Question of the Day: What Would You Do In This Situation?

Warning: turn down the music in this clip. It’s almost as bad as a 70’s porn soundtrack. What’s worse: two bad guys got away with armed robbery. Or not. We don’t know the particulars here. But there sure is a lot of information in the security video, including the fact that the store employees were unarmed during the burglary. The liveleak.com caption tells us “no one was hurt.” Gun control advocates will, of course, take that as vindication; they believe compliance – not combat – is the key to survival when facing potentially violent attackers. We know better. For example . . .

We know that bad guys leading employees into a back room is often – not always, but often – a prelude to assassination. Click here for the story of a Starbucks’ back room murder where three employees lost their lives to a savage killer. Click here for a story about a manager and four customers herded into the back room of clothing store and shot to death. Click here for a story of two jewelry store employees executed in the back room of their business. And so on.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m being frog-marched into the back of a store by robbers, I’m not going to take my chances. I mean, I am. I’m going to attack. Ah, but how and when? When would have been the best time to fight back in this situation? Would you?

comments

  1. avatar Kevin L says:

    I would’ve drawn at :44 seconds when they’re both looking at the cabinet

    1. avatar Pascal says:

      Have you ever drawn while on the floor and your hands behind your back? Its not easy and you assume they will not see you. Not saying it might not be an opportunity, but it will not be easy to draw and shoot. The best scenario is that you draw and shoot and they run. However, if they start shooting back, your in no position to really move and your buddy may get shot and killed as well.

      1. avatar ThomasR says:

        Nah, both employees were still standing while the guy in black was turned away looking at the cabinet while the other guy was getting his gloves on; that would have been a good place to draw and start shooting/

        The other would have been at the very beginning when the guy in black first drew on the employee, the employee was in easy hand distance of the gun; he could., with some practice before hand; easily taken the gun away from the bad guy with minimal risk.

        But under no circumstances should anyone go into a back room with a bad guy; to many real scenarios where the employees were executed; better to draw and take your chances while still in the open.

    2. avatar utdmatt says:

      Yeah… This is a Radioshack. Worked for them for 3 years and guess what, no guns for employees. Some employees even freak out over just having a 3 inch Kershaw pocket knife.

      When I went over this situation for my own store, the best option was to run out the back fire exit while slamming the back hallway door on them and then make for the gun out in my truck. The other consideration was i refused to do more then emergency fill-in work at any store not in a good neighborhood. This means south Dallas and Garland were a no-go zone.

      Thankfully my store was only ever broken in to while closed, 4 times in 3 years though…

      1. Yeah, they were lead through two doors to get to the back office. Any one of those doors could have been a chance to separate yourself from the robbers. The other guy would be SOL though. They could have worked as a team and gone in together. I am responding to this under the assumption that I would not have a gun on me to put myself in the same situation as the video. After shooting handguns, I realize how dificult it is to hit a moving target. I can get ten yards separation in under 2 seconds from a robber with a handgun. Break away, move to the side, use obstructions, get out of the building. If you get shot, it was pure bad luck. Not enough people know this because not enough people shoot pistols.

  2. avatar DV says:

    Everybody’s getting shot. Bad guys, people filming the thing with their iPhones from outside, first responders, cops, me, news reporters — errbody gettin hit.

    Gotta send a message to these thugs that the lawfully armed are more nuts than they are.

    Lastly, how do you know what 70s porn music sounds like?

    1. avatar John in Ohio says:

      LOL!

      Y’all need to hide your kids, hide your wife, and hide your husband cause they’re shootin’ everybody out here.

    2. avatar Taylor TX says:

      Cant tell if youre trolling or my /sarc is broken today.

    3. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Some of us were around when 70’s porn came out.

      I call this one “Dirk Diggler’s Theme”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YyTp9swrso

    4. avatar DickG says:

      Some of us remember the FORMER rules for airplane passenger behavior during a hijacking situation:
      .
      ………..Compliance so no one will get hurt!
      .
      We ALL remember how that turned out!
      .

  3. avatar gloomhound says:

    I thought the soundtrack sounded kinda like a RUSH hiphop remix.

  4. avatar Aaronw says:

    Or how about Charles Augusto who brought to bear a shotgun hidden for decades behind the counter of his restaurant supply business in Harlem? He saw the signs that he and his employees were about to be executed and took action, shooting four assailants.

  5. avatar Anon says:

    Probably walking back to the office. No way would I let them get me in that back office.

