Shooting in the back
Lets say that I am at a convience store and the gunman is pointing a gun at the clerk. Do I pull out my gun and give the gunman a warning, get gun happy or just stay put? My instructor said shooting a gunman in the back looks bad on you but he did not give different scenarios.
Depending on the situation, I would say it would be a third party denfense.
I would not shoot until he either says he's going to kill the clerk or starts firing. Otherwise seek cover, call 911, and be a good witness.
The c-store has insurance to cover their loss of money and you may end up shooting someone with an airsoft gun and be guilty of murder.
I feel like it is impossible to prevent every act of violence but if the shooting starts you can put a stop to it before it becomes a multiple murder or mass shooting.
there are allot of variables. If it were me, I would take the shot if it were a gun man. I would most likely go verbal for a knife or other weapon. (there are a ton of variables, you have to take each particular situation into account in the heat of the moment)
Thing to keep in mind...In your position behind the gun man, who is directly in front of him? The clerk.
I tend to agree with this. He would have to shoot, or present a direct threat to me.
Originally Posted by joker1
good and bad idea.
Originally Posted by maddyfish
if you wait for him to shoot you may have waited to long and may have cost somone thier life. also, to wait for him to threaten you is selfish. if youre only looking out for #1 thats fine, but you should try to find it in yourself to protect others too.
then again, its hard to say without more specifics on the scene.
i would try not to shoot someone in the back if at all possible, but if they are brandishing a weapon their intent is to make us believe its a gun(airsoft weapons look very real) and that they have every intention of using it to get what they want. real weapon or not, if it appears real we have to assume it is, that its loaded and they plan on using it to inflict harm.
If he doesnt have a weapon then i would stay put, gun drawn(depending on how agressive he is being) and see what unfolds.
If he has a weapon then in my opinion he has made his bed and now its my job, as a citizen concearned for anothers safety, to make sure he lays in it.
Gun pointed at me, that's an immediate justification for lethal force, but here in Oklahoma standing in the defense of someone else is a legal grey area. Legally I'm allowed to defend family members as if they were me, but other people it's iffy. It shouldn't be that way IMHO, but it is.
So If I thought the robber or whoever was just going to make off with some cash, I'd play the good witness. However if I felt they intended harm I wouldn't hesitate to defend someone. At that point forget the laws, iffy or not there's no way I could watch someone be attacked and not act if I knew I had the capacity to stop it.
Find an angle with a wall as a backdrop and go for a headshot. This is what I think I might do. A gun to someones head is a 100% threat of life, i'm well within my rights as a Utah CFP holder to stop a threat of a 3rd party.
Lots of variables for sure though.
If you shoot the BG in the back, then by reasonable assumption that would indicate you are at some degree of angle to his rear...And not to his side or front angles.
We're talking 15 degrees max.
So being to his rear as within a 15 degree angle how can you tell with surety that the bore of the gun is faced at the third party and not for example at some inanimate object such as say the floor or ceiling, which does happen?
As well how can you tell if the BGs finger is on the trigger?
This latter item is highly important. If his finger is on the trigger and you fire into his "back", you cannot at all with any reason be sure that he will not secondarily discharge that weapon as into the third party person that you believe to be on the opposite end of the bore (be that belief accurate or not).
No, I would not shoot a person such as in this scenario in the back.
If pressed though and that my only available option were to either fire or in the _IMMEDIATE_ watching the BG execute the confirmed & known GG third party ( I say confirmed & known because it cannot always be assumed that said person is in fact a GG), then I _might_ target the head with a fine accuracy aimed shot. Just know if you miss or that round penetrates the head (or his back) that you have a GG third party just on his other side as within handgun engagement range. Very high risk.
I think my first thought would be rather than to shoot to instead make a noise and draw the BGs attention as away from the third party.
Toss a can or some other object at hand as in a direction away from the third party AND as from me for the BG to turn and look toward if even momentarily allowing for a better higher chance of success shot by me, the interjector.
One must think things through, completely, before acting.
My default thought would be to 1) Get myself (!) to concealment if not cover, 2) Assess and observe looking not just at the active threat but for his backup (hyena always hunt in pairs & groups), 3) Determine the relative degree of seriousness by the active threat(s) because he having a weapon of some sort is not on it's own a clear determinant of intent to actually use it, and 4) What is the attitude and response from those around me including not just the immediate victim but others in my air space watching him, them _and_ ME too!
This is not simple 1+1=2 math.
It is instead very often a pop quiz featuring trigonometry...
I'm not a cop. Apprehending criminals does not fall under my job description. My CHP didn't come W/ aBat cape. I'm not putting my butt on the line for the store's insured money.
What he said.
Originally Posted by Treo
That's all well and good, and I can sympathize. But what if you feel at the time that the BG fully intends to harm someone? What are you going to do if playing a good witness ends with the possibly preventable death of an innocent?
Originally Posted by Treo
Know the law and know your target.
In Missouri you may use lethal force to protect yourself or another from serious physical injury or death.
Know if your target is in fact armed and is capable of inflicting serious physical injury or death to yourself or another.
Once the Bad Guy starts shooting... All bets are off at that point. I'm not the one who killed an innocent person, preventable or otherwise. That death is on the Bad Guy! I'm sure I'd feel bad about someone getting hurt, but I'm not the direct cause of that action and I can live with that.
Originally Posted by paaiyan
What I would find very difficult to live with is if my intervention was the catalyst to cause a Bad Guy to shoot an innocent person. If a Bad Guy was holding his gun on a store clerk during a robbery and I shot him in the back causing him to have an "involuntary" muscle spasm in which he then shot the clerk in the face killing them would be a very bad thing.
In fact, the law and the prosecutor might see me as a contributing factor and may seek to charge me. Also the family of the deceased store clerk may want to sue me for everything I own. Especially if they could provide evidence that the store had been victim of armed robberies in the past and no one got shot in those armed robberies.
Here's the thing you can not know beforehand. You can not know what chain of events is going to be unleashed because of your actions in a case like that. However, you will most likely be held accountable for what ever the outcome is because of your involvement.
The last thing any LEO want's to do is to be involved in a shooting when they are alone. While it is their job to deal with armed offenders, if they have a choice or have the opportunity to do so, they will get as many officers as possible for support in the engagement. The reason is, is because they understand the dangers of engaging a gunman by themselves. The danger is not only to the officer his/or her self, but also to the public at large. Because they understand the difficulty of controlling the entire situation alone. They also know there are a lot of unknown factors no one can foresee should a shootout erupt.
If a plain clothed police detective pulls up to a convenience store and see's a man holding a gun to the store clerk, he sure as heck isn't going to charge in there and intervene. He's going to call for back-up and wait to engage the robber as he leaves. He has been trained to be aware of the consequences if he were to charge in there and made matters worse. He's not going to intervene until his proper support team is in place unless the bad guy starts shooting people.
If its my family, he gets a well aimed headshot w/ no warning.
Anyone else, its time to take cover and quickly weigh the options.