scene

NOTE: This post has been updated.

By Tommy Y.

“I’ll only be out for a few minutes.” That’s what I said when I exited the house and jumped in the truck and realized that my firearm was still sitting on top of my office desk. Sadly, this wasn’t the first time I have said this, but this day would prove to be the last time I ever use that line as an excuse to not be armed . . .

Unlike most excuses for leaving a firearm behind, my excuse was different. It wasn’t because I felt that carrying a firearm was a burden or uncomfortable. It’s quite the opposite. My method of carry was too comfortable. So comfortable, in fact, that I often don’t even feel that it’s there on my body—or not.

I had removed the firearm from my in-waistband holster while working on some designs and it was late in the day. I wanted to stretch a little and never thought to re-holster the firearm once it was removed.

Fast-forward a couple of hours later and now I’m ready to take a short break and I hadn’t eaten all day. Thinking about my stomach, I grabbed the keys and promptly exited the house to get whatever greasy fast food I was sure would quiet down the growls coming from my stomach at this point. It didn’t even cross my mind that I had forgotten to re-holster my firearm before exiting the house.

“I’ll only be out for a few minutes.”I said it again as I pulled out of the driveway. “Meh…” I thought afterwards. t’s not like I’m going to the wrong side of town or anything. Just a quick bite to eat and I’ll be back.

After a few minutes of driving, I noticed a male on the intersection. As I come to a slow stop, he approaches my passenger-side window. I ignore him thinking he’s just a panhandler asking for money, but this one felt different. Everything felt different.

As he approached my passenger-side door, he mutters some words about cigarettes, but then like a strike of lightning, he reaches for the door handle. Alarmed, I gave him a stern look and right when I was about to give a reactionary verbal lashing, I felt the back of my neck start to tingle. Something was very wrong.

At that very moment, a sixth sense kicked in and I was compelled to turn to my driver-side door. As I turned to my left, I watched as another male had successfully opened my door.The one thing I vividly still remember is the knife coming towards my face and the focused look on the attackers face. I remember deflecting the knife hand with my left hand and grabbing his hand and forcing it up to the cab of the vehicle.

In one smooth motion, my right hand sweeps up my shirt and motions towards what normally would be a GLOCK 23 at the ready at the 3 o’clock position. Instead, I was greeted by the cold hard reality of an empty holster.I’m pretty sure I blurted out an angry four-letter word at that moment. At first my mind was confused, but in an instant I replayed the exact moment I had removed my firearm earlier in the day.

At this point, the attacker knew I had just tried to do something and became even more aggressive. He was tugging at my jeans trying to reach for my wallet. Again, my sixth sense kicked off and I realized that there was the other person on the other side, but this guy was more of an immediate threat and I couldn’t lose my focus on him.

In the most convincingly defeated tone I could muster, I remember yelling “Okay! Okay! Stop, just give me a second.” This allowed me to reach back for what he thought was my wallet. It was enough of a diversion to allow me to reach for my EDC knife. It felt like an eternity deploying my knife out to defend myself. My hands must have fumbled two or three times trying to get to it.

By this time his gaze went down to my hand and I knew that if he saw what I was reaching for, I would lose this moment of opportunity. I immediately kicked him, forced his knife hand up into the top of the cab and in one fell stroke jabbed the knife into his forearm.

I couldn’t tell you how bad his injuries were. It happened so fast. I remember the attacker jumping out away from me and backed away a bit. But for whatever reason it seemed like he was about to advance toward me again for round two. At this point I was seeing red, but knew getting into a knife fight with one attacker, with another possible armed attacker in question was something I didn’t want to do.

I don’t know what compelled me or where I got the bright idea, but thinking as quickly as I could, I yelled “YOU M____ F_____ERS. I’M AN OFF DUTY POLICE OFFICER!”

This was a bold-faced lie and still not sure if it was the best thing to say or do. In hindsight, what other choice did I have? It worked, because the attacker’s focused look immediately turned to despair and he ran away in the opposite direction.

At this point I glance back behind me and I notice that the other person is also running away in the same direction as the attacker. Seems I was right and they were in the crime business together.

I immediately jump back in the vehicle and shut the door to get away to a safe and public location to call 911. The keys were gone from the ignition. I frantically begin searching the floor and the seats thinking it may have fallen out during the altercation, but then noticed that the passenger side door was slightly open.

It was at this moment where I realized that I was wet. Not wet with sweat but with blood—my blood. I was sitting in a pool of it in my seat. I reached across and shut the door and made sure all doors were locked and immediately called 911 for emergency assistance.

During my altercation with the attacker, the other person came in through the passenger side and stabbed me twice. Once in the back one inch to the right of where my neck meets my spine and once on my right between my ribs. The back wound was a clean flesh wound, but the wound through my ribs was deep enough to puncture my liver. I’m really lucky to be alive. The second attacker from behind could have slit my throat instead of choosing to stab me.

wound

I spent a week in the hospital after the surgeons opened me up to close my punctured liver and I spent the next two weeks with a tube coming out of my gut to drain the internal fluids that were collecting inside of me.

All of the police officers who responded got a kick out of the part where I put on my biggest poker face and boldly told the attacker that I was an off-duty police officer. Initially, the investigators thought it may have been an attempted car jacking, but they later stated that the attackers were most likely addicts needing their next fix. Only addicts would be that bold to attack a vehicle at an intersection for maybe $20 that was in my wallet. To this day, the perpetrators have yet to be caught.

In hindsight, it’s really tough to say whether or not my firearm would have made a real difference. After all, I could have been stabbed early on from behind before I would have been able to deploy my firearm. With that said, I know that I would have been more effective defending myself if I had the firearm. I wouldn’t have had to rely on a calculated bluff to de-escalate the situation to stop the attackers from advancing a second time on an already wounded victim.

“I’ll only be out for a few minutes.”

Words I’ll never use again as an excuse to not carry my firearm. You never know when you’ll be the victim. It can happen at any time, any place and when you least expect it.

UPDATE – Tommy writes in to answer a lot of your questions:

1) Why were my doors unlocked?
Some models auto-lock car doors when you put it in gear. Some put it in auto-lock after you go a certain speed. Other vehicles don’t do anything. The vehicle I was driving when this incident happened automatically locks when you put it in gear. However, it does not auto lock again if you ever manually unlock the door to let someone in or accidentally hit it open.

I’m not sure how or why the door was unlocked, but when you’re used to your doors auto-locking, it’s not like you’re constantly thinking to always lock them again. I know I have accidentally unlocked my doors when attempting to push the button to lower the windows. Both buttons are close to each other. I don’t know if that’s what I did here, but it’s very likely it’s what happened and I didn’t think to “relock” the doors because I was unaware they were unlocked in the first place. Moral of the story: don’t assume anything. Don’t assume your doors are locked or unlocked. Just like you shouldn’t assume your chamber is empty or that your 1911 safety is on or off. When you get comfortable, things can go downhill fast when you assume wrong.

2) Why were my windows open?
They weren’t for the most part. The driver side was open a crack and the passenger side was closed. I was a smoker when this incident happened and I crack my windows with the A/C running full blast sometimes when I drive.

3) Why didn’t you drive off?
I was at an intersection at a red light. When the first person approached me near the passenger side, the person posed no threat at the time to warrant me running a red light and possibly causing more death and injury in a collision with one or several vehicles crossing. My passenger side window was closed and I assumed my doors were locked (see above) and he was not yet in my immediate area of threat. I’m also not going to draw my weapon every time a guy is on the curb asking for money.

When the second person approached from the driver side door and successfully opened the door, I was in a moment of shock and unprepared. Again, the assumption was that my door was locked. Second, as soon as the door opened, a knife was flying towards my face. In that moment, my left hand immediately went to defensive maneuvers to block and detain the weapon arm. This was when I reached for my non-existant firearm and when realized I didn’t have it, I turned my body towards him to use my legs to kick the guy in the chest and grab my knife.

4) What was going through your mind?
It’s easy to armchair here, but the only thing on my mind was to keep the knife pinned up top while I pull my EDC knife out to defend myself. All other things did not matter or exist to me. I could have been in space for all that mattered. After the incident, the police noted that my vehicle had moved 5 yards from the stop line before stopping again. It means the vehicle was probably slowly moving during the altercation and only came to a stop when the first person came in through the passenger side and either put it in park and shut off the engine and took the keys or he shut the engine off and took the keys before slamming it into park.

5) What could I have done differently?
Some here would say it would be to recheck that the doors were locked. But I challenge everyone here to honestly tell me that they check to see if their doors are locked at every intersection that they stop at. I guarantee that you don’t and if you have a vehicle that auto-locks, you probably have never “relocked” your doors manually while driving either. Some of the “duh!” answers regarding my unlocked doors is exactly how I would have commented if this wasn’t my story. However, that assumption and security of your doors being locked is what will get you (and in this scenario me) in to trouble.