    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      I’m with you. As I sit here, I’m thinking ‘It never gets better, it only gets worse.” Of course, in the actual event who knows? But that’s my thinking as I sit here. Having another employee there certainly complicates it. Looks like the one that opens the back office door could have immediately slammed it in the bad guy’s face and drawn his piece, but that would be leaving his co-worker out to dry

  6. avatar .9mm says:

    I would have faked compliance at first because the bad guys definitely got the drop on those two employees. It seems there was a moment or two in the backroom, before being ordered to the floor, where the bad guys were distracted by getting the loot and thats when I would have discreetly drawn and emptied a mag of .40sw in their direction.

  7. avatar knightofbob says:

    I’m not the fastest or strongest, but I saw plenty of time for a disarm on that initial draw. The gunman even appears possibly distracted at about 1:34.

    1. avatar knightofbob says:

      Should not comment while doing other things. I meant :16.

    2. avatar Dale says:

      The most opportune time to end it was when he first drew the firearm. When I first watched the video, I thought… boom! That’s where you act. But to be honest, how many people are conditioned to take immediate action?

      1. avatar knightofbob says:

        Watching it again, there’s plenty of time to take the gun while he’s still adjusting his grip after that sloppy draw, and he waited until the employee was close enough to do it.

        I should add that I don’t know if I would indeed do so if I were in that situation, but I would do something to act immediately.

  8. avatar John in Ohio says:

    This is a tough one. I can’t see any really good opportunity in the video. Maybe I missed one. The best I can Sunday afternoon QB this one is maybe a Hail Mary strike/block & draw around 15 seconds in or draw with your right side away from the criminals (gun side hidden) if you’re the first guy in the door around 28 seconds in. The robbers certainly seemed to know how to do it. They appeared quick and decisive. The times I would not have chosen would’ve been when the one was behind and marching the victim forward or on the ground in the back room. As to the latter, there is one moment when the cabinet door is blocking view and both robbers are looking away. But, that’s real iffy, IMHO, and I wouldn’t probably have tried it at that moment.

    (Edit: If I were truly convinced that they were about to execute us, I *might* have tried while on the ground when the cabinet or whatever door is in the way and they are both looking away. However, I’d have to really believe that they were about to murder. I more likely would’ve tried to delay them at the beginning and mess up their timing. I certainly wouldn’t want to go into that back room.)

    1. avatar Howdy says:

      They have a gun pointed at you. Why would you not think they were going to murder you at this point?

      1. avatar John in Ohio says:

        I’ve had firearms point at me before and I obviously wasn’t murdered. Not everyone has the minerals to kill. That said, anyone threatening someone innocent with potential death ought to be killed, IMHO.

        The point I was trying to convey is that I would’ve had to been convinced as that would’ve been, IMHO, a very risky move. The window of opportunity was very small, the person is on the ground, etc. Hell, at this point in life I’m not sure that I could’ve reacted fast enough at that one moment.

        1. avatar Excedrine says:

          I, too, have drawn on a drawn gun before and been victorious. That being said, it’s definitely not something that I would want to have to repeat, though, as not all criminals are simply dumb hoods with an itchy trigger finger and zero experience.

          I agree with you assessment, too. It is indeed a tough call to make, and there aren’t too many opportunities to fight back that I spied, either. Even still, “Fortunate favors the bold”, as they always say.

  9. avatar John Doe says:

    I agree, they had a few opportunities to disarm the criminals near the initial draw, especially when they were each in different aisles with the employees, the one on the left seemed a little distracted.

  10. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    :20 when the left bad guy turns to check the front door
    :27 when I’m first in the room, slam the door on them all

    Maybe….
    This just looks bad.

  11. avatar Dave says:

    I figured as soon as they were escorted to the back of the store they were dead.

  12. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

    Vomit. Pee on yourself. Tell them you are on your period. Oh wait, that’s MDA’s brilliant advice for a rapist.

    No. Here fake a heart attack or faint or pretend to trip. Distract them. Throw your keys or cell phone or something away from them and then force of action. Violence. Fight to the death. Hell – don’t even know if that gun was loaded. Just sayin.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    Be calm, wait for my chance, draw gun and shoot both guys until the threat is over, watch the TV interviews with the BGs relatives claiming they were nice boys who were just turning their lives around and didn’t deserve to die.

    If you have a gun and the right frame of mind, you have an advantage — you are hunting them, and they don’t know it.

    1. avatar Zach says:

      Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Find a moment when they’re both distracted or looking away, and then just go as nuts as possible as fast as possible. This is where practice drawing the gun seems really essential; I get the sense that with as close as these guys are and as fast as things can move that getting my piece out and on target might be challenging. I think I’d just try to do as much violence to them as I could immediately, move to get a little distance, and then empty the magazine into them.

