View Full Version : Parking lot strategies

Mark M33
June 15, 1999, 09:53 PM
You come out from the mall and you head to the parking lot, two males are walking about twenty feet behind you, non have made a move, your car is twenty feet away and you are alone and armed. What would be your actions?

June 15, 1999, 10:43 PM

[This message has been edited by Prichard (edited February 07, 2000).]

Rich Lucibella
June 15, 1999, 11:01 PM
Do the "I forgot something" turn around. Reverse direction to mall entrance by alternate route, keeping Detroit steel between you and the subjects.

Once you're behind them, make the decision to continue or return to car.

June 16, 1999, 09:44 AM
I'm with you Rich. Using the cars as cover is a very important tactical concern.

Increasing the distance between yourself and the possible assailants is also prudent. Distance favors the trained marksman.

Also, scan the area for possible allies waiting to pounce from a hidden position or outflank you.

Personally, I like to walk to the car with my hand resting on a Smith & Wesson Model 640 Centennial in my pocket that I carry as a backup. If surprised by an assailant, I can always shoot through the pocket or at least have my hand on my gun. If time permits, then the heavier caliber primary can be brought into play.

Above all, if you have the time and distance, get in the car, start it, and get moving. A moving 3500 pound car has infinitely more stopping power than anything you can conceal on your person.

- Anthony

Long Path
June 16, 1999, 10:54 PM
Given those distances and my long legs, I just increase my step rate and get into the car. The pistol comes out of the pocket as I sit in the seat. No, I probably won't get the door closed if they really mean me harm, but then I've got them approaching me from one side only, and there can be no mistake as to their intentions. The pistol becomes apparrent only when/if they approach me in my car.

June 17, 1999, 09:12 PM
Seeing as 20 feet can be covered in about a second or so, the idea of having as many objects between you and them is valid.

Rich's solution is the best one. You always move to people if possible when you are ussure of the situation. GLV

June 18, 1999, 12:27 PM
Rich is correct.

keep a barrier between you and the subjects...

If the give you any overt actions - draw, and take them to the pavement - either verbally, or keneticly.


Mark M33
June 22, 1999, 10:02 PM
Time, distance and shielding. Awareness of the surroundings and being prepared takes away the surprises. Excellent discussion, sometimes minor things are ignored.M33

September 28, 2007, 09:51 PM
1) Get out cell phone
2) Prentend to call police
3) Describe subjects behind you as possible fugitives you saw in a Post Office Poster

September 28, 2007, 10:18 PM
Well, I don’t know about the car. I think only certain angles of a typical automobile actually offer protection. Other then that items like the windshield of heck even that paint can basically just chip into projectiles themselves, plus I don’t know of many people that get there cars with armored doors or anything.

I guess I would just take a second to evaluate my options, such as is anyone else around, or what could I maybe make it to in regards to protection such as cover, like a big cement block sometimes found around a light pole.

Lastly you could just walk away from your car, or be more direct with if they are following you. I mean if these people came to do you some real harm, its most likely going to happen regardless of what you do. Attempting to make it to your car could be bad as they might plan to use your car also... So who knows, sounds like a crappy place to be really. If you get the idea going in your head for sure that they plan to harm you, you can always take first strike I guess, with simple confrontation as a distance, preferably with maybe your hand on the gun or whatever, supplying the idea that things could go horribly wrong for whoever is coming after you might be enough to defuse the scenario, more so if they had some sort of plan that’s no longer seeming to work.

September 28, 2007, 10:31 PM
I've been in this kind of situation before and seen it happen first hand to a woman in her mid 20s. I was sitting in my truck waiting for my girlfriend in the parking structure as I watched these three guys follow her. I had my hand on the door handle, and gun drawn waiting, but they all got into a silver honda shortly after..unknown if they wanted to do something.

Last time I was in this situation was afew months ago. Well more like almost a year ago. There was snow on the ground. Parking lot, night time, I was wearing my heavy dress jacket, and like I always do, I take it off right before I get into my truck. This case I took off my jacket, placed it over my left arm so my firearm was exposed. The man behind me had a puffy black beanie on his head, and all black clothes, jacket. No bags comming out of the mall.

That is one thing to take notice, do these people have bags? how do they look? scruffy or clean cut? gang bangers, or business type? I always take notice to little things like that..

September 29, 2007, 12:04 AM
It could be they are parked by you but just to be sure i would shoot them. better to be judged by 12 than carried by six!!!

