“Just before noon on Monday, 35-year-old T.J. Antell, who had served in the Marines, watched the unfolding of a domestic dispute between a man and a woman outside a Walgreens in Arlington, Texas, authorities said. The man, a soldier stationed at Fort Hood, allegedly fired a gun twice, one bullet burying into the ground and another striking the woman. He then climbed into his truck in the parking lot and attempted to leave when Antell tried to stop him.” So reports the Washington Post. And nothing at all good came of Antell’s efforts to stop a fleeing suspect . . .

The initial altercation that turned the morning bloody began as a spat between Bradden and his wife, Quinisha Johnson, an employee at the Walgreens, reported the Dallas Morning News. The couple was arguing outside the store when Bradden pulled out his gun and fired it twice at his wife’s feet, striking her once in the ankle, according to reports.

As the shooter, Ricci Bradden, tried to leave the scene, Antell tried to stop him. Bradden stepped out of his vehicle and shot Antell in the head.

There are few situations more volatile than domestic disputes. But no matter what the nature of the altercation, Bradden was leaving the scene when Antell tried to intervene, presenting no immediate threat to anyone there.

Police spent most of the day interviewing witnesses. When asked if Antell should have intervened, Arlington police spokesman Christopher Cook told the Dallas Morning News there’s no clear cut answer.

“Without having all the details, it would be inappropriate for me to speculate,” he said.

Antell’s instincts were obviously admirable, motivated by a desire to help and prevent an attacker from escaping. But letting him go would have likely left all concerned unharmed.

The WaPo piece then does the obligatory devolution into anti-gun agitprop, noting a few other recent concealed carrier-involved shootings. Because their readership mustn’t be left with the impression that guns are ever a valid solution, no matter how many times they’re used to defend innocent lives. And so it goes.

82 Responses to Personal Defense Tip: Approach Domestic Disputes With Extreme Caution

  1. Quinisha? Good lord how high do you have to be to name a kid that? Sorry for derailing the thread.

      • Yes, a cultural decision to deliberately attempt not to fit in. Which leads to very predictable outcomes.

        It doesn’t matter if you’re a white male with all that imaginary “privilege” the SJWs, the chance of being hired at a prominent law firm with a name like Monaquisha, or Moon Unit, or Dweezil are just about nil. Except in a janitorial capacity.

        I know successful black people, they function in society and are as American as anyone. They don’t live in the ‘hood, they live by me. They don’t have names that are an impossible to remember made-up collection of vowels and consonants, because some idiots in the 60s thought it would give them ‘black identity’.

        So go ahead and name your kid whatever you want. But it’s a very deliberate move at self-exclusion, so don’t be surprised when the herd excludes them. You, the parent, gets to choose the group your kid runs with, the Shanashaniquas gonna film a beat-down and put it on World Star Hip Hop, or the Saras who are studying English lit and are on the debate team. Choose wisely.

        When I travel, I use the local translation of my name. If there isn’t one, I pick something local that’s close so I can remember it. Because if you want to actually function in a society, sometimes you have to conform just a little.

        • It’s only “exclusionary” because of assholes like you, jwm, and “g”. It’s just a name. Sorry it’s not Euro-centric enough for you, but so fucking what.

    • Quinisha will be testifying at the trial that she and her man were NOT fighting, they have a wonderful happy arrangement and that his gun accidentally discharged while he was unloading it, causing her injury.

      Her man was defending himself from that dangerous Marine when he shot him.

      • And honestly, who the heck are anyone to argue differently?

        Just live and let live. And leave others to do the same. Who the heck cares if someone else choose to express their love by shooting holes in each others ankles?

    • Funny, it can be used on national television at the presidents dinner party or some such.. but the moment someone out side of the special peoples circle uses it, RACIST!!!!

  2. Avoid other people’s domestic issues with a furious studiousness. I don’t care if they’re next door, and they’re locked in a steel cage deathmatch.

    My observation is that about 40% of domestic fights are started by the female. Too many men leap to women’s defense and think that women are always blameless. Buullllllll-crap. Unless you were there when it started and are privy to all the details, you just don’t know. You really just don’t. Injecting yourself into the situation is likely to do nothing to cure it and everything to get you in trouble.

    The tales of cops arriving on the scene, locking up the male and then having the female go psycho on them are simply too numerous in my experience to think that you’re going to do much better than the cops on these situations.

    • 40% of domestic violence victims are men, it makes it very hard to know who did what. However, starting a fight and shooting someone are two different things.

