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Old December 28, 2009, 02:02 AM   #1
Xanatos
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Multiple Assailants

Right before I left for leave something happened that got me thinking. It was dark and I was walking back home alone. During the past 6 months, armed robberies have been on the rise and the stories in the following morning's paper was always one guy with a gun with someone posted at a nearby intersection while the gunman also had one or two buddies watching his immediate back.

Saying I had the opportunity to draw before the first BG can bring up his gun I will most likely be in an extremely dynamic situation where I must pull the trigger because my immediate threat is the other man who's either drawing his weapon or about to. I've already made the personal decision that one will ever take any of my possessions without me putting up a fight so that's a moot point. What I'm concerned about is what about the others who haven't shown any immediate threat?

Natural survival instincts tell me that it's in my best interest to shoot anyone who is associated with the armed robber because who knows if they're armed or not and if they chose the life of crime then they chose the risks that came with that as well. Like the quote I often heard defending CC, "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."

Also, who knows if I let the other BG run away if they'll just get out of sight, pull out their own guns, and shoot me while I'm busy pulling out my phone to report the shooting. Also, if the BG happened to be gang related, their would be less likely of a blowback because there are no witnesses on their end to know what I look like and I'm sure the police would be cooperative enough to hide my identity if it was indeed a self defense shooting.

I'm wondering what the more experienced members think? If you're attacked by multiple assailants and you can get the draw, would you just eliminate the immediate threat or all possible threats?
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Old December 28, 2009, 02:50 AM   #2
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"If you're attacked by multiple assailants and you can get the draw, would you just eliminate the immediate threat or all possible threats?"

I would eliminate all possible threats (a "threat" being someone with the means, opportunity and intent to cause me serious bodily harm or death). However, I certainly wouldn't fire on any person(s) in the vicinity who "haven't shown any immediate threat?" My aim (pun intended) would be to eliminate the closest identified threat(s), and then retreat/disengage from the situation as quickly as possible (if possible) to seek cover/escape while engaging any other threats that present themselves.


I DO get what you are pondering here - if one was placed in a dynamic scenario as you describe, it would be necessary to make very grave decisions in nanoseconds. Hence, the need for advanced and frequent training in multiple assailant and varied environment shooting skills, situational awareness, stress innoculation, legal considerations, etc.

Your comment: " ...if the BG happened to be gang related, there would be less likely of a blowback because there are no witnesses on their end to know what I look like and I'm sure the police would be cooperative enough to hide my identity if it was indeed a self defense shooting."

I wouldn't count on that by any means. If you're involved in a defensive shooting situation (especially if you shoot anyone "associated" to the assailant) you should be prepared for a shatstorm of legal, psychological and social fallout.

For what it's worth........
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Old December 28, 2009, 08:32 AM   #3
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first of all I wouldn't shoot ALL accomplice's, if they were unarmed a prosecutor will have you up on murder charges ASAP. Sadly some dimwits hang with violent criminals when they themselves are not violent. Second I would just as soon give up my wallet as multiple assailants if ALL are armed your chance of getting them all isn't real good. Third I am always evaluating my surroundings and do not go to questionable neighborhoods.

Yes it can happen in the best of places in broad daylight, but using common sense will keep a person much safer and less likely to have to use lethal force. Being the victim isn't always enough to justify lethal force in the eyes of the law and especially prosecutors who most seem to take delight in twisting the facts and putting a gun owner protecting his or her life in prison. I have known a few prosticutors ( not a typo ) and lets just say none were ethical or moral.
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Old December 28, 2009, 08:56 AM   #4
OldMarksman
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Quote:
would you just eliminate the immediate threat or all possible threats?....What I'm concerned about is what about the others who haven't shown any immediate threat?
If I thought I might murder someone, and I do not, I would not say so.

Quote:
Natural survival instincts tell me that it's in my best interest to shoot anyone who is associated with the armed robber because who knows if they're armed or not and if they chose the life of crime then they chose the risks that came with that as well.
If you choose to carry a gun you will assume risks also.

Quote:
Like the quote I often heard defending CC, "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."
You probably ought to become familiar with the jury instructions in your area.
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Old December 28, 2009, 08:57 AM   #5
ATW525
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My general thought is that an attack by multiple assailants is likely a disparity of force situation whether they are armed or not. If I need to employ deadly force in that situation then any "aggressor" who doesn't clearly surrender or retreat is a valid target until I no longer feel there is a threat. Really, it's going to come down to a situationally depended judgement call in the end. Sometimes the situation might call for shooting everybody, sometimes you might need to shoot less, and still other times you might not have to shoot at all.
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Old December 28, 2009, 09:12 AM   #6
skydiver3346
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What ATW said:

That about sums it up for me. That is exactly what I would do in this type situation.
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Old December 28, 2009, 09:22 AM   #7
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Great thread

Multiple bad guys... Good chance of that happening. I'd rely on tactics, training, and observation.