September 29, 2007, 05:00 AM
It could be they are parked by you but just to be sure i would shoot them. better to be judged by 12 than carried by six!!!
WHAT?!?! :eek:

grey sky
September 29, 2007, 05:32 AM
I post again SITUATIONAL AWARENESS. Don't be there. Please I am not trying to be antagonistic scenarios like this should be seen coming long before one is isolated in the parking lot. MyXD40 wittnessing a sheeple being separated from the herd. The girl probobly was not aware of the threat potential ,good lesson glad there was no need to intervene. I have been supprised a couple of times but its prety rare that I get that distracted anymore.

September 29, 2007, 07:49 AM
Wow...a thread that was dead for over 8 years is revived!

September 29, 2007, 07:59 AM
If you have a car that takes a key to unlock the door, have that key at-the-ready, but in your off-hand. I met a lady that had foiled an attack by using her car key to slash the face of her attacker, then she was able to quickly get in her car and get out of the area. The attacker was EASY to identify later!

Use some common sense! If you have the two men following you, but you also see a group of other people within reasonable distance, call out to them as if they're your friends. Something like, "Hey, I thought that you guys got lost! We're over here!" The least that will do will be to attract the attention of the group of people, in case something does happen.

No one else in the parking lot? Well, try a ruse distraction of some sort. Look into the sky and exclaim loud enough so they can hear you, "Wow! What the heck was that?", or something like, "Wow! I wonder who the police are chasing?". (This is sort of like the prank of standing on a street corner, looking intently into the sky, then look around to see how many others wondered what you were looking at). The distraction may give you enough time to get in your car, and be relatively safe.
Once you're in your car, it's a 2-ton "weapon".

More? Well, most business parking lots will have a few shopping carts strewn about. Ever think of those carts as "battering rams"? The least they could be used for would be to put about 3' distance between you and at least one of the attackers....but possibly swung around to smash against the other....or perhaps smashed up against a parked car, to cause a loud metal-against-metal crashing sound that might attract attention.

Of course, if you're carrying, most of these distractions will at least give you enough time to unholster and start computing "shoot/no-shoot" thoughts.

September 29, 2007, 12:50 PM
Do the "I forgot something" turn around. Reverse direction to mall entrance by alternate route, keeping Detroit steel between you and the subjects.
This also affords you a chance to see if THEY alter their course. Yes, be wary of accomplaices, but how many thugs are likely to be there when they are going to have to split your loot?
It could be they are parked by you but just to be sure i would shoot them. better to be judged by 12 than carried by six!!!
Great job! you just plugged two under cover LEO's or someone's kid who was dropping off his cell phone for repair.

September 29, 2007, 07:23 PM
I posted that you should shoot them as satire. I dont even stop to think about two guys in a parking lot. i keep an eye on them if they warrant it but i am not in town where i need to worry about that. I am also not paranoid. two guys in a parking lot do not represent a threat to me. If they become a threat i will deal with it in the apropriate manner.

September 29, 2007, 07:46 PM
Anyone ever wonder how these 8 year old posts come back to life? :p

This one does merit a good question though. How often do we actually notice things in a parking lot? Sure, in most places there will be a lot of people in a very wide open area which makes attackers less likely to engage. But how often are we alone in a parking garage? Lots of nooks and crannies for people to hide and do bad things to you.

In the senario described, it would be enough to put a few blips on my radar. Should I feel these two are causing "more suspecion" than I usually assign people, I would initate some tactics:

If possible, start weaving through the cars. If you're in a lot with several isles, cut between two cars and get to the next isle. Check to see if they follow. If they do, cut back to your original path. If they follow you here, my situational goes from Yellow to Orange.

Now, stop and make it known you are aware of their presence. My preferred method is to stop and tie a shoe. You can pivot 90 degrees, which puts them in your pereferal vision, then kneel down and tie a shoe. Look at them as your tying, just long enough to seem casual but let them know you see them. Make eye contact. You can also play along with your isle jumping and just act lost for a min. Spin around and look at them as you search for your vehicle. This could easily be enough to make them disengage you if you are a target for them.

Ah. That feels better. Haven't "Internet Commando"ed in quite a while :cool:

September 29, 2007, 09:23 PM
I posted that you should shoot them as satire.
Fair enough, but you might want to make your satire more obvious. Smileys or something. :D:D That really sounded like you meant it.
Also, not to preach, but jokes can be taken out of context. If you find yourself in court for a legitimate SD shooting your eyes will pop out when the prosecuter brings records into evidence:
It could be they are parked by you but just to be sure i would shoot them. better to be judged by 12 than carried by six!!!
Now you have some 'splainin' to do.

