Standing in line at CVS
This is a scenario that has run through my mind a couple of times and wanted to get your opinion on what you would do.
You're standing in line at CVS and there is a lady paying at the register, a gentleman behind her and then you.
As the lady finishes paying and leaves, you see the gentleman walk up to the cashier like any average customer.
You move ahead continuing the flow of the line when the gentleman pulls out a handgun and points it at the cashiers face.
You don't know if it's real or fake.
You don't know what he wants or if he's going to shoot.
You have a split second to decide whether to draw your weapon and shoot or not.
The only person in imminent danger is the cashier and you are standing about 5 ft away from the BG with a clear line of sight.
What do you do?
A few clarifications on the situation:
- When I state that the cashier is the only person in imminent danger I mean that the BG has his sights set directly on the cashier and is not waving the gun around as someone may in a typical robbery.
He's not worried about you... When he should be.
-The distance of 5 ft was to give you a maximum distance from the BG.
Perhaps you started eyeing that Snickers bar at the end of the registers and decided to walk over and grab it before your turn to pay.
Doesnt matter whether its a real gun or not. If it was me and i was that close id take action. Probably draw my weapon. For that exact scenario though. Everyone scenario is different. For example if i was down an isle then i wouldnt jump into it like that.
If you are 5 feet away, the cashier isn't the only one in danger.
Shoot the gun out of his hand!!
If I am right behind this lunatic, and he has just drawn a weapon, (fake or otherwise) both the cashier and I are in immediate, life threatening danger. I'm in Georgia, and our law states that I have no duty to retreat, (and in any event I'm not about to turn my back on a man with a gun to try to retreat anyway) I would be in fear for my life and I would stop the threat.
What he said.
Originally Posted by DIPLOE
I'd pull the trigger...I have no duty to retreat, and at that point, I would be in fear for my own life.
Ok Devils Advocate here.
If he is pointing the gun at the cashier and has his back to you. What direct, immediate threat is presented towards you?
Yes the clerk is in danger but at this moment you are not. I realize some state laws would enable you to take action not talking about that. Remember you and you alone have to be able to articulate what happened and justify your actions. Not he coulda, woulda, what if he turned around type thing why did you shoot him when he was not a threat to you.
Let's say you shoot him and the gun discharges killing or wounding the clerk, guess who is now liable for her injuries?
You may not have a duty to retreat and no you would not turn your back on an armed subject you would simply back up.
Just an opinion.
sidestep, yell drop it and when he tries to turn BANG,BANG and BANG
This is a situation that can be deemed 'high chaos'. You don't know if the gunman has an accomplice. You don't know if it's an undercover LEO preparing to arrest a person caught pilfering narcotics at the pharmacy.
So, rule of thumb, if you can escape and evade, do so. The best course of action is to retreat to the back of the store and call 911 while you prepare to defend yourself should the gunman decide to execute witnesses. Then, you have no choice. IOW, if there is a CHOICE, escape and evade.
Badger made sense. It is easy to write up a what if. It is not so easy to explain any mistake you made---you could be a hero if all is as you think--you could also be in big trouble if a Badger-scenario comes into play or if your bullet also kills the cashier. Imminent threat at that time is to the cashier and, at least in SC, there is an alter ego rule, wherein you can take action as if the cashier is you--which would mean that you can defend the cashier by using your weapon on the perp. The only problem with that is what Badger said--you do not know all the facts for sure and alter ego can be a blessing to the person in danger and can also be a real threat to your liberty and pocketbook if you misunderstood the situation.
I agree with Badger. You may not know all the facts, you may have missed the accomplice walking in while you were picking out your shampoo. Maybe you did see him but it looked like some kid looking to buy Twinkies and hoping to take a peek at the naughty magazines. The if this robber has an accomplice lurking down one of the aisles and as soon as you take action you are now shot by the accomplice.
This is a training scenario I've been through. Take cover, be a good witness, call 911 if you can. If you are there with your family, get them out the back door.
NINJA SLIDE to one side to remove the cashier out of the line of fire and bang then back-flip over the BG and dial 911 before i hit the ground.
In reality point and click until I felt safe.