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Old July 9, 2013, 04:50 PM   #1
Erikbal
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Local grocery store got held up at gun point..

About a week or so ago a local grocery store that's just 2 blocks from my house got robbed at gunpoint. I frequent that store quite a bit and have my whole life. I live in NY and have my NY and PA permits. If I would've been there when it happened, I wouldn't have been able to legally do anything to help, would I? Besides calling 911 and being a good witness, is there anything else I could have possibly done, being that I would've had my gun on me? Thanks.
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Old July 9, 2013, 05:25 PM   #2
kraigwy
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Stores have insurance. I'm not sure I would use deadly force to prevent theft as long as it doesn't look like anyone is going to be hurt, even though I may be justified.

Just not worth it for a few dollars.

Lets move from NY to WY for the sake of conversation. Here I would have been totally justified in stepping in, plus if worse came to worse and I had to shoot the bandit, WY forbids civil suits if the shooting was justified. Again lets assume it was.

Bandit or not, shooting some one is going to haunt you the rest of your life, civil/criminal actions set a side, its not worth it.

I teach SD classes, (as oppose to shooting classes) that's the same story I give my students.

Its just not worth it for a few dollars. Be ready uncase things go south, but if its just money or property, just try and be a good witness.
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Old July 9, 2013, 05:33 PM   #3
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Kraig, you make awfully good points. And I agree with them. But...there are an awful lot of convenience/gas store robberies that end in violence/death. It's certainly not a given that the robber(s) will be happy with what they get and "peaceably" walk away. You, the concealed carrier, might be the only thing standing between that storekeep and death.

Not advocating anything, mind you, but merely saying that this is, in my mind at least, not simply about preventing a robbery.

I don't know how I'd react and what the long-term effects to my psyche might be if I ever had to shoot someone (even a bad guy). But I also don't know how I'd react and what the long-term effects to my psyche might be if I was in attendance at a robbery and did nothing while the bad guy ended an innocent person's life (and I had a potential shot and didn't take it). I hope never to have to learn the answer to either scenario.
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Old July 9, 2013, 05:38 PM   #4
Young.Gun.612
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I generally agree with kraig, but on this one I have a bit different of a view. If it was a simple robbery then absolutely just be a good witness. But criminals nowadays aren't what they used to be. You can't know if they'll just leave after they get the money or if they'll start shooting witnesses.

So if I had been there, and saw an armed robber pointing a gun at a clerk demanding money, I would have probably intervened. Just me though.
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Old July 9, 2013, 06:10 PM   #5
wayneinFL
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If you think someone is going to die, do what you need to do. If not, be a good witness.

IMO, when someone is threatening someone with a gun, the money is irrelevant. So, if you need to use force, use force. But if it can end peacefully without bloodshed, that's good. Even if you don't consider the crook's life, there are other people in the store who could be injured or killed if you and the robber exchange gunfire. That would weigh heavily on your conscience.

Last edited by wayneinFL; July 9, 2013 at 06:19 PM.
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Old July 9, 2013, 06:30 PM   #6
csmsss
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Quote:
If you think someone is going to die
And THAT is the $64,000 question. You don't know the guy with the gun, so there's absolutely no way to predict what he's likely to do. He's already got it pointed at one or several people, if he decides to pull the trigger, there's simply no time to stop him.

So the question by needs arises - how do you predict the behavior of an inherently unpredictable and violent person? How do you know (before it happens) when he has reached that point of no return where he starts shooting?
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Old July 9, 2013, 06:49 PM   #7
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One of my earliest training scenarios at copper school -

I "shot" an FBI agent. He was a black guy in plain clothes holding a gun on a guy dressed as a USPS carrier. I shot the plain clothes, undercover FBI guy, the mail man yelled "thanks man" and ran away. Turns out the guy dressed as a mail man was a bank robber, dressed in phoney mail man uniform, who had just robbed the bank around the corner. FBI guy was trying to make an arrest.

All on video, of course. Proved to me very early that things aren't always as they seem.


