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Old February 13, 2018, 02:42 PM   #1
OldMarksman
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A Good Guy with a Gun Walked into a Store

But he shouldn't have.

His training should have told him to not go in.

All the signs were there....a man acting nervously was moving his car around so he could see a particular place inside the store. His car was near the door, and pointed the wrong way.

The good guy noticed that and recognized it as an indication that a robbery might well be imminent. He even remembered Mas Ayoob's description of just such a scenario as a reason to go somewhere else.

But he ignored what he saw and what he knew and went in anyway.

And inside was a man looking out at the driver and glancing nervously at the office. Going back out would likely have alerted the getaway driver.

When the bad guy noticed the good guy looking at him (and looking around), reaching for a cell phone, and moving quickly (to get a clear shot with a backstop, if necessary), he panicked, dropped his soft drink bottle, and ran out to the waiting car. They took off with great haste.

We all make mistakes, and as spacemanspiff said in another thread, "Everyone should remember that carrying a gun, practicing, mentally going thru scenarios, never GUARANTEES the best possible outcome".

Things turned out okay, but they may well not have.

That's one mistake that that good guy--this good guy--will not make again.

Let me take this opportunity to say that when we critique the actions of others in this forum, we are well aware that we are all human, and that we may have done the same things. Our purpose here is to discuss and to teach and to help others.
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Old February 13, 2018, 03:03 PM   #2
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Old February 13, 2018, 03:13 PM   #3
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I was that good guy with a gun once. It was at a corner store/gas station around 11:00 pm. I knew the clerk as I stopped by frequently when going from work to home.

I noticed a short guy in a tee shirt get out of a car that was parked on the street 90 degrees from the door so no one in the store could see. the bad guy got out on the passenger side indicating there was a getaway driver waiting.

I waited outside in view of the counter but away from the sight of the BG and clerk. The guy pulled a gun and order contents of the cash register. as soon as he had a handfull of cash, the BG bolted thru the door and ran a 50 yd dash to the waiting car. they sped down the road as I was calling 911.

The clerk was badly shaken as most any of us would have been. I waited with him and gave the license number and description to the police when they arrived.

The bad guys were apprehended 45 minutes later.

No one got hurt, good outcome.
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Old February 13, 2018, 03:34 PM   #4
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I am going to tell you I appreciate the spirit of the thread. While we can all discuss what our training tells us to do there are some of us, or at least myself, who may very well stand there with the mental block that says "are you kidding me, is this really happening?"
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Old February 13, 2018, 07:33 PM   #5
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you never know if or when. a person has to learn to discretely sum up the people near him and acknowledge it when he suspects something rather than shaking his head and moving on. i find that being wide open and looking around is a lot easier than furtive glances. so you did good, saw possible threat, and scared off a potential bad guy.

retrospect is good for everyone, but its realy great for weenies. any problems or mistakes open a person up for an explosion of unhelpful condemnation.
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Old February 13, 2018, 08:50 PM   #6
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Many years ago . . .

I was walking a girl friend home in college. I heard steps behind us and just as we were crossing an alley turned to look at the guy. He practically jumped out of his skin and ran down the alley. Only later did it occur to me that a mere look may have thwarted a robbery.

Life is good.

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Old February 13, 2018, 09:02 PM   #7
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SA, SA, SA. I was at a gas station, using the ATM, when I noticed the same guy who saw me using the machine inside the store was now watching me from the outside. I moved off quickly,
all the while my hand was on my CCW with the safety off, as I walked quickly away. At
some point or another the guy must have decided he didn't like my sunny disposition.
He didn't approach, and got on his bike and left. Never had to pull my gun. Hope I never do.
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Old February 13, 2018, 09:07 PM   #8
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I get really tired of seeing the people hanging out at these stores, out on the sidewalk. Eventually one of them is going to rob one of the million annual visitors to that store. It will probably be me.
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Old February 13, 2018, 09:37 PM   #9
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Time to pay attention to our sixth sense when our visual observation tells us something is off. That good old gut feeling
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Old February 13, 2018, 11:17 PM   #10
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These places are definitely hot spots.

Is there a condition orange?
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Old February 14, 2018, 09:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
These places are definitely hot spots.
Just to clarify: this incident occurred in a "very good" neighborhood.

To get to either of the two Interstates to escape, a getaway car would have to travel in stop and go traffic, for at least a couple of miles. A major railroad often delays access to one of them. There are traffic lights all along. One direction takes on right past the police station, 1,200 feet away.

There is another store in town located a little over a hundred yards from an Interstate.