The biggest thing I wish I had done is I wished I was a little more aware of what was going on in the “opposite” direction. I’m typically a very observant and situationally aware person. Unfortunately, I fell hard for the classic misdirection tactic that was used on me and I think I could have read the misdirection tactic sooner.

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194 Responses to P320 Entry: “I’ll Only Be Out For A Few Minutes”

    • I’m also glad he survived. But to add: I always tap the lock button after coming to a complete stop. I’ve had friends with this scenario play out a bit differently that were armed, but I always tap that lock button now.

  1. Were your windows open or did you not have the doors locked? It seems like that could have prevented or delayed the attack

    • You know, during those weeks in convalescence I’m sure he’s never thought at all about what he could have done differently. Thank goodness you’re here to help him with his personal security.

      • He put the story out there, musing on what could have been done differently, etc, so there’s nothing wrong with pointing out the obvious; If his doors were locked, the whole thing could have been avoided.

      • Others browsing just casually, may not immediately think about it. Keeping car doors locked is a good thing.

      • Thank goodness you’re here to be a trolly douche and chastise those who actually want to discuss things in the comments section.

    • I drive around in phoenix, my truck doesn’t have A/C right now, and its 108 degrees. sometimes people need or just want to have there window down. I always try to carry for reason like this. 4 years ago when I was down here I was almost car jacked at a stop sign, luckily my doors were locked. my passenger window got broken out and someone tried to open my drivers door but I managed to drive away. I was only 18 so I did not own a handgun.

      • Windows are one thing. I haven’t owned a vehicle without working A/C since the 1990s, but even now I’ll auto roll down all four windows as I approach my truck, just to allow a day’s worth of Houston summer heat to escape as rapidly as possible, before I crank up the cool and roll up the sindows. Still, I never would drive around with unlocked doors, even before the days when they auto locked when the car reaches 5 mph.

    • The “Captain Obvious” cracks above are uncalled for. Even if I was armed, I’d prefer NOT shooting someone if I could avoid it by simply locking my doors. And to not notice multiple scumbags approaching your vehicle until they’ve already opened the doors is an epic failure of situational awareness.

      Not to blame the victim except for his assessment of the principal vulnerability, which was not the fact that he forgot his piece, which is what the essay implies.

      Bringing a gun to a knife fight is a good idea. Locking your doors and looking around once in a while is a better idea.

      • Uh…..I think I would have hit the accelerator instead of “giving a stern look”.

        I don’t expect crack heads to be scared off by a stern look.

    • So, JM, you’re telling me that your doors are locked and your windows are up every single moment that you are in your car. EVERYONE leaves a door unlocked at some point. Please, step down from your high horse.

        • Mine car was set to lock the doors automatically. However, the doors also unlocked automatically…all four. I NEVER want that, so I had it changed to all manual. It’s easier to remember to push the button to lock the doors, because I’m in charge, not the car.

  2. Wow, amazing read. I was holding my breath through most of it.

    I’m not trying to Sunday-morning quarterback, but was there a particular reason the doors were unlocked, or that you didn’t try driving away? (maybe there was someone in front of you, article didn’t say)

    As for the ’empty holster syndrome’, I feel that way everytime I’m ‘forced’ to enter a “gun-free-zone”.. the one time in my life I would need it, I wouldn’t have it.

    Glad you’re okay!

      • Screw it, they can break the window. If comes to the point where “ease of entry for responding emergency services” is on the radar, I’ve got bigger things to worry about than a little broken glass.

        • Yup. Replacing a car window is a lot cheaper and less hassle than invasive surgery.

        • Agreed. I have a tool to cut seatbelts and smash windows from the inside, should my vehicle become inoperable, perhaps submerged. I also carry a tactical tomahawk in the door storage compartment in case I need to break open someone else’s window in an emergency.

      • Nooooooooooo. Sorry to say this, but that was a DUMB comment.

        BTW, in what emergency would the EMTs need to get to you? The one in which people forced their way into your car because you left it unlocked for the EMTs??? You really are confused.

      • No, locking your doors does NOT “make it harder” for you to be rescued by Fire/EMS/PD in an emergency.
        Please stop perpetuating that myth.

  3. My vehicles all auto- lock when you shift into drive. Just the other day I was thinking of disabling the feature in the “options” menu. Consider my mind changed after reading this. Thanks for the great read!

        • I agree. I have a van that does the auto unlock when I shift to park. I hate that. I lock my doors as soon as I get in the car. I look around before I get in to see if anyone is close to the car before I enter it, but I hit the locks all the same in case someone would ever rush my car as I am getting in. Just a habit that I don’t even think about anymore. I am not second guessing what happened here. I am not sure what the situation was with the locks. I have had cars in the past where one of the doors would fail to automatically lock when I tried to lock all of them. I used to not think much about it, but I think differently about it these days. I have had times where I was in a hurry and did not bother to carry concealed. I am glad that things worked out here, and he is able to tell the story.

  4. Unlocked doors? ***shakes head***

    Your butt gets in the car THEN you lock the doors. Every single time. Same goes for the house.

  5. Sorry but who drives around with the doors unlocked? I always lock my car doors because you never know what can happen on the road.

    • Until today, I normally do. I lock them if going to a “bad” area, or even just crowded area, but not nearly as religiously as I’ll do from now on…..

      • Start doing it every time and after a month you will be doing it instinctively without even realizing you’re doing it.

    • We had a lunatic on a local highway last year here just standing in the middle of the road, middle of the afternoon, and trying to open unlocked car doors of moving vehicles. DPS trooper saw him, pulled up to investigate and the lunatic pulled a handgun and proceeded to charge at the officer still in his cruiser. The officer, fearing for his life, fired his weapon at the attacker and struck him. The exchange took place at such close quarters that the attacker’s .380 handgun ended up flying out of his hand and landing inside the trooper’s car.

      I wasn’t there and only read the news account of it, but I easily could have been as this took place only minutes from my own home. There are crazies out there, folks. Be safe and lock your doors.

      http://www.myfoxhouston.com/story/22810719/2013/07/10/trooper-kills-suspect-at-walamart

  6. I’ll admit that my driver’s side door is usually unlocked. And as a cigar smoker, my window is typically at least half way open.

    Time to change the lock situation.

    • It seems okay to smoke a cigar with that window down, if you’re on a highway. In city traffic, I’d say not an idea whose time has come.

  7. Not immediately noticing your injuries is pretty common.

    Glad you’re ok. That’s a hard lesson.

    • That’s because pain is produced by the brain as a response to threat. The guy in front of him with the knife was a bigger threat to his brain than the one that stabbed him from behind. Hence, no pain from those injuries until out of immediate danger.

      Lorimer Moseley is a leading Australian pain researcher. Here’s a good 15min Youtube clip on pain response and how it doesn’t work like we used to think it did for a very long time:

  8. I’m not going to give you crap for not locking your doors, but once you saw the guy coming you should have immediately locked them. It takes less time to lock the doors with power locks than draw your gun.

  9. First off, glad you won! Although your injuries are hard to classify as winning, it could have been lots worse.

    Thanks for posting this. I always tell people to carry no matter how short a distance they travel or how close to home they are. This is proof why.

  10. Way to stay in the fight. It’s a bummer they didn’t catch those scrotes, but you probably kept them off the robbery circuit for a while and maybe saved someone else from the same fate.

  11. Depends on the year of the vehicle for locks. I own two muscle cars with no AC. In the summer it’s windows down or die of heat stroke. Anyone could crawl into the passenger side. I doubt he had a car like that but ten years ago the only car I drove with auto door locks upon shifting to drive were my parents two Buicks.

    • Even worse, he had some dirty, old bum’s blood all over him.

      The thought of it grosses me out.

  12. Who are these people and why wasn’t this on the news. Mr Zimmerman may be a double agent. His articles are suspicious.

  13. I Know this will ruffle some feathers, and I am not here to insult anyone on either side of the debate.

    I support the 2nd Amendment and My Right to own firearms, and defend myself Fully.

    Please do not take these lyrics as a threat in any way shape or form.

    I simply am speaking about an issue, and looking for input from all who are interested enough listen.
    LYRICS IN REGARD TO GUN RIGHTS ETC. START AT ABOUT 1:50…

    CAR RADIO – PARODY – GUN RIGHTS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5im0hYTxyg

    • Hey Patrick; I listened to the link. I didn’t take as an “insult” a “threat” nor did it “ruffle my feathers”. if you support the second amendment; then the link, to me, just shows you are ambivalent about that right, and in doubt whether having a gun makes life safer or just creates more fear, distrust and ultimately more violence.

