Robbery: shooting in the back

This is a discussion on Robbery: shooting in the back within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by Guantes I seem to remember threads with bank robbers with a toy gun and burglars with an empty gun, just saying. Yeah ...

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Thread: Robbery: shooting in the back

  1. #31
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I seem to remember threads with bank robbers with a toy gun and burglars with an empty gun, just saying.
    Yeah but that doesn't matter. In the eyes of the law a gun is loaded, even if it isn't.
    There was a robbery here a year ago and the two guys forced their way into an insurance agents home office. All they had were airsoft guns. The agent shot them. He was not charged but they were charged with armed robbery, even though they were only airsoft guns.

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  3. #32
    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    The gun could after the fact be found to be an Airsoft or CO2 powered BB gun...If it's wielded as in a threatening manner by a person acting in a threatening manner making threats then well open and shut.
    Exclusions being the gun is _clearly_ a toy in build/construction from the distance as seen by the person thinking to make contact (i.e. Nerf guns)...But then as such there is no question and thus no hypothetical scenario.
    Just a response to this comment; there are some "toy" guns out there which even many of us could easily mistake for real ones under duress. See below:

    http://www.rap4.com/store/paintball/...l-pistol-black
    http://www.rap4.com/store/paintball/...l-internal-air
    http://www.rap4.com/store/paintball/...ternal-version
    My blog

    WARNING: This post may contain material offensive to those who lack wit, humor, common sense and/or supporting factual or anecdotal evidence. All statements and assertions contained herein may be subject to literary devices not limited to: irony, metaphor, allusion and dripping sarcasm.

  4. #33
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    There are a few problems with the cut and dry scenario. How close is the BG to the clerk? Is the BG's gun pointed directly at the clerk? Is his finger on the trigger? Is the clerk in my line of fire?.... Assuming my actions won't get the clerk shot then I would shoot him.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

  5. #34
    New Member Array tstocklin's Avatar
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    I believe if his back is to you, then he is not a threat to you and you wouldn't be justified, I could be wrong.

  6. #35
    Member Array Slafav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstocklin View Post
    I believe if his back is to you, then he is not a threat to you and you wouldn't be justified, I could be wrong.
    He is not an eminent threat to you, but you have the option of protecting a third party with lethal force if you choose to.

    "According to section 9.32 of the Texas Penal Code, any person can use deadly force for the reasons covered in section 9.31 (Self-Defense). This means that the individual may use deadly force to protect himself or another person only if he reasonably believes that the individual posing a threat will not retreat and that deadly force is the only means to protect himself or another person." (eHow)

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by tstocklin View Post
    I believe if his back is to you, then he is not a threat to you and you wouldn't be justified, I could be wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Slafav View Post
    He is not an eminent threat to you, but you have the option of protecting a third party with lethal force if you choose to.

    "According to section 9.32 of the Texas Penal Code, any person can use deadly force for the reasons covered in section 9.31 (Self-Defense). This means that the individual may use deadly force to protect himself or another person only if he reasonably believes that the individual posing a threat will not retreat and that deadly force is the only means to protect himself or another person." (eHow)
    He most certainly is a threat to you. He could turn and shoot you in less than three seconds. That qualifies as a deadly threat, period!

    Do you think you could get away before he could turn and shoot? No? Then he is a deadly threat.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

  8. #37
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paaiyan View Post
    Just a response to this comment; there are some "toy" guns out there which even many of us could easily mistake for real ones under duress. See below:

    http://www.rap4.com/store/paintball/...l-pistol-black
    http://www.rap4.com/store/paintball/...l-internal-air
    http://www.rap4.com/store/paintball/...ternal-version
    I know.
    Which is why I'd said in full; "a toy in build/construction from the distance as seen by the person thinking to make contact (i.e. Nerf guns)".


    Image source - http://mynerfguns.com/wp-content/upl...kemaverick.jpg

    There is 'toy' and there is facsimile. A big difference.
    Clearly as from a viewers distance to 'see' a gun the former as shown above could be reasonably discerned to be a toy.
    That is what I was speaking toward.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  9. #38
    Member Array coolfrmn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    There are a few problems with the cut and dry scenario. How close is the BG to the clerk? Is the BG's gun pointed directly at the clerk? Is his finger on the trigger? Is the clerk in my line of fire?.... Assuming my actions won't get the clerk shot then I would shoot him.
    +1 You would almost have to see this go down before making any true decisions.
    MY FIRST PRIORITY IS ME & MY FAMILY!!! Do I help them escape and/or take cover? I'm almost always out with my toddler & infant. &/or wife. So, my mode of thinking is "executive protection".
    I want a clear shot of BG. Does no one any good if my round goes through BG into the clerk or BG shoots clerk from reflexes being triggered.
    Not my job to protect others. If I can, then GREAT!!! I carry for ME & MINE first. OTHERS come second.

  10. #39
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    I agree with Saber on the Westerns. If you believe you shouldn't shoot a shooter in the back you probably also think that all the bad guys wear black hats and the good guys have white hats.

    This is not a cut and dry situation. If the guy takes the cash and goes to leave he can have the cash. If he wants to turn the place into a blood bath then I will shoot him in the back, side, front, or whatever he presents to me.

    As the scenario is listed you would have to act quickly to check your six, draw your weapon (hopefully with cover available), and take the shot. It is very hard to make those moves and not be detected by the shooter which then puts you quickly in the gun sights.