What robber in his right mind....

No, I did not take any of the potential escape routes into consideration before entering the store, but I knew I was in a "good" neighborhood.
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Old February 14, 2018, 09:31 AM   #12
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It is very easy to allow ourselves into a mindset that replaces the word minimize with eliminate. We can do a number of things to minimize the chances of being involved in a violent encounter and we must each weigh what steps we are going to take and how it is going to impact our lifestyle. Regardless of the balance we reach it would be a major error to believe that we have eliminated the risk when we have only minimized it and not be prepared to respond, in a manner we have decided appropriate, should a violent encounter occur.
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Old February 14, 2018, 10:26 AM   #13
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My skinny geeky looking brother-in-law was at a gas station filling up when a thug approached him with a knife demanding his wallet. My BIL knocked him unconscious with a right jab and finished filling his car. My BIL used to box competitively.
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Old February 14, 2018, 10:30 AM   #14
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We can do a number of things to minimize the chances of being involved in a violent encounter and we must each weigh what steps we are going to take and how it is going to impact our lifestyle.
Yes. It is a matter of balance.

I SHOULD NOT HAVE WALKED INTO THAT STORE. The driver sitting the wrong way by the exit and seeming to be coordinating with someone inside should have stopped me cold. I noticed it all. Massad's words were almost ringing in my ears. But I went in anyway. Good neighborhood, complacency, "it won't happen to me"...

The inconvenience of not doing so until later would not have seriously impacted my "lifestyle". Getting involved in gunfire, on the other hand....

The next time we saw an SUV parked the wrong way by the exit of that store in that good neighborhood, my wife and I immediately went to "Plan B" without thinking twice about it, and dialed 911. Turned out to be an innocuous thing.

We take steps to avoid having to refuel in certain areas. We do not patronize restaurants in some neighborhoods. We avoid a major mall that has become a hotbed for criminal activity and gangs.

I occasionally shop at a store that is in a center that is not in the best area. I go only in the daytime, and when possible I go with with someone else. I drive around the lot once. Were there another source anywhere near here for my favorite Czech beer, I wouldn't go at all.

Balance.
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Old February 14, 2018, 01:59 PM   #15
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I am glad everything worked out well.

We have to strike a balance between going around expecting that through every door we will encounter a life-and-death situation and allowing the fact we don't encounter those life-and-death situations all the time to create complacency. In trying to strike that balance, we will occasionally call it wrong.

A guy waiting nervously in an idling car might be waiting on an accomplice or he might be waiting for someone to come back out with a can of infant formula. Either way the driver is likely to have a similar look of urgency and desperation and unless we're clairvoyant we're not going to always know.
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Old February 14, 2018, 02:02 PM   #16
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A guy waiting nervously in an idling car might be waiting on an accomplice or he might be waiting for someone to come back out with a can of infant formula.
(come on this is going to be funny, laugh with me)

Its probably one of the members of this forum having read through all these scenarios waiting for someone he or she has sent into the store and convinced something catastrophic is about to go down trying to get out of there as quickly as possible.

(please laugh, I used double smiley faces)
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Old February 14, 2018, 02:19 PM   #17
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A guy waiting nervously in an idling car might be waiting on an accomplice or he might be waiting for someone to come back out with a can of infant formula.
Not likely if he is trying to make sure that he can stay in visual context with that someone, and even less likely if he appears panicky when he sees another shopper noticing him.

Quote:
Either way the driver is likely to have a similar look of urgency and desperation and unless we're clairvoyant we're not going to always know.
Not always.

But how often will someone shopping for infant formula park in such a manner that he will have to drive the wrong way to leave the lot?
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Old February 14, 2018, 04:29 PM   #18
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Reading through the replies

I am reminded that at least some of us that CC are very aware of "whats happening" around us.

There are times where a 911 call is appropriate along with getting out of Dodge.

Same is true on the highway. I don't drop a dime often, but I do drop one when there is a strong potential that others could be injured or worse.

Be a good witness.
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Old February 14, 2018, 05:45 PM   #19
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I am reminded that at least some of us that CC are very aware of "whats happening" around us.
Well, I was aware in that instance. I just did not make a prudent decision.

As mentioned, I had heard Massad Ayoob describe a similar scenario.

This occurred some years ago, and I had availed myself of no defensive training before that time. Yet I did look around for another perp in the store, and I somehow realized the need for having a clear shot and a backstop, which required moving, which I had never practiced.