September 29, 2007, 10:08 PM
Good point Tanzer. A smiley would have made that obvious. I just dont see how two people in a parking lot pose any threat at all unless you are in a place you dont belong. i get a big kick out of the internet commando's and all the "tactical" talk that goes on. if you are worried about them take a turn in the parking lot and see if they follow. If they do head back to the store. Not a situation that needs alot of "tactical" thought unless you are paraniod of every one and every thing.

September 29, 2007, 10:12 PM
This reminds me of when I walked into the bank with my big black puffy jacket, and a ski mask on. Man everyone was FREAKED out!!!! (True story)

September 29, 2007, 10:20 PM
1) Get out cell phone
2) Prentend to call police
3) Describe subjects behind you as possible fugitives you saw in a Post Office Poster

You're going to do this because two guys are walking behind you???

As far as I can tell, neither of them have done anything menacing. Just two guys walking behind you as you leave the mall. Probably no big deal. I'm mean, this describes half the times I've been at a mall.

Stay aware, as always, and be prepared to act if it's not innocent behavior.

September 29, 2007, 10:24 PM
It's kinda hard to not look suspect when you're walking, and two guys are walking BEHIND you..wouldn't you have to turn around in order to see them? are you watching them?

I always watch reflections in the car windows :)

September 29, 2007, 11:31 PM
We've gotten off topic. Rich's suggestion is valid whether done precisely or not. Others have suggested alternate methods - shoe lace routine etc. The way I see it, the idea is the same. CWP means dropping "Condition White" 99.9% of the time. We are thrust into the responsibility to think. The macho stuff is for chumps - period. You remember that death is attached to your hip. You take care to figure out your situation. You remember the rules about knowing your target and what is beyond, and you keep your wits about you. Tactical metods are employed here - good thread. You need a brain here. The last thing you want is to shoot a groom to be who just bought an engagement ring and has it in HIS pocket so no one targets him. He may seem uneasy because he just dropped half a year's salary.

Kgcpr - sorry man, I'm quitting smoking. Right now, I could roll up some dead grass out back, roll it in toilet tissue, and light it up. Chewing this d*mn gum has the same effect as a fart in a windstorm.

Salazar Schlitz
September 30, 2007, 12:13 AM
I'd casually continue on to my unmarked black/white Crown Vic, whilst scanning for any other details that didn't look right. If they didn't stop by the time I got to my car, I'd assume they were either not following me in the first place, but I'd still keep a weapon handy.

A mall is somewhat of a public place, and it isn't uncommon to see other people traveling between the parking lot and building. :rolleyes:

September 30, 2007, 01:17 AM
It could be they are parked by you but just to be sure i would shoot them.


September 30, 2007, 01:19 AM
I actually have a tactic I use all the time. When leaving the store I always walk down the row BESIDE the one I parked in, if I am being followed I can cross over to see if they follow. If they don't follow I have something between us and in the process of crossing they should have had time to pass me. If they DO follow I would cross back, this is done to see if they follow again OR if they might split up to cover both rows. If they continue to follow or split up you now have reason to believe they mean you harm and can prepare for the encounter by dialing 911 and holding your finger on the "Call" button while reaching for your weapon with your strong hand (notice I said REACHING for and not DRAWING). If they approach, turn to face them and press send and anounce you have called the police, if they continue to advance anounce you are armed and demand they stop.

September 30, 2007, 03:17 AM
Does your car have the keychain "dongle" for unlocking the doors? It probably also has a panic button. PRESS IT! That's what it's there for, and it will probably work from ~50' away. I can't imagine the horn and flashing lights wouldn't discourage whoever was following you. The only downside I can think of is that now they'll know which car is yours. Still, I'd rather try that rather than pulling out the CCW until I felt I really had to, preferrably after I've gotten in the car and locked the doors. My two cents...

September 30, 2007, 03:20 AM
Keyless entry is nice. But from the factory, Titan comes with a nice lil feature, press and hold unlock button, and windows roll down. Release the button and window stops right there. I always liked starting the truck with remote start, then doing the window thing, makes it look like someones in the truck

September 30, 2007, 11:03 AM
I always liked starting the truck with remote start, then doing the window thing, makes it look like someones in the truck

Ever find your self shouting into your keychain, "Come on KIT! I need ya buddy!" just to see if it might work? :cool: Sounds like a handy feature, but not sure how long the illusion is kept after someone actually looks in and sees empty seats :eek:

Joking aside, Tanzer said it best. Just gotta be aware when you're out and about. There are bad people in this world who intend to do bad things to others.