  14. avatar AnAnonymousShooter says:

    If someone points a gun at me, I’m going to assume they intend to kill me. I’m not going to assume they’re just there to rob me, and go on their merry way, and that I should just comply with what they say.

    Pretend to be compliant. If I must, I won’t put arms all the way up, my hands will be up, but my elbows will be by my side, keep my hands low, by my head, to shorten the distance to get to my weapon quicker.

    Wait for a moment grab my gun. At that point then I’m committed. 100%. One of us is going to get their sh!t fvcked up, and hopefully it won’t be me.

  15. avatar Kevin der Kinderen says:

    Anyone who believes compliance or defense works in every case is fooling themselves. Each situation is different. What we have here is – without any method of self defense available to them – guys at the mercy of thugs with guns.

    That is the difference. Do you lay there like sheep hoping the thug went to church that week or that his mom said “be a good boy Johnny” before he left the house to rob you? Or instead do you prepare yourself with the firearm and training necessary to use it if the opportunity presents itself.

    The initial contact was too close for the victim to respond. The thugs have done this before. Training might have provided a little more notice through situational awareness.

    1. avatar Mark Lloyd says:

      I have to agree. Each situation is different. Although there may be a similarity, for instance, total take-over armed bank robberies with multiple suspects. Nobody in his or her right mind would do anything except comply. However, if they started marching people in the back and executing them, well then all bets are off and you take your chance. The other end of the spectrum is some clod with a mask and a knife that’s waving it around wildly threatening people in a small shop robbery. OK sure, your life is in danger, other peoples lives are in danger, you spent time at the range and you are certain you can jerk your heater and put a hollow point defense round in his cranial cavity, but there is a huge problem that flashes through your brain, the cops are going to show up and try to prove you DIDN’T need to blow his brains all over the place. A stressful long investigation takes place and you lose 20 pounds even if you needed to or not. Strange how we don’t get even close to the same protections as police get. When a citizen opens fire and blasts off multiple rounds and misses, hitting innocent people, they put you in prison, when the cops do it, they get paid days off, then a promotion.

      There is a point to all this. Every situation is fluid and dynamic. Lethal force being used by citizens is going to be looked at with a scanning electron microscope and not glossed over as if it was a police involved shooting. An extreme amount of discretion must be exercised. Just like in aviation, every rule in the book can be broken for a pilot to meet an emergency. But if you land on the White House lawn, or Area 51, you damn well be able to prove you had an actual emergency and your choice was a viable option, otherwise you may find yourself locked up with your certificate toasted. Those were extreme examples. Those areas have huge exclusionary zones and no private craft would be near them, but the point being, you better have 99.9% defensible decision making in a self-defense gun use.

    2. avatar knightofbob says:

      I mostly agree, with the exception of your assessment in the last paragraph.

      The proximity of the initial confrontation is exactly the right place to react. Too physically close to draw counter, sure, but exactly the right position for the victim to gain control of the aggressor’s weapon. Once the confrontation becomes physical, the goal is to come out alive, not unscathed. If the resulting struggle results in a nonfatal wound to an extremity, that should be considered a win. Drawing a firearm, whether for good or ill, should be done well outside the reach of the person being drawn on, period.

      That the robber did that, along with his clumsy, limp-wristed handling of the gun following an incompetent, unsure draw, strongly implies that he’d not only never done it before, but he didn’t even practice. Notice how he seems more concerned about accidentally dropping his phone than the gun. The second robber, when handed the gun, muzzles himself several times, as well as placing it outside his control within grasp of both victims should they have tried to resist. These are not career criminals, they are punks who watched one too many heist movies and decided it looked easy (not saying they were inspired by movies or TV or any other media, just saying that their movements look very much like an imitation of Hollywood style).

  16. avatar Accur81 says:

    It depends what I’m carrying. My summer carry .357 snubbie isn’t great against two arms attackers (an AR with 30 round mags or my Mossberg 930 would be much better). With my snubbie I’d comply like a little bitch and wait for a window of opportunity. With my Glock 27 or 23 and spare mags I’d lean towards immediate return fire whilst seeking cover / concealment. I’d try to move so that I’ve got one BG directly in front of the other.

    It’s also notable that a lot of these videos show the user wearing the “criminal uniform.” That’s a hoodie / baseball cap combo which should automatically increase situational awareness. The gas station assailants had hoodies and baseball caps.