      That’s OK to feel that. I didn’t get over that type of brain washing from my liberal/progressive upbringing about what effect a gun has on a person carrying one until i started carrying one. Then I found that none of what I had been taught to believe was true.

      I didn’t become more violent or aggressive; in fact, the exact opposite, I was even less willing to get into an argument just because i could respond with lethal violence if the situation escalated. I didn’t draw to me more confrontations by carrying a gun because by the law of Mother Nature; predators look
      for the helpless, the weak, and the unaware. The predators avoided me because I was none of those things.

      My experience was not unusual, in fact, by provable statistics, for 99.5% of law abiding gun owners, it was the same experience. Because the agencies that keep track of those citizens with CCL’s, only 0.5% of those people lose their license because of some criminal violation, like drunk driving, domestic violence, robbery or very rarely, murder. Cops, as a group, are three times more likely to break the law. As a group, law abiding gun owners are more law abiding than the police.

      But the only way to show you this truth Patrick, is if you start carrying a gun yourself; then, as long as you don’t have a history of attacking people with your fists, forks, pencils, rocks, baseball bats or cars for pissing you off, then your experience will be the same.

      • I carry and I feel the same way as what you are saying. Stay away from trouble but walk with a big stick. Seems to work. Hope I never have to use my firearm.

        • Same here Mike; I’ve carried for seventeen years; drew the weapon once in that time to use it when four Pitt Bulls attacked my dog during a walk. Just as I was squeezing the trigger; BOOM, the dogs scatter without even growling at me. It’s like I said; predators, whether two legged or four legged, can tell when they are facing a greater threat than them, usually.

          If I go my entire life without taking a life in defending myself and others, i would die a happy man.

  14. “Why would anyone need a gun?”
    Because, Just like a fire extinguisher, you never know when you might need one. But the one time you need one, nothing else will quite do.

    I’m glad you survived to tell the tale. Your story just reminds us all: Murphy’s Law says, “the one day you are unprepared for something is the day it will happen.”

  15. Great write up!

    Note worthy:
    “Meh…” I thought afterwards. It’s not like I’m going to the wrong side of town or anything…”

    I hear comments akin to this a lot from people…

    Take it from someone who grew up in a not so fun part of town, the “bad people” know where all the “good stuff” resides.

    And, just as sure as you can getting your vehicle and drive to the bad parts of town, the bad people who live in the rough areas, can get in their vehicle and go to your part of town.

    Especially, if you’re one of those dumb, city folks who purchase the “nice homes” near major metropolitan areas, which are two blocks down from the ghetto.

    I have friends who own a place like that in Dallas, big, beautiful, downtown apartment, and about a mile from the ghettos of South Dallas.

    Stay armed up.

    • I’ve rented a place like that. Across from the downtown YMCA, and whenever the Virginia Legislature’s in session, they cruise the block and pick up the gay prostitutes who stay there!

      My scariest encounter was with a guy who was a up-and-coming (ahem!) heavyweight boxer who fell into drugs and gay prostitution….

      Good times, bad times. BAD bad times.

      Don’t say it ain’t true. Unfortunately, it is.

  16. How could you NOT know you didn’t have your gun…??? I, along with most, are acutely aware of their gun, whether it be OWB, IWB, SOB etc…to NOT know that you’re not armed is just plain ludicrous, I’d be willing to bet that you had your wallet though, didn’t you…???

    I get a kick out people that have permits and don’t carry when they’re “just running to the gas station” or, they’re “not going to THAT side of town”…heck, I live in an extremely rural area, and I carry when I take my dogs out…you just NEVER know, who, what or when something may happen…

    • My dad ‘s close friend was killed while pumping gas only a few miles from his home, BG domed him in the back of the head for his wallet…

      Never even gave him a chance.

      Not that a gun would help in that situation, but it shows that even a trip down to the convenient store can be dangerous.

  17. Windows down, doors unlocked, and you didn’t try to drive away? Glad you survived, but this is a fine example of complacency. I think this is a lesson on why not to just rely on your firearm for self defense. It is but one tool in the chest, there are many others you have at your disposal. Situational awareness is the most critical. Exercising discretion in your everyday actions is second (locking doors, not rolling windows all the way down, being prepared to exit the ambush zone if possible).

    I’m guessing that the intersection was empty if these guys were this brazen. So if you get a spidey-tingle going on, run that red light if you have to!

    • I’m usually on a bike these days. Never really thought of pedestrians as serious threats. I’ll be keeping a keener eye out for escape routes after reading this.

      • Traffic permitting, a bike does have some advantages over a car, in such a situation. There are usually sidewalks, and those are the way to get out of a jam.

    • You will recall he said he couldn’t find his keys. That’s why. The assailant reached in and grabbed ’em, I suppose.

  18. If I’m legally able to, I’m carrying my firearm. A quick trip to pick up something, a day shopping with the wife, a few hours to a county club the next date over for a wedding BBQ (legal for me to carry there too), or wherever! I’m carrying… Except if I go to work (state law prevents me to) or if I have to go to a state that’s south of me where they don’t allow anyone to carry from out of state.

  19. My comment is not an attack on Tommy Y. Rather, I am pointing out his many grave mistakes so that we can learn from them.

    Tommy:
    (1) left his firearm at home
    (2) left his car doors unlocked and/or his windows open
    (3) was not aware of his surroundings
    (4) failed to lock his doors and/or close his windows as the “pedestrians” approached
    (5) did not attempt to drive away as the attackers started their assault

    Basically, Tommy’s head was not in the game and he paid dearly.

    • There you go. Simple, matter of fact, with out judgement. And I bet Tommy will be much more aware of all of these factors, not just having his gun. It’s is also a very good reminder for me; while my situational awareness is very good, there are times when i do get complacent.

    • Great story, thanks for the update on facts. Definitely some lessons learned and I’ll be reminding myself not to get sloppy on the little things, myself, as I’ve cut corners more than once, or slipped on compliance, to a routine absent-mindedly, too.

      And congrats on staying in the fight, and using your backup. If theres one thing I’ve learned from trainers and some humble fighting experience, its that mindset which is the key, and you added inventiveness under stress too, in the verbal judo.

      How many of the armchair quarterbacks have actually been in a fight, and caught unawares, and won in a 2v1?

  20. ??? Others may want to avoid the obvious. Me not so much.

    Windows up. A/C on if needed.
    Doors locked.
    GAS PEDAL INSTALLED IN CAR? MOVE…IF IN DOUBT I WILL BLOW A STOP SIGN OR LIGHT GLADLY. IF NECESSARY I WILL ROLL 4000 LBS OF STEEL OVER YOUR ASS. You are NOT getting inside my car. Period.

    Can I suggest that anyone who pulls out of the driveway without all the above as part of the survival checklist hasn’t thought things out.

    • THANK YOU!!!!

      My first thought was, “gas peddle….ENGAGE AT WARP SPEED!”

      This article is an excellent wake up call for those (all of us) that live in the land of “that’ll never happen to me!”

      As I was reading his story I kept playing the “what if” game were it me in that situation. Blow the light/stop sign. If boxed in by cars in front or back it’s bumper car time! Also, this is why I keep an M&P mounted beneath the steering column (securely) in addition to my pistol on my hip or 1 O’Clock IWB.

      I’ve “what if’d” this scenario numerous times as I drive into the city each morning at 5:00AM for work….numerous stoplights for an ideal ambush by the “urban outdoorsman”, or other ne’er do well.

  21. Pretty convincing argument for a “Console gun” so it won’t matter if you left your weapon on the desk at work.

    • Would this console be locked? If so, do you really think you would have time to unlock it in case of an emergency, especially since it is a high probability that the key is on your ignition key ring.
      If unlocked, Guess where the first place someone who breaks into your car will look.
      Of course you could keep it under the seat. Guess where the second place they will look?

        • Here ya go.
          This is what I have in my Chevy PU. Console key is on a pull-apart key ring and is unlocked right after engine starts and stays there until I shut the engine down.
          Bought it right after I got the truck to keep an Aspie grandson from rifling through it .

  22. Everyone armchairs this to death. What if I was driving my convertible or motorcycle? How come he didn’t lock the doors in his 85 chevy with manual door locks and crank windows? How can being attacked by crack heads be his fault?

    Shame we don’t spend more time figuring out how to help then to say ” well it is your fault too”….

    Just my 2c

    • Exactly. And on the “why didn’t you drive off…” what if he had vehicles in front of and behind him, and either cars on both sides, or a concrete median keeping him from being able to flip a U, or a sidewalk with pedestrians… I can think of a myriad of reasons why flooring it may not have been an option.