September 30, 2007, 11:38 AM
lol well I might want to add, theres 15% tinted windows all the way around, and I only roll the windows down about 5 inches. So with the truck starting, and a small gap in the window, makes it look pretty dang real.

but yes, must always be aware!!I usualy start to freak out if the people are within 15 feet of me..too close for comfort!

September 30, 2007, 02:41 PM
It does not have to be a garage, a mall parking lot or a big city.
I live in a town of 2500 pop. last year a 21 year old mugged an 80 year old in front of the supermarket in daylight, even after getting the man's wallet, the crackhead beat the old man badly enough he died a few months later from the lasting effects of the beating, so, it can happen to anyone, anywhere.
The reason if I have my pants on, I am armed.
You have to be watching, at least scanning the area, at all times.:mad::eek:

September 30, 2007, 02:56 PM
+1 drinks
CWP means condition yellow. This is NOT paranoid - not imminent threat around every corner - that's ORANGE. Condition YELLOW - awareness of surroundings. Think of it like this; You've got the Grim Reaper in a little steel bottle attached to your belt. You can't walk around without a care in the world. Nor can you go over to a punk (though you may want to) and say; "Hey, ask Santa for a belt this Christmas". Responsibility should be proportionate with power, and there's a lot of power in a Hydrashock.

September 30, 2007, 05:30 PM
You come out from the mall and you head to the parking lot, two males are walking about twenty feet behind you, non have made a move, your car is twenty feet away and you are alone and armed. What would be your actions?

Just continue to my truck and stay alert as to what is going down around me. As the situation is described there is no obvious threat, just a typical trip to and from the mall, with other people walking to their cars too.

September 30, 2007, 05:44 PM
I'd make a 90 degree turn to walk between a couple of parked cars and get a look at them. Depending on what I saw/thought at that point I'd probably continue on to my car while keeping an eye on them and keeping other vehicles between them and me. At this point I'd probably have a hand on or near my gun.

Hopefully at this point I'd just continue on to my car in a high state of alert, get in, lock the doors, and watch them walk past to their car.

If they tried closing the distance prior to my reaching my car I would loudly ask if I could help them. If my tone and question didn't stop them things start to get tricky. I haven't seen a weapon, but two on one is in my opinion a deadly threat. However, I don't know if the police or DA will see it that way. I'd probably be hesitant to use deadly force, which in turn would make me hesitant to draw my gun. If I felt threatened enough, I would, if I didn't, I wouldn't. Hell, as much as I don't like to say it I might very well run. However, if I chose to run and they gave chase I can almost certainly say the gun is coming into play at that point, hopefully after I find a nice big van or truck to duck behind.

A lot of my action would depend on my rating of these two men as a threat.

September 30, 2007, 06:43 PM
If they are walking behind you at a distance of 20 feet(I know distance quickly overtaken........) and they have not made any move or acted in any manner to be intent on harming you, keep a keen eye out for them and scan the area to see any potential allies they may have waiting in the wings. If this does go down bad, aim for the closest one first, then carry on to the next.......

If not, then get into your car, see that the 2 gentelmen probably are getting into a vehicle on the same isle that you were parked on and thank God that you didn't have to do something to defend your life or the life of another that day.

David Armstrong
October 1, 2007, 09:48 AM
What would be your actions?
Continue going to my car. Perhaps tipping my head to acknowledge the men if they continue to my area. GOOD GRIEF!!!! Folks, it is a parking lot. There has been no indication of threat. If you are that scared of life, that frightened of the world, you have far bigger problems than a couple of guys behind you in a parking lot. "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" is some pretty good advice.

October 1, 2007, 05:36 PM
GOOD GRIEF!!!! Folks, it is a parking lot. There has been no indication of threat. If you are that scared of life, that frightened of the world, you have far bigger problems than a couple of guys behind you in a parking lot.


I think most people missed the point of the original question. You walk out of the mall, towards your car, and two guys are walking behind you... SO WHAT? This happens all the time. No one said they are carrying a gun, stick, knife, or appear to be threatening in any way. They are just walking behind you.

As you should always do, stay alert. That's all you need to do.

October 1, 2007, 05:39 PM
Change directions just to make sure of their intentions.

Don't listen to those who would call you paranoid for recognizing a potential threat. What are a few extra steps to insure your safety?

Please David tell us just how does that lessen ones quality of life? How is this being "scared of life"?

