Suspicious Street Person: possibly armed....

Suspicious Street Person: possibly armed....

This is a discussion on Suspicious Street Person: possibly armed.... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; While at an IDPA meet, a fellow shooter (we'll call him John) described an instance that i couldn't come up with a solution to: A ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array Radioflyer's Avatar
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    Suspicious Street Person: possibly armed....

    While at an IDPA meet, a fellow shooter (we'll call him John) described an instance that i couldn't come up with a solution to:

    A suspicious individual with his hands in his overcoat approached John and his wife on the street. John assumed a defensive posture and ordered the man to stop. The individual did not stop until John reached for his weapon. At this point John was aware that the individual could have been concealing a weapon-in-hand under his coat. A routine command of "show me your hands" could have given him an excuse to draw a weapon turning the situation into a gunfight.

    At this point, John told the individual to turn around slowly and put his hands to his sides. The individual refused resulting in a stalemate. At this point, the individual is only a possible threat showing no significant aggressive behavior (only a refusal to comply). John has minimal justification in drawing his weapon as it would escalate a situation to either a firefight or put him in a legal quandary of bring portrayed as the gunman if the individual is unarmed.

    John told me he lucked out when the individual eventually walked off, and he and is wife waited until he was out of sight to get to their vehicle. Still not knowing weather the individual was an armed attacker, what would you do in this scenario?


  2. #2
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    Here's the rub. Why should anyone comply with such a request? Its a public street or public parking place. Its public space.

    That's the problem with everyone thinking 21 foot rule, or thinking I'll just 'command' a stranger to stop.

    Until there is a demand or threat made, or a weapon shown, or both, it is pretty much checkmate. That scruffy guy who looked suspicious could have been an undercover narc giving you and your wife a look see.

    Some things in life don't have easy answers. Feel unsafe? Walk or run away.

  3. #3
    Member Array Trav's Avatar
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    Probably the same thing he did. I may just put my hand on my weapon and tell him he better get on his way and i would wait until he walked off or i would back away slowly to cover or my vehicle. Any sudden hand movement on his part he would be staring down my barrel.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    So, some would think they have a right to order me to stop because they don't like my looks. I'm walking down a public street. Maybe I had a rough night or day. Forgot to shave. Put on the old coat rather than the new one. And some one thinks they can order me to not come any closer to them on a public side walk??

    If you want to try that, you probably better have a badge. You see you have take the first offensive action. You cannot claim self defense for what may happen next.

    Better think about your actions.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Reaching for your gun has just given HIM the self-defense rule. He broke no laws. You have no right to order someone to stop or remove their hands. If you were in fear, retreat.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

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    Life and solving scenarios can be tough. Even if you back off and try to walk away, and even if the guy silently follows but says nothing and shows no weapon, makes no demand, you are in a tough spot. So he starts to take something out of his pocket; bang. Ooops.

    It was a deaf/dumb guy in scruffys trying to give you the wallet you left at the store.

    These are tough SD scenarios because the experienced BGs know exactly what they can and can not do and where the line is.

    All you can really do is keep space, maybe say out loud and harshly, "leave me alone!" After that its dicey till a blow is attempted against you, a weapon is produced, a demand is made. digitalexplr got it about right when he wrote that you can not be seen as taking the first offensive action.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree with hopyard and digital more. By all accounts, if the "suspicious individual" were some of the members here, another ordering them to stop walking and show their hands would be reason for them to draw... This is why every scenario is a judgement call unless the perp has actually played their hand first. IMO.