    All those morons who think cameras “protect us” need to realize that they can be foiled with a baseball cap and sunglasses.

    1. avatar Kevin der Kinderen says:

      “All those morons who think cameras “protect us””

      Anyone that thinks a camera protects us is a moron. After a victim is shot and carted away by the coroner the camera may provide evidence used for conviction but…

      The person killed, his or her significant other, the kids, mother, father, the drinking buddies, the classmates, the boss, the IRS all lose. Camera isn’t going to do a dang thing to bring the person back. Zero protection.

      Again I think it goes back to the anti’s passivity. Submit and justice will be done. Well SCREW JUSTICE. If I’m dead then what the heck to I care about justice? Am I coming back as a ghost to guide the law to the killer like in a recent movie? Will I rest in peace knowing that the criminal that killed me is going to face justice?

      Sheep submit. They are born to submit. I’m not going down without at least giving myself a chance. I don’t think I’l ever say “well at least there’s a camera protecting me.”

      That was just a rant about what justice means to a dead person. I actually agree with most of your comments… always looking for an opportunity to defend yourself and having the tools to make it happen. Good.

      1. avatar utdmatt says:

        Agreed accur81. While at my Radioshack in Texas anyone who walked through the door in a hoodie or long coat got my instant attention. Body language decided where I went from there. Thankfully the worst I got was 1 crazy guy and shoplifters.

  17. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    I’m not quite sure what I would do, but rest assured there would be backflips, combat rolls, dual wielding, tactical reloads, and one-handed weapon system manipulations…

    And somebody is walking out of there pregnant.

    1. avatar Taylor TX says:

      You forgot a throwing knife somewhere in there I think 🙂 Just for Total operational spectrum control 🙂

      1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

        Indeed.

        And I imagine that I would have to pie at least three corners and transition to a secondary and tertiary weapon at some point.

    2. avatar Doug says:

      Bingo. If it has to be, showtime. All in. Va banque.

  18. avatar Gregolas says:

    After reading, “In Cold Blood” at age 22, I resolved to go running or fighting, but not as a helpless victim.
    At that point, knowing pretty well how to run, I started to learn how to fight.
    I will take my chances rather than ever be forced into a back room or cooler, or to lie on the floor.

  19. avatar BigDinVT says:

    At about 0:48 it appears that both criminals had put their weapons back in their pockets so they could use both hands to loot the cabinet. At that point it didn’t appear either criminal was watching the two victims. This would have been as good an opportunity as any to react (and yes I have shot from a prone position before). Another time to do something might have been at around 0:08 for the victim in light clothing when the criminal in dark dress first confronted him at the cashier station. The criminal was extremely close and a committed defender might have been able to deny the criminal the use of the firearm or remove it from him completely.

    Given that there’s no way to know the mindset of the criminals or the victims, the course of action chosen by the victims might have been the best option. The criminals acted with purpose according to a well thought-out plan. They also obviously had some prior knowledge of the environment since they were very deliberate; ignored everything on the sales floor and headed directly for the most valuable loot in the back room. If neither of the two victims were mentally prepared to turn the tables on the criminals complying with instructions and not resisting might have been the only way they were going to make it out alive. The belligerence of one victim might have resulted in both dying. Unfortunately, in many cases compliance hasn’t always equaled compassion from criminals.

    One factor that might have played a part in my OODA loop was the fact that the criminals made the two victims lay prone on the floor. I wouldn’t have had foreknowledge that this was going to happen but the fact that at some point my concealed piece might be discovered would have factored into my decision making process. If either of the two victims had been carrying a concealed firearm IWB towards the back, it would have very likely patterned under the carrier’s shirt when they went prone. This might have caused the criminals to panic and start shooting. As the concealed carrying victim this might have forced my hand earlier — knowing that, if I didn’t shoot first I might not make it out of the store alive.

    In the end, with just about any COA involving resistance, there would be a good chance that either one or both of the ‘good guys’ might be injured or killed by gunfire — making it a lose-lose situation all around.

  20. avatar JasonM says:

    The dark attired attacker (Mr. Dark) appeared to be the only armed one, until he handed off to the light attired one (Mr. Light).

    0:13-0:17 Mr. Dark moves aggressively while reaching into his pants. It’s also likely there were words accompanying the movements. My reaction would have been to draw, fire, and take cover. Having drawn from under a shirt thousands of times in practice, hundreds of times in the stress of competition, and a few times in the stress of violent threats, I know I could out draw him.
    0:30 Mr. Dark turns his back on the victims, while Mr. Light is putting on gloves. That is clearly an opportunity to draw and fire. Even a person with basic firearms skills would have been able to exploit that moment.
    From this point on, the robbers are almost nothing but mistakes, until they secure the victims.

