View Full Version : Scenario - Sheltering a DV Victim

April 7, 2002, 11:24 PM
Hope its OK that my first post is a scenario, here goes:

You are letting an aquaintence stay in your home as shelter from her abusive boyfriend. At 11:00pm Your renter knocks on your backdoor saying that a stange man was just hiding in the bushes looking into the main house window. After the renter verbally confronts the man he runs in a easterly direction (The house is curently being added onto, sits on 1.5 acres and has several vehicles parked througout) . The aquaintance fears this may be her X boyfriend and alerts you that he has been known to carry a gun. Of course you call the police immeadiately.
The cavalry arrives with the Police Helicopter searching the area, 10 minutes later they find a guy (with FLIR) about 300 yards from the main house in a wooded area, a crusier pulls up and takes the guy into custody. The police run the guy for wants and warrants finding nothing, the guy is released on foot and leaves the scene. The police call the house informing you that a man was found (who was in fact the x-boyfriend) but they had nothing on him so he was released. The cavalary get on their horse and leave. What do you do?

April 8, 2002, 07:51 AM
turn on all the outside lights, inform neighbors that a "loose nut" is in the area, and keep defensive weapons ready. Next business day, go for the retraining order, just so you have the "official court docs" that the "ex" is a threat.

IMHO, most retraining orders aren't worth the paper printed on, but you gotta have it, in case SHTF.

April 8, 2002, 08:19 AM
Part 2:

You tell the woman who had previously been sleeping on your couch to sleep in your bed so that you will only have one front to defend. You both go to bed. About 2 hours later you are awoken by a noise in or around the house.

April 8, 2002, 12:46 PM
Let loose the "hell hounds" from the back yard, grab flashlight and hand cannon....
Stand Ready It could get very exciting in a few seconds.......

Dave R
April 8, 2002, 07:23 PM
In all likelihood, my dog will handle it.

If the dog alarms, go to General Quarters. If the ex makes it past The Dog, he has already done something illegal, and probably cost me my dog. Be prepared to make a visual ID (lights, camera, action). Once ID has been made, call 911. Warn the ex that he is not welcome, and is trespassing (from a great distance, if possible),and that 911 has been called. If the ex attempts forced entry, warn about B&E. If the ex succeeds in gaining entry before LEOs arrive, warn about fear for your life. Resist as necessary.

I don't believe in brandishing, as there is fear that may be considered as escalating the conflict. If the ex attacks, then use force necessary to stop the attack, with CCW as the last course.

How'd I do?

April 8, 2002, 08:31 PM
If it wasn't obvious this is a real life scenario which happened in January to a close friend of mine.
They found him the next morning shot 3 times (2 chest 1 head), and the woman was missing.
From what we know at this point it appears the Ex entered through the new construction (upstairs) and knocked out a plywood partition into the attic (possibly earlier in the day), then entered the attic and made his way to the pull down stairs which led to the living room. He dropped in from the attic and made his way to the bedroom where a gunbattle ensued, both .357. Six rounds were fired from the homeowner and 5 from the intruder, 3 hitting the homeowner. Walking from the living room you must jog to the left to enter a 6-8 ft hallway which leads straight to the beedroom, facing the bedroom door and approx 3 ft to the left is a door which leads to the garage. All 6 homeowner rounds hit that door in about a 24" diameter group. It appears the intruder may have been able to back into a corner and avoid all incoming fire by mere inches. The intruder may have possible been able to put his arm around the corner and fire into the bedroom. First shot was below the left nipple down and to the right striking a vertabrae and resting just below the skin, second shot was a few inches above the belt line up and to the left. The 3rd and final hit was to the top of the head exiting below the right eye. There was 2 holes in the floor near his head where he lay, I presume a hit and a miss.
We figure that first hit sent him back and the 2nd was while he was down and the 3rd was an execution.
A couple of things that I think about alot are 1. would he still be dead if he wasn't armed? 2. The Police had this guy and let him go. 3. The gun he was killed with was a $50 gun bought from a homelss guy.

Something to think about.....

April 9, 2002, 12:46 AM
Sheesh, this is a difficult scenario to effectively deal with. The main reason is, most people (including me) would probably do no different than your friend. Hind-sight is 20/20 vision so most solutions to the "problem" would factor that in (should've left the house if it was that easy to gain entry; should've been alert, etc.) but in all honesty, this is scenario AND a half and I personally have no idea how to approach this one.

