September 9th, 2005 09:57 AM
Things that go BANG in the night
Good Morning Everyone.
Here's a something that happened to me yesterday that has made me think, and I have the feeling you guys might have some valuable input/insights into what could have gone better.
But first, a little bit of background information. I'm a single airman still living in the barracks, so my personal weapons stay in the armory (not by choice) so I usually don't carry during the week (Of course, when I'm off base during the week, I'm usually in a bar or restaurant and cc isn't legal in Arizona in any establishment that serves.) My girlfriend lives in Tempe, home of ASU. This is a very liberal, very anti-gun college part of town. Almost everyone in her complex is a student at ASU (or recently was).
I went to my girlfriend's apartment for dinner Wednesday night. Once I got there I relaxed, played with the dog (She has a pug, and while I don't really like dogs, I feel bad for this one, it's in a kennel whenever she's in school), and admired my girlfriend while she tried to cook a steak dinner for me. (She's a veg, it was VERY interesting to watch...) Ate dinner, watched a little TV, went to bed. About 0030, maybe 0100 I hear a loud noise and I sit right up in bed, wide awake. To me it sounds like a large caliber pistol being fired. I roll out of bed, grab my knife and check the rest of the apartment. Go back to the bedroon and grab pants, go check apartment again and look through windows. Don't see anything outside but things feel bad. I grab her keys and go out front. (She lives on a second floor apartment, with an open walkway/balcony around each apartment.) I waited in the shadows, and looked around. I didn't see anything so I cleared about fifty feet each way of her apartment and then went back to the shadows. Waited there for about five minutes and then went inside.
Flash foward to Thursday morning. I haven't slept well at all, but I get up and get ready really early (0630), when we walk outside we find police cruisers everywhere and half the front lawn marked off in police tape. When we get around back to the parking lot we see the entire lot taped off as a crime scene. Seems there was a dead body two cars away from my car. I speak to one of the patrolmen and realize I'm not going anywhere anytime soon. (My car ended up being locked in that crime scene until nearly 1800.) So we go back upstairs, get interviewed by a detective, my girlfriend is cleared to go.
The girlfriend goes to class and I sit around her apartment. Play with the dog for a bit and then wander outside. End up having a three hour discussion with the officer on perimeter security outside her apartment. I ended up finding out a couple of interesting things: I was the only person who ID'ed the noise as gunshots and reacted (other then turning on the lights), and almost everyone was talking about how scared they were, this was the third murder in Tempe this year.
My biggest regret is (other then not being armed) is not checking out behind the building. If I had just gone and even looked around the corner I would have seen the body and there may have been a possibility that I could have done something for him.
September 9th, 2005 10:36 AM
Having seen/heard similar situations in Wichita, my first thought is that w/o a gun, and someone else armed & watching your back, the poor guy/gal would have to bleed while I called PD. If the shooter lives in the apt. bldg., they may have a seriously vested interest in making sure the person they shot "stays dead", and might not be averse to shooting a non-uniformed (that might not be much of an issue, either, as long as you're alone!) aid-giver. A really hard call...... I love trauma, and bad things do happen to good people, but going out alone......Maybe God was saving you from your best intentions. Lots of things to assess; ya'll be careful!
September 9th, 2005 11:05 AM
I agree with Rob, going out to investigate a shooting is dangerous, armed or not. You don't have back-up and the BGs may. You likely won't know if and where the BGs are and they may know where you are.
It's a tough call, this is not like you have an opportunity to stop something, the damage is done already and you didn't even have a gun. The best thing in this situation is call the police and let them handle it.
September 9th, 2005 12:33 PM
Much potential for the unknown - and certainly on your own not fully armed - probably as well you didn't scout further.
Chris - P95
NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.
"To own a gun and assume that you are armed
is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!."
- a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.
September 9th, 2005 04:58 PM
Even if i packing im still not going looking for trouble. I mean if i see it and im involved or close enough that ive been seen then ill jump in to help.
But If its like you say middle of night then im sorry i wouldnt go looking to many places for someone to hide in the Dark and shoot you .
I belive in looking out for #1
September 9th, 2005 05:13 PM
I agree with Bud. In the middle of the night don't go looking. Just call the Police.
September 9th, 2005 05:36 PM
Sir, not a wise call, but shows your heart is in the right place. Get an AZ CCW permit - you can, regardless of state of residence. Find a place with lockboxes, (mailboxes etc, or something similar), outside the base, and rent one for whatever CCW peice you can afford on the pitiful salary the military pays nowadays. As log as you follow both AZ law and UCMJ, you'r cool. And enjoy your stay in AZ, sir!
If total government control equals safety, why are prisons so dangerous?
September 9th, 2005 11:26 PM
I think he did the right thing and the decent human thing by carefully going out to scope things out. He was being pretty aware and careful.
Dangerous? ~ probably a bit dangerous...but, it's a good that he did.
I can't come down on somebody for showing some good honest bravery. Though I AM concerned for what COULD HAVE happened to him.
If it was me that was laying out there shot...I sure would be praying that some good person would show up sometime before I expired & gave up the ghost.
He probably couldn't call 911 just because he heard an unknown loud noise.
I know I would have gone out also. If I thought it a gunshot (but, was not sure) I probably would have put on my BPV before I went out.
There could have been a shot innocent robbery victim out there who was seriously/fatally wounded and that person may have needed quick emergency help and an ambulance. I say Good Job & well done.
Next time...(of course) be careful and be extra careful you don't trip over the body.
