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Old March 21, 2009, 02:04 PM   #1
flippycat
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Awoken with "possible" gunfire sounds, mistakes made?

The questions before I start.

We should of called police sooner?
Was I right that at no point in this I felt any need to go for a firearm?
Should I have felt the need?
Am I right to assume that I felt that we were all safe and secure enough out of immediate danger to need a weapon in hand?
edit: Just wanted to add this detail in, we were below window level and our townhouse is all brick.The best possible safe location I thought in our home.
Was me feeling the fact that my sons we about to be experiencing something out of the normal a possible motive for me not instinctively reaching for a firearm when I got out of bed to save them from any further confusion or fear when we ran our practiced drill in a real situation?



And what transpired:

So last night about 2 am my wife and I laid down for bed, we had just got done watching movies with our boys and one was on the couch watching tv still half asleep and one had went to his room. Ages 10 and 17.

It was no more then 20 minutes later I was not fully asleep yet and woke to a muffled POP POP POP POP ....pause POP POP POP

My wife jumped just as quick as I did. We both yelled is that gun fire jumping out of bed.

I knew it was outside and I knew it was coming from the townhouse parking lot next to us as our bedroom window faces it. It did not sound like it was outside though but maybe from inside of a car or the building because it did sound muffled if that makes sense. Sort of EXACTLY like it sounds when you walk up to an inside ranges building you can hear it outside but it is muffled.

I ran to my sons room and told him to get on the ground, my wife ran to the living room and had our son get to the ground off the couch where she moved him to the hallway.

As I exited my older sons room he followed me to the hallway where he joined my wife and younger son.

Again we all heard it POP POP POP POP POP POP in rapid succession but it sounded slightly different but still loud.

I went to the sliding glass doors low and slid the phone to my wife across the living room floor to the hallway. In a kneeling position I pushed the curtain back and opened the door and moved to the balcony just enough where I saw a car with no lights on moving slow through the parking lot then stop. I also noticed my neighbors car in our parking lot running with the door open and him with a flashlight exiting his car about 50 feet from us.

My wife still with phone in hand joins me in a low position on the balcony were we both then see the car speed off with no lights on. She goes back inside to boys.

At this point my neighbor briskly walks to the next lot with a small flashlight in hand.

I told my wife " hold on a second before we call the police, I said maybe it was not gun shots ...I think it was something else maybe I don't know and the neighbor is walking over there?"

She goes in to the kids and I stand now to see if I can see more of what is going on. I can see my neighbors flashlight still moving around about 40 yards from me now. Any second now I believe I will see the police show up as I know we were not the only ones who could of heard this.

About I don't know, 3 minutes goes by and my neighbor starts to walk back where I ask "what is going on here man?"

He says " listen all I know is there is two cars over there with windshields broken out and some heavy damage, I was sitting here getting ready to head off to work when I heard the popping and I got low until it stopped."

I asked if he called the cops and he did not answer me and got into his car and left?

My wife was to the side of the sliding glass doors and heard what transpired. I walked back and and said *** was that about he did not even answer me?

Still though NO cops yet? We do not live in a bad area and the cops are called when kids skateboard late at night so I am not understanding this.

I believe a total of about 15 minutes has transpired now we talked to the boys and basically said we did not know what it was but that you guys did GREAT in this! I go to the computer and grab my towns police site, I opted to not call 911 and rather call the station directly because honestly I still had no idea what really just took place besides the loud popping noise we heard, the car we saw and what our neighbor told us.

At this point I do have my scanner on and am monitoring what is going on.
The police show up about 15 minutes later, spot lights on and we here them talking and confirm what we already knew about the damaged cars, the station had called my phone and said the officers would like us to give a statement on what we heard or saw. So we met outside,she asked us a few questions took our information and she informed us that it looked like it was a personal attack as both cars were damaged with what looks like to be baseball bats and registered to the same owner who actually does not even live near our area.

They were in the building interviewing possible witnesses and from what we gathered from the scanner no one saw or heard anything. So she left contact cards on both vehicles.

So the popping sound was bats on glass and glass "exploding". Without looking like too much of a noisy neighbor I snapped two pics this morning.