  8. #8
    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    He approached them?Did he say anything?Was he walking straight into them?Too many people do not understand self defense.I agree with the others here,unless a person does something to threaten ,what right does anyone have to order another person around on public property?This kind of thinking is real fuel for the anti gun crowd.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array Old School's Avatar
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    Cool

    The OP said his friend and his friends wife were "approched" by this individual. If someone approches me then they are coming directly towards me and at some point may attempt to enter into my personal space. I will move out of (his) their path and if they move towards me at that time then I will verbalize my concens as to why he (they) are coming towards me and that his (there) actions are causing me concern for my safety. The ball is in their court now. I may tell them that they are scaring me and making me uncomfortable. I may ask if they hear me or understand me. All the time I am taking defensive (offensive) action to put space or some object (car, mailbox, lightpole, ect.) between him (them) and myself. I will absolutely not allow myself to get behind the curve and let them make the first aggressive move towards me. Action is always faster than reaction. My body will be blading my firearm side away from him (them) and he (they) may or may not see the draw as my weapon is now behind my right thigh or my off hand may be on my pocket carry BUG. He (they) have shown his (their) intentions to continue to advance towards me after I have told them that they are causing me concern for my safety. Until the flag goes up none of us know the exact course of action we may be required to take. Situations can turn 180 degress in a fraction of a second. Each of us will make whatever decisions we deem nessessary dependant on our training. I refuse to be a victim.
    "Violence is seldom the answer, but when it is the answer it is the only answer".

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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    That would be my course of action also.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  11. #11
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    I would start to back up...cross the street/parking lot. If the individual continues the approach, I know that he has singled me out and could really have bad intentions.
    A quick call to 911 so that my voice can be clearly heard..."Quit following my wife and I, get back, leave us alone."
    The rest we play by ear...
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    Try to put a car between us and him and do like Retsup said.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  13. #13
    Member Array carguy2244's Avatar
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    Carrying a weapon is not all that's needed for self defense. While it's great John walked away unscathed, I didn't read anything that indicated imminent threat of harm requiring the use of a firearm. By relying on a firearm as the only tool in his inventory, he saw a "kill or be killed scenario". While these scenarios occur, they're the exception. He could've closed the distance, thereby forcing the "adversary" to react defensively, thereby seizing away the offensive advantage. He could've escalated it by restraining the "adversary" (still could a chargable offense, but not an offense of drawing a weapon).
    Lots of choices available when the mind is the weapon, and the gun is the tool.

  14. #14
    Member Array gunsite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radioflyer View Post
    While at an IDPA meet, a fellow shooter (we'll call him John) described an instance that i couldn't come up with a solution to:

    A suspicious individual with his hands in his overcoat approached John and his wife on the street. John assumed a defensive posture and ordered the man to stop. The individual did not stop until John reached for his weapon. At this point John was aware that the individual could have been concealing a weapon-in-hand under his coat. A routine command of "show me your hands" could have given him an excuse to draw a weapon turning the situation into a gunfight.




    At this point, John told the individual to turn around slowly and put his hands to his sides. The individual refused resulting in a stalemate. At this point, the individual is only a possible threat showing no significant aggressive behavior (only a refusal to comply). John has minimal justification in drawing his weapon as it would escalate a situation to either a firefight or put him in a legal quandary of bring portrayed as the gunman if the individual is unarmed.

    John told me he lucked out when the individual eventually walked off, and he and is wife waited until he was out of sight to get to their vehicle. Still not knowing weather the individual was an armed attacker, what would you do in this scenario?
    If someone is approaching you, or you see someone coming towards your direction that's suspicious looking, MOVE.... if someone is coming towards me i want to move directly away from his path so now, he ether continues his direction or commits himself towards me. Facing the person... move towards that person but on a 45 degree angle off his path.... ONE OF TWO THINGS HAPPEN NOW, he continues his direction, or targets you. Every situation differs so directions will vary, but understand the concept... AVOID SITUATIONS.... COMMIT YOUR POSSIBLE TARGET... YOU CAN'T SHOOT EVERYONE, BUT HAVE PLAN.

    You have no justification to tell someone or order someone to assume a position in public, walking down a street, in the end always keep in mind YOUR testIMONY.

  15. #15
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    Our neurological make-up includes visual and other sensory features. Call it streetwise, clairvoyance or a sixth sense we all have it. When we sense danger our primal instincts can override our domestic predisposition. The autonomic response is commonly referred to as fight or flight. Sometimes our perception is wrong but often times, it isn’t.
    “Monsters are real and so are ghosts. They live inside of us, and sometimes they win.”
    ~ Stephen King

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