    I hope to never be in this scenario but if I were and violence was imminent I would shoot.
    The best preventative medicine is superior fire power.

  11. #40
    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    I agree with Saber on the Westerns. If you believe you shouldn't shoot a shooter in the back you probably also think that all the bad guys wear black hats and the good guys have white hats.
    The portrayal in the movies is of two valiant warriors in civil battle. With rules of conduct.
    I see this actual case of shooting a criminal more like putting down an animal. When attacked by a mad dog or other animal do you care where you shoot it? Why is this animal any different?

    Michael

  12. #41
    Member Array Slafav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    He most certainly is a threat to you. He could turn and shoot you in less than three seconds. That qualifies as a deadly threat, period!

    Do you think you could get away before he could turn and shoot? No? Then he is a deadly threat.
    Good call. I meant that at that point you may still have other options. I am not out to protect the public, as I am not an LEO yet, so I can choose to avoid the situation by retreating to the back of the store and waiting it out if possible. I agree that he is a lethal threat to you under the definition of law, and you would be fully justified in taking a shot at him. Just meant that you are not the specific target of violence at this point, and may very well become that target by drawing.

  13. #42
    Member Array nysos's Avatar
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    I only read the first page so I am not sure if this has been mentioned, I know part of it has -

    In many burglary situations, sometimes the best thing to do is to comply. They want the money, goods, whatever. If the BG's demeanor is erratic and getting more hostile towards the clerk, I would likely draw and shoot in order to protect the clerk. It is very situational, maybe draw - take aim and wait til the BG's gun is pointed in a safe direction then open fire? Maybe shout out something to get his attention, and as he starts to turn open fire as well so he isn't pointing at the clerk but not yet to you? I have already told myself in the past if I am in a gas station or other public place when an armed robbery happens, I am getting low and trying to be unnoticed and do nothing unless they become violent - this situation is different as the BG has walked right past you and is a short distance away. You are most likely noticed by the BG, so slipping away might not be the best option as it may draw unwanted attention to you.

    I don't carry to protect the general public, although I am not the person that could stand there and watch someone get beat on, or get shot and not do something about it when I have the power to. The main reason being if they are violent, or have attempted to kill someone and I am a witness - who is to say they aren't the type to go after you because you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time, wouldn't be the first time right?

    To be completely honest, I wish the laws were written to where in a situation like this the only thing you had to be concerned with was getting a tactical advantage on position and eliminating the threat without injuring others. I don't know how I would handle just sitting there and make the decision that I should just lay low and the robber end up being the type of psycho that shoots the clerk just for the hell of it after he gets the cash, all the while I am thinking "comply with him, give him the cash, let him leave and you'll be ok." I can see from a legal standpoint more things going wrong if you shoot too early on in the encounter vs too late. Shoot too early, and you may be spending a lot of time and money in court, shoot too late and you may end up spending a lot of time and money with a counselor and saying "I could have done something sooner, and this wouldn't have happened" for the rest of your life.

    All in all, to go with the poll - I choose don't shoot, there are too many factors to consider. If I knew there would be no legal fallout and everyone but the BG made it out ok, I would definitely choose shoot.

  14. #43
    Senior Member Array EvilMonk's Avatar
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    Guantes brings up a good point with the toy/unloaded weapon thing, but...

    I'd shoot.

    In my State, you have an amazing amount of support from the law in situations like this. Someone has made clear their intentions to forcibly hold up a store with a firearm. Even if it should later be revealed that the "weapon" is fake or unloaded, that cannot be determined at the time and the subject will be charged with armed robbery regardless. Someone holding up a bank with a cell phone in their pocket posing as an armed individual will still face possible force-reaction from LEOs who respond to the scene in time to intercept the robber. I'm no LEO, but if someone walks up to me and points their pocket in my direction and orders me to give them my money, the second their guard is down (IF it goes down), I'll draw and fire.

    Secondly, in the situation of BG walks in, draws gun, orders everyone down, and begins the process of robbery, I'll be in a good position from below to draw, aim, and fire at an upward angle, thereby alleviating some of the chance of over-penetration/missed shot into a by-stander.

    I would certainly shoot someone in the back under such conditions.

    The only fair fight is in the boxing ring.
    That which does not kill us leaves us broken and bleeding...

    Donít mess with the guy who can barely stand up. His remaining options for self-defense don't include your survival.

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  15. #44
    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    The question of whether to shoot, in such situations, will nearly always be determined by the totality of the circumstances as perceived by the shooter at the time of the incident.

    The primary question is relative to shooting the perp in the back. I care not one iota whether my shot is from the front, back, top or bottom if circumstances of threat and safety of others and myself are satisfied.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  16. #45
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    "Better check you local laws/ordinances to be safe. "

    Only state laws are considered here in FL. Preemption for the sake of uniformity.

    I try not to clog the scenerio up with a list of if's and but's, so my inclination is to shoot. Shouted commands are just as likely to trigger a negative response as a positive one.

    Now if this is taking place in a alcohol-serving restaurant, next to a school, across the street from a hospital, around the corner from City Hall, and there are accomplices, people in the way, six other patrons are armed, two kids are playing in front of the counter, and there's councilwoman with a big ole purse ... I may not shoot.
    Retired USAF E-8. Remember: You're being watched!
    Paranoia strikes deep, into your heart it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid... "For What It's Worth" Buffalo Springfield

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