Defensive Gun Use of the Day: WI Store Owner AR 15 Edition

On July 3rd, 2015, Ronnie Murrar grabbed a modern sporting rifle when it counted. Three robbers smashed through a concrete barrier and into the gates of his store with a stolen mini-van. Ronnie accessed an AR-pattern rifle and fired at the invaders as they attempted to squeeze through the damaged gates. At seconds 54-57, he fires about seven shots . . .

Deishun L. Byrd-McWay has been charged in the incident. He showed up at the hospital with three gunshot wounds. Three hits in three seconds out of seven shots at about 20 yards. Under stress. Not bad. In the video, Ronnie doesn’t appear to be using the sights, but does have the rifle at his shoulder, using a variation of a point shooting technique.

The video illustrates many of the virtues of the AR type rifle for defense of self and others. It”s easy to use, points naturally, is easy to control with mild recoil, and has sufficient magazine capacity that you do not have to worry about a reload or attempt to count your shots in a tense, life and death situation.

After the perpetrators flee, Ronnie puts down the rifle and grabs his pistol to investigate the damage to the door. A pistol allows a person to be armed without having a gun in their hand when the police arrive. From wisn.com on 23 July:

The owner of the store found out Wednesday he won’t be charged in the shooting.

The attorney for Bouchard’s owner told WISN 12 News reporter Christina Palladino his client had every right to defend himself after three men with guns broke into his store.

“The persons who tried to break into his store that night not only intended to steal but intended to kill him,” attorney John Schiro said.He said the video clearly illustrates how the men rammed the back of a stolen minivan into concrete posts blocking the entrance. Then, the men jumped out and tried to squeeze through the opening of the gate.

I wonder if my good friend, Jim Blair, of Blair’s hardware, sold Ronnie the rifle. Jim gained momentary national attention during the run up to the Clinton “Assault Weapon” ban when he defended the Second Amendment on TV in the Milwaukee area. He sold dozens of rifles and cases of ammunition out of the Blair Hardware family store in Butler, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.

It is activism such as Jim’s – and real world examples such as there – that educate citizens to the virtues of sport utility rifles for defense of self and others.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch

comments

  1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Good shooting!

    But it is a sad state of current affairs when someone obviously defending his life has to wait to find out if he’s going to be charged with some crime.

    1. avatar Mk10108 says:

      Agreed. That someone had to take more than 5 seconds to clear lawful self defense. And the suggestion that he should comply with robbers shows how immoral legislators are in passing anti gun laws.

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      Sometimes, DGUs aren’t clear-cut cases. I have a local example where a pharmacist shot at two armed kids attempting to rob is place. He grazed the head of one, knocking him down, and the other fled. The pharmacist took chase but then came back inside. He then stepped over the kid on the ground (including having his back to him), fetched a different gun then came back and shot the kid in the head, point-blank. All on video. The pharmacist clearly crossed the line from DGU to execution.

      1. avatar Chip Bennett says:

        And apples aren’t oranges. I’m not sure what point you’re making. The OP involves a very clear-cut DGU. Your anecdote involves a very obvious execution.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          The point is simple: police have to investigate, and the decision as to whether to charge or not is often not made by the uniform answering the call. Such things take time and paperwork/paperpushing.

        2. avatar Grindstone says:

          If it’s not a clear-cut case of DGU, then there should be an investigation. This is due process and a cornerstone of our justice system.

      2. avatar Duoesky2 says:

        That pharmacist would have got off if I was on the jury.

        Poor choices made by the victim under extreme stress due to actions caused by the bad guy are the sole responsibility and risk of that the bad guy.

        1. avatar WedelJ says:

          That pharmacist incident was in my state. He chased the kids off and came back to where the first kid was on the ground, reloaded his revolver, and put more rounds into the kid still on the ground. Self defense is self defense, but that was murder.

        2. avatar Grindstone says:

          Then I hope you are never on a jury if you excuse clear cold-blooded murder. Google Jerome Ersland, look up the facts, watch the security footage, and come back here and hold up your evil opinion.