      The whole Monday-morning-quarterbacking strikes me as “dude, I’m smarter than you, I never would have been in that situation to start with” arrogance combined with “nuh-uh this could never happen to me” denialism. Let’s learn from the OP’s experience, not engage in victim-shaming.

  23. safety and security are often at odds with each other. my doors have windows so the deadbolts utilize keys on the interior as well. secure. in case of fire a key needs to be accessible. safe, but less secure. in any case when i’m home the doors are pretty much open, weather permitting. that day is gonna suck, but meanwhile we have hooks on the screen doors…
    my transportation choices include no doors or glass and sometimes no roof. so be it, i’m more exposed than if i take the van. there’s a cycling contingency that repeats the mantra ‘atgatt’, “all the gear, all the time.” i get that, but the helmet regularly finds itself protecting the doily on the davenport. i don’t blame any of you for subscribing full time to common sense precautions. i’m glad the choices are available to us.

  24. Everytime I get in vehicle: unlock door, get in, hit door lock, store EDC within arm’s reach, out of sight, seat belt on, shift into gear, look left-right, left again. It’s like anything else, do it same way every time, becomes automatic..

    I’m really addressing the women who visit this sight, especially youger ones. You may still be in that stage where you think “nothing dangerous will ever happen to me” Statistically speaking, yes it will. Be aware of your enviornment, who is around you, pay attention to that spidiety sense. If a situation calls for it, be a lion not a lamb.

  25. So glad that you lived through it. I understand about the “I’ll only be out a few minutes” thought. Had it and done it. No longer after this read. Thank you sir.

  26. Glad he’s ok. His story is yet another example of why I cannot fathom a ccw holder leaving the house without his or her gun. And I live in a very safe neighborhood.
    A lot can happen in a few seconds, and it’s likely his gun would’ve descalated the fight. I hope this can remind us all to carry as much as possible

  27. Well it could of been worse, your alive that’s what matters. I have lived in one of the most hostile places you can’t even imagine and none hostile, I have made it a rule to lock my doors, in a situations similar like these gives (YOU) the split second advantage you may require. Lesson learned at a hefty price. Cheers

  28. Lots of folks pointing what was done wrong, e.g. unlocked doors, windows down, empty holster, etc. Perhaps its the waning liberal in me, but I see lots that was done right. Realized he didn’t have his firearm and had the wherewithal to switch tactics by stalling and then deploying his edc knife (note to self, carry edc knife more often). On top of that again managed to summon the wit/courage to bluff his attackers into retreat. So my take away is that he made sure he was armed with his most important weapon; his mind. Bravo sir, bravo.

  29. Yep doors locked but typically window down on my side because it’s getting warm out and the AC just doesn’t keep up. This story is a good reason to have a BUG or a firearm that stays in the vehicle at all times.

    • That’s why you should never roll it down all the way. Only opened at the top or down partially to where the attacker can’t get at the door handle or lock – and what the hell is a BUG??!

      • BackUp Gun. I don’t know where you guys live or what cars you drive, but here in VA it’s about 85-90 degrees and pretty humid. I drive a 25 year old pickup truck with no AC. My windows are going to be down.

        • I’m leery about leaving a weapon in my vehicle as I don’t want to risk inadvertently arming a criminal who breaks into it.

        • @whatever: Get yourself something like this

          . You can also buy a version that has a combination lock (I prefer this because I can get in even if I misplace or lose the key) or this http://tinyurl.com/pjp4yb5. You can wrap the wire around the metal bar under your seat (or passenger seat), and then no one will be able to remove the mini-safe without removing the seat or unless they have bolt cutters. It can then be stored under your seat too, so no one will know the safe is there unless they break into your car. Then you can leave it there if you go shopping, or for whatever other reason you need to leave it behind (ie. “no-gun” zones). I don’t recommend leaving your gun in there overnight though.

          NOTE!: I would recommend carefully considering how it’s stored under the seat. If your driver’s seat doesn’t have anything to prevent it from sliding forward it could slide against the gas or under the brake pedal while driving – that could cause deadly results!! I would possibly only recommend storing it under the passenger seat – yeah, it’s a bit more hassle, but it’s worth the safety.

  30. “It felt like an eternity deploying my knife out to defend myself. My hands must have fumbled two or three times trying to get to it.”

    This is a good example of why karambits are good. You just pull it out of your pocket using the ring and it’s immediately ready to use – be sure to buy one with a wave opener, otherwise it’s just useless. Emerson and Spyderco produce some good karambits. See this video for more about the cheap knockoffs:

    http://youtu.be/7wuuCu3sd4w

    This article is also a good example of why you should ALWAYS keep your doors locked. As soon as you get in the car: doors locked. Immediately. There is no reason anyone should be driving around with an unlocked vehicle. Would you leave your home door unlocked and wide open, because no one is going to break in? Can you give me a reason why it’s a good idea to leave your car unlocked and available to strangers??? I don’t think so.

      • Great. You tell us it has no usefulness, but then you can’t even explain why – sure, we’re really going to take your word for it. *rolling eyes*

        • Anyone who carries a knife for utility reasons shouldn’t need an explanation. The blades on karambits curve inward so the only useable cutting area is the tip. Normal knifes you can actually use the entire blade. This allows for more utility. I can use the tip of my knife to cut tape on a box and then I can use the entire blade to cut a piece of chicken, a piece of rope, or about a million other things I could possibly need a blade for. My knife is not for self defense. Only children or morons like the guy in the video you posted actually carry knifes for self defense. I’m gonna bring my gun to whatever type of fight someone feels like starting with me.

      • I wouldn’t EDC a fixed blade. A fixed blade knife would be completely unnecessary for me on a daily basis. Now, if I’m out camping or fishing or doing something ‘outdoorsy’, my Glock Field Knife is on my belt.

        In case anyone is curious, my EDC is a Kershaw Leek. Very nice knife.

  31. Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I imagine that it was very difficult to forgive yourself for leaving your Glock 23 behind. I also regularly drive with my windows down because I love the feel of fresh air on my face. Fortunately, you were able to fight for your life with your knife and your wits.

  32. “One fell stroke”. Beautiful, I never thought I would see that phrase in modern writing. Great article, lots of lessons.

  33. I can vouch for not being able to feel extreme trauma immediately after it happens, I shot myself with a 125g HP .357 mag out of my brand new 4″ Rossi, in the calf, shattered my fibula, and I remember looking for a bullet hole in the carpet, thinking I missed. My airmax filled up with blood pretty quickly, and a towel and a hangar make a decent tourniquet, but I was even able to walk down 3 flights of stairs to meet the EMS.

    The bullet never exited me, the HP expanded on hitting the calf muscle and blew up into about 9 peices upon hitting the fibula, leaving the fragments pressed up against the skin on the opposite side of my leg, about 6 inches lower.

    Dumb games, dumb prizes right? Anyway my point is, not feeling pain is very common, I did not feel the true pain of it until several hours later, The EMS trying to stick me for IVs was more unpleasant than the bullet wound at the time. It also speaks to the attacker that the author stabbed in the forearm- He certainly could have killed you. If I was able to walk down 3 flights of stairs with my injuries, he certainly could have retaliated. In the end, humans are funny, stopping power is a myth, and being careful is important.

    Link to the story, it happened a while back, but the comment section is pretty funny.

    http://www.caller.com/news/2011/feb/16/corpus-christi-police-man-shoots-self-leg/

  34. If EVER there was a fine example of why EVERYONE needs to go armed, this is it. If YOU don’t want to own or carry a gun, that’s YOUR right. But you DON’T have the right to tell the rest of us that we must go through the world helpless. Everyone, and I mean absolutely EVERYONE who chooses to go armed should be permitted to do so. The criminals and the crazies can’t be stopped by laws, so forget about passing more useless laws. Just step back and let everyone defend themselves as they see fit. We’ll all live longer that way. And, at least if I die anyway, at least I won’t have died because some anti-gun nut decided for me that I couldn’t defend myself.

  35. jon, there is an argument for not rolling it down all the way it’s too damn hot not too.
    Thomas, I just relocated to AZ so I agree.

  36. I would just like to know what kind of iwb holster is so comfortable you don’t even notice it. Need me one of those!

    • I carry a small gun (SIG P238) in a comfortable holster (Crossbreed SuperTuck) and I can easily forget I have it on, and I have, on a couple occasions, thought I had it (because I basically I always do) when I did not. By that I mean not that I consciously thought I had it, but that I didn’t notice that I didn’t have it until I did consciously think about it.