April 9, 2002, 05:25 AM
I was going to post that this is a darn dangerous position to put yourself into, Yelf, but your friend found this out. I don't know if time and resources prevented it or what, but taking a DV vicitm to a shelter or hiding her in the local motel is the best bet. I have seen some ugly things happen to guys who "were just trying to help." Helping is fine, but tying a pork chop around your neck and playing with rabid dogs is bad mocus.
And in the end, if they don't kill them or something, the women routinely return to the batterer, leaving the Samaritan feeling stupid. I base this on 23 years at my LEO job.

Covert Mission
April 9, 2002, 05:52 AM

I'm sorry for your friend. He tried to do the right, decent thing and it got him killed. When I read your first post, my thought was "This is a real story" and "this could end very badly". Jhp147 is right...

Sometimes one must come to the rescue at great personal risk, because there is no other choice, but in these situations, as one said here, you don't want to "tie a pork chop around your neck" and then go to sleep, when you already know the bad guy knows where you are.

I had a close call like this of sorts. Years ago, my (ex)girlfriend and i were driving at night (foggy night) and I heard something. "STOP the car!" i said. Rolled down the window, and could hear a woman out in a field off the road, screaming for help. I ran out there, and as I got closer, through the fog I could see the outline of a man standing over a woman on the ground, yelling, "you b*tch, I'll kill you..." He hadn't seen me, so I picked up a thick 3' tree limb from the ground, approached, and ordered him to back off. He looked up, started towards me swearing, and I started swinging the log, telling him I would knock his head clear off if he tried me.

I picked up the woman and half-dragged her to the car (he didn't follow closely, but cursed me the whole time)... she was hysterical. got her in, drove off with her sobbing, and took her home to her mom's house, and rang the bell.

Her mom comes out, and... here's the punch line... says "OH NO. Not again!"
This girl had been a regular punching bag for the scumbag boyfriend, and then would go back to him each time. And I risked my neck for that. Not my job. Do I regret doing it, in hindsight? No, but I'm darned glad it turned out ok, and it could have ended like your friend's story.

Be safe.

April 9, 2002, 08:19 AM
True similar incident (that turned out much better):

While conducting a CHL class in a semi-rural area one Saturday afternoon, a very distraught lady approached our building and asked if she could "hide here for a while and use your phone to call a friend".

It seems she had jumped out of the car driven by her abusive spouse and had been hiding in the bushes until an opportunity came along to make her way to the closest haven - which happened to be our classroom next to indoor gun range. She was so upset that she did not even realize what type of business she had stumbled into.

The friend she was needing to reach was unavaible and she spent almost 3 hours with 6 or 8 of us while peering out a small window as her spouse continued to look for her along the road, never so much as even pulling into our driveway. Once she realized where she was, she commented, "You know, I feel feel very comfortable in here!".

Altho we offered repeatedly, she never did request to call the authorities. Shortly after dark (and her spouse ceasing "cruising"), she accepted a ride with a CHL student, who took her to another location of her choice.

April 9, 2002, 08:29 AM
There is alot to this story, but it's typical DV type stuff. My friend left for the weekend and dropped the woman off at a DV shelter on his way out of town. His friends and family were quite concerned over the situation. The woman pursued him, we listened to ~10 voice mails on his cell phone from that weekend essientially begging for help. When he got back in town Sunday night she got ahold of him and he let her come over. Later that night is when all of this happned.
There was a week long manhunt and she came wandering out of the woods about day 6. Not suprisingly she was re-kidnapped and a police chase ensued with her as the driver, only to have them run off into the woods together. This was after this woman attended the funeral! The area they were in was a lake/river getaway and my friend had a trailer in a park there (the woman lived there, this is how they met) so they steal the dead man's canoe and ride the river. They are spotted and the police close in finally capturing them after 20 days. Both are in jail, the woman for harboring. Books aren't written like this!

April 9, 2002, 11:11 AM
This is indeed a very bad situation, and I feel for you and your friend. As I understand your posts, she was the victim of DV, got beat up/ threatened, etc. Your friend takes her to DV Shelter, she calls him repeatedly while he is gone. He returns, she calls again, comes over, and then your friend is murdered. She leaves with abuser/murderer (by choice or force, unknown), and then is canoeing, driving with abuser, etc.
I have never understood why DV victims keep returning to the abusers. No one has to be a punching bag for someone else.