      The deceased made several mistakes. Carries his gun in the car, tried to stop the perp when he’s not a cop, and let the asshole get close enough to slap his gun. If I know someone has already shot someone and you get that close to me, Im shooting. Not to be cliche, but…..better judged by 12 than carried by 6. The prep is a threat to me and others, he’s dead now.

    • As standard practice, cops are not suppose to enter a domestic dispute without backup. A huge amount of police injuries occur in these situations.

    • A good guideline, but every situation is different. The D.V. I involved myself in a number of years ago was where I was running in the neighborhood and I saw a man trying to drag a woman kicking and screaming into his car and another woman screaming, “He’s trying to kill her!!”. ,

      Turns out it was a D.V. It was his girl friend trying to break up with him. My presence was enough to stop his kidnapping attempt and possible murder, (he was a Hispanic gangbanger and murdering a woman for trying to break up is known to happen out here in NM, that whole “machismo” thing) , the women ran off and got inside their apartment and locked the door, I didn’t need to get physical or draw a gun and the cops show up a few minutes later. But I didn’t know that without first stopping to see what was what.

      In the situation as described in the news story, I would have just taken a license number and a physical description, but I wasn’t there.

      • This is very good advice and exactly what I was thinking. The bad guy was no longer shooting at anyone and so no longer an imminent threat. Proper course of action is to get a description of the vehicle and the license plate if possible, then tend to the woman’s injuries until the police and ambulance arrive. Observe and Report. Let the cops do the heavy lifting of finding this idiot and taking him into custody.

        Now if he takes offense at you observing and reporting and wants to make an issue of it, game on.

    • By far the simplest solution is to black box families altogether. All external official communication done via the head of household. Sticking ones busybody fingers into the internal relations of others, is no different than agents of a foreign country running around inside the US punishing people for violating foreign laws. Which, AFAIK, even Isis hasn’t stooped to yet.

        • I take it to mean “outsiders don’t poke their noses into other families’ business.” What happens between the family members is a “black box” to outsiders – you see a box, but only a box, and not the contents of the box.

  3. ALSO, you have to watch ALL parties involved. Often times the “victim” will change sides and gang up on *you* for a double beatdown.

  4. A big problem with interfering in domestic disputes is that often the woman’s devotion to her partner is absolute, beyond rational. Many abused women will not leave their partner, nor testify against him. If you see a man beating his wife/girlfriend and you come to the woman’s defense, there is a good chance that her first priority when the police arrive will be to prevent her husband/boyfriend from being arrested. She will lie through her teeth, and claim that her partner never laid a hand on her, they were just talking, and that you attacked her husband/boyfriend without provocation. I’ve seen cases like this in the newspaper’s police notes.

    My recommendation is to call 911, and/or video the attack, but keep your distance.

  5. The best thing to do on that is get the license plate number, description of car and shooter, call the police. After shooter leaves tend to the victim if able/preferably with someone watching your six in case shooter returns.

  6. T.J. Antell, who was trying to be a hero, died and left a widow and three kids. Who will care for them?

    Carry for you and yours. Protect yourself and yours. Stay out of other people’s squabbles. Don’t be a sheepdog, call 911. Or the next kids without a daddy may be your own.

    • I would consider that this is very good advice unless you are, through no fault of your own, in the presence of an event in which someone is very likely to be killed and you are the only person able to prevent that death.

      I would recommend, however, that you take absolute minimum action to facilitate that end – the saving of the life. I would certainly NOT recommend that you get into a physical struggle with either party, especially in a DV. Keep your distance, announce your intention and ability to counter force with force, and hope this de-escalates the situation long enough for police to intervene before anyone is shot.

      To stand by and watch a shooting when you have the ability to prevent it seems rather immoral to my mind. I suspect that most people who hold this “don’t get involved, just walk away” attitude would hold a different opinion if it was their wife or family that the good guy walked away from and let die. YMMV.

      Here is the simple truth of the universe: Every single time you walk out the door, no matter what your reasons or where you are headed, there is a chance that you will never return. If you have not prepared your family to survive that event then you need to re-evaluate you life plan.

  7. I think the real failure here is that an unarmed individual attempted to detain an armed individual who already demonstrated wanton disregard for human life.

    When someone starts shooting, you better have a good answer.

    • The dead man was armed, that’s why he tried to stop the criminal who just shot his girlfriend.

      • He was armed but put himself in a very bad place. He had to either shoot a fleeing man in the back- probably justified but it’s a crapshoot and the media doesn’t understand use of force- or try to ‘stop’ him without shooting. He chose the second and apparently forgot how fast someone can raise a gun and fire. Unfortunately someone can do that faster than the reaction time it takes to realize what is happening and pull the trigger in response. So your only chance if you’re playing that game is to count on the bad guy being inept. This time he wasn’t (or he was lucky).