    • I don’t mean this to be taken with offense… But, try buying bigger pants or losing a little weight.

      I find that most people’s discomfort problems with inside the waistband carry stems for not moving up a pants size, or two, due to vanity.

  37. This rang an old memory for me. Navy SEAL killed in El Salvador maybe 30 years ago?

    “Schaufelberger had removed the bullet-resistant glass over the driver’s-side window after the air conditioner in his vehicle had broken.”

    I’m most frequently on a motorcycle these days for the commute, and when downtown it’s always in gear at stoplights with adequate maneuvering room to move out quickly. One good thing about being hot and sweaty in the riding gear, though – a lot more resistant to impact and puncture than a pedestrian. I just don’t want someone knocking me over to snag my backpack.

  38. U didn’t die, why u need a gun then? Dis arm America, peeple are solo dum thinkin dat day need to shot everone.

  39. I have made it a habit of opening my car door, and hitting the electronic lock as I am getting in. As soon as the door swings shut, it is locked.

  40. +1 Tommy Knocker. I was in heavy traffic coming off of Lake Shore Drive in Chicago years ago. Some jagoff slowed down to a crawl on front of me and instead of pulling off the road as he could have he stopped in the middle of the road. I honked at him to pull off and he proceeded jump out of his truck screaming at me and pounding on my windows. Yeah my doors were all locked. I gunned the motor and he yelled something like “you gonna run me over?”. I yelled YES and proceeded to miss him by maybe an inch and pull into the next lane. I was not armed otherwise. I’ve also been surrounded in the ghetto selling insurance where I barely got away with my life. No Rodney King riot moments for me.

  41. This is a stupid example. One he was already stabbed when he thought to reach for a weapon, two if he had it and they saw it they would have felt they had to finish killing him to make sure they did not get shot, third they would have had a gun to commit their other robberies with meaning this fool would be responsible for being hurt. As soon as he noticed one guy, don’t be macho man and wordy, just hit the gas and go away. You have a car they are on foot, don’t be stupid!!!

  42. Situational awareness is a big one, always keep your head on a swivel and be aware of your surroundings, keeping the doors locked is a big one as well and of course always carry. Even if I go outside of my house to work on the front yard, I’m armed, trouble can always come a knocking at anytime, anywhere and it’s best to be prepared and trust no one.

    That said, this could have been anyone of us, and no matter how much we preach to one another, there are times when we all let our guard down, which is why it’s best to remain as vigilant as possible at all times.

    • So tell us: last red light you were stopped at, what was the color of the car behind you? How many people were in it? Could you give a description of the occupants to the cops had they attacked you in some fashion?

      How about the last restaurant you ate at? Two tables over…how many people? What were they wearing? Did they arrive before or after you?

      Sorry, but I get sick of this “head on a swivel” talk. No human being alive is 100% “situationally aware” at every second. We all have moments of broad awareness, and moments of focused awareness.

      Any of us can miss something.

      • As I said in the second paragraph, it could have happened to any one of us, and no one is 100% on the ball as we all loose focus from time to time.

        • With you, I agree on this point. Please consider my comment a general comment to the “head on a swivel” crowd.

          It’s a fantasy to believe you can never be surprised or taken off guard.

          I think the trick is to train yourself to minimize the recovery time in that event, rather than pretend it won’t happen.

  43. I’m the guy who wrote this article. Just to answer some of the questions about some of the why’s…

    1) Why were my doors unlocked?
    Some models auto-lock car doors when you put it in gear. Some put it in auto-lock after you go a certain speed. Other vehicles don’t do anything. The vehicle I was driving when this incident happened automatically locks when you put it in gear. However, it does not auto lock again if you ever manually unlock the door to let someone in or accidentally hit it open.

    I’m not sure how or why the door was unlock, but when you’re used to your doors auto-locking, it’s not like you’re constantly thinking to always lock them again. I know I have accidentally unlocked my doors when attempting to push the button to lower the windows. Both buttons are close to each other. I don’t know if that’s what I did here, but it’s very likely it’s what happened and didn’t think to “relock” the doors because I was unaware they were unlocked in the first place. Moral of the story, don’t assume anything. Don’t assume your doors are locked or unlocked. Just like you shouldn’t assume your chamber is empty or that your 1911 safety is on or off. When you get comfortable, things can go downhill fast when you assume wrong.

    2) Why were my windows open?
    They weren’t for the most part. The driver side was open a crack and the passenger side was closed. I was a smoker when this incident happened and I crack my windows with the A/C running full blast sometimes when I drive.

    3) Why didn’t you drive off?
    I was at an intersection at a red light. When the first person approached me near the passenger side, the person posed no threat at the time to warrant me running a red light and possibly causing more death and injury in a collision with one or several vehicles crossing. My passenger side window was closed and I assumed my doors were locked (see above) and he was not yet in my immediate area of threat. I’m also not going to draw my weapon every time a guy is on the curb asking for money.

    When the second person approached from the driver side door and successfully opened the door, I was in a moment of shock and unprepared. Again, the assumption was that my door was locked. Second, as soon as the door opened, a knife was flying towards my face. In that moment, my left hand immediately went to defensive maneuvers to block and detain the weapon arm. This was when I reached for my non-existant firearm and when realized I didn’t have it, I turn my body towards him to use my legs to kick the guy in the chest and grab my knife.

    It’s easy to armchair here, but the only thing on my mind was to keep the knife pinned up top while I pull my EDC knife out to defend myself. All other things did not matter or exist to me. I could have been in space for all that mattered. After the incident, the police noted that my vehicle had moved 5 yards from the stop line before stopping again. It means the vehicle was probably slowly moving during the altercation and only came to a stop when the first person came in through the passenger side and either put it in park and shut off the engine and took the keys or the shut the engine off and took the keys before slamming it into park.

    5) What I could have done differently, Some here would say it would be to recheck that the doors were locked. But I challenge everyone here to honestly tell me that they check to see if their doors are locked at every intersection that they stop at. I guarantee that you don’t and if you have a vehicle that auto-locks, you probably have never “relocked” your doors manually while driving either. Some of the “duh!” answers regarding my unlocked doors is exactly how I would have commented if this wasn’t my story. However, that assumption and security of your doors being locked is what will get you (and in this scenario me) in to trouble.

    The biggest thing I wish I had done is I wished I was a little more aware of what was going on in the “opposite” direction. I’m typically a very observant and situationally aware person. Unfortunately, I fell hard for the classic misdirection tactic that was used on me and I think I could have read the misdirection tactic sooner.

    • Also, as a followup. I’m actually glad this happened to me. I know that sounds strange, but I am. I learned a lot from it, but it also converted 3 of my friends who were anti-firearms to now pro-firearms for protection. It also caused about 8 of my other friends to go through with their concealed carry permits and enroll into into additional self defense training.

      Also, the more and more I replay the incident in mind, the more I know that if it had not been me it could have ended very badly for whoever it did happen to. Not that I’m some sort of self defense Jedi ninja or anything, but I’m fairly tall and have had self defense training and can hold my own. If this were to have happened to male or female of lesser stature, no this incident could have ended with the victim in a body bag.

  44. Speaking on situational awareness, it amazes me how comment after comment mentions that he should have had his doors locked. Maybe they didn’t notice the 5000 identical observations listed above? And we have so many tactical geniuses here, don’t we?

    To the victim of this crime; I am glad you are alive and able to share your story. I hope that SOB lost his arm and has to wipe his arse with his non dominant hand now 😀

  45. Great rebut Tommy Y. Your decisions and logic make total sense. Lotta Arm chair quarterbacks that read this stuff. I hope I react similarly if the need arises just hopefully WITH my 23!

  46. Glad you made it. Kudos on your successful reactions.

    A bit of perspective on the Monday Morning Quarterbacks…

    typically when something is very threatening people will find ways to blame the victim to ‘prove it’ to themselves that it could never happen to them. To face the other reality of our lack of control; that at any given moment what lies around the corner is completely unpredictable, that all of your skills, training and precautions could be for naught, that the universe doesn’t give a shit, is deeply unsettling to most people.

    • I think it’s highly informative to discuss what happened to someone else and figure out what could have been done different, so that those of us who might find themselves in a similar situation can adjust our behaviors accordingly. It’s not “blaming the victim.” I hate that phrase. It erases personal responsibility.

      Some people can be a little terse, it’s the internet. Hell, I’m not going to deny some are downright antagonistic. Just because someone is a sociopathic troll in their comments doesn’t mean their input should be ignored. For all you know, they might be the unsettling individual washing your windshield at the next intersection you’re stuck at.