        3. avatar Robert M says:

          Jury Nullification.

          You have the right as a juror to completely ignore any facts in the case and render a verdict vote strictly based on whether you believe the law in question is legal or correct, or not.

          If your conscience feels what the pharmacy owner did is just, regardless of the law or popular opinion, you have a duty and right to vote that way, acquit, and no one can fault or blame you for it.

          This right is the SOLE purpose of a jury trial, to be judged by your peers, not the shifting attitudes of judges, lawyers, and politicians.

          EVERY AMERICAN has a responsibility to know their rights as a juror, including jury nullification, and to educate others. The life you save might be your own.

          http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/23929-jury-nullification-why-every-american-needs-to-learn-this-taboo-verdict

          http://www.flexyourrights.org/faqs/jury-nullification/

          http://fija.org/

    3. avatar Cuteandfuzzybunniess says:

      In my state a robber or anyone breaking and entering , is automaticly assumed to be armed and both capable and intending to preform deadly violence on the inhabitants of the building this is a legal assumption even if facts are not supporting it. So a prosucuter really can’t try and say different. They can only challenge weather a robbery or b and e was occurring. Basicly in Texas unless the guy gets down on his knees folds his hand behind his back and begs for mercy, if he broke in or attempted an armed robbery , rape or pretty much any agrivated felony it’s a good shoot. Even if he was on his knees begging and you thought he reached for a gun you might get off as he could still be armed and search is not practical for most non LEO.
      Our self defense laws are not perfect. They could allow more leeway in shooting people who attempt assaults or steal. And I’d like to see manslaughter be the highest charge for a victimn who makes a mistake with a bad shoot, while having property stolen Etc. But they are better than most. We also have protection from civil suit by statute in self defense shootings.
      An armed robber has Basicly anounced his intentions to commit murder.

      1. avatar jarhead says:

        Here in Texas, Home invasion at night was an automatic death penalty for years. If they made it to court, they still got the death penalty.

    4. avatar JWM says:

      Every shooting deserves an investigation. Does that mean waiting til it’s over to determine good or bad shoot? Yes.

    5. avatar Dan says:

      This ‘sad state of affairs’ is due to the fact that most of the shysters and sycophants infesting the ‘legal’ system are more concerned with their careers, getting reelected or moving up the chain of power than with justice. Thus for a DA who is the bad guy and who is the good guy is irrelevant….the only question is can I get a conviction to pad my record.

  2. avatar beefeater says:

    But there’s a pistol grip and a shoulder thing that goes up on that “assault weapon”, so it can’t possibly be used for anything other than school shootings, right?

  3. avatar William says:

    What kind of store does he run?

    1. avatar dph says:

      It’s an accessory store (hats, shoes etc.), must be a pretty profitable if bad guys would put that much effort into robbing it. That said, most of these criminals don’t have much brain power to work with, I guess that’s why they’re criminals.

      1. avatar dph says:

        and this is the second time they have been targeted by armed robbers.
        http://www.wisn.com/news/reward-offered-in-bouchards-robbery-shooting/30061090

        1. avatar dph says:

          and I’d say Ronnie learned something after he was shot in the first robbery, Both him and his clerk are armed and taking turns guarding the store at night.

    2. avatar Bob says:

      Sportswear, maybe they were looking to steal some $300 Jordan sneakers.

    3. avatar rlc2 says:

      wondered same- clicking thru the link to another video shows a double folding metal grate, two bollards in concrete outside and another one inside, and unless there is a strobe light going all night, the owner must have activated that, or it alarmed before the car backed into the bollards and grate, twice.

      Article called it a sporting goods store- looks more like a pawn shop specializing in guns, cameras, coins.

      Store had been attacked once before by two of same guys. They came prepared with a plan second time- did not see guns in hands, due poor quality of vid.

