Store shooting - lessons learned

Store shooting - lessons learned

This is a discussion on Store shooting - lessons learned within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; From the latest USCCA newsletter: Written by Mr. Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League ******************************* 1. Exclusive: I met with the ...

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Thread: Store shooting - lessons learned

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Store shooting - lessons learned

    From the latest USCCA newsletter:

    Written by Mr. Philip Van Cleave, President of the Virginia Citizens Defense League

    1. Exclusive: I met with the gun owner who saved lives in the Richmond Golden Market shooting last week

    On Friday I received a surprise call from the gun owner who has been in the press this week for saving lives at a Richmond store. The gun owner used a replica 1875 Remington Army .45 Long Colt with a 7 1/2 inch barrel to stop a criminal who had shot the store's owner.

    He wanted to remain anonymous, but called so that the story could be set straight, as much of what was in the press wasn't accurate.

    Board member Dennis O'Connor and I ended up meeting with him today (Saturday) at the Golden Market store, where the shooting had taken place one week earlier.

    Besides being able to actually see the layout of the store, Dennis and I got to see the security videos of the shooting!

    We also got to meet the store owner who had been shot twice during the hold up, but is now back at his store. More on this great man later.

    Here is what we know from talking to the gun owner and watching the videos:

    The gun owner (GO) was in the store waiting in line to pay for an item when the bad guy (BG) came in wearing dark sunglasses and trying to coverup his face while brandishing a revolver. The BG yelled for everyone to get down and before anybody could react, immediately walked over to the store owner and in a cold-blooded fashion shot him twice. The owner then dropped down behind the counter. It wasn't more than 2 seconds after the BG first walked in the doors that he shot the store owner.

    Those shots at the store owner missed a teenage boy's head by inches.

    The GO yelled for the BG to drop his gun as the GO drew his gun. The BG opened fire on the GO. The GO returned fire, hitting the BG as the GO dove hard for the floor behind some barrels full of ice and drinks.

    The BG ran towards the back of the store, aiming his gun at an innocent man laying prone on the floor. Luckily the BG was too distracted by the GO to shoot the man. There is no doubt in my mind that the man would have been shot in cold blood that day if it weren't for that GO returning fire.

    The BG kept trying to get to the front of the store by walking up various aisles and firing shots at the GO as he did so. At one point cans of tinned meat exploded on a shelf as the BG took a shot at the GO.

    What was bizarre was that the BG actually was strutting around like he owned the place while under fire! As he approached the front of one aisle, he again pointed a gun at a person on the ground and was about to execute him, when he was again distracted by the GO.

    Finally the GO spotted the BG at the front of an aisle standing in the open.

    Much to his surprise, the GO discovered that when he dove hard for the floor he had somehow broken the trigger on his gun!

    But the gun was a single action, so the GO pushing himself up with one arm, aimed the gun, pulled the hammer back and let it fly forward - twice.

    Although seriously wounded three times, the BG came at the GO. The BG tried to grab the GO's gun since the BG's gun was out of ammunition. A life-and-death struggle began. The GO got a grip on the BG's gun and the GO hit the BG twice hard on the temple with the 7 1/2" barrel on his rather heavy gun.

    The BG finally broke off the engagement, tried to run out the front door, but collapsed at the door.

    The GO secured the BG's gun and keeping an eye on the now unconscious bad guy, called 9-1-1.

    The BG has now died (he was in critical condition since the shooting).

    The police showed up a minute or so after the 9-1-1 call and initially had everyone in the store at gun point and handcuffed some until they could figure out who was who.

    What really impressed me was that on the surveillance video, the owner, while shot twice by the BG, was walking around making sure that all of his customers were OK after the shooting had ended. He only let himself collapse after he was sure they were OK! Words fail me on this. I am so glad that he made it. What a dichotomy - a BG who shoots an innocent person without provocation, almost killing a teenager while doing so - caring for no one but himself. And then the store owner who, while seriously wounded, making sure his customers were OK. Evil exists and so does Good. Both were on display in those two minutes of terror. Luckily only the bad guy was killed. The owner was walking with a limp, clearly in some pain. :-(

    A lot of people owe their lives to that GO. However, he is having none of it, saying that he simply did what he had to do.