        OR the third option: don’t shoot him and don’t try to stop him via commands. Call the guys with rifles and ballistic vests. Render aid to the victim.

  8. As a former reserve Leo….when not in uniform and there is no imminent threat, sometimes being the “best witness possible” is the best way to handle a situation.

    • Amen brother. Your cell phone recording video is the most valuable tool you have and that video makes one hell of a great witness – even when the woman refuses to testify.

  9. I don’t like it.

    And nothing at all good came of Antell’s efforts to stop a fleeing suspect . . .

    Sure – something good came of his effort. Antell sacrificed his life so that Bradden can hopefully get a life sentence and rid himself from the community.

    Bradden was leaving the scene when Antell tried to intervene, presenting no immediate threat to anyone there.

    Bradden wasn’t presenting a threat to anyone there? WTF?

    Antell’s instincts were obviously admirable, motivated by a desire to help and prevent an attacker from escaping. But letting him go would have likely left all concerned unharmed.

    And possibly prevent an attacker from attacking more people. Just because allowing him to leave left others in the vicinity “unharmed” doesn’t mean that people elsewhere will be “unharmed” after you let him leave. Other than his tacticial disadvantage, I see nothing wrong with what Antell did.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizen%27s_arrest#United_States

    • Except, of course, that he got dead in the process. I’d say that qualifies as doing something wrong. If the guy is leaving he should have let him go; end of story.

    • I see nothing wrong with what Antell did.

      Except that he’s dead. His wife is a widow. His three children have no father. I know that he was trying to do the right thing, but he left his kids without a dad. Maybe he should have thought about them first, instead of a stranger who most likely couldn’t care less whether he lived or died.

      • This. We all have to make our own choices about how much risk to take on for a stranger. That said, don’t forget that your life isn’t just about you- getting yourself killed harms many others.

        And for what? He could have stayed behind, called the police and rendered aid to the victim.

    • Just because he’s dead, doesn’t mean he did anything wrong.

      Just to apply the same logic, we should shame anyone serving in the military, or make the same comments for people who died while serving.

    • I see something wrong with it. It is going to be easy to portray shooting the GF in the ankle as a pure accident, he was just trying to scare her. Then this stranger pulls a gun on him, and he was forced to defend himself. I suspect he will not be charged for the man’s death.

      I’m not Rambo. The only way I would shoot somebody, or even present, would be if I had seen that person *actually* shoot someone and preparing to shoot someone else, unless he was attacking me or my family. “He might have” whatever is not going to be a player, since the obvious answer is “and he might not have, what business was it of yours?”

    • Been waiting to see if someone thought like I did. Hate to judge the poor guy, he did what he felt he had to do at the time. Shitty situation all around.

      Someone that just had a fight in which he fired two shots isn’t going home to eat oreos and take a nap. He was wound up and who knows where he was headed. Our man may have prevented a mass shooting somewhere else, or from going home to kill his kids to “teach that bitch a lesson”. Then we’d all be lamenting “if only a concealed carrier had stopped him when he shot at his wife”

      Can’t judge his tactics since I don’t know how it went down, I just feel horrible for his family.

  10. “Bradden and his wife, Quinisha Johnson…”

    And this is my surprised face. Sadly it stops being racism when starts to become statistically significant.

  11. Cops hate domestic disturbance calls for good reason. They are a can of worms. Before involving yourself in one, think about the following:
    (1) They are a chronic situation. Even if you intervene successfully this time, there will be more altercations in the future.
    (2) The victim often is too emotionally invested in the abuser to be grateful for your help. It’s not unusual for the victim to attack the cops on realizing that they are taking the abuser to jail.
    (3) Are you sure you know which is the abuser and which is the victim?

    In this case, the dead man made at least two mistakes which cost him his life. The first was trying to stop the shooter from leaving. That’s counterproductive. You want him gone so that he no longer has the opportunity to further harm his wife. The second was to get close enough to be disarmed by the shooter. One of the biggest advantages of a firearm is that it enables you to apply lethal force at a distance. Note that the husband fired twice at his wife at close range and hit her once. If that is indicative of his skill with a handgun and you are a good shot, distance is your friend.

    Where I live, two brothers were shot to death by an abusive boyfriend as they helped their sister move out of the boyfriend’s home. The smart move would have been for them to call 911 and explain that they needed police protection while at the boyfriend’s place. It’s neither stupid nor cowardly to get help when you can’t avoid a dangerous situation.

  12. Unless its one of your loved ones, you shouldn’t approach domestic disputes at all. If they are strangers chances are VERY high that you have