I am willing to help a victim of DV, with some caveats. "I will take you to the hotel or shelter, but I am calling police FIRST. If you are not willing to make police reports, etc, I cannot help you." The same would apply to an immediate family member in this spot.

April 9, 2002, 06:42 PM
Yep that's a pretty accurate accounting. He had helped out a few homeless people in the past by putting them up in hotels and giving them work. I honestly think he liked the company and didn't want to turn her away.
I think about all the things that could have made this turn out differently.

April 10, 2002, 03:55 PM
Many cops I've spoken to all seem to regard 'domestic violence' situations as very dangerous. It would seem like the prudent thing to do would be to house the victim anywhere but in your house, aye, what?

April 10, 2002, 04:22 PM
Yelf, first off sorry about your friend :(

Some times there isn't much we can do on the matter. I can't pick my family, but if a relative needed help, who won't let your sister/aunt/cousin/nephew/etc. stay with you because of an abusive SO or parent/guardian?

While I won't feel bad about turning down a stranger (don't know what I am getting in to), or even a loose loose acquaintance, I probably won't turn down a semi-close friend and especially not family. If a shepherd isn't going to stand up for the sheep in the family or among friends, they might as well not have their guns at all.

April 10, 2002, 09:18 PM
I agree with you, while in this case it was an aquaintence, it very well could of been his daughter.
Thanks for everyone's sympathy, although that's not what my post intended to instill.
I guess I wanted others to realize that no matter how you think you will react in a situation and what you think ( or hope) the outcome may be, it's a coin toss. There are so many variables that determine the outcome.
Hopefully the good guys beat out the bad guys, but this is an example of that not being the case.

April 10, 2002, 09:27 PM
I wish there were no variables. Tactical me with the Benelli 12 gauge (with sidesaddle, tac sling, tac light, ghost ring sights with tactical tritium inserts) and a Beretta 92G (with trigger job, tritium inserts, stainless steel guiderod) and extra magazines, hours of training and even more hours of shooting steel targets every weekend's ass can still be grass by a bad guy running away and shooting over his shoulder with a .22 scoring a lucky hit.

As is taught, the best way to win a gunfight is not to get into one, but sometimes you gotta do what ya gotta do, and do your best, and if the Lord wants to pull your plug, that's all she wrote :(

I guess all this practice and tactical doodads just tilt the odds in your favor, but in the end, it's still a coin toss :(

April 11, 2002, 05:03 AM
First thing, get a long gun. AR, M1A, Benelli M1; doesn't matter. If you know your threat is armed, you'd better have way more firepower than him. In this fight, an AR with 30 rounds would've put down far more fire and given your friend slightly better odds.

Second, I would try and find a location that gives me better control of the ground. From your description, he had to defend too much territory. The ideal would be a second or third story room with only one staircase leading up. That's one field of fire to cover. If the bad guy tries to come up, he comes up a nice bullet highway.

Third, he needed to have a backup gun available. Six rounds go fast in a fight. If he knew that he had a threat, why did he go with only six rounds? Crazed psycho ex-boyfriend in my neighborhood, and I'll have every handgun and long gun in my house within reach and fully charged.

Your friend tried to do the right thing, and unfortunately, the bad guy won. It's a hard lesson, but having a gun does not mean that you're going to prevail: it only gives you the chance to fight back.

April 11, 2002, 10:28 AM
I'd be willing to bet that from the time this guy's feet hit the floor till the time he was out the door that 45 secs hadn't elapsed. There was 2 speed loaders within arms length of the victim and it appears that at least one of his rounds was fired while on his back. I'm not sure any amount of firepower would have changed the outcome. I beleive he was thinking about defending one front by bringing the woman into his room. The upstairs was actually the add on btw.
An interesting note, we were told by a cop that reviewed the FLIR tape that it appeared that when the bad guy got up from laying down it looked like there was a small hot spot on the ground (possibly the gun). They sent officers over to investigate but the hot spot disappeared quickly and they couldn't find anything.

Has anyone ever known anyone shot or witnessed someone shot with a .357 mag? I would think the first hit would put a large man on his back.

April 11, 2002, 11:13 AM
As much as we like to play Online Commando, we kind of have to realize the rest of the world (99.9999999999999995% of the ppl out there) aren't as 'tactical' as us, and really, it's hard even to get a like-minded group like US to agree on something (no no no a .223 is better, no it's not a 12ga is better, no no no you're wrong, you're all wrong).