      So-called “Monday morning quarterbacking” is vital to survival. It’s important to learn from the mistakes of others. Ever heard of a Staff Ride? I’ve mentioned before that I spent a couple years fighting fires after I left the Air Force (not that anyone cares), the Staff Ride was an inherited concept that came up very prominently. This one felt especially poignant. It really came into play the next year when a massive fire ran over the exact same area. Something about standing in the exact place where someone doing the same thing you do, day in and day out, died doing exactly what was trained and expected, carries a certain impact. Especially when you’re asked what could have been done differently.

      It’s incredibly fortunate that Tommy Y. lived to tell his tale. And it’s incredible that he’s both willing to tell his tale, and answer questions. Some of those questions could have been raised more delicately, yes. But let’s not blame the person for asking. Again, this is the internet, not a victims’ support group. Insults and callousness are par for the course.

      • There’s learning from other people’s mistakes, and there’s “that dumb$#!^, I would never have left my gun at home like that, I would never have left my doors unlocked blah blah blah.” It’s like saying of a rape survivor, “if she hadn’t been wearing that short skirt she wouldn’t have gotten attacked.”

        • Hangar flying, learning from another’s mistakes and successes, understanding and thinking through various scenarios in slow time to identify pre-planned decisions to speed up the OODA loop when things happen for real. Even if those situations are just theoretical– what would you do if? The coulda, woulda’, shouldas.. based on what real people do.

          The first and forement lesson to learn is: It can happen to me. Because, this person probably isn’t atypical of the people of the gun. He went to the trouble of getting a CCW, the equipment, the training etc. and even had a back up plan— Note he didn’t forget the EDC. He is like me. I must read and understand the scenario, his decisions and the reasons they did/didn’t work. It could happen to me.

          He has a problem, which many here echo, reliance on automation. Over-reliance on automation has been identified as a cause in major aviation mishaps. Pilots become so reliant on the automatic features their skills degrade and mishaps occur because either the system fails OR when the system isn’t on but the pilot flies as if it is. Because there’s an auto-lock on the car, it becomes part of your plan. I have that covered and don’t have to think about it because the machine has it covered. Unfortunately, as in everything else Murphy is a fiend. Auto-locks great, it can help you out all the way up until the time you rely. But like firearms and ammo- they can fail, or someone else turns them off, or this is the one time you turned them off and forgot to turn them on etc. etc.

          “I’m not sure how or why the door was unlocked, but when you’re used to your doors auto-locking, it’s not like you’re constantly thinking to always lock them again. I know I have accidentally unlocked my doors when attempting to push the button to lower the windows.”

          From this person’s experience you could go the route of turning off the auto-lock feature and always locking the doors manually. Or like me, you could have a car/truck that doesn’t have electric door locks. Although you really have to be vigilant about other folks in your car locking the doors– nobody is used to manual locks anymore. Or you deactivate the auto-lock and train yourself to lock them manually every time vice relying on the machine. Someone could still unlock them though, or you could be in a hurry and forgets- no system is flawless. OR based on this scenario (ficticious or real) you could do the OODA loop thing now and develop a pre-planned response: I WILL LOCK THE DOORS IMMEDIATELY ON SEEING A PEDESTRIAN APPROACHING MY CAR WHILE STOPPED. Every time be it a stranger, friend, in front of my house, in a parking lot, at a stop light so it’s an almost involuntarily response.

          Disbelief. It’s a natural human reaction in an emergency. This can’t be happening to me. Denial, it isn’t just the first stage of grief.

          “I was in a moment of shock and unprepared. Again, the assumption was that my door was locked. ”
          (assumption based on reliance on automation.)

          In military aviation, the majority of flying is actually directed towards preparing for emergencies. Many of them very unlikely to occur. Drilling constantly in the simulator and aircraft. Why? Sure, get the skill set down, but also to make them as routine as possible, to make them familiar, almost expected. So the pre-planned responses which are thought out when you have the luxury to analyze the situation in slow time come readily to mind when things happen in reality very quickly.

          I see a stranger approaching, what else is around me? One of the hardest things to do in an emergency situation is to keep the big picture. Fighting off the disbelief so you then can start to act accordingly make it even harder. We don’t get attacked frequently, we don’t get into fights, we don’t get into fights with multiple opponents frequently, we don’t really expect to be. Do we really envision and develop the thought pattern that the first thing I do when I detect a possible threat is to look around, take my eyes of the person/thing I’m currently assessing to ascertain its threat level? Take our eyes off the unusual? Do you really? I don’t think I do. That is not a natural human reaction, to take your eyes off the threat/the anomoly prior to assessing what it is and what it means for us.

  47. Well Tommy,

    I am glad you can thru this Okay and I am thankful that you choose to share your ordeal. “I’ll Only Be Out For A Few Minutes” “It’s not like I’m going to the wrong side of town or anything.” “I’ll be right back” Just a few of those excuses I will not use anymore.

    Thanks for Sharing!

  48. “I challenge everyone here to honestly tell me that they check to see if their doors are locked at every intersection that they stop at”

    No, I don’t check at every intersection.
    But I do check every time I get into the car to be sure the doors are locked, and since they’re manual they will stay that way until I do something to them.
    When I get in the car, even before I put the key in the ignition or put my seatbelt on, the door is locked. Yes, even while I’m sitting in my own garage.
    When I have a passenger, I remind them to lock their door. Of the 3 people I regularly have with me, only 1 really needs reminding.

    • The problem I have is reminding the folks who don’t ride with my all the time that they have to lock the doors. I do check the doors every time when parking and they get out. But I can’t say I’m as consistent when folks get in. Especially when driving teen kids for events.

    • Ditto. I’ve reprog the “auto-locks” to manual lock. Forces you to do same action every time rather that complacently depending on a dumb and unreliable “feature” (see your owners manual).

      When stopping in traffic DON’T pull up on the rear bumper of the vehicle in front of you. Leave room to maneuver/pass it if required.

  49. Tommy,

    Don’t take it too hard when people second guess your decision making process or the mistakes you made. 99% of the the people that question your tactics are overweight couch surfers that have literally never dealt with any danger beyond heart disease. Talking you down is all they have got. While they throw in magical “cover my ass in court” phrases like “God forbid I ever have to” when they talk about using lethal force to defend themselves, they fantasize about how they would handle the type of situation you found yourself in. Unsurprisingly, in their mind they always come out on top, standing in a pile of spent brass after they have vanquished their foes, executing flawless reloads and putting every round on target.

    The reality is, people screw up when confronted with an attack that threatens their life. Yeah, your doors were unlocked – so f-in what? People do that. You didn’t notice the guy coming in the passenger door? Yeah, neither would have they, no matter what they claim. You can bet they would have noticed him if he was holding a Big-Mac and a greasy copy of Guns and Ammo, though. Tell them to stick to Call of Duty and leave the living to the people that have been there and done that.

    • Yes, yes and yes. Thank-you. +10,000.

      The real world has a pesky habit of not playing by our day dreams…

    • “Unsurprisingly, in their mind they always come out on top, standing in a pile of spent brass after they have vanquished their foes, executing flawless reloads and putting every round on target.”

      This gave me a good belly laugh.

      I’ll do you one up, mo’ better, I’ll bet most of the armchair tactician have never even been in a fist fight.

      There were times back in my scrappin’ days when I thought, “i’m going to kick this dude’s ass.” Until I was blasted in the mouth, then it was, “oh shit, this is not going way I had planned…”

      Real life has a funny way of putting you on your ear.

  50. I mean no offense to men by this next comment, it’s really pointed towards the comments about locking the doors. Men don’t worry about locking their doors as much as women, because they are not targeted in these situations nearly as often. As a woman with two small kiddos, I lock my doors repeatedly when I’m in the car, to the point that it’s instinctual. Repetition is what it takes. However, I think his point was that repetition can be a good & a bad thing. Make sure you’re repeating good habits & not bad. I’m also a firm believer in being armed with my pistol every time I’m in my vehicle. As for how the doors really got unlocked, you never know what you’ll do in situations like those, intentional or unintentional. I’m glad you’re ok & pray those guys found justice one way or another & didn’t harm anyone else.

  51. It’s hard to break habits.

    A habit we really can’t break so easily is that we have to stop at red lights.With thousands and thousands of reps, when you’re in full lizard brain mode in a fight, running a red light is not going to be an available tool in your toolbox.

    This is a good reminder to be aware of what bad habits you might have and try to limit them, because in a fight we are going to just react and not really think creatively.

    Secondly if you are very motivated you might invest in some training for these situations.

  52. I live in South Africa and I was Hyjacked. By 7 men. If you come out of this alive then you did everything right. Over thinking your responses looking for smoother transitions into defensive and offensive moves are for Steven Segal retakes.

