A friend of mine works with a local company that does odd jobs performing maintenance and cleaning local businesses. Let's call him "Chris". Typically, they work after the store closing hours.
Recently, three of them were assigned to pressure-wash a gas station/liquor store and fix a chainlink fence on the site. At around 9 PM, Chris, his cousin "Tim", and another employee arrived and began to work. Approximately fifteen minutes into the job, a old Cadillac drove by, blaring rap music. When the car neared the store, it swerved off the road and began speeding towards Tim. They clipped him, sending the poor guy flying.
The occupants of the car began laughing their asses off. The doors opened, four "urban youth" hopped out, and they began yelling at Tim for denting their Cadillac. Understandably angry, Tim got back up and yelled back at them. He kicked the car, and the driver jumped him.
Chris kneed the driver in the ribs, knocking him off Tim. The other hoodrats piled in on Chris. Tim went in fists flying to help Chris, while their coworker used the pressure washer hose as a whip and hit the opponents with it.
The "urban youth" broke off from the fight and jumped in the Cadillac, speeding away.
Unfortunately, the three workers stayed to finish their job. About ten minutes later, an old van parked in front of the gas station. Two of the youths from earlier stepped out, accompanied by two thugs built like gorillas. They were carrying baseball bats and knives.
One of the thugs ran up to the work truck and Chris's car and began busting in the windows, lights, and panels with a baseball bat. The others began chasing the workers. Luckily, they were young and hadn't been badly injured in the earlier fight, and the thugs were rather out of shape.
When Chris, Tim, and the coworker got far enough away, they called the cops and went back to the store. Their vehicles had been trashed.
The boss gave them permission to carry a weapon with them in the truck(he's an old-fashioned sort) and now frequently calls his teams when they are on the job in rough neighborhoods.
How should the workers have reacted if they had a firearm in their possession when the incident occurred? At what point would they have been justified in showing the weapon, or even using it in defense? What if the attackers had first targeted their vehicles instead of splitting up to chase them?