</br>
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Last edited by flippycat; March 21, 2009 at 03:10 PM.
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Old March 21, 2009, 02:50 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
We should of called police sooner?
Yes.


Quote:
Was I right that at no point in this I felt any need to go for a firearm?
Should I have felt the need?
If I heard what I thought were gun shots in the middle of the night, you can bet your Elmo jammies I'd have my gun out and ready.

Quote:
Am I right to assume that I felt that we were all safe and secure enough out of immediate danger to need a weapon in hand?
I wouldn't have felt very safe. Bullets don't stop at walls and it takes about 3 nanoseconds to kick your door down.


Quote:
Was me feeling the fact that my sons we about to be experiencing something out of the normal a possible motive for me not instinctively reaching for a firearm when I got out of bed to save them from any further confusion or fear when we ran our practiced drill in a real situation?
Only you can answer that question.

Quote:
Still though NO cops yet? We do not live in a bad area and the cops are called when kids skateboard late at night so I am not understanding this.
I'd guess that getting called every time a kid is skateboarding at night may have something to do with the slow response time.

"Ah jeez, some kids making noise over on XYZ street again.... Car 2, take a look when you get a chance..."
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Old March 21, 2009, 03:09 PM   #3
isanchez2008
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Quote:
We should of called police sooner?
Heck yes. You pay taxes don't you? Call them as soon as you can.

Quote:
Was I right that at no point in this I felt any need to go for a firearm?
Can't say you were right or wrong but I sure as heck would have grabbed a firearm on the way to my kids.

Quote:
Am I right to assume that I felt that we were all safe and secure enough out of immediate danger to need a weapon in hand?
Pop pop noises in the middle of night makes you feel ursafe nd secure??? Might have to call you on that. Just because you live in a neighborhood where your most common problem is late night skateboarders doesn't mean those aren't gun shots.

Quote:
Was me feeling the fact that my sons we about to be experiencing something out of the normal a possible motive for me not instinctively reaching for a firearm when I got out of bed to save them from any further confusion or fear when we ran our practiced drill in a real situation?
Not sure I understand this question. It might not be instinct but if you train enough grabbing your well placed firearm on the way to securing your family may become second nature
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Old March 21, 2009, 05:12 PM   #4
Keltyke
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In general, you done good - but you ask some specific questions.

Quote:
We should of called police sooner?
Yes. At the first set of pops, you should have been on the phone. "I hear what I believe is gunfire outside. I'm afraid for my and my familys lives. Reporting "gunfire" will get a faster response than reporting a "skateboard". Stating that you're in fear of your life sets the stage if you DO need to do anything.

Quote:
Was I right that at no point in this I felt any need to go for a firearm?
If I hear what I believe is gunfire around my house, I WILL arm myself immediately. Doesn't mean I have to shoot, just that I am ready to do so. If you THINK you need a gun, then you DO need a gun.

Quote:
Am I right to assume that I felt that we were all safe and secure enough out of immediate danger to need a weapon in hand?
No. Most wooden private-residence doors will yield to a couple of well-placed kicks, and a sliding glass door is even easier, especially with a baseball bat. If the hall is central in your house, it's a reasonable "bunker" area, but a better place would be a room that can be kept dark with only one lighted access. For example, a bedroom at the end of a hall.

Quote:
Was me feeling the fact that my sons we about to be experiencing something out of the normal a possible motive for me not instinctively reaching for a firearm when I got out of bed to save them from any further confusion or fear when we ran our practiced drill in a real situation?
If you've run the drill enough, you (and their) reactions will be instant and instinctive. For example, you yell "COVER - INTRUDER". Your wife grabs the phone and kids and bunkers down. You grab a firearm and bunker with them. While you're watching the entry point, she's calling the LEOs. NEVER go looking to see what's going on if it means leaving your secure area. NEVER attempt to clear the house if you believe there is an intruder. This is a job even professionals don't like to do, and is VERY dangerous for them, much less an untrained civilian. EVERYTHING in your house is replaceable - your lives aren't.
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Old March 21, 2009, 06:15 PM   #5
troy_mclure
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something else to think on, your place is probably just brick faced, even a 9mm will shatter a brick pretty good. anything more "potent" will likely punch right on thru.
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Old March 21, 2009, 06:48 PM   #6
vytoland
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looks like somebody got caught eating the wrong donut
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Old March 21, 2009, 08:05 PM   #7
flippycat
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Thanks guys for your input, we did a lot of reflecting today about it before and after reading what was posted here.