    The GO wanted me to share the following points:

    * Buy a quality gun - don't use some cheap $90 gun to protect your life. He considered his gun to be a good one and even then the trigger broke under the extreme stress of a life-and-death battle.

    * Practice with your gun, get training, and be good with that gun.

    * More and more BGs are choosing to kill in cold blood to get what they want. If they can't live the "good life, " then they don't care if their crimes send them to jail.

    * He also noted that fewer and fewer BGs are getting any jail time.

    Some of my own observations:

    Unless you disrupt the central nervous system, do NOT assume hits from any handgun, whatever the caliber, will instantly stop a determined foe.

    Train and equip yourself so you can fire a burst. Keep firing until the threat is over.

    The only time you can have too much ammo is if you are drowning or on fire. A reliable semi-auto pistol is preferable to a revolver.

    If you are going to shoot, do not give a warning. That just gives away the element of surprise.

    Carry a gun that has been "torture tested." In combat, guns will get dropped onto hard floors, and into sand, dirt, or mud. Your gun may get soaked in blood or other "matter." Your gun must continue to function under adverse conditions.

    Have a backup weapon. If not a BUG, at least a knife.

    Carry a Quik-Clot dressing. Know how to self-administer first aid, as well as give aid to others.

    Most importantly perhaps - Never give up. As long as you are conscious, continue to fight.

    I'm sure others will draw their own conclusions, but I figured this was a good start.
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

  2. #2
    Member Array Red82's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Wow what a story. It's so nice to hear things like this. How being a gun owner SAVED not only his life but the life of others. Thank you for sharing.
    Protection is a responsibility not just a right.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    If you wanta trust your life to a $90 Single action western style six gun where if you have to reload you have to eject each spent cartridge one at a time,be my guest.This guy is lucky the disconnector broke so by pulling the hammer back and letting go the firing pin would strike the primer
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

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  5. #4
    Member Array CAJUN600's Avatar
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    well done, thanks for posting.

  6. #5
    Member Array MiloSC's Avatar
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    I can't even imagine carrying a gun like that. That thing must weigh a ton.
    The only time you can have too much ammo is if you are drowning or on fire. A reliable semi-auto pistol is preferable to a revolver.
    I disagree with this statement. If the gun owner had a modern quality revolver, he would have been better off. I think the statment that autoloaders are superior to revolvers is not a fair statement.
    When in doubt empty the magazine.

    "There is nothing so likely to produce peace as to be well prepared to meet the enemy." - George Washington

  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Who carries a cowboy action handgun as their _life preserver_?
    Does this guy use a swing of whisky and a stick to bit on as his mode of anasthesia when he's under the knife.

    Further a 7.5" barrel length is nuts....For self defense.
    Just making he draw from a holster would be time consuming never mind getting and making a hold on target.
    It can be done and is, by cowboy action shooters, but why do things the hard way when far better and easier to get the job done tools are readily available.
    Ones that are not combat fragile such as this antiquated design piece.

    The GG got lucky.

    I bet anything that he's now looking at Glock autoloaders or Smith & Wesson revolvers for _combat_ use. By definition combat is not exclusive to fighting wars on foreign lands. Contrary to many peoples ideas on the subject as related to non military and non police actions..

    Winning a race or fight by luck alone gets counted as a win, but it cannot be depended on beyond a single positive occurrence.

    - 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

  8. #7
    Senior Member Array highoctane's Avatar
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    Ive read this story before. He got lucky. I cant believe he thought his gun was "good"! There are much better choices.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    My understanding is that the GG was open-carrying, which explains how he was able to carry such a long revolver. Interesting to note that the BG did not notice his rather large, openly-carried gun, and instead focused on the store clerk in the opening seconds.

    Yes, GG got very lucky.

    I don't want to get into the revolver vs pistol debate. However, consider that a Glock 26 (or similar subcompact pistol) is about the same size as a typical 5-shot snubbie, yet is thinner and carries more than twice as much ammo.

