Real situation tonight - Weapons cleared holsters!!
This is a discussion on Real situation tonight - Weapons cleared holsters!! within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Tonight was one of those nights where things seem to continue to escalate out of control quickly and without provocation.
It was almost 8:30pm, we ...
March 21st, 2009 12:01 AM
Real situation tonight - Weapons cleared holsters!!
Tonight was one of those nights where things seem to continue to escalate out of control quickly and without provocation.
It was almost 8:30pm, we were closing the store (Blind Eye Outfitters - we sell guns, ammo, professional fishing tackle, hunting supplies etc.) late due to a late walk-in handgun sale to a LEO candidate in training. She wanted to purchase a personal weapon for defense that was similar to what she would be issued.
After the sale the owner, Jason, and I began to close up shop. Since a break-in two weekends ago all rifles and handguns are removed from the store and taken to the owners home. We do not yet have a safe installed (that is coming soon).
As we finished loading the weapons into the truck and were about to lock the door we decided to take extra notice of a dark colored mini-van parked at the south corner of the parking lot strip. We watched for just a couple of minutes from behind the owners truck (see map). Very quickly the large man had moved from the drivers side of the van to the passenger side. He then had a person, which at first looked like a teenage child, in a choke hold with his arm around the persons neck. He was moving the person towards the passenger door, which was now open. He removed his arm from his/her neck and, from behind, grabbed the persons arms at the biceps and tried to force him/her into the passenger seat of the van. The person was clearly resisting. As I said, at this time that person looked like a teenage child. In Florida, this is kidnapping and is a forcible felony defensible by lethal force if necessary.
At the same time, Jason and I moved towards them. Jason stayed to his right closer to the highway sidewalk and I moved in along the store front sidewalk. We closed to within about 30 feet. As we moved we yelled "Stop!!". Both Jason and I moved hands to our weapons, which were on our side, and stood at a ready stance.
The man released the person, who then moved towards me. I was then able to identify the person as a small middle aged woman. She told me she was diabetic and needed insulin. She also told me she had just stepped into the store while we were closing up and saw the two of us, Jason and myself, behind the counter. She said she was about to call the police then thinking we were robbing the store. WTH??
Neither Jason nor I saw her come into the store. If she did, it was quick and she made not a sound. I personally don't believe her.
She also continually said "Its ok, no need to call the police". I told her Jason, the owner, has made the call already. Jason, as soon as we had reached our positions, pulled his cell phone and called 911. He also continually instructed the man to step away from the van. Both driver and passenger doors were still open and the man would not comply with the command to step away from the vehicle. He circled back around the rear of the van to the passenger side. He would then walk all around the side and back to the rear and around again to the driver side. He then went in to the van reaching through the open door into the drivers compartment.
Seeing this move Jason drew his weapon from the holster but never pointed it at the man, but definitely allowed the man to see he was prepared. Again, Jason asserted that he should step away from the vehicle. The man began to yell and blabber on about how we were not allowed to point a gun at him, blah blah, we are in trouble for using our guns on him, blah blah, he was going to sue us, blah blah. He got loud at one point while Jason was on the cell phone with 911, and was trying to yell loud enough for the 911 operator to hear him yelling that we had a gun pointed at him and he felt threatened and in fear for his life.
I continued to watch the woman from the corner of my eye who had, by now, took a seat on the front sidewalk close to the store front. I also watched closely what the man was doing. When he came to the passenger side I was able to cover in case he reached in the car for a weapon. I did not have a good clear line of fire as I was facing towards a six lane road with some traffic passing by.
Jason had a much better field of fire as he was faced more towards the corner of our parking lot where there was nothing but an empty building next door. Still, I was ready to close on the man and fire if needed.
This man became increasingly agitated and just would not stay away from the vehicle. Three times he reached into the vehicle, once at the
drivers side and twice while on passenger side. Several times he would go around to the rear of the van and stand there. A couple of times he walked several feet away from the van more towards where the woman was seated. On one occasion when he reached into the passenger side of the van he also made a move to adjust or reach into his waistband. This was the first and only time my weapon left its holster. I drew my XD45 but kept it pointed down and finger along side the slide. I never pointed it at the man.
At no point did I ever really feel threatened, just that I needed to be very alert and watch his every move.
Finally, after about ten minutes total time from beginning of encounter, the police showed up. About four patrol cars came and a total of maybe 8 officers.
They took over the situation. Later they took our statements and checked our ID. They asked if we were armed and what we were carrying and generally shot the b.s. with us. They knew this couple from numerous domestic calls prior. They said the guy is really unstable. That worries me a bit as he might come back with an attitude one day. I might have a second chance with him!