The scenario is... three mopes, one with a gun robbing you, and two lookouts. well I'd probably give them my cash, and hope they just leave. If they insist on further trouble I'd probably shoot the one thats armed, and look for cover. Once behind cover I'd probably try and see what the other two was doing. Assuming that they arent armed is probably a bad idea. Even if they arent armed one could pick up their buddy's gun. If after I shoot one of them... they hang around and cause more trouble. I think I can articulate
how I was still under threat of serious physical injury, and how further deadly physical force on my part may have been needed.

Based on my experience I do believe that when a robber gets what he wants he'll leave. Giving him cash also removes some of his focus from you to the cash.
Also based on my experiences I'd say the lookouts will probably run away.
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Old December 28, 2009, 09:24 AM   #8
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+2 for ATW

Just tagging on a little addendum: In Ohio we do not have a "duty to retreat", . . . but I was taught that all prosecuting attorneys will seriously look at the threat factor.

The person who was shot, must BE a threat when the trigger is pulled (at least in the mind of the shooter).

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Old December 28, 2009, 10:39 AM   #9
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We get a multiple threat scene played for us to act upon each year during re-training. There will always be several pop ups from varying positions. One with a handgun, one with a shotgun, one with a knife, one with a hostage and one that can be anyone from the local pastor to the known felon from a past experience.

It is our call as to which to take out first, which to not harm and which would be a marginal call.

Taking out the shotgun first is always best. The knife if it is closer than the handgun and on down the line. Never take out a person without a weapon. Never take out a non threatening armed person. They may be plain clothes officer or a legal carry citizen.
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Old December 28, 2009, 10:45 AM   #10
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Seriously review your tactics.

I have been in a like situation and training kicked in.

Stop the threat!

Move to a better position where the advantage is yours (Behind a dumpster, crouched against a wall),

Assess the situation and get the heck out of there.

If you engage another target, you had better make darn sure it is another legitimate target that was a threat to you.

Plan on facing all sorts of hassles, from the prosecuting attorney to commanders who think you should not have been in the area to begin with... Your life is going to be full of stress and grief for at least six months, reguardless of the justification.

Although we all (well, most of us) feel that people like that are dirt-bags and deserve to be removed from the streets, when you start eliminating people based on their acquaintances, it quickly turns into vigilante justice and you will be hung out to dry.

Also, make sure that you honestly felt threatened by the individual. I know this sounds silly, but if you shoot someone that is not armed, you have a lot of explaining to do. If the guy you shot is only holding his finger inside his coat pocket, and has no other type of weapon on him...

Funny Story: I read in one of the law enforcement rags (this was years ago and I do not remember the name of it, and many moves later, it is gone) about a guy who tried to rob people with the old 'finger in pocket, I've got a gun' trick. He told one guy to give him his wallet and the guy said he would, but only if the robber showed him the gun. Eventually the robber gave up and tried to walk away and the 'victim' beat the holy heck out of him. (Does anyone remember what the name of the mag was and where this happened?)
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Old December 28, 2009, 12:53 PM   #11
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"If I
thought I might murder someone, and I do not, I would not say so.


Good advice!
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Old December 28, 2009, 01:10 PM   #12
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Stop the immediate threat first, then evaluate. If someone has a weapon and is close enough to use it - take him out. If there is no weapon shown, but more than one attacker, use the disparity of numbers clause. 2 (or more) of them - 1 of me = serious threat. Showing your weapon may just stop them in their tracks. "OK, boys, who wants it first?"
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Old December 28, 2009, 05:11 PM   #13
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W O W

That's one hell of a WHAT IF scenario...you start shooting everything you think is a threat you'll be dying by lethal injection. Fight,fck or hit the fence but if your going to be carrying a pistol/revolver you best put brain in gear.
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Old December 28, 2009, 07:08 PM   #14
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Gang, make sure the 'threats' are theats. Split second decisions can end up with an innocent killed.

Back when swords and knives were all they had, it took a bit of effort and time to hack a bunch of attackers to death. But with modern firearms, it can be over in a second.

Just make sure all those you think are threats really are. And that takes more effort than most realize.
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Old December 29, 2009, 12:11 AM   #15
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not sure what the scenario is here - 2 or 3 guys standing shoulder to shoulder, and all facing me down with guns pointed at me? in that case i really have no idea what i would do. die, probably.

but - if faced by multiple assailants (and i seem to remember posting this same thing a couple years ago), first move is to run, because:

1) all assailants will move at a different speed, making it easier to deal with whichever one reaches you first, or is closest, instead of all at once

2) if one or more is armed i'd rather be a moving target

3) if the one armed (or most heavily armed) is the slower runner, then the effectiveness of his firepower would be diminished by having a couple of his accomplices between you and him.