  53. Why was the car in park? If it was in gear it would have pulled slowly forward once you took your foot off the break in the struggle.

  54. Sir, I have nothing but sympathy/respect for the way you handled this situation. To all the “critics” = you weren’t there with adrenaline pumping like a fire hose. I live in a fairly rural area but people get jacked all the time. I honestly pray that I’m never in your situation because I honestly NEVER want to have to take another human life, but I’m a life-long shooter/competition/hunter,ect…. I carry NOW because I’m acutely aware of the world we live in. The main thing I want to say is that I’m glad your not a statistic. Be as careful as possible EVERONE and don’t knock this man for being HUMAN. P.S. I’ve thought about car jacking a lot recently and came to the conclusion that (wheel hard right or left and reverse gear-foot to floor might be my response) Then Glock in hand if I’m as unfortunate as you were. I’m in my 50’s and my thinking has changed as opposed to some of these internet Rambos. I truly wish you the best of luck in the future.

  55. I’ve tried to make locking my cars habitual for these kinds of reasons. Still having the gun would probably been helpful also.

  56. Amazingly you still don’t get it. You were in classic condition white. Did so much wrong. Honestly I don’t know if I want you running around with a gun after demonstrating such losey decision making. Do you think a gun will make up for the epic fail?

    There is a reason you NEVER pull right up to the stop sign or white line. There is a reason you have a reverse gear on the tranny. A reason you have a steering wheel.

    Can I assume that when someone knocks on your door you open it? Can I assume you answer the phone evrry time it rings? That you really do have a unknown Nigerian benefactor?

    • Sadly, I think it is you that is missing the real take-home point from this story and ones like it.

      The real world does not follow that script in your head. Your situational awareness is not as perfect as you think it is. Your marksmanship will falter. Your fast draw times will be reduced to a sucky, clumsy desperate grasp that may well result in dropping your weapon. Your car might stall when you stomp the pedal, an innocent may wander into your escape path.

      1,000,000 things can go wrong.

      You can do everything “right” (as you define it from the safety of your computer) and still end up the target of a violent attack.

      And the bad guy is not a paper target, or even a friendly with an airsoft gun in FoF training. He’s a real thinking human being with tens of thousands of years of evolution tuned survival instinct. He’s moving; he’s fighting back.

      You might be hurt in the opening salvo, before you even know anything is happening.

      But even worse than all these “tactical” elements…your opponent may just “want it” more than you do. His drive to survive, and hurt you in the process, may be stronger than yours. He may plan his attack to just beat you, and all the Internet commando tacticool sounding claptrap won’t change that fact.

      So, for my part, I say lay off the all-knowing snark. Even if you ever HAVE been a 2 on 1 cqb knife fight lived to tell the tale, your situation was different from his.

      He survived; he got home to his family. HE knows what he would do differently “next time,” but he knows something even more profound.

      It still may not help.

    • “Honestly I don’t know if I want you running around with a gun after demonstrating such losey decision making.”

      Dude, don’t be “that guy.” The man was caught behind the eight ball, he made mistakes, and now he’s giving us his after action report. He is sharing his story so that we can all learn a lesson.

      If you honestly think that he should not be able to exercises rights now because he wasn’t sitting around with his butt hole puckered waiting for some BG to get the drop on him, then you’re no better than MDA and Bloomy.

    • Wow, so. much. fail.

      Its impressive really, your ignorance i mean.

      So, Mr. Lee, (is it ok if i call you bruce? thanks) Bruce, exactly how would it have changed the scenario had he pulled up 10 feet short of the white line/stop sign? Do you suppose that the attackers would see that it might take an extra 4 steps and said “eh, screw it, too hard”? Since its not specified in the story, how do you know there was not another car behind his at the stop sign or that one was not coming up on him, thereby limiting his ability to back up in an attempt to unass the ao? I mean, i’m sure you know more about tranny’s than i do, but yeah in a perfect scenario reverse is an option. The steering wheel sure would have been useful had he not been using his hands to fend off a blade. (you do know that the 2nd rule of surviving a knife fight is to control the hand holding the knife right? (the first rule being that you have to know if you end up in a knife fight you’re almost certainly going to get cut or stabbed))

      Now, looking through a peephole before opening a door when someone knocks i can see as being a good idea. But do please tell us just how paranoid one has to be to not answer their phone when it rings. What, do you assume that all phone calls are a ruse to get you distracted while someone tries to access your house? (who has land lines anymore anyway?)

      I mean, i’m all for a healthy level of paranoia. I know that just because one is paranoid doesnt mean that no one is out to get you and that while one can admit to being paranoid the question is always are you paranoid enough? BUT, theres a line between paranoid enough and wayyyyyyyyyyy too paranoid, and that side of the line goes from paranoid to delusional real fast.

      I mean, as a kid it was fun to be talking to your buddies and say “Ok so if someone attacked me with a knife, i’d reach out and grab the guys wrist on the arm he’s holding the knife with, then i’d raise it in the air and spin around so that my back was to his chest. Then i’d reach up with my other hand so i had both hands on his knife wrist, then i’d bring his armd down really fast while shoving my butt back against his pelvis, then i’d keep that motion going and pull on his arm really hard to flip him over my back, then when he hit the ground i’d drop down with his arm between my legs and use an armbar to break his arm so he let go of the knife. then i’d grab the knife and slide onto him so i was sitting on his chest with the knife at his throat until someone called the cops, then i’d be on the local news and be a hero”

      It was fun to do that, AS A KID. most of us grew out of that phase. So even though you think you’d know exactly how you’d have beat up these two bad guys, just remember that everyone is bruce lee when they’re typing on their computers. Remember also that even in war, all plans go out the window upon initiation of hostilities.

      You do not “win” a knife fight. Your “survive” a knife fight. This guy may have gotten stabbed and cut, he may made some “mistakes”, but this guy gets to go home to his family every night now.

      So despite his actions being all wrong in your expert analysis, he made it out of the situation alive, and how he did it doesnt matter. That is as much as any of us could hope for.

  57. Really? Who would advise someone to punch the gas at a red light in this situation? Even if there is no one in front of you there is a high likelihood of driving directly into 40 mph oncoming traffic. If I’m a bad guy and dead set on taking something from you there is nothing between you and me to keep me from getting at you. Locked doors and rolled up windows be damned. Those comments are irrelevant.

    • Yes, Mike. I WOULD rather run one red light than engage in a fight to the death against two armed assailants. If you can’t figure out that the chance of death or lasting injury is higher with the latter choice than with the former, I guess we will have to disagree.

      • The chance of you killing an innocent third party is certainly higher by running a red light.

        Chalk this one up to being VERY situationally dependent.

        And with tunnel vision that WILL set it, one may not even think of it when really on the bubble.

  58. Glad you made it. Some other person might not have. My vehicle has auto locks. However, they lock only after the car reaches a certain speed, not in reverse, and it takes a few seconds. I have made it a habit that when I get in the vehicle while in a public lot the first thing I do is close the door and engage the locks. It takes me some time to get the vehicle started and going and this is a very vulnerable time.

    That said, if in your situation the perps each had a gun it most likely would have been game over. I saw that happen about 20-years ago while down in San Juan for business. I was looking down on a parking lot from a 12th story hotel balcony when this good looking woman got into her two-door Honda. Two guys approached her from both sides of the car and started talking to her which caught my attention because her windows were up. I saw her car start to move slowly in reverse when the guy on the passenger side shot (I later learned that that bullet grazed her chin). The guy on the driver’s side then let off about 4-5 shots in a slow motion wild, rising arc before falling to the ground. The first shot had hit him in the chest. While this was going on the women backed up quickly and left the lot, while the guy on the passenger door side kept getting away crouching behind other cars. The one guy died at the scene, the other was arrested the next morning.

    I couldn’t believe what I witnessed but from there on I’ve always been on high alert when moving around in parking lots.

  59. Thanks for sharing. These post serve as excellent reminders to stay aware, to try and keep thinking of exit routes, and to carry on.

  60. Good story. Great example of Condition White, really. Painful way to learn lessons, but I’m glad you survived it.

    My own truck is old enough that it has manual locks and window controls, my passenger door stays locked, but I rarely lock my driver’s side. And my A/C is pretty old and tired, so I don’t run it often, although when I do use it, it is in city traffic, with my window closed. I need to get in the habit of locking my door.

