When Engaging the Threat Goes Wrong

This is a discussion on When Engaging the Threat Goes Wrong within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Jornal do Commercio / Recife, December 01st 2007. University student dies in assault in Imperial Street. (I'm translating/paraphrasing, so this is not the direct text ...

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Thread: When Engaging the Threat Goes Wrong

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    When Engaging the Threat Goes Wrong

    Jornal do Commercio / Recife, December 01st 2007.

    University student dies in assault in Imperial Street.

    (I'm translating/paraphrasing, so this is not the direct text of the article).
    A 24 year old woman was shot and killed during an attempted robbery/carjacking. The woman, who was in a car with her husband and a friend, was stopped in a minor traffic jam. They were approached by two men, both armed.

    The robbers demanded money and belonging, and the passengers complied. However, during the this time, an armed citizen who witnessed the robbery attempted to shoot the robbers. The citizens shot missed, but it apparently caused one robber to jerk/panic and fire a round from his own pistol. The round hit the woman in the neck, and she died at the hospital.
    I don't bring this up to say "don't get involved," far from it, in fact. I bring it up as a reminder that we must, as armed citizens, be as prudent as possible when getting involved in these inherently dangerous situations. Very often, getting involved helps prevent injury and loss of life, but there are those instances where it might make it worse... So, observe, THINK, and act on your best reasoning.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    Good reminder. Murphy and his laws will be actively involved in situation you find yourself in. You must keep that in mind.

    Don't get too trigger happy.

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    Distinguished Member Array Bob The Great's Avatar
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    That's a bad ending, but the guy was right to intervene. I just wish he had hit what he aimed at.
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    a gun is no good to you if you can't hit your intended target
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    Even if one decides that they need to intervene, shooting at the moment the BG has his gun covering someone is a thing to risky move. Not to mention missing when you are not even under fire. I can only guess that the intervener had the element of suprise. Thats the time to use your sights and do it right.
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    It goes to show us not only do we need to know how to shoot but more importantly we need to know when to shoot.
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Senior Member Array digitalexplr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgrass101 View Post
    It goes to show us not only do we need to know how to shoot but more importantly we need to know when to shoot.
    +1 How true, how true!

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    I think it's a Good Thing to take this as a point to ponder.

    However, even if the CCWer's shot had hit, the same thing could have happened, being hit could have caused the bad guy to flinch and fire his weapon, too. All we can do is keep it under consideration as something that can or could happen, and use the best judgment possible in the circumstance. Oftentimes in these thought-provoking board discussions, I take that to mean "don't shoot" unless things are really heading south. But in the end, you have to take each situation as you find it. Ethically, the bad consequences are on the head of the bad guy who caused the confrontation. Legally, not so sure, even in CCW-friendly states.

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    xsquidgator - I hope you didn't take the post as a "don't shoot" cautionary tale. I think I fall much further into the "intervene" camp than many... I just brought it up to remind everyone to fully engage their brains, take in as much of the situation as possible in the time given (that is, don't become so focused on one aspect that you ignore other, potentially more dangerous aspects), and then make the best choice you can for you, at that moment.

    I think, had I been the citizen, that I would have intervened. I would hope that I would a) wait for the best opportunity to fire, i.e. when the gun(s) is pointed away from the victims as much as possible, b) that I'd hit with that first shot, preferably in the brain pan or thoracic cavity, and c) that, if I didn't hit (heck, even if I did) that I'd keep firing until there was no longer a threat.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    I think, had I been the citizen, that I would have intervened. I would hope that I would a) wait for the best opportunity to fire, i.e. when the gun(s) is pointed away from the victims as much as possible, b) that I'd hit with that first shot, preferably in the brain pan of thoracic cavity, and c) that, if I didn't hit (heck, even if I did) that I'd keep firing until there was no longer a threat.
    +1 OPFOR

    This is what I meant, you just said it much better than I did. I hope I would have waited until the BG's gun was no longer pointed at the victim
    “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein,

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    Most of the instructors I've trained under, Clint Smith being one of the more wel known, strongly discourage intervention unless you have no choice or are absolutely sure you know what's going on.

    They support this position with all kinds of situations that went bad pretty much due to the intervention. One that seems to be a favorite is one CCWer shoots another CCWer thinking he's the BG. Another is the undercover cop that appears to be the assailent, a CCWer sees it, intervenes and you can imagine the possibilities.

    I'm not saying don't intervene, I believe that's a personal conviction based on what possible tragic outcomes you're willing to live with. In this example, the CCWer may live with guilt the rest of his life for causing the death of an innocent. There is the possibility the victim would have survived the ordeal if he hadn't intervened. The CCWer will probably be sued for everything he has worked for and owns. I know TN has a good Samaritan law that provides some protection in such situations, but it may be very dependent on the state and circumstances.

    I remember the shooting at the court house in Atlanta. A CCWer intervened only to be killed by the assailent.
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    Tangle, it happened in the State of Pernambuco, Brazil! I doubt there will be any lawsuits, and I SERIOUSLY doubt there will be any criminal prosecution. It is very difficult to get a CCW permit here, and most that have them are rich and/or politically connected (sort of like southern California or NYC - I always knew those places had more in common with corrupt developing nations then they did with the United States....)
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    I was cautioning people that read this board. While this guy may or may not be sued or face criminal charges, it is a distinct possibility for us in the States.
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    Point taken, and a very good point it is... Maybe I've been too serious on other threads lately, no one is catching my humor any more... Or, probably, I'm just not funny...
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OPFOR View Post
    Point taken, and a very good point it is... Maybe I've been too serious on other threads lately, no one is catching my humor any more... Or, probably, I'm just not funny...
    What? Not funny? Just look at this -
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