    If a revolver is 99.98% reliable, then a Glock is 99.96% reliable. That's a very good trade-off, IMHO. I do think revolvers have a place - as BUGs, or for those who have dexterity issues with racking the slide on a pistol. Otherwise, I feel a reliable pistol is a definite tactical advantage due to ammo capacity and speed of reload.

    The reality is that, at typical self-defense distances, running out of ammo is a fight-stopper. If you run out of ammo, or you gun stops running for whatever reason, chances are good that the BG will be on top of you if he is still combative.

    A backup weapon and hand-to-hand skills are nice to have.

    Some things to consider.
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array OPFOR's Avatar
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    See, the Brady Bunch was right. It IS the Old West!

    That is a pretty crazy story. I'm glad the good guy had the mental fortitude to continue the fight (more important by far than the tools he uses - though his choice of tools is certainly not ideal) and win, despite mechanical failures and a determined bad guy. That's one tough hombre...
    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.

  11. #10
    Distinguished Member Array ArmyCop's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post. Well worth a good thinking through.
    For God, Family and Country!

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    I am also glad the GO knew about tactics such as cover/concealment. That was good. It also shows the BG didnt know or care to use cover. I wonder if he is a gangbanger and that is against the Macho code.

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    carry what you practice with. There are a lot of cowboy action shooters out there who can outshoot most folks on this forum.

    I've concealed my Ruger Super Blackhawk SA with 4-5/8 barrel. Not my personal first choice for conceal by the "why" is irrilevant to this thread.

    Great story, I'd like to see that store security video for myself.
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

    Who is John Galt?

  14. #13
    Member Array mdinnie's Avatar
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    Maybe this is the only gun the GO had or could afford. It comes across a little arrogant to question why he was not using a better weapon. But maybe I'm just having a bad day and am interpreting it wrong.

    I only have one handgun - a 4" GP100. I'd like to buy a sig but have competing responsibilities for my paycheck. - Like ammo

    He was carrying what he had and he saved the day. Good job.

  15. #14
    Member Array JBozeman's Avatar
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    Selma, Alabama
    Thank you for a great post. Great reminders to be ready at all times, for action and Eternity!
    The BG's are on the increase and have no fear of "doing time"!

    Great thought provoking Post!
    Take Care
    "If we lose freedom here, there's no place to escape to, this is the last stand on earth." Ronald Reagan

    "Gentlemen, Prepare to defend yourselves" SGM Basil Plumley

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    Good lessons here for all!

    I agree with Janq, get a good modern self defense pistol and learn how to use it! Using cover is good and smart, but having a weapon that runs out of ammo and ends up being used as a club is not useful at all. Yes, I will concede that there are some good cowboy action shooters out there, but no one knows what happens to these great shooters when the SHTF because a whole lot of folks don't realize how their carefully thought out scenarios don't play out at all in the real world. Usually it happens the way it happened in the shop incident described; when the fight started, the good guy emptied his weapon at a BG and didn't stop him, he kept coming. Now the good guy has a weapon that is little more than a club. Even if he decided to try and reload, he is trying to load a weapon that I am assuming loads one round at a time. And requires you to take your eyes off of the action while you do it.

    Modern fights and the tactics that have evolved have required the weapons to evolve as well. This is what Jeff Cooper and his "leatherslap" matches proved back in the '50s. Yes, in many cases, an autoloading pistol like the 1911 held an edge because of the speed of reloading and the firepower; however it took a revolver guy (Jack Weaver) to point the way in regards to proper combat grip to maximize combat accuracy.

    My point here is that yes, you can live in the past with older weaponry, but it may not be the best choice to survive a present day fight. The world of martial arts is another prime example. Bruce Lee invented a fighting system that is still relevant today based on a real world encounter that almost left him paralyzed; many thought he was crazy even back then, but look at the mixed martial arts today, and the guys that are winning are guys that have evolved and adapted their styles.

    The same should be applied here; apply weaponry and modern up-to-date tactics and the weaponry and your chances of surviving an encounter like the one described go up dramatically. The guy in the article was very, very lucky....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

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