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Old November 22, 2004, 07:38 PM   #1
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Shoot/No Shoot - Hostage Situation

One of my other posts attracted a lot of attention so here's another one:

You are in a hostage situation--you, the perp, and the hostage. You are on well terms with the hostage (wife, GF, friend, etc.). The perp has a gun on the hostage, you have your gun on the perp, the perp is yelling at you to drop your gun or he/she will shoot. You are within 10 feet, the perp is very visibly upset/angry over a robbery/whatever gone somewhat bad (realized you had a gun). Consider this on the VERGE of an active shooting scenario.

Do you fire? Do you do what he tells you? If you do will he just shoot you anyway? Can he off your hostage as you fire? Some folks feel they can hit'um "between the eyes" while others have a different opinion. Hoping to invoke some discussion on the topic.
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Old November 22, 2004, 07:46 PM   #2
Jeff Gonzales
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Grab your wife


Invoking thought is one thing, it is all theoritical. Being theoritical most things sound good on the surface, but fail in the execution.

You want answers, then grab your wife, put some googles on her and have her hawg-tied to a tango.

Begin scenario...

Jeff Gonzales
Director of Training
Trident Concepts, LLC.
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Old November 22, 2004, 09:37 PM   #3
Join Date: October 9, 2002
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This type of scernario is common in FATS training. Never give up your weapon. Keep a dialogue going with the gunman and wait for the oppotune moment where you are confident to take and make the shot. Forntunately, I have only had to do this as a training exercise.
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Old November 22, 2004, 10:27 PM   #4
45 Fu
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Never give up your weapon, I'll agree with that.

Those hostage targets sure are neat, and I can eat a nice sized hole in the goblin's cranium, too. However, that's not my wife and the goblin isn't going to shoot anyone. I laugh at people who say, without hesitation, that they would (and most definately could) make a head shot on an obscured target at any distance where a real human hostage is concerned. It's easy to do on the range - it's not quite as easy when the hostage is pleading for their life, the goblin is very agitated and determined, and you've almost crapped your pants and can feel your heartbeat behind your eyes.

I guess it's OK to bring it up, though. There's just not an answer. Just pray you never have to make this decision.
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Old November 23, 2004, 10:23 PM   #5
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goosevr, . . . your question is interesting and the comments have been good so far.

45 fu has the absolute right idea, . . . no question about it, . . . giving up your firearm may not embolden him/her, . . . but it also very probably will not engender warm and fuzzy feelings and cause him/her to give up and be nice.

You must, must, must keep your firearm and you must convince the bg that he has one out and one only, . . . put down his weapon and walk away.

The shot you may have to take may very well be after he has shot, . . . but if you keep your sights on him/her, . . . you just might get the shot that will end the confrontation. Keeping the pressure on him/her will eventually end the situation, . . . even if it is when you turn the thing over to an LEO.

The longer you can prolong the situation and keep him/her from shooting, . . . the better chance you will have to convince them that you are serious about only giving them one option.

Your words must convince them that shooting at you will get them killed (even if you aren't that good a shot), . . . and you must convince them that instant death awaits them if they pull that trigger on your friend/loved one.

Tell em about the .44 magnum you have in your hand (even if it is a .32, . . . very few bg's know enough to call you on it), . . . about how it will decapitate them and disembowel them at the same time with only one shot.

Bg's by and large are jerks, whackos, and generally just plain dumb. Play on that shortcoming. Out psych them!!!!!

Brag about your ability (even if it is totally non existent), . . . about the shooting trophies you have won (even if they say "Worlds Luckiest Fisherman"), . . . in short: convince the bg that the only option is their leaving, . . . and if they are willing, . . . let em go.

LEOs can find em if you get a good description, licence number, etc.

Anyway, . . . that is my plan. At 60, I'm too old to scuffle with one, . . . and I ain't gonna bargain/trade with em, . . . leaves only my ability to be a cagey old coot that will shoot, given the opportunity, . . . but will do and say most anything to get the situation under control without a shot fired.