October 1, 2007, 07:09 PM
I wouldn't worry about two males walking twenty feet behind me at a mall, because malls are crowded and there are always people walking behind. If I felt they were fishy I would still not do anything radical, perhaps sharpen my hearing and lean my head over a bit to hear if they were closing in. If I felt that they had targeted me I would look over my shoulder to see if that was the case. If they had, I would try not to have them come closer. "Stop there," I would say. If they didn't, I hope I had had the precense to draw early enough before it was too late. Realistically.

October 1, 2007, 07:23 PM
You are so right here! Alot of internet commando's here. If you want to really think Tactical join the Marines or the army as a rifleman. Every Marine is a rifleman so i did not include that statement with us Marines. Alot of Military wannabes here. If walking to your car in a mall with other people there makes you take evasive action you have a problem unless you are in a really bad part of town. Yes unfortuneatly things happen in good parts of town as well but the odds are greater than you winning the lottery than having a problem. I dont/ wont live if fear and getting all wound up over two guys in a parking lot with them not threatening you in any way then you are paranoid!

October 1, 2007, 08:38 PM
Oh, the tactical wannabe with a "parking lot strategy"! Pleeeease! Seems like some here have been over stimulated with movies and computer games!
What's next, my Thanksgiving at the in-laws strategy?

October 1, 2007, 09:22 PM
You laugh but when carving the trukey aunt Martha could go balistic with her carving knife. Thats why i will be carrying my .45 open (to try and dissuade her), a .357 snub on my ankle and a pocket pistol. I will also wear my Kevlar vest and helmet. I will also carry an extra mag for my .45, two speed loaders for my .357 and two mags for my pocket pistol. Aunt Martha is a tough old bird and with her carving knife who knows what will happen. I plan to be seated with my back against the wall. i also will try not to go to the bathroom as she may try and ambush me when i come out. i will only use the bathroom in the upstairs as i can get a glimpse down the hall with my tactical pocket mirror so i can see around the corner. I have no plans on being attacked and will be on Code orange! I do have a question. Should i bring my K-Bar in case it gets to hand to hand or should i feel safe with my hanguns? I am really torn no this one! The offer of a free Turkey dinner may just be a ploy to get me in her house and kill me. She has been doing it for 18 years just to get me to relax and let my guard down. One last question, If she gets within 21ft of me with her knife can i shoot her??:confused:

October 1, 2007, 09:47 PM
will be spent with invited relatives who hold unknown motives to hurt me. First, I'm booby-trapped, dynamite strapped around my waist, in case they think they got me. The dynamite will be concealed by my tactical vest of army-green camouflage pattern. Seating myself on the fast escape chair, the chair nearest the front door, I will have the situation under control. My uzi rests on my lap under an extra big napkin throughout the serving. Whenever someone goes for the kitchen knife stuck in the juicy turkey I mentally move into code red, and in doing so I put on the army helmet. I then undo the hip holster strap in a concealed right-hand-move while coughing, drawing attention to my other hand by spreading turkey bones on the table top with it. When the kitchen knife is again put to rest in the turkey meat I return the holster strap over my tactical 8-shot S&W revolver by again coughing and drawing attention to my other hand, maybe by picking up mashed potatoes with it from my plate and throw it over the table. I then take the helmet off. The serving progresses in this fashion until I find a far-fetched reason to open fire. I then go out with a big bang, no matter what.

October 1, 2007, 11:15 PM
What's next, my Thanksgiving at the in-laws strategy?

OK, that does take some planning. My inlaws live in Kansas and it seems they are, in one way or another, related to everyone in the county. Hell, that would almost be like the strangers at the mall, cause I can't remember who half of them are!!! :D

October 1, 2007, 11:26 PM
My only advice is when in doubt shoot!! Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. Kill them all and let God sort them out! One thing to Thunderhawk how do you know they are your inlaws it could be part of a conspiracy. Another reason to go armed to the teeth on code orange!! Maybe orange with a tint of red to it. I would be very careful and leery of all of them. Take a hand grenade or two to protect against a group attack! They work well around a kitchen table. One Grenade goes a long ways! :D

October 1, 2007, 11:58 PM
unless they are rapidly approaching me, why would I care? Even then, who's to say they didn't get an emergency phone call and have to rush to their vehicle? I always keep an eye on people, but someone walking 20 feet behind me is not a huge threat in this scenario.

October 2, 2007, 08:36 AM
Ever see the painting of the first Thanksgiving? I think the Pilgrim on the left is carrying concealed.

Capt. Charlie
October 2, 2007, 11:23 AM
You guys are a real hoot :D.

But... this has gone waaaay off topic and belongs on Comedy Central, not TFL.

Sorry folks, gonna have to close this one.