September 10th, 2005 02:31 AM
Originally Posted by Tangle
Why don't you have a gun at your GF's? If you can't carry one, at least have one locked up and accessable.
Seek safety at the heart of danger.
Live Easy, Die Hard
September 10th, 2005 03:24 AM
1952 - 2006
I agree with most of what has already been said. Going 'hunting' at night, and that's what you are comtemplating, with only a knife is a most dangerous thing to do. Even armed I'm going to investigate my balcony and my immediate area only, not go looking for possible trouble securing the neighborhood.
Heroes are people who do what has to be done, when it has to be done, regardless of the consequences
"I like when the enemy shoots at me; then I know where the ******** are and can kill them."
DE OPPRESSO LIBER
September 10th, 2005 06:14 PM
MY first instict for survival is Never Bring a KNIFE to a Gunfight!!!
Originally Posted by Bud White
Next, speaking as a former Infantry Captain, let me say that while I admire your gumption, pluck, courage and desire to help that was possibly the stupidest thing I've ever heard of. Well, okay the second dumbest. If you'd been one of my troops in my infantry outfit and I heard you pulled this stunt, I'd have my First Sergeant AND the Battalion Sergeant Major haul you through a bed of red hot coals. I don't know what you do in the USAF, but I'll wager you're not a PJ because they're just about the only zoomies qualified to prowl and growl in the middle of the night, armed with anything, including a knife and expect to not only survive, but actually win a life or death contest in the dark.
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
September 11th, 2005 05:47 AM
ExSoldier, you must have had a sheltered life. That doesn't even show up in the top 1000 of the dumbest things I have seen in this crazy world.
Originally Posted by ExSoldier762
While I would probably choose not to go out and prowl around in the dark, depending on the circumstances, I might go outside the door, onto the balcony or otherwise take a quick look around from a point of safety. Probably not, though.
I can guarantee you I would be in a fire engine red threat level and the hair would be up on the back of my neck....
Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.
September 11th, 2005 10:41 AM
Actually, Bump, I have been around the block more than once. It's just that I differentiate between SEEING dumb things and DOING them myself. I was an Infantry LIEUTENANT, remember. And so I was often followed by my troops just out of curiosity to see what STOOOOPID thing I was gonna do next! Having literally survived that phase and grown older and a bit wiser thru subsequent phases I feel gives me a bit of latitude. The old saying that was quoted by one of my favorite authors, Robert A, Heinlein is SO true: Live and learn...or you won't live long....
Originally Posted by Bumper
Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.
September 12th, 2005 12:02 AM
Okay I guess I definately have to clear several things up. I know what I did was extremely STUPID, however, if in that situation ever again I'll do it all over. I am also the luckiest and unluckiest SOB I have ever met. In the shootings, knife fights, and accidents I have been involved in I have always come out ahead. Unfortunately I have one of those names, faces and work ethics so distinctive that both my First Sergeant and Commander know not only my name, but my nicknames as well. (Just a slight aside, but ExSoldier, when the police tried to contact me and couldn't they contacted my shop and my shirt happened to be around when they called. I've already had this conversation with him. It started something like this, "L13 that was one of the bravest things one of my troops has ever done, but what the F*CK were you thinking?")
First off I was in uniform (mostly). The pants I pulled on were BDU pants, and I was wearing a squadron tee. The brainwashing hasn't worn off completely, I still sleep in a t-shirt and unmentionables. But I'll be honest, the BG had already shot one person, I doubt me being in uniform would have meant anything.
I do have an Arizona CCW, and I carry whenever it is practical for me to. I don't have a firearm at her apartment because I only own one at the moment, and I don't leave it there because she lives in Tempe, I live on base. For those of you not from Phoenix, it's about a forty-five minute drive.
I've done some special maintenance to my girlfriend's apartment. The lights in front of her door now come on by the switch inside only, not after dark, and the light on the walkway is unscrewed. I know this sounds dumb, but she has windows lining almost the entire front of the apartment. A quick glance and you can see everything (because of ambient light from the courtyard) but from down below you're more in the shadows. Also before I slipped out the door I got to the floor and looked throught the windows in the corner I was going to slide into. (The windows run all the way to the floor there, I doubted anyone would be looking six inches above the ground.) So I was reasonably sure that when I slipped out the door that there were no BG's in that area and that if they came that way I would have the advantage of seeing them first because of the shadows.
Now believe me I know what I did was extrememely stupid. I had just bit the bullet (yes, that pun was intended) a few days before and asked my girlfriend to marry me. I wasn't too happy going out there were I could very likely get dead. But (by the way, this is how I explained my actions to the shirt, and how I'm probably going to explain them to the Major tommorow) when I joined up I was told I am now an Airman 24/7. This weekend specifically I've been told to be ready to leave at a moments notice. And that it is our duty as members of the armed services to help and protect those weaker and less fortunate then us. Granted zoomies normally do that by dropping firey hot death from above on the enemy, and sometimes we don't. But I was under the impression that there was a possible wounded individual out there, and I have the medical training to help them.
The one piece of information that I got from the police that I really wish I didn't know was that she bled to death. If I had gone around the corner I would have seen her, and there is a good possibilty that she would have survived.
ExSoldier, I'm kind of curious, so what was the stupidest thing you've ever heard of? And your troops would actually follow you? We usually run whenever possible when we see an LT coming, it's just so much safer! I'm also a fan of Heinlein, but this quote has always rung closer to me (paraphrased from "Starship Troopers") "When a kitten fights a wildcat you don't expect the kitten to win, but you do expect him to go down fighting."
Last edited by A1C Lickey; September 12th, 2005 at 03:59 AM.
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