  61. Im not going to lecture or armchair quarterback you but as you said hindsight is 20/20. Just the fact you are alive and able to walk n talk is not only that you survived the attack but a slim win for ths “good guy” in this situation. I am a LE firearms instructor in handgun, shotgun and patrol rifle. When we do a course for LE officers, security officers or civilians we drill into their heads not only to survive a violent attack but to WIN. You deff survived but inorder to win we want you to walk away without any injuries, you did win but by the slimmest of margins. You were able to keep sense of mind to deploy your edged weapon and have the mind set of “how dare you” and take the fight to your enemy (attackers). God bless you and your family, carry on…

  62. Call me paranoid; but any time I’m coming to a complete stop in a situation that I couldn’t quickly slam on the gas, I check all my mirrors and surroundings and make sure I know exactly how quickly I can get to my 9 mm. Even as I load groceries in the nicest parts of town, I am constantly looking over my shoulder and observing body language- who is near my car, who is walking in my direction and how fast, how many, how tall, how old, what race, what eye color, what hair color.
    I’m glad I did last year while I was up on a mountaineous area, I noticed someone hovering me as I was walking with my 3y ear old son, I noticed he was changing pace, looking around. He walked ahead of me, walked by me, turned around and started to run at me, I looked down at my son and saw him out of the corner of my eye coming at me. I flipped around and faced him. “lets go motherfucker” He ran off into the woods, I hopped a security cart and chased him down.

  63. It must have been very hard to open your knife because your body was already in an elevated fight mode where your fine motor skills are harder to control. Did your fingers feel numb and uncoordinated at that time?

  64. Just a comment – my son and daughter live in Las Vegas, and LV has a law there that, if someone approaches your vehicle on foot while you are stopped (as at an intersection) you are within your rights to shoot him the instant he touches your car. Needless to say, there are no more ‘panhandlers’ or ‘window-washers’ in Vegas – especially after one guy actually shot one and was not prosecuted. My son and SIL are both FBI firearms instructors, and they and my daughter all carry. BUT – I still worry; I know how easy it is to forget a firearm, or think “I’ll just be a minute!” as you did.

    I’m just very glad I left the Big City and moved to a place where everyone open-carries – and leaves their cars not only unlocked but with the keys in the ignition. I’m also very glad you survived to share this story.

  65. I am glad you survived. After reading this I am glad for one my husband drilled into me the minute you put the keys into the ignition you lock the doors. He grew up in a poor city with lots of crime and he just always insisted. Secondly I get if you are used to panhandlers approaching you wouldn’t have thought twice about it. We never leave home without our glock either. Sorry you had to learn the hard way and hope you recover quickly.

  66. Crime can happen anywhere but it statistically happens in some places more than others. The author needs to move to a safer neighborhood (where he lives or work) even if it involves a sacrifice of some sort. I tell this to people who live/work in a similar situation as the author and all I hear is irrelevant excuses.

    Know your neighborhood. Here is a comparison of two cities close to one another. See a difference? Yup.

    http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nc/durham/crime/

    http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/nc/cary/crime/

  67. I can tell you from experience that things happen very quickly during a car jacking. I had four or five guys (not exactly sure of the number. As I said, things happen very quickly) attempt to car jack me by stepping into the road in front of me to get me to stop, while one guy tried to open my drivers door. I’m left handed, so lucky for me I had placed my Beretta 92 on the passenger seat before driving into what I knew was a bad neighborhood. Otherwise, I’m not sure if I could have drawn my weapon very well from my holster in between the seat and the door. At least two of them approaching from the front appeared to be reaching into waist bands for guns. I wasted no time in picking my gun up off the passenger seat and sticking it into the face of the guy trying to open my door. This immediately ended the threat. They ran like the pussies they were! The lesson I learned is never leave it at home, and keep it accessible while driving. If you are a lefty like me, don’t leave it in the holster while driving. It’s better to have to shoot out of your driver side window right handed, as I nearly had to do, than not be able to extract your weapon from its holster because the door is in the way.

  68. Dan? Everybody has an opinion, and everyone just wants to say the obvious but we are all different and handle situations differently. But at the end of the day you didn’t ask to be robbed or stabbed, these scumbags approached you, this is where if you had been armed you would be writing a story from a different angle about how you ever deterred them away or they were both in caskets in the ground with holes in their heads. Your alive that’s awesome, your door being unlocked whatever mistakes happen. I forget to lock mine all the time and even worse they don’t lock automatically… They could have smashed the windows or they could have had a gun. All these people think they are experts, but just are full of shit. You know what, next time (hoping there isn’t a next time!) but you will have your gun and will have an upper hand in that situation. These people commenting with their stories, talking like there Rambo are just full of shit! Where I live we aren’t allowed to carry for self defence, even owning a firearm is hard and the obvious is happening here violent crime is rising not falling. Hoping you all the best in the future mate!

  69. What if you drive a Jeep with no doors or top. I guess I’m hosed. I have had walking dumbasses at a stop light say ‘hey, give me a ride’ I say ‘sorry, no thanks’ and they get pissed. I want to say ‘do I look like a fricking taxi?’ I do carry a 357 part of the time. Not all the time because it is a federal offense to carry on my employer’s property unless you are a security guard.

  70. Thank you for taking the time to share this experience with us. This article taught me some things that might someday save my life.

  71. A vehicle may be your rolling castle or it might be your prison cell. In some states you can’t legally have defensive weapons in your car, sometimes even if you’re licensed to carry.
    So, first rule has to be, always have your weapons on your person and available readily at hand.
    Having pillows and/or blankets is common in parts of the country because of weather. This story makes me think of a Kevlar bath towel which could stop many bullets and knife slashes or stabs.
    The car I drive locks the doors at about 15-20 mph. I’ve gotten in the habit of locking the doors before I buckle up. I make sure that shirts, vests or other items are not locked in place when I sit down and before I start the car.
    I also carry several extra key rings with duplicate car keys.
    Being attacked by drug addicts can lead to a blood transfer and AIDS is a possibility.
    Body armor is expensive. Kevlar sleeves and gloves might be very nice to have whether it was road rash or a fight.

  72. Glad you made it out alive. There are beggars around the Wal-Marts here and no telling what they want. Some are pretty sad characters.

    I keep a Saber pepper spray (The Spitfire version) in my car as well as a P32 hidden in a very certain place. That way if I forget go bring my roscoe I still have something there. And my car auto-locks the doors once you put the car in gear.

    All our children are grown and the grandchildren are not ‘here’ yet so when they come that will change how I keep firearms handy but for right now I do have some minimal protection if things go south.

    But it is a lesson what can happen even thought you just went to the store for a bag of ice or something. Heaven help us if alot of these illegals are gang members and nuts pushed out from their countries to alleviate their problems. It might get down right scarey.

  73. TY,

    Glad you survived, and thanks for sharing your story so we can all LEARN from it. That’s how I take the Monday Morning Quarterbacking. It’s a debriefing discussion. It would be foolish NOT to learn from an incident like this.

    A few comments:
    We don’t get to schedule an appointment for this sort of thing. There’s no substitute for preparedness and vigilance.

    Can our carry rig be TOO comfortable? If one really forgets that one is carrying a gun, would there not be a benefit to a carry method that is just slightly less comfortable enough that you do NOT forget? Not an uncomfortable rig, just not a rig that disappears into your awareness. I mean, my shoes are comfortable, but I don’t forget that I have them on.

    Stabbing victims OFTEN report that they did not know they were stabbed until later. Your incident is further proof.

    Kudos for carrying a knife. Knives can be carried legally many places that guns cannot. Carry a fixed blade if possible and avoid the uncertainties of deploying a folder.

    Perps often run in packs like other predators. Hailing from one direction and attacking from the opposite is a COMMON tactic.

  74. Im not sure how i ended up on this site but i read most of the comments and im pleased to live in Australia where none of this ever happens. I have also never heard of self locking doors on a car, except when u get out and do it via ur remote control. In our cars, if u try to lock the door when ur inside it, ur car alarm will go off and the immobiliser kicks in and car wont go anywhere. It is illegal to carry a knife or firearm in Australia which is ok by 90% of the ppl as we never need one. Aussies gave up their guns willingly in 1996 after one of the worlds worst mass shootings by a lone gunman in Hobart, Tasmania. To this date we have never had another one. I have never heard of car jackings in Oz either, its like something out of a Bruce Willis movie. Most ppl dont even lock their doors here (maybe in the city, not in suburbs or country). I sure hope your country gets rid of its car jackers, murderers, rioters etc so you can all live in peace and safety without having to worry about who will be next. I couldnt live like that, it would drive me crazy to be forever looking over my shoulder, just in case. By the way, just for the record, we do have shootings still,perpetuated by the minority who didnt give up their guns, but no mass ones, usually only one person with a personal grudge against another, maybe one person gets shot and dies and it usually happens overnight at the victims house, with no other ppl involved. We hear about it on the news next day, but this event is rare, only 1 or 2 per year.

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