  4. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    Ronnie doesn’t appear to be using the sights, but does have the rifle at his shoulder. Under high stress situations at close range, you will not know the sights are even there. I like my simple bead sight on the 870. The Raybar sight on my Ithaca is good too. A lot of people worry about the sights on their handgun and at the ranges usually employed, it probably will not matter. One thing about ARs is that you will have a lot of intrinsic error at close range trying to use the sights.

  5. avatar brentondadams says:

    Ho Le Chit. Nice shooting.

  6. avatar Gs650g says:

    Why didn’t Ronnie try conflict resolution dialog? Maybe they didn’t have bad intentions and were misunderstood.

    If he didn’t have that iron he’d be toast. Notice how fast they changed their mind about merchandise when bullets started to fly. Bad guys are not super humans, they turn tail pretty quick and don’t do that well in gun fights

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “Bad guys are not super humans, they turn tail pretty quick and don’t do that well in gun fights”

      A ‘chemically-enhanced’ BG is different critter, and you have no reliable way of knowing if they are drugged…

  7. avatar Sixpack70 says:

    According to the article yesterday he should have just let them take what they want and not fought back. He could have been injured! You can even watch the criminals turn their lives around as they exit the store. /sarc

  8. avatar MarkPA says:

    Observe that even an unwashed citizen – without a blue uniform or tin shield – is able to discern the subtle nuances of a violent attack and bring-to-bare proportionate force to defend himself.

    This story clearly undermines the meme that firearm-ability is ordained exclusively by the Devine right of kings to their Only-Ones.

  9. avatar Second Amendment Lover says:

    Too bad more store owners didn’t do likewise in Ferguson.

    1. avatar bontai Joe says:

      AMEN to that!

  10. avatar BradN says:

    Remember, according to the anti-gun lobby nobody needs a weapon such as this. Instead of an AR he should have only been allowed to use a single shot .22 LR rifle. For the children of course.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      ” … he should have only been allowed to use a single shot .22 LR rifle.”

      Oh, come on now, that is mischaracterizing gun-grabbers … they would have graciously allowed that store owner to use a musket as well!

      Caveat: that store owner would only be able to use muskets that well-trained people cannot shoot more than twice per minute.

  11. avatar JQPub says:

    Or maybe he could have just urinated himself or vomited and they would have been deterred!

  12. avatar Coffee Addict says:

    I’m OK with this tactic. Dindoo Nuffins only learn the hard way.

    1. avatar Frank Rook says:

      Day wiz jus’ good baws trying to turn day lifes arrund.

  13. avatar GreatScott says:

    I’m guessing that won’t even show up as a DGU in the Anti’s ‘stats’ (because no one was killed)

  14. avatar Doofus says:

    One wonders where the other four shots ended . . . Lucky Mr. Murrar that he didn’t shoot anyone else.

    What was that rule . . . . “Be sure of your target and what is behind it” – is that still in effect ??

    1. avatar dph says:

      There was a smashed van behind him and two more criminal yoots.

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Being sure of your target and hitting your target are two different concepts.

    3. avatar Duoesky2 says:

      Examples of armed victims held liable for errant shots? I’m guessing close to zero.

      1. avatar MarkPA says:

        Excellent point. One which we should remember to emphasize.

        When a civilian has no alternative but to shoot it is rather unusual that she is surrounded by a crowd of innocent bystanders.

        Much more likely, the venue is a deserted garage, street, mall. When an attack occurs in a business place, the walls of the building usually contain errant shots. Bystanders tend to flee, find cover, get down.

        There is real risk of a 7/16″ projectile hitting an innocent person who was not aimed-at; yet, the probability is relatively low. When hit by a single shot, the probability is even lower that the round strikes a vital organ that will kill the person before she could receive life-saving medical care.

        It would be great of we could get a quote from some reputable authority; e.g., a NYC police official.

        Conversely, it’s more often that law enforcement officers hit innocent bystanders. Their marksmanship isn’t as good as that of most civilians who practice for fun. The police have a duty to invoke deadly force; civilians have a right that they prudently exercise as a last-resort. The police are protected by qualified immunity; civilians are putting their liberty and fortune on the line when they take a shot anywhere someone innocent might be injured.