We basically came to some of the same conclusions also especially about making the call.

I actually had to fix the phone jack in the bedroom today so we could have a phone a tad closer to us at night.

First thing my older son asked me today when we talked about it was dad why didn't you grab a gun?

I told him to expect it if a situation arises like that in the future.

I think the majority of what went down the way it did can be attributed to exactly what you guys said.

Only recently was I able to give my wife some education in regards to firearms so they are new to be an open subject in the house. Though I always had one, it was kept in the back of a closet and di not come out really.

If you read some of my first posts here you can get some more insight into the whole renewed aspect of why they made an appearance again in my lifestyle. I guess 6+ years of them not being considered has made me a tad out of the loop as far as remembering them as a tool in that kind of situation.

We also have decided to reassess our drill routine. As you guys are right I should not of "went to see what was up" and stayed to be sure we were all still safe and secure until the police went to see what was up.

I just was not sure 100% if what I heard was really what I heard so I did not want to make a report of gunfire to the police if there really wasn't any. But for real it was such an intense sound anyone who heard it would of said the same thing that is gun fire.
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Old March 22, 2009, 09:49 AM   #8
chopz
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i would not have gone for a gun. if i was awoken by a string or 2 of shots being fired i'd immediately conclude that 1) the shooter wasn't gunning for me (if he was he was a really bad shot) and 2) the guy had a really poor ability to approach me discreetly. if he was gunning for me and was outside my house shooting holes in it, might be a different story.

a while back i was awakened in the middle of the night by 2 or 3 pairs, like double taps. i got up, went into my living room and heard another pair of bangs. the sound was muffled enough that i figured maybe they were a couple hundred yard away. i called the police right away. my first thought was that someone might have been down by the river (past the end of my street, maybe a half dozen houses away), either screwing around or poaching. i figure, what are they gonna do, go house-to-house? so i never felt as if i were in any danger, except maybe by some random stray bullet coming through a wall. and the chances of that happening at that range are really kind of miniscule. and there's no way to use a firearm to defend against such a thing as a stray bullet from down the street. if there was somebody out there, even if they were in a neighbor's yard, what am i gonna do - start trying to return fire or shoot him out an open window? that would have been a bit unwise.

also, i think i need help on how to conjugate the verb "awake."
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Old March 22, 2009, 10:23 AM   #9
chris in va
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Quote:
i would not have gone for a gun
Curious as to why? What would it hurt to have one handy?
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Old March 22, 2009, 11:44 AM   #10
djohn
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We had a experince sorta like that but is was midday when My wife and kids and I where visiting my parents at there house.They have marsh land about 25 yrds off the back yrd that when the tide is high the water levels are high enough for small motor boats.The water comes in the yrd at times and infact my father built a boat dock and we had a row boat for recreational fun and note that the land is Also protected by DEP so the most they where allowed is a boat and dock.Now We where all outside sitting and the kiddies where playing in the yrd.Now the wildlife in the marsh land was incredible From Ducks,Canadien geese,Swans and there babys and all sorts of fury things out there.We just got done feeding the ducks,swans and there young off the dock,then shortly after we hear gun shots with out a doubt gun shots and then comes a small motor boat with two guys in there boat firing shot guns in the direction of a maine road.The first thing I told the kids in the house now in fact every one went in except me watching them while I called the police on my cell but they already received calls and where looking in to it.I replied that they should not have to look to hard because there almost in the back yrd and gave them my moms address.by they time they showed up they speed away.That put a damper on just about everyones day.No one wanted to be outside the rest of the day they feared the guys with guns would return or are still out there.On a side Note I was packing but was in No hurry to draw out a weapon,that would have just made me look paranoid and foolish.