  21. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    I don’t know what would have worked. To me they looked like they had opportunity to resist. They seemed way too sheepish though. Some guys have never been in a fight or a real confrontation either. Me? Fight to the death…and I am always armed with something-even if it’s not a gun.

  22. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The dark clad criminal presented two critical opportunities.

    When he first draws on the employee at 0:15, he is only a few inches from the employee and he looks away. At that point I would have performed a martial arts forearm block into his arm with the intention of breaking his arm and quickly followed with a strike to the body somewhere … and then create distance, draw, and fire.

    The dark clad criminal also makes the mistake of turning his back to the employees in the stock room when he is only two feet away at 0:30 in the video. In that instance I would have thrown a “haymaker” punch into the armed criminal’s jaw/head and then probably launch a side kick into the other criminal. Then I would draw and shoot as necessary.

    For the uninitiated, martial arts forearm blocks, delivered properly with speed and force to the middle of an attackers forearm, will usually break the attacker’s arm without any serious injury to your arm. I have seen many people break boards with forearm blocks … they can be brutal if you have practiced them hundreds of times.

    While I definitely prefer to use a handgun to defend myself against attackers, there are times where your odds are better if you deliver a physical strike before drawing. This was one of those instances because the criminals had the drop on the employees and the criminals were within contact distance. If there were even 6 feet between criminal and victims, I would instead advocate suddenly moving away, drawing, and shooting when something distracted the attacker.

  23. avatar KCK says:

    Remember the guy and his friends were herded in the building from sitting around the fire? He said he should have gone in first and have time to draw while other we’re coming in. The store guy in the light jacket had that opportunity at :29.
    That scenario you could maybe know that opportunity may present and sync up wth it when/if it happens

  24. avatar Phil says:

    The door leading to the back room. Both employees SHOULD move quickly and compliantly into the room, then use the door to slam on the gun hand, which appeared to be sticking through. In that second draw and cover. With any luck the door will slam shut and you’ve got the kill box on your side. In reality I probably would’ve A) brown pants B) cry, C) repeat.

  25. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    As soon as the clumsy fu¢ker drew and got way too close. Reaction time would give me a serious advantage.

    Probably best to then toss his weapon behind me (who knows if it’s even loaded?) and then grab my own.

    I’d have to be damned fast, though. This one ain’t clear cut. Not at all. No siree.

  26. avatar Joe R. says:

    The two perps were working for the anti-gun crowd, it’s how they get their campaign $, or else they are working for the courts who would’ve normally liked to have convicted the two victims for resorting to shooting the perps, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Or maybe, this type of armed robbery is how the perps obtain the funds needed to hire the anti-gun crowd or anti-gun judges… ?
    I know, tough-one.

  27. avatar jon says:

    Isn’t it infuriating when someone gets away with a crime? If the store wants to give away their money, let them, but is the store going to reimburse you for any valuables (including jewelry and cash up to or over $100) that you had with you??? If they expect you to give it up, they better!!

  28. avatar m0t0 says:

    Sure looks like a radioshack to me. I’m guessing they are taking all the cell phones stored in the back. Doesnt matter anyways the esn’s will be locked before they can do anything with them.

  29. avatar Panzercat says:

    Tough call. I mean, all of this is internet quarterbacking, but…

    00:16 – Attention of Douche Bag #1 continually diverted from Victim #1 to his partner. Best opportunity to occupy gun hand and draw own CCW before getting to the back room. Chances are pretty fair given his distracted state that you can keep his gun hand out of play while you deploy your own.

    00:27 – First victim enters the back room. Actions and activity is covered by the partially closed door, the attention of Douche #1 is likewise diverted backwards. #1 can be dropped with minimal exposure if you’re quick. Douche #2 is actually busy putting on his gloves! Assuming you can percieve the opportunity (versus internet QBing), you have a decent shot at ending the robbery here.

    00:49 – Full attention is diverted away from victims- especially black shirt -for nearly ten whole seconds. Depending on where your CCW is, you could pull this off, but I hope you’re versed in drawing and firing from sub-optimal positions. The Black shirt victim has the best chance of pulling this off as he is completely out of periphal vision for the longest amount of time; even before the 00:49 mark.

    It only goes downhill from there. My only consolation after the 1:00 mark is they put my hands exactly where I carry, but a lot of focus is on the victims by this point.

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