      2. avatar Robert M says:

        This article debunks your thesis.

        This unarmed person fleeing the police in NYC is being charged for the innocent bystanders THE POLICE shot. This seems insane to me. The officer is solely at fault for their negligence.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/05/nyregion/unarmed-man-is-charged-with-wounding-bystanders-shot-by-police-near-times-square.html

  15. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    “modern sporting rifle”
    “AR-pattern rifle”
    “AR type rifle”

    It’s just a semi-automatic rifle. Having to label it 3 different ways to get around saying “assault rifle” is playing right into the antis game of having gun owners and pro-2A supporters have to justify a particular use of a common firearm platform.

    Just call it what it is. Why tie in a lifestyle or specific usage into the name?

    If someone has road rage in their car, their vehicle isn’t named the “road rage vehicle” is it? It’s just a car. The road rage is the user’s issue.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Agreed. I don’t even add the semi auto part when describing one.

      It’s a rifle, no more, no less.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      I like what Dean called it, and vote that it be widely adopted: Sport Utility Rifle. I’s a SURe thing

    3. avatar Jason says:

      Be happy they called it that.

      The local newspaper in Milwaukee, the Urinal Sentinel, called it an “assault-style weapon” in their coverage.

  16. avatar Baldwin says:

    “First Responder” in action…

  17. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    But but but DIEshun was jus’ tryin’ to turn his life around. DGU? Nope-gun hero of the day…BTW these smash and grab robberies are endemic in Chiraq. So much so it barely gets a mention on the local nooze…

  18. avatar Adrik says:

    3 hits and the guy still hot to the hospital…this is why I love 308.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      I had the same thought, although caliber is irrelevant if you shoot your attacker’s pinky toe, pierce a thin layer on the back of his/her arm, and graze their noggin … all of which would count as “hits”.

    2. avatar JWM says:

      3 hits and apparently he got himself to the hospital. There’s a reason we called the Mattel Special a mouse gun.

      Minimum rifle caliber for self defense for use by healthy adults should start at 7.62. Mine starts at 12 bore.

      1. avatar Alexander B. says:

        7.62 is not ideal if using it in tight areas with tons of other residences (apartments/condos) where over penetration is a concern.

        1. avatar rlc2 says:

          Overpenetration is a problem for 12 ga slugs and .40 and .45 and poodle shooting 5.56.
          The point is to hit the target, more often than not.

          If you dont know your backdrop, dont shoot. Rule #4.

  19. avatar KenB says:

    He should have offered them all jobs

  20. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    Deishun L. Byrd-McWay

    In his first name, (who thinks that hanging a completely gibberish name on their kid is a good thing?) we have a clue about his ethnicity and upbringing, ie, “black and not good.”

    Here’s the particulars:

    http://jail.com/arrest-records/deishun-byrd-mcway-11808904

    http://wcca.wicourts.gov/caseDetails.do;jsessionid=55EA275FD9AB71A7262CE645BE6D4F70.render6?caseNo=2015CF003124&countyNo=40&cacheId=6AA97CA78D0272A6DD54A8D5E2D57CA6&recordCount=6&offset=2&mode=details&submit=View+Case+Details

    Oh, look, he was arrested in 2014, too, for violation of parole… which means he was arrested before 2014 and convicted of some other felony charge:

    http://www.wiopenreports.com/records/25610827/deishun++byrd-mcway
    http://jail.com/arrest-records/deishun-byrd-mcway-8395951

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “(who thinks that hanging a completely gibberish name on their kid is a good thing?)”

      Eh, I’m inclined to to give the parents some slack on this. If they were able to trace their family linage back far enough and that name was common in that ethnic region, let ’em do it.

      I personally wouldn’t do it, but that’s just me.

  21. avatar David says:

    Another article on TTAG that dovetails well into what has appeared before.