Later we also learned that two of the "officers" were trainees and two were applicants on a "ride-along".
Anyway, below is a map of the scenario. Please feel free to critique our actions. Tell me what you feel we did right or wrong and explain.
I don't pretend to be a trained operator. We just did what was necessary to stop what we thought was a possible child abduction.
Last edited by Tally XD; March 21st, 2009 at 01:15 AM.
"Engage your brain before you engage your weapon" - James "Mad Dawg" Mattis
March 21st, 2009 12:26 AM
Beware! Things aren't always as they appear.
Even if it was a teenage child. It wouldn't have been a forceful kidnapping if the child was acting out of control and a parent was trying to control him and get him back home. I've seen some pretty large 12 & 14 year old's who were out of control but they are still a minor and the parents still have responsibility over their own children until the court chooses to remove them from the home. (At no time was the apparent victim screaming for help! I would think someone who was being kidnapped would be screaming their heads off)
I think if the couple had not been "known" to the responding LEO's and had a history with them, things could have turned out differently for you and your boss.
I was not there on the scene and therefore not the one to be making any calls on your course of action.
Just trying to point out one of the biggest problems an armed citizen can bring upon themselves, and that is things aren't always as they appear! Which is exactly what occurred. It turned out that it was not a kidnapping in progress!
There was obviously a reason to be on alert, concerned and to be in condition orange! They could have been there to rob you of your guns after staking you out for several days and observing the pattern of your boss taking all the guns out of the store every night.
None the less, I probably would not have approached them at all unless they came after me to take the store's gun inventory. Other than that, call 911 and report what you see and give license plate number and what other details you can provide.
One other thing! And this is important... Why on earth did you leave the cover of your bosses truck (or the ability to get back in the store) and approach the subjects out in the open? Should a gunfight started at that moment, the BG's would have had great cover from their van, and you and your boss would have been sitting ducks!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
March 21st, 2009 12:46 AM
I think that overall it turned out well. This is a hard situation to judge because I wasn't there. I'll agree that probably shouldn't have left the cover of your vehicle, perhaps called 911 first, then yelled at them from there to see what their reactions were and go from there. It's good that you were aware of the situation though.
Also, the police response time is a perfect example of why we carry. 10 min is multiple lifetimes in a tense situation
Smith & Wesson M&P9c
Nitecore EX10 R2
SOG Access Card 2.0
March 21st, 2009 12:51 AM
Keep cover if you can.
You decided to determine what was 'really' going on because of the suspicious actions & what you thought could be a kidnapping, and notified police..... I see no problem at all there.
You didn't point your gun at him, but were ready. See no issues there... especially with his movements and no explanation from them.
I think I would have been questioning the woman more as to what was 'really ' going on, as she could have provided you with more useful information.... and then, maybe she wouldn't .
Given you were removing guns, it had you on alert already.... and with a suspicious van....
Note : don't take them home. A gun dealer here never kept his guns at home. However, some gang-bangers decided he probably did..... snuck into his house, shot him in his sleep (did let his 2 daughters live) and found Nothing. They were later caught because they told their friends about doing it.
March 21st, 2009 01:28 AM
I agree with you except that I really do not believe, in Florida, there would have been any repercussions over our actions. At no time did we unlawfully "brandish" and we genuinely felt the person was in danger. Had it been a real abduction, by the time we finished with 911, even if immediately called, he could have been gone with the child.
Originally Posted by Bark'n
I thought about this after drawing the map! You are correct! We did leave our cover! I know why we left cover. It was to try to identify who he had in his grip (it was mostly dark outside) and we were only armed with pistols (needed to close distance). Other than the owners truck, there was no cover in between us and them. It still was a mistake!!
Originally Posted by Bark'n
As stated, I do agree about leaving cover but calling 911 first would not have saved an abduction if that had been the real case.
Originally Posted by BamaSteve
I did try to question her some while still watching the actions of the large man. She was incoherent mostly, but not drunk I don think. I smelled no alcohol on her. She was also British and had a thick accent.
Originally Posted by Eagleks
I sort of agree here, however, he lives more than an hour away in a small town. I really think it unlikely anyone would ever find his home. However, he might, one night, be assaulted while driving away from the store. We have a gun safe coming very soon and no guns will have to leave the store anymore.
Originally Posted by Eagleks
"Engage your brain before you engage your weapon" - James "Mad Dawg" Mattis
March 21st, 2009 01:31 AM
The womans story sounds kind of suspect, needing insulin doesn't make you act weird or violent. low blood glucose does. She was probably covering for her husband, abused women do that.
