October 22nd, 2007 12:24 AM
Family was under fire today!
We were having a family camping get together on the in-laws mountain property. My family has been there before, but never overnight. My father-in-law stays there overnight regularly working on roads and infrastructure.
Anyway, I always carry while we are there despite some in the family thinking it is a bit overboard. After all, we are in the peaceful country. What could possibly happen?
Well, there we were, hanging out when my father-in-law and brother-in-law come running back to camp telling everyone to take cover. I was a ways away from everyone else but could still hear the warning. I look up and see all the wives herding kids into the RV trailer.
My brother-in-law and I directed everyone to their cars and we got away from the action quickly getting a larger hillside between us and the direction of incoming fire, which had briefly stopped.
My father-in-law was already calling police. The shooting had stopped and was now starting again in short bursts. The police responded and found two males 25 years of age "target shooting" on adjoining property. Dispatch called my father-in-law and stated that the deputy would return to speak with us after a funeral detail. They assured us that the offenders had been warned that their rounds were endangering others and that the two men would not be shooting anymore. We then returned to camp and resumed normal activities.
Well, about 45 minutes later, the wives are sitting around the campfire and my brother-in-law and I hear a shot. The next thing we know, we hear the wizzing of bullets and the classic sound of a .22 cal ricochet. The rounds were going right through the middle of camp where our families were sitting. We yell for everyone to get down. They jump over a little burm and take cover.
I covered the 50 yds to them in record time and checked to make sure they were ok. My brother-in-law made the point to get the rest of the children to safety.
It was then that I heard my father-in-law on the phone with 911 saying that we were taking fire that we were prepared to fire back! (He must have been speaking for me since I was the only one with a gun.) With only two deputies in the county we were not getting help anytime soon.
We brought a .22 for plinking. I made the dash to the car to retrieve it and grabbed my gun bag with additional ammo for the .22 and my handgun. From that point on my brother-in-law and I maintained cover for nearly an hour with two more bursts of intermittent fire.
I have to add, that I was impressed with my brother-in-law. He is prior military and his instincts and training were obvious as he moved around and worked to secure the area.
A neighbor friend came to see what the commotion was about. He said that he thought he knew the guys who were shooting and would go talk to them. He soon returned and also said that they were just target shooting and maybe they were "showing out" because we had called th police on them earlier.
Finally, the rounds had stopped long enough that we felt safe enough to emerge from protection. A few minutes later, the two "target shooters" pull up next to our property on their four-wheelers and look straight at me and drive off.
The deputy did arrive and said that he was going to talk with the guys but was sure that it was just and accident of some sort. He seemed to kind of laugh the whole thing off.
As the land is not mine, I did not participate in the conversation about what the deputy could do to the young men and whether or the second, third and fourth rounds of fire seemed malicious in retaliation for the first call made to the police.
BTW, no one in the family thinks that I am overboard for carrying any longer. I will encourage my father-in-law to get a copy of the police report.
I wanted to share a interesting scenario and read any feedback that you can give.
Can anyone tell me how close the rounds really have to be to hear them wizzing by?
October 22nd, 2007 12:31 AM
Too close. If it was distinct enough to hear em wizzing by, more than likely it could cause harm to you and yours. Cover for an hour? I might have considered a search and disarm type mission after about 10 minutes. Sounds like they didn't listen to the PD warning . Maybe time to look into formal charges and talk with a superior officer?
"In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson
Nemo Me Impune Lacesset
October 22nd, 2007 12:35 AM
It wasn't quite an hour. Every time we thought the coast was clear we would get another burst of fire and call the police who would reassure us that police were on their way and that we should just stay where we were.
A disarm mission would have likely placed us on someone else's property with unthinkable liability if it turned ugly.
We just stayed put. In this case, no harm in waiting.
October 22nd, 2007 03:01 AM
Thank you for sharing the story. That was hair-raising. I'm glad you are all ok.
Originally Posted by gmitch40
You have a pair of guys up there who are without question in need of extermination.
October 22nd, 2007 03:10 AM
I think your defense would be, "They were FIRING RIFLES AT US FOR NEARLY AN HOUR!"
A disarm mission would have likely placed us on someone else's property with unthinkable liability if it turned ugly.
What about the liability of a police department that "spoke to" guys who were recklessly firing guns near campers? And then failed to adequately make sure the guys left the area. And then didn't show up and confiscate the firearms from the guys and begin a formal criminal investigation? You have numerous witnesses attesting to the fact that bullets were whizzing right through your campground for a sustained period of time.
Sure, the cops are thinking, "It's just some 'good ol' boys' havin' their fun, hyuck hyuck," and yeah, if they'd wanted to shoot you, they probably would have done so. Doesn't change the fact that this is aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and probably a host of other felonies. Lives were put in danger, and it is not within the realm of what should be expected of you, to have been divining what the intent of the shooters was. You were justified to be ending lives in this case; at least, that's my opinion.