    This dude took 3 shots from a rifle at under 60 ft. and was able to take himself to the hospital.

    http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2015/07/daniel-zimmerman/personal-defense-tip-know-you-guns-limitations-and-prepare-for-the-worst/

    There is no magic bullet and for the most part shot placement is a canard when you figure in moving targets and adrenaline dump. “Luck” for lack of a better word matters. That is why greater ammo capacity is like buying more scratcher tickets: more chances to win. Next time someone asks “why do you need an AR, AK, GLock. 20 rds, 30, 40, etc. SHOW THEM THIS!

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      +1

    2. avatar MarkPA says:

      Excellent points.

      It’s also a great example of how it is that a – Sport-Utility Rifle – is not the meat-grinder Feinstein would have people believe it is.

      A rifle has stopping power; interestingly, the .223/5.56 round has the dissuasive capacity of a rifle without the death-dealing decisiveness of a standard battle-rifle of our grand-father’s era. I.e., you know, those M-1 Grands that continue to be sold mail-order by Congress’s offspring, the CMP.

      An enemy soldier or criminal facing down the barrel of an M-16/AR-15 with a standard magazine has to decide between 2 competitive alternatives:
      – pursue medical attention;
      – proceed attacking the defender.

      Often, the prudent criminal (who – as we all know – is just trying to turn his life around) will retreat to his get-away car and seek attention in the ER. The constabulary will be waiting for him.

  22. avatar Accur81 says:

    Nice shooting under stress. Those shots would have been very difficult with a pistol. I shared this on Facebook for my anti-gun friends to see – had to also mention Joe Biden’s idiotic comments that ARs are hard to aim. The AR-15 was the ideal self defense tool for this job. As was having a pistol as a backup.

    Some folks think that self defense is limited to 21 feet. Not so.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      You have to admit, the outcome would have been interesting if the store owner had used a shotgun with a field (28 inch) barrel and #00 buckshot. Given that buckshot spreads roughly 1 inch per yard and the attackers were about 60 feet (20 yards) away when the store owner opened fire, the pattern would have been about 20 inches in diameter. That probably would have put at least four pellets into one attacker. And it could have hit other attackers as well … not to mention if the store owner had ripped three shots in a hurry!

      1. avatar Accur81 says:

        Buckshot spread rates vary considerably. The stuff we shoot at work spreads so fast that you’ll be dropping pellets off target on a human-sized silhouette at 15 yards with a center mass shot. Even more so at 20 yards. So my go to gun is our Sig M400 with 60 grain Winchester PDX .223.

        At 15 yards my Federal 00 buck shoots in an 8-10″ circle at 15 yards from my 930 SPX. The crappy Mil-Spec “green garbage” 00 buckshot loads spreads even faster than what we use at work from my 870 (cylinder with Mossberg breacher barrel) or Mossberg 930. The Hornady Zombie Max 00 buck is a bit tighter than the Federal, but recoil is also more stout.

        Buckshot is awesome, it’s just worth some range time for patterning. I prefer the tighter patterning loads, given that shots in my house / property can exceed 15 yards. I agree, This guy could’ve also cause havoc with a 12 gauge (I prefer semi auto) and good quality buckshot.

        1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

          I thought you folks in the CHP and other state agencies were using Vang-comped 870’s? The patterns I’ve seen out of 870’s with the Vang barrel work were impressive at distances better than 15 yards.

        2. avatar Accur81 says:

          DG,

          As far as I’m aware, we use bone stock Rem 870P’s with no Vang Comp barrels, mods, or other parts upgrades. When I first started, I was hoping for super tight buckshot group patterns. That’s not the case. I’m not sure if there are any Vang Comp barrels in circulation whatsoever. Maybe some of the SWAT guys have them, but I’ve talked more to LAPD SWAT and Metro than from my own agency.

          So if we want tighter patterns, we need an ammo upgrade, which will happen at full bureaucrat speed.

        3. avatar Coffee Addict says:

          Are you using the Federal 00 buck with Flight control wad? I get a 3-1/2 -4 inch pattern at 15 yards out of a mossy 590. low recoil too.

        4. avatar Accur81 says:

          Our work stuff was the Remington black shell high brass. Now it’s Winchester. Ammoseek has better prices than this link, but my phone is glitching.