Your friend did the best he could under his circumstances, doing what he thought was the Right Thing. As 'tactical' as we think we are, sometimes we'll go to a class, and realize we've been thinking wrong all a long. C'mon, I'm sure a lot of us used to think (and some still think): "I'll get a pump gun instead of an auto because I'll rack the slide and they'll go running the other way", when we're taught here on the boards that it just gives away your position, etc. etc. etc.

Every time I go to a class, or read something on the boards based on some of the people's here's experiences (including yours) I realize to myself, 'C'mon ya littla Chinaman, it don't matter how many toys you got, you can still get your ticket punched even if you buy $1000 worth of guns a month.'


April 11, 2002, 11:25 AM
People react differently to being shot. I've heard of some guys messing up their undies and dropping their weapon by merely hearing a shot. Others, like Platt and Matix in the '86 Miami Massacare, can take multiple hits from handguns and shotguns and still fight to their last breath.

Despite what you hear in a gunshop, a 357 Mag hit may not even phase a determined attacker.

I think "shoot until the threat ends" is really good advice.

May 5, 2002, 11:08 AM
In thinking about how to change the result of this encounter, two things come to mind. First, a bulletproof vest may have saved your friend's life. In this situation where you know the guy is lurking about, you could put on a level 2 vest when the cops let the boyfriend go and just sleep in it.

A second item of technology that wouldn't have been determinative in this scenario the way it played out, but might have changed your friend's strategy, would be if he had a pair of night vision goggles handy. If he could see in the dark, maybe he would have lain in wait in the living room and ambushed the bad guy rather than being trapped in the bedroom.

Neither vests nor night vision goggles are cheap, but you can get both for less than the cost of a new SIG Sauer. You can also buy unissued police bullet proof vests relatively cheap. These are generally level 2 vests. The price of vests increases as the protection increases.

Other people have suggested dogs and a good rifle, carbine, or shotgun as other aids. I think those are excellent suggestions.

Baba Louie
May 8, 2002, 06:50 PM

I tend to lurk a lot and write little, but this thread opens up a thought that's been running thru my head regarding Home Defense.

What are rules number 2 and 4? Muzzle coverage and final bullet direction/placement?

I kinda work in the construction industry and have inspected a lot of modern construction. Walls are what? Sheetrock over studs in most areas around here. Some may be CMU, but these are rarely found in interior single family residential applications.

Shooting straight down a hall when someone is hiding around the corner of a pair of panels comprised of parallel studs (@ 16" o.c.) and 2 - layers of gypsum bd. each, presents a very simple solution in some manners. A series of wooden studs running parallel to your shot will interrupt the trajectory of your bullet to a large degree. Not good. Neither is shooting at nothing.

Stepping into the room next to you (left or right, depending on where the assailant is hiding), again, assuming that he is hiding just around the corner with his C.O.M at about 42" above the floor. If you "have to" consider breaking both of the above rules, you may now "have to" shoot thru 2 - layers of sheetrock.
(I know, shooting at something you can't see is verboten we are taught) Cheating to win comes to mind.

Same concept when using your house for cover. Doors and windows have a little framing on each side of them, but unless you live in a brick or stone house, the wall is usually (again, around here) stucco over metal lath, some insulation and sheetrock on the interior face of the wall. Sometimes a layer of 3/8" plywood sheathes the studs for shear purposes.

Most residential doors are also built of inconsequential, thin materials. Some may have steel or solid wood panel doors.

What would your firearm do to someone hiding on the other side of that wall if you shoot through the wall? Which round is preferred and why?

Now that I've read the ungodly horrible scenario (real life can suck sometimes huh?), I may have to walk around the house thinking a little differently when home defense is concerned.

I've designed a couple of bulletproof walls for banks and check-cashing services. Not too hard, but it does cost more than the standard 2 x 4, gyp. bd. interior wall. Safe room?

Don't you wish you were superman and had X-ray vision to allow you to see through walls to know where they are?

Locks first, Security lights outside, Dogs inside.

What a first post/thread.

I'm sorry for your friend.

Learn from it and drive on.

Adios Qweeksdraw

Blue Duck357
May 11, 2002, 11:44 PM
Following the think twice post once rule I hesitate to say this, but frankly after working with a couple of dozen battered women for the last 5 years years I feel I must just to warn off this kind of "I must protect the damsel in distress" behavior.

You know what the woman was likely thinking after seeing the thug gun down your friend who tried to protect her? "Oh he must really love me to have killed for me..maybe we can work it out!"