May God bless,
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
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Old November 23, 2004, 11:36 PM   #6
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Basic military tactics teach that the hostage is not as expensive to replace as the equipment you are guarding, shoot the hostage and when he falls shoot the assailant. But this situation does not fit in civilian life. If you have practiced and are confident in your shooting... take the shot. Even if it not in a vital kill area the shock of your weapon firing and the impact will disorient him. Most BGs will expose other body parts than the head. Most BGs will hold the hostage on one side or the other, usually the dominant side as this is the side holding the weapon. (Right haned Bg holding weapon in right hand wil expose left shoulder, hip, and knee as well as the left side of the head) Circle towards their exposed side to get more body area open. If you are carrying a .357 or larger caliber, a shoulder knee or hip shot will turn him and cause enough disorientation for you to move in and separate them, or go for a contact shot.
The bottom line is, if you are in a situation where you need to draw your weapon and there is no LEO close by and you really want to save the hostage from furthur trauma, take the shot and make it count. practicing with the "gremlins" in hostage targets is good.
Remember, as ye practice, so shall ye shoot.
Gun control is hitting what you are shooting at.

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Old November 24, 2004, 04:31 AM   #7
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You can have a plan for this as part of your general defensive planning for all adult family members.

The hostage is nominally in charge, and has several options. To abruptly drop if there is no restraining hold so they "dissappear" so to speak. If there is a restraining hold they can "feint", which might produce the same result from their dead weight or at least lower their head and upper body to create sufficient clearance. Or they can make an aggressive break away or drop during which they might strike a blow or otherwise break a hold on them and attempt to create some distance down or to one side. The latter is the most risky but should be an option never the less.

There must of course be some basic predetermined signals which can be the closing of the eyes, one eye, coughing etc. The hostage decides when they are ready and capable of the option they choose. From the time the signal is intiated a count off - be it three or five etc - and be ready to shoot. Of course if a good opportunity to shoot presents itself before the hostage has decided on an action - best not pass it up.

Practice headshots from close up out to a reasonable distance - as far out as you can produce about a three inch group on demand. The center of the nose at the eye line. From the side, about on the front edge of the upper ear/temple area. Quartering, the near eye. Be prepared for followup or body shots if needed.
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Old November 24, 2004, 09:26 AM   #8
Join Date: June 4, 2004
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Just remember a couple of things:

1. Heads move. Paper targets don't. Shooting at a group of helium balloons tied to strings that obscure each other, and having to shoot the one that is called by another person against the timer is probably more of a test. Don't pop the wrong balloon. Do this outdoors with a slight breeze, and you'll see what I mean.

2. Negotiating/talking with a hostage taker is not something we all do for a living. This may be as important as knowing how to shoot, as it's one of the only things that will buy you time and opportunity. Not all bad guys will be remotely rational, or even understand what you're saying.

3. Anything except a hit to the medulla may result in the bad guy's weapon discharging.

4. You're not in an action movie. This is probably going to turn out badly for the hostage, unless God is smiling on you.
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Old November 24, 2004, 07:07 PM   #9
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jtkwon, . . . your last statement is most assuredly correct. It already has turned out badly for them.

"4. You're not in an action movie. This is probably going to turn out badly for the hostage, unless God is smiling on you."

On the other hand, . . . relenting to this individual has a very high percentage of turning out very much worse for the hostage. At least, if I took a shot I was really confident in taking, . . . and it turned out badly, . . . I would have less personal problems than I would if I refused to participate and the hostage died or was seriously hurt.

May God bless,
If you can breathe, . . . thank God!
If you can read, . . . thank a teacher!
If you are reading this in English, . . . thank a Veteran!
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Old November 25, 2004, 03:38 PM   #10
Join Date: September 20, 2002
Location: NYC
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On the legal side of things

Here in New York State, if you shot in that situation and hit the hostage, wounding him/her expect to be charged with felony reckless endangerment.

Kill the hostage and it’s in all likelihood involuntary manslaughter

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