHO is to allow the bg to steal and leave if he will do so without gunplay.

I have always planned and trained to observe the bg with my weapon drawn if at all possible. Any action that portends harm by the bg, . . . gets the bg shot, . . . and yes, . . . I would probably yell at him first to try to distract him from the clerk or whatever, . . . if I could.

The first movement of his gun toward me, . . . starts the gunfight, . . . and unless my weapon misfires, . . . I will probably have out the first 2, 3, 4 or more rounds, . . . whatever it takes to convince him to desist.

I could not in good conscience do anything else, . . . but each must answer to his master.

May God bless,
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:43 PM   #14
leadcounsel
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A slight twist on the scenario: You are in a convenience store standing in line with a few others and a lone BG comes in with a 12 gauge and sticks it in the clerks face demanding the $ from the register. In anticipation that he may (1) shoot the clerk or (2) demand money from the patrons, and (3) start shooting patrons, do you act, wait, or try to leave?

Instead of watching an armed robbery, YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE ROBBED AT GUNPOINT and have a moment to anticipate and prevent it but flight is not an option... If someone were to approach you with a gun how would you react knowing that your life is in this thugs arbitrary hands and he could stick his gun in your face and end your life?

Does it matter if it's a bar or a liquor store where you're not supposed to be carrying a gun?
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:45 PM   #15
blackmind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AAshooter
First, I would be trying to decide if I was about to witness a robbery or a shooting/murder. What was the bad guy's intent and if he was likely to shoot? I am not sure preventing a $300 robbery is worth a $25,000 lawsuit. The victory of right over wrong is sometimes too costly.

When you figure out a practical, reliable, infallible method for divining what is the final intent of a violent criminal, please let us know.

I'm sure we would all love to be able to figure out whether an attacker really means to harm us after we comply by giving up our money, or if he will be content with the money alone. It would save us a lot of grief to be able to part with the money, knowing we won't be killed after we do so. But we don't have the luxury of seeing into the mind of the criminal while the crime is still in progress. We have to act based on what we think is the greatest degree of threat presented, and defend against that.

If someone threatens me with a weapon in a robbery, it is fair for me to assume he could kill me at whim, and I am justified in attempting to get him before he gets me. By presenting a weapon and robbing me, he has crossed an important line and does not deserve my presumption of his being harmless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAshooter
Second, could I exit the scene to safety? The reason I carry a firearm is for the defense of my life and those of my loved ones. I don't need to be the white knight. I don't need to risk my life and ruining the lives of my family if I should get shot, disabled or killed to defend someone who has chosen not to defend themselves. This point could be state more eloquently; however, I think you get the point. I am neither legally or morally required to step in without fully considering the risks.

You make very good points here. I am particularly sensitive to the idea that the other victim should have had the wisdom to prepare for his own defense. We who carry are put in the position of having to make a decision of whether we will let the unwisdom of such people be their downfall if we have the potential to save them even if just this one time as an exception.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AAshooter
Third, are you absolutely sure that the bad guy was acting alone? Are you sure that none of the other patrons in the store were working with him? Multiple gunman make the situation complex.

Another good point. Hopefully we would have decent situational awareness and would have a good idea of whether we were looking at one BG to take out, or one BG and two of his buddies.

-blackmind
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Old September 29, 2005, 06:59 PM   #16
Dwight55
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Leadcounsel, . . . you asked: "Instead of watching an armed robbery, YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE ROBBED AT GUNPOINT and have a moment to anticipate and prevent it but flight is not an option... If someone were to approach you with a gun how would you react knowing that your life is in this thugs arbitrary hands and he could stick his gun in your face and end your life?"

Again, . . . there are many questions to be answered. If he has a short barreled 870, I will treat him with infinitely more respect than if he has a 36 in Long Tom single shot. Likewise if he has a 1911, . . . more respect than an RG11 in .32 cal.

Can I clear leather without alerting him? Does he look like a meth head?

The only thing for sure I can tell you, . . . I know my abilities, . . . and my limitations, . . . just as soon as I can forsee the odds in my favor, . . . the bg will have one more problem he probably didn't anticipate: me. I may be on the cell phone with 911, . . . or I may be shucking 230 grainers at him, . . . but I will be doing something.

May God bless,
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Old September 29, 2005, 07:02 PM   #17
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swmike, so was the actual story not sensational enough and so you embellished the story by fabricating a title that sounded cooler than what is known to have happened? In the story and in your opening comments, it is stated that who shot the clerk isn't known, but you entitled the thread to say the customer did. Why would you do that?

Since nobody knows who shot the clerk, certainly not at the time of writing, this story has nothing to bare on the issue of knowing one's background.
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Old September 29, 2005, 07:12 PM   #18
blackmind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadcounsel
Does it matter if it's a bar or a liquor store where you're not supposed to be carrying a gun?