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Old July 9, 2013, 07:43 PM   #8
dakota.potts
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Friend of mine works at a CVS in a bad part of town. Refuses to work overnight.

Just two nights ago a friend of his that also works there was held up at gunpoint. He gave him the money and was shot in the head. He was grazed and released from the hospital the next day.

The guy at the BBQ restaurant that also had been held up 10 minutes earlier wasn't so lucky, as he was shot in the head and killed.

Today the police confronted the suspect thought to be involved in a parking lot, and he refused to stop. He reached in a black bag over his shoulder and turned towards the cops so they shot him twice.

If there's a gun and I can do so without immediately injuring everybody, I'm going to be very tempted to shoot.
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Old July 9, 2013, 08:09 PM   #9
4V50 Gary
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No shortage of liability. If there's no duty to engage, don't. Be a good witness.

Remember, even if the burning bush appeared in court to testify that defendant (the shooter of the deceased criminal) was acting in the right, is it worth the legal headache of a wrongful death suit?
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Old July 9, 2013, 08:09 PM   #10
Tucker 1371
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I don't think I'd shoot anyone in New York even if I had all the justification in the world. I don't know for sure but I would assume there are a horde of over zealous anti gun prosecutors up there.
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Old July 9, 2013, 09:53 PM   #11
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Generally speaking, self defense laws allow you to defend another person's life as you would defend your own. So yes, there would likely be something you could do if you felt the clerk's life was in danger, or by being present that your own life was in danger. However, for all the reasons already noted, there may be reasons not to act.

As far as I am concerned, being robbed at gun point or with any other lethal weapon stops being just a robbery and becomes a life or death scenario. The old FBI stats from around 2000 or so had it that in 87% of the cases where the victims complied with robbers, everything turned out fine (no bodily injury). Those are pretty good odds. That also meant that in 13% of the time, the intended victim or bystanders were injured or killed despite compliance.

http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/l...ath-in-robbery
http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/03/...rder-of-clerk/
http://www.macon.com/2012/07/31/2115...-lays-out.html
http://www.delawareonline.com/VideoN...ath-in-Glasgow
http://www.gainesville.com/article/2...NEWS/108988548
http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/loca...ing-900897.php

While compliance may work, it also may not work.

The point here is that it isn't an either/or situation. It isn't that you should only be a good witness or that you should intercede. That decision depends on you, what you see going on, your local laws, level of risk you are willing to assume, etc.
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Old July 9, 2013, 10:21 PM   #12
Mezzanine
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Put it this way, were not in Afghanistan. There are no rules of engagement, this situation is what i call a "Do what you think and the jury will do the same". Your future is out of your hands once you shoot that guy, if a jury says it wasnt justifiable your gonna have a lot of free time on your hands...
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Old July 9, 2013, 10:22 PM   #13
Buzzcook
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The OP hasn't said whether anyone was harmed in the robbery.

If not then escalating the situation with his gun would not be a good idea.
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Old July 10, 2013, 06:45 AM   #14
Double Naught Spy
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Put it this way, were not in Afghanistan. There are no rules of engagement,
Um, the OP clearly stated it was New York, so of course we are not in Afghanistan. However, there are rules of engagement as per use of force and use of lethal force self defense laws.
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Old July 10, 2013, 08:14 AM   #15
Glenn E. Meyer
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It is easy to opine that if there was a gun involved, you would do X, Y or Z.

I suggest that if one is a serious student - one finds and takes FOF courses that use Sims, Code Eagle, Airsoft or the like. SgtLumpy has it right.

You never know what would happen. There is an assumption by folks that:

1. You will make the magic one shot stop - never miss, never hit an innocent.
2. The BG just doesn't shoot you when you announce your challenge
3. Another good guy doesn't shoot you.
4. Oops, the BG has a backup you didn't know about. Just standing around and shoots you.

I've seen it all and been the bad guy and the good guy.

Such courses teach you as Sgt said, that it can go wrong. It also has the benefit of stress inoculation so that you don't screw up (which you might do anyway).

Unless you are almost 100% sure that YOU are at risk, most trainers would say sit it out. Money isn't worth it.