Last edited by djohn; March 22, 2009 at 11:54 AM.
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Old March 23, 2009, 12:50 PM   #11
Vanya
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Yeah, you definitely should have called the police right away. I'm trying to get this into my head, too -- if in doubt, call -- after a couple of incidents outside my house in which, by the time I decided to call the cops, they'd arrived after someone else's call. Neither was gun-related: one was a drunk in the street, late at night, shouting (and in some danger from traffic), and the other was a bunch of, um, young persons yelling at each other. Both times I thought, yeah, dummy, if you even thought about it, you should've called. And both times people were cuffed and taken away.

But if I heard pop-pop-pop, I'd be calling, unless it was the week before the 4th of July. I wouldn't be trying to decide if it was gunfire or not: let the police sort it out. And if I even thought it might be, I'd be going for the gun myself.
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Old April 3, 2009, 09:06 PM   #12
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Call police?

Ditto to what Peetzakilla said.........
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Old April 8, 2009, 07:17 AM   #13
JustKev55
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Call Police

If I called the police everytime I heard what I am 99.99% sure is gunfire even after dark here I'd call them so often we'd be on a first name basis. It's not a year round thing but during warmer weather it starts and then as hunting season approaches it increases considerably. During daylight hours it's no big deal. After the sun goes down it makes you wonder why any legitimate gun owner would be shooting. It's from far enough away that pinpointing an exact location would be difficult, at best, since I'm inside when I hear them. Even outside, I'm sure I'd only be able to have a little more generalized direction. That all being said, if I heard what I suspected to be gunshots in other areas of the country that I have lived in I would be dialing 911 while I was checking my firearm to be sure it was loaded especially if my kids were in the house.
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Old April 8, 2009, 07:54 PM   #14
Hellbilly5000
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man if someone knocks on my door and wakes me up i grab a gun before i look and see who it is. not to mention if i here odd noises outside
my neighbors are used to seeing my head pop out a door and a gun in my hand
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Old April 11, 2009, 05:08 PM   #15
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My dog usually hears this stuff before I do, and anytime she wakes me up I grab my shotgun and go to condition 1, safety on. My bedpartner is ready with the phone, but usually we just wait a few minutes and go back to bed, sometimes she makes me "check all the doors again" and I take the gun with just in case, in the "alert" stance.
Sure, if I didn't instinctively grab the weapon and rack the slide, I wouldn't have to unload and reload it before bed... but the one time that I need it I'll be glad I did.
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Old April 17, 2009, 07:17 AM   #16
ChCx91
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That is something that you can call the police for. I always get "Check Location For..." calls with no miscellaneous service request with no descriptions of suspect(s). Sometimes they are valid and sometimes they are not. There is no problem with calling the police for unknown troubles. You did all you could in your ability to initially investigate what was happening. Police do not expect the average citizen to leave the house and walk around looking for what caused gunfire-like noises; you are expected to do what you did. You could explain to the 911 dispatcher that you heard the shots, observed an unknown vehicle leaving the incident location at a high rate of speed with no lights on. What MOST LIKELY HAPPENED was an entering auto in progress. Hell, if you would have called the police and they caught the perps who did it, you would have probably been awarded a department commendation. (well our department sometimes gives those out to the citizens that help)

But your decision and actions are not wrong. You were alert and the saftey of your family came first. That was very good reaction on your part and in the future you are fully justified in calling the police. Police are used to false alarms and recieve them COUNTLESS numbers of times. It goes with the job, but you have to understand one thing that we all think about too; there WILL be an instance where one of those "alarm" or "check location" calls are going to be valid. There is no such thing as a "boy who cried wolf" when it comes to 911. There is always certain protocol to follow on a call, whether it be valid, prank or misnotion.
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Old April 17, 2009, 08:20 AM   #17
ilbob
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I hear fireworks (illegal here) pretty regularly. Some sound a lot like gunfire, especially from a distance. I don't call the cops because I don't care if people light off a few illegal firecrackers and even if they were gunshots, I can't tell from the sound where they are coming from.

Once I heard what I thought was a shotgun being discharged. Did not call on that one either.
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Old April 17, 2009, 08:28 AM   #18
Dragon55
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8 seconds

.... is my best time thus far to grab my gun from my nightstand and grab my clip from a hidden area in my desk and rack a round. This is what would have happened at my home if I thought I heard gunfire.
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