More to the point, I wish that was how it had ended up. The guys you described... they are not fit to live among humanity, doing what they did. This is why "rednecks" and "hillbillies" are so roundly despised. The facts bear out the stereotypes.
October 22nd, 2007 04:13 AM
Bullets wizzing by? I think I'd have to fire back!
USN 78-82/USAF 82-93 Medically Retired
Desert Shield/Desert Storm
DAV Life Member
NRA Life Member
October 22nd, 2007 07:18 AM
I would file charges and follow up with the prosecutor's office. I would also seek an attorney and file a lawsuit against the shooter's and the other property owner. This is totally irresponsible behavior. Ideally they should be convicted of a felony so they lose their rights to own a firearm. These guys are dangerous.
HELGA: Where are you going?
HAGAR: To sign a peace treaty with the King of England.
HELGA: Then why take all those weapons?
HAGAR: First we gotta negotiate...
October 22nd, 2007 07:25 AM
Firing back crossed my mind but I had no clear picture of where they were. Had I been able to see them, I believe that I would have been justified in firing back even if they were not on our land when shooting.
I had also thought of actually trying to flank their position to get a visual to determine if, in fact, they were just "target shooting" or if they were intentionally firing in our direction.
If I had achieved a clear sight picture and they were clearly aiming in the direction of our families, the proper engagement would have taken place.
The most frustrating thing was that our family was effectively pinned down waiting on the police.
I kept repeating one of our member's signatures the whole time, "when seconds count, the police are minutes away."
As for the criminal charges, my father-in-law is the type to pursue charges. We will see what happens.
October 22nd, 2007 08:27 AM
I have a camper that slides in the back of my F350; when we go camping at a minimum I carry 3 handguns, a tricked out Rem. 1100 and a shorty AR with 10, 30 round mags. I think I might have sent 30 rounds in the direction of the incomming fire, they were being vendictive after the deputy made his one appearance and endagering your family.
Last edited by F350; October 22nd, 2007 at 08:29 AM.
October 22nd, 2007 08:57 AM
What to say...
How about since they were warned once that their "plinking" was endangering, the second time was assault with intent to commit murder. Yeah I would have returned fire, but what I shoot all you would have found is a brown streak from where they messed them self.
"The sword dose not cause the murder, and the maker of the sword dose not bear sin" Rabbi Solomon ben Isaac 11th century
October 22nd, 2007 09:45 AM
yikes! im glad nobody was hurt.
sounds like they were not aware of their target and what was beyond it.
.. and then the found out.. and didnt care. what idiots
October 22nd, 2007 09:57 AM
I don't think I would go for search and disarm. To me, it sounds like after they were already warned by the local LEO on site and they resumed fire in your direction after they left...seems intentional to me. Plus if they're "wizzing" by...they're coming AT you. If I wasn't able to bug-out (ie escape and evade)...search and destroy is the only other option that comes to mind(especially with wife and kids being in the line of fire).
Originally Posted by rocky
"My God David, We're a Civilized society."
"Sure, As long as the machines are workin' and you can call 911. But you take those things away, you throw people in the dark, and you scare the crap out of them; no more rules...You'll see how primitive they can get."
-The Mist (2007)
October 22nd, 2007 10:01 AM
very scary indeed. Staying behind cover was probably the best thing you could've done. If you don't know where the shooter is, going on a recon mission is probably just going to get you in a worse position. I would sure as hell have a rifle in my hands, though, and if I saw anyone come out of the woods aiming into the campsite, they would have a real bad day.
"A well-educated electorate, being necessary to the continuance of a free state, the right of the people to keep and read books shall not be infringed."
Is this hard to understand? Then why does it get unintelligible to some people when 5 little words are changed?
October 22nd, 2007 10:05 AM
The answer was to Escape and Evade. For those that say fire back I would seriously review the 4 rules again especially #4
Know your target, what the projectile (ammunition) can do, what's between you and your target, and what is beyond.
What makes you any better when you just go shooting in the blind as well.
2 wrongs don't make it right.
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XD 9 Service
XD 9 SC
Taurus 651 .357 mag
October 22nd, 2007 12:13 PM
It sounds like to me you kept a cool head in a tough situation. Good job! You could easily get into trouble by blindly firing back. Leaving the safety of good cover to "search and destroy" might come across as aggressive to a liberal jury even though most of us see it as totally justified. Even if a DA decides you were justified and no charges are filed, you can still be sued by the boys' families. You may win you that case, but you will still have to hire a lawyer to defend yourself.
I agree with Pitmaster. Make sure they are prosecuted and consider filing a civil lawsuit. You don't have to be the landowner to do that. I would also do some followup with the responding police department. Without knowing exactly what the LEO said, he probably needs a stern lecture from his surperior if not someting more severe.
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