No point critiquing your performance, you did what you felt was right and that's all you can do. You might have saved a life. That's what the good guys do.
March 21st, 2009 03:35 AM
I would not have tried to confront the individuals, but rather be a good witness only. While I understand and fully respect what you were trying to do...this is a crazy world and we cannot afford to be LEO's...we are not LEO's. I only say that because one misfortune, one misunderstanding of the situation could cause you BIG problems.
That said, we all must make decisions based upon the situation we find ourselves in...I wasn't there, who knows, I may have done the same thing.
While FL affords some protections when truly using SD, looking for a place to 'confront' is completely different then being 'confronted'...OMHO!
Stay armed...know the situation before wandering in...stay safe!
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
March 21st, 2009 08:51 AM
Wow, gunstore commandos...
You aren't officers and you have no right to tell somebody to 'step away from their vehicle' or give any of the other commands you gave, especially at gun point.
I find it hard to believe you didn't end up in jail.
March 21st, 2009 09:17 AM
I tend to agree...I wonder what you would have done if he continued to grab the girl and/or get in the vehicle and drive off. At least if you were in your truck, you could of followed. Who was watching the store and/or truck while this was all on-going (re: "were about to lock the door")...I'm assuming the truck was unlocked as well.
Originally Posted by Kerbouchard
Finally, I never draw, then leave the gun at my side...do you practice that way? I might put my hand on the butt of the gun...but never draw. Do you see LEOs doing that? If one draws...they aim.
March 21st, 2009 09:26 AM
I have to agree with Kerbouchard, even if they were a threat to the woman at first you removed her from that threat and kept acting as a police officer would have. You have no right to detain anyone in that set of circumstances, lying or not she stated she was in no danger. You are very lucky to step in the middle of a domestic dispute and walk away unscathed. Call 911 and be a good witness. Police officers themselves are very cautious about domestics disputes and that may be an understatement as they are one of the most volatile situations they see.
For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the son of man be. Mathew 24:27
March 21st, 2009 09:53 AM
It sure sounds like a domestic violence case to me. One that LEO's hate to have to get involved in and one that I would never get involved in myself.
From you position I'm sure it did look like a kidnapping, and at that point I would have made a 911 call while keeping cover, getting details and relaying them by phone to the dispatcher. If you had to follow that would have been better than stepping from cover and confronting. Who knows what weapons he might had had?
Best to be a good live witness in cases like this.
Disclaimer: The posts made by this member are only the members opinion, not a reflection on anyone else, nor the group, and should not be cause for anyone to get their undergarments wedged in an uncomfortable position.
March 21st, 2009 10:00 AM
I think you both should consider yourselves lucky that you arent facing formal charges.
I would have taken distant cover, called 911 and been a good witness. Never would I have "cleared leather" in this situation. I dont think that we have a responsibility to protect the public, thats the job for LE. Your gun is to protect you and I dont see where you were in any "iminent" danger.
"Government is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem". - Ronald Reagan 1981
March 21st, 2009 10:50 AM
The road to h is paved with good intentions. So is the road to jail.
Charges could have been anything from unlawful display, assault with a deadly weapon, impersonating, kidnapping, and that is before the shots were fired.
You guys did the right thing morally. You had good intentions. But you are lucky as heck that these two were already known to the police for their domestic disputes.
March 21st, 2009 10:59 AM
Okay, from the comfort of my computer chair with coffee in hand, I have a different perspective.
As I read your account, I saw a situation that looked like these two at the van were drawing you away from a truckload of guns and keeping you distracted while the "other accomplices" would try to get to the guns.
You could have found yourselves out in the open between armed people at the van, and armed people at your truckload of guns, and in one heap of trouble.
The store had been robbed recently?
And now you have packaged the guns up nicely for transportation and are drawn away and surrounded.
They could have been a Mexican Drug Cell (I don't know how to spell "narco-terrorist") looking for new "tools" for their trade.
I could be off, but when handling a large number of guns, I'd be thinking of how there are a few elements in this world that would do just about anything to get those guns from you.
My 2 cents.
It’s so much easier now days, to "Love and honor" my wife, when she is armed, and shoots a better group than I do. (Till death do us part, eh?)
“The way you get shot by a concealed weapons permit holder is, you point a gun at him,” the Sheriff said.
March 21st, 2009 11:29 AM
I like many others have to agree with Kerbouchard. You have no authority to order anyone away from their vehicle. You drew your weapons on someone because they didn't follow your commands. I think your lucky to be able to relay this incident to us, and aren't instead sitting behind bars.
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