I was already of a mindset that I would not intervene in a store robbery. But (1) I was already in a vulnerable position myself, (2) there was no really good way out, and (3) the store personnel were known to me. It was a no brainer.

One other thing--in those days I pocketed a five shot J-frame when going to "benign", "safe" places. Not that would I would need in the event would have any relationship whatever to the likelihood of occurrence beforehand.

Someone here or on THR questioned my reasoning on that. Embarrassing, for someone who had spent a lot of time in risk management in the corporate world.

By the way, that was an extremely unnerving experience. I could not begin to describe the would-be robber or his accomplice afterward, and I could not even recall the make of the car.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people I see walking in parking lots while texting who are completely oblivious to their surroundings. I am just as amazed that we do not see dozens of them run over by cars each week.
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Old February 14, 2018, 06:35 PM   #20
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As a professional driver, it is much safer to back into a parking space/driveway than to back out. I do it quite often. I can also be an impatient person...and a people watcher. I wonder how suspicious I look at the convenience store.
Quote:
The next time we saw an SUV parked the wrong way......my wife and I immediately went to "Plan B" without thinking twice about it, and dialled 911
How did the operator or emergency personnel respond to you calling 911 for a vehicle backed in? Were there any other red flags?
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Old February 14, 2018, 06:59 PM   #21
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GarandTd, I drove a company vehicle for many years. I drove a lot of miles and had a heavy foot resulting in the occasional speeding ticket. This caused me to be required to take a defensive driving class two different times over years. One of the things that stuck was that backing out of parking space is a dangerous maneuver. As you said, it is far safer to back into one and I almost always do. I do not fit the profile, but if I am parked at the gas and grab I will almost certainly be parked "backwards."
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Old February 14, 2018, 09:26 PM   #22
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As a professional driver, it is much safer to back into a parking space/driveway than to back out. I do it quite often.
That's fine, unless you get there by driving the wrong way in a one way lane, and have to leave by driving the wrong way.

But even without that, if you do it by the exit, that's something of a red flag, particularly at a "stop and rob" along a highway.

Quote:
I wonder how suspicious I look at the convenience store.
Doesn't really matter, does it? You are not at risk.

Quote:
How did the operator or emergency personnel respond to you calling 911 for a vehicle backed in?
Never got through.
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Old February 15, 2018, 10:11 AM   #23
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Doesn't really matter, does it? You are not at risk.
It does matter if a nervous bystander with a weapon perceives me as a criminal because I backed into a parking space and am irritated that my passenger is taking a while in the restroom or buying a drink/snack and I'm looking around to see where the heck they are. I think awareness is important as well as avoidance of trouble, but the signs are not always what they seem. It doesn't affect me if I look suspicious and you choose to go elsewhere. It does affect me if you choose to call 911 or try to intervene in a wrongfully perceived threat. I guess my point is, if you're going to avoid situations, good for you, but if you are going to take some sort of action, you better be sure of what you are seeing.

Quote:
Never got through
To 911? That's alarming.
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Old February 15, 2018, 10:43 AM   #24
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It does matter if a nervous bystander with a weapon perceives me as a criminal because I backed into a parking space and am irritated that my passenger is taking a while in the restroom or buying a drink/snack and I'm looking around to see where the heck they are.
The operative phrase would be "perceives you as an indication of potential risk"

Why does it matter? If you do not like it, do not conduct yourself as would a getaway driver.

Quote:
...if you're going to avoid situations, good for you, but if you are going to take some sort of action, you better be sure of what you are seeing.
Always true, but calling 911 should have a relatively low threshold for that rule.

A parked-facing-out-by-the-exit-with-the-engine-running observation would be real red flag, regardless of whether some innocent drivers might prefer, for some reason, to do that. It is the best way to get away quickly after a robbery. Innocent explanation possible? Sure.

Leaving is, of course, best.

When the car has come in the wrong way on a one-way road and will head out the wrong way, the indication is a little stronger, and a call Smith well be appropriate.

Quote:
Quote:
Never got through To 911?
That's alarming.
But not surprising. I knew a parole officer in the city of St. Louis who had been put on hold more than once when reporting violent break-ins to 911.
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Old February 15, 2018, 11:41 AM   #25
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I don't really believe you'll actually recognize a bad situation when it show's up. People act strange for a lot of different reason's, doesn't mean they are the bad guy. But if you respond to every one of these situation's you'll probably find the bad guy sooner or later. Kinda like actually shooting someone. Unless your a combat vet you really don't have a clue what you'll do should that time come, I haven't a clue what I'll do. Kinda think I do but in reality I don't!
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