          In my personal guns – Federal Power-Shok:

          http://www.cabelas.com/product/Federal-Power-Shok-Buckshot/1148302.uts

      2. avatar rlc2 says:

        I’m with the others on the AR. Have shot the 870 and a couple others plenty enough to realize it sucks to be slammed by that recoil, which you are going to be plenty familiar with just to get good enough to hit something centermass at 15 – 20 yards.

        Where on the AR its just as many bullets of roughly same size hole, only going faster than the 8 or 9 .30 buckshot, that by the way, all only hit if you are dead center.

        I suppose the AR shooter could use frangible rounds or DRT if overpenetration is a problem.

        Bottomline, a smaller person wont develop the flinch on an AR, for same amount of practice, to hit center mass,

        vs what it takes to do same reliably on an 870, and dont forget its easy to short stroke the pump gun unless you are practiced.

  23. avatar Russ Bixby says:

    Sport utility rifles? Interesting phrase. Guess that puts my F-350xlt and Mosin in similar categories…

    Um, I can put down any gun once I hear sirens; not sure what he meant, there.

    Excellent use of an excellent weapon; warms the heart. Hope the owner of the minivan has Liberty Mutual…

  24. avatar latoya37 says:

    hy

  25. avatar Kc in NorCal says:

    “So sorry sir, wrong store. We thought this was Shannon Watts gun free Emporium.”

  26. avatar gsnyder says:

    If you can’t legally defend yourself when a vehicle crashes through your wall and three armed people jump out, when can you? How this could be questioned at all? It makes the case crystal clear as to why you want as many rounds as possible without changing a magazine. 10 barely cuts it for a single assailant. 10 x 3=30.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      You’d be surprised as to the outlandish and incredible lines of argument that lawyers would use to try to sway a judge and jury…

  27. avatar DeShartzimus Beebeelipsome says:

    Deishun L. Byrd-McWay. Another genius with a hyphenated name.

  28. avatar Anon says:

    Does anyone know? Hollow point or solid? Manufacturer?

  29. avatar Sea Jae says:

    Way to hold down the fort!

  30. avatar Richard says:

    3 shots and the guy is still alive? All the more reason for 7.62.

    1. avatar Nate says:

      I would just set up a Browning M2HB at the desk.

    2. avatar Frank Rook says:

      Or you know use something other than FMJ. Sit down and be quiet. Your bias against 5.56 has no real bearing. If so I’d gladly let you stand down range from me. It’s just a 5.56 and shouldn’t do much more than scratch you right?

      1. avatar Nate says:

        That and shot placement….I don’t think I would favor getting shot at by 7.62 or 5.56 regardless, either round won’t magically finish someone off if you hit extremeties, I suppose 7.62 might help make a bigger hole but if you have 3 hits on a dudes leg, arm and foot then it’s not really a big deal.

  31. avatar Nate says:

    And this is why I love my home state….Milwaukee unfortunately is getting pretty bad, seams like a lot of criminals are imported from Chiraq and Crook County south of the border. At least WI has the gun laws to properly arm its citizens and the Sheriff for the County (David Clark) is top notch.

  32. avatar C says:

    “…or attempt to count your shots in a tense, life and death situation.”

    Because we’re not all Sterling Archer.

  33. avatar Al says:

    You know, I’m not saying that Dean is exaggerating, but in the last 20 years I can’t ever remember Blair’s on Hampton in Butler ever carrying ammo, much less guns.

    Wish he’d start…

  34. avatar George says:

    I was pleased to watch the perp fall to the ground when the guy fired. It is too bad he lived. He’ll go to prison, again probably, then get out, and do it all again. Maybe he’ll kill someone next time. I say anybody convicted of 3 separate violent felonies should be executed. We need to stop coddling those that do not want to be contributing members of society. I know it will never happen. There are too many people out there that think anybody can be redeemed. To those people I say take a tour a tour of a state prison, and you’ll see the animals that we have locked up, and you will change your mind.

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