4) more-or-less single file assailants would, for obvious reasons, be more desirable than facing a wall of them (shoulder to shoulder)

5) they can't surround you. and they'll all be within your range of sight.

so you sprint for 20 yards, then turn and face them. if they don't follow, all the better. those of you who are arnold schwarzenegger will disagree, but i ain't him.
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Old December 29, 2009, 12:47 AM   #16
ATW525
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Quote:
so you sprint for 20 yards, then turn and face them.
Running is always a valid tactic if the situation allows for it. However I'm not so sure about sprinting a short distance and then turning to face them. Unless they've decided not to give chase, they are likely to overtake you.
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Old December 29, 2009, 12:23 PM   #17
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if I could sprint 20 yards, I doubt I'd be steady enough to shoot and hit what I was aiming at. even ten years ago that would have been hard for me.

I suppose I'd shoot the initial attacker and see if I could get outta dodge then call LEO's.
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Old December 29, 2009, 03:23 PM   #18
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Multiple Assailants. My thoughts

Dump the man with the gun, let the others flee, you have the right to protect your life from the immediate threat; don’t attempt to make a sort of citizen’s arrest. And for God’s sake as much as you want to DO NOT cap a fleeing felon. As for your assertion that one of the lookouts may approach and pick up dead mans weapon, remember most of these quy's are cowards and will attack only when they believe they have the upper hand.

Next find cover call 911 report shooting man down need help and medical assistance make no other statements as these will be recorded and could be released to the press and WILL be made available to the D.A.’s office.

Make no statements to the press any matter how many times they ask or how nice they appear to be, their job is to sell the news not to protect you.
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Old December 29, 2009, 05:04 PM   #19
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If I'm attacked by multiple assaliants, I'll shoot-to-kill just as many as I need before I can safely run away.
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Old December 30, 2009, 03:30 AM   #20
Xanatos
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Thanks for all your responses. Judging from the variety of different responses the only real consensus seems to be shoot only as much as necessary to keep me alive whether that's just the original shooter or everyone involved if they make a threatening move.

One point that was brought up which confused me was the person trying to mug someone with a pointed finger under a jacket and then the victim being sued in court for shooting him. I feel since the victim could have no method of confirming whether or not the suspect had a weapon, he would be safe in believing what the suspect wanted him to believe (that the finger under the jacket was a gun) and therefore any self-defense after that point should be viewed in the same light as if the suspect had clearly shown him a gun.

I know if someone tried to mug me with the finger under the jacket I'd warn them that I am conscious of the fact that I have a loaded gun pointed at me, pull my wallet out, and in the process of handing it to him "accidentally" let it slip and immediately draw and open fire (unless he can make it clear while I'm drawing that he surrenders). Like I said earlier, I've already made the decision that no one will ever take anything I rightfully own away from me, whether it's $5 or $5,000.
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Old December 30, 2009, 07:20 PM   #21
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Definetly a good thread. Often it takes a few idiots putting all their courage together to do something like rob someone. But its going to come down to the situation. If you get the draw and take out the armed assailant, and the others are not visibly armed, I would RUN! 95% chance the other guys will be running too, but I would run until I either found good cover or people then call 911. Its surprising how hard it is for even trained marksman to hit a moving human size target. Unless you have something to lose by running etc family/property (and property can be replaced) I would be taking off the first time I though I had half a chance.
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Old January 2, 2010, 01:12 PM   #22
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You are in an ambush situtaion. For centuries the approved tactic is to fight your way out of the kill zone. Take down number 1 and fight past others until you can take cover, move and only shoot aggressors. Reality is staying put is death.
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Old January 3, 2010, 07:30 PM   #23
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Some things you can train for but because of all the branches and squeal possibilities you can not train for every aspect of it. The question of multiple threats is very open ended and leads to many more questions. While you can train for this type event it would not be likely that you would ever be fully prepared.
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Old January 3, 2010, 09:03 PM   #24
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First off...know the laws in your state.

Far too much Internet advice is dispensed with the perspective of a certain state or county.

And therefore, being largely in-valid to anyone outside that particular jurisdiction.

Last edited by orionengnr; January 3, 2010 at 09:18 PM.
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Old January 3, 2010, 10:40 PM   #25
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You might check up on Bernard Goetz, a NYC man who shot multiple assailants on the subway back around 1985, his tribulations may still be occuring to this day. In a nutshell, he was crucified for his self-defense.

While I personally believe we should all walk in no fear of any miscreant, and have an obligation to society to defend ourselves, the reality can be something different when the lawyers and victims get together afterward.

For $5 in my pocket, I'd rather not have to go through such ordeals.
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