Ugh. Talk about damned if you do, damned if you don't.

You no doubt realized when you set up this example that if a person lives where the prosecutor (or politics) is even slightly anti-gun, you're gonna face charges, whether you saved only your own life, or even the lives of 7 customers and the clerk. That's the way these schmucks view armed self-defense. Even though the obvious facts demonstrate that the police were not in proximity to being able to swoop in and handle things, they will suggest to a jury that you should have "let the police do their job." How many times have we heard that?


All the more reason to stay out of areas where there could be trouble; and heighten your situational awareness if you must go there. (We all have to go to liquor stores at least occasionally. Keep your wits sharp when you do.)

-blackmind
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Old September 29, 2005, 08:02 PM   #19
swmike
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Oops!

Double Naught Spy--

Mea Culpa. I appologize for not reading my heading more carefully. I have edited it to reflect what I was thinking although you accurately point out it was not what I was writing.

It was not my intention to "spice it up". I was more interested in beginning a discussion on whether one gets involved in a situation like this, how they might do it, and the importance of being aware of the background.

UPDATE:

As of this evening's news, it was reported that the customer (quote: a gun enthuiast) fired on the BG hitting him 7 times. It was also reported that early findings in the investigation indicate that the clerk was hit by one of the BG's rounds. It was also stated that charges against the customer were unlikely.

BTW, Washington State Law is pretty liberal regarding Self Defense when a Felony is being committed.
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Last edited by swmike; September 29, 2005 at 08:48 PM.
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Old September 29, 2005, 09:13 PM   #20
Massan
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Well its nice to know that the customer didnt hit the clerk but 7 shots?

What ever happened to 2 torso and 1 head? :P

I myself will defitently intervene, I cannot just sit by idly and watch another person being threatened by death or bodily harm. Granted I would have snuck to a side for a clear shot and popped the BG in the head.

Edit - Hm.. Must elaborate on that, dont want to seem like a bloodthirsty mongrel.. If the BG was threatening the vic with a knife/bat/etc I would give warning first to avoid bloodshed unless the BG is able to take the vic hostage or off em before I cook a round through the BGs head. If its a gun, just take em out else if you give a warning theres a chance the BG will off the vic and start a shootout with you .
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Old September 29, 2005, 09:27 PM   #21
wayneinFL
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I recently read a story in one of the gun rags in which a cop described shooting an armed robber 9 times (missed once), in a couple of seconds. Armed robber fired back twice, inadvertently killing a little girl behind the cop. Seven shots isn't excessive, IMO, if you're in a hurry to stop somebody from killing people.

FWIW, cop seemed to deeply regret the little girl's death.

SWM, thanks for the update.
Quote:
(quote: a gun enthuiast)
Nice spin, huh?
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Old September 29, 2005, 09:33 PM   #22
AndrewTB
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If your behind the crook and hes armed and doesnt pay attention to you I think an oppurtunity of a headshot is definatley open. Although there supposedly isnt a 1 shot kill this greatly increases your chances of *dropping* the bad guy. In all cases I think id try to de-escalate the situation. In my NRA class I learned a lot about handling certain situations.
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Old September 29, 2005, 09:39 PM   #23
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i would only intervene if i felt a life was in immediate danger. i know it is a tough call. having been in corrections i would just access the situation and act. just having a gun doesn't mean he is going to fire at someone. i know how that sounds but it is true. if the robbery was going smoothly and tempers were low i would just let it happen and reduce the risk of someone getting hurt and therefore sueing my butt. :barf:
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Old September 29, 2005, 09:41 PM   #24
Massan
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Have to disagree with you on that Jeff. Think I mentioned this before in a previous post but my friends mom who owns a small resturant was robbed. Everything was fine and she handed the BG the money and the guy walked to the door, turned around and shot her in the neck for the hell of it. Now shes paralyzed neck down. I will not allow something like that to happen again, if someone is being threatened I WILL step in even if I get hurt/killed.
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Old September 29, 2005, 09:42 PM   #25
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Why pack if you are not going to use it?

The situation, is get in a position and blow them away.
Yell, drop it, I have a gun and as you are saying that, shoot one split second later. Numerous rounds at the torso. (largest target)

Train and train. The time may only come once and you had better be ready.
Someone who is doing the hold up, might be a young juvy can you live with shooting that person? Can you really live with it at all. Train your mental as well as your physcial.

If you don't have the right to carry then don't. If you chose to carry you need to be able to make the decisions. Or do not carry. Simple. If you have no guts for glory then don't do it. You must realize you might end up hurt or dead. You might end up a hero or the goat.
Experience is the key, train.

I had a buddy who went to a 711, no shooter he died because of it. Had another who had a shooter, he became a hero.

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