Then, we get in the ever popular argument of whether you should save others at the risk of yourself. Folks will pose glib answers. We done that into the dirt.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:09 AM   #16
csmsss
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Quote:
The OP hasn't said whether anyone was harmed in the robbery.

If not then escalating the situation with his gun would not be a good idea.
Yes, in retrospect. But when you are in the situation, there is no hindsight, no retrospection. You must base your actions on the circumstances as they unfold.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:32 AM   #17
deepcreek
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Could get risky.

You could end up fighting felony charges - You could end up in prison - You could shoot a bystander by mistake. - a friend or fellow gang associate of the robber could seek you out for revenge -

You could shoot a robber not get charged and get a free _____? pack of gum ?

Seems like big risk with little reward.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:34 AM   #18
csmsss
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You could save a life, too - maybe even several. I didn't see that on your list of possible outcomes.
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:35 AM   #19
deepcreek
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You could save a life, too - maybe even several. I didn't see that on your list of possible outcomes.
possibly.. but "things seldom turn out like the song".
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Old July 10, 2013, 10:56 AM   #20
Glenn E. Meyer
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Going through the downside and doing simulations is to point out that it isn't that easy. We've gotten over the years, many posters who state that they will pull out their gat and take out the bad guy. Then the law will say it is a 'good shoot' and they will get a parade.

One might save a life but contingencies must be studied.

That's why fun things like the NTI were great. They threw you full all kinds of contingencies. I was in a 'jewelry store' drug sale that went bad. I righteously 'shot' the bad guy and then was happily 'shot' in the back by a nice blonde lady - hidden backup. True I whirled and shot her. We then had a school yard debate whether I would have been dead before I could whirl.

With Insights - I recall a drill where the good guy actually got the drop on the bad guy and proceeded to pontificate - Freeze, drop the gun, do a river dance. While talking, the BG just shot him. In another, the robbery started and I was the bad guy. The clerk knocked me down and guess what there was his leg - so I gave him five Code Eagles in his inner thigh. I was still in the fight.

In another store, robbery - I was by the door and when the BG pulled the gun, I just ran out the door and for 100 yards. Why run so far? In another, a good guy ran out the door and stayed outside at the 'ready'. The BG ran out the door and 'shot' him. Distance is your friend.

The basic questions in a store robbery - are you willing to shoot someone over just property? Are you willing to shoot an innocent by mistake - seen that. Are you willing to die and have your family suffer the consequences for someone?

Easy to have the right answer on the Internet and say you will do X,Y or Z.
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Old July 10, 2013, 11:57 AM   #21
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The basic questions in a store robbery - are you willing to shoot someone over just property?
Good question, considering the robber showed intent, opportunity, and ability to kill the clerk with a gun. Is it then really over just property? That is the tough call that needs to be made at the time followed by how one will decide to act or not.
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Old July 10, 2013, 12:01 PM   #22
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considering the robber showed intent, opportunity, and ability to kill the clerk with a gun
That was exactly my thought when I "shot" the FBI agent in the training scenario.


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Old July 10, 2013, 12:21 PM   #23
Glenn E. Meyer
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That's the problem. Most get the money and run. So what are the odds?

Even if it a 'good' shot, you may have all kinds of consequences.

To play the what if game - to show it is complex - let's say it the robber is a kid. It's a righteous shoot but from research we did with police, even with a righteous shoot, many of them thought they would have psychological problems. Many officers in situations like that were off the force in a couple of years.

Not only you but then you get fun stuff like social shunning or harassment from people you know and strangers. It happens to your family too.

It's not an action to take lightly.
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Old July 10, 2013, 01:08 PM   #24
csmsss
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I don't think anyone's taking this lightly - in my opinion this is one of the most complex and disconcerting scenarios that could possibly confront me in my daily travels. And it's one reason I avoid these small stores like the plague. The last thing on earth I want is to face the "what if" game for real.
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Old July 10, 2013, 01:23 PM   #25
Glenn E. Meyer
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Over the years, TFL has toned down the blood lust, I'll just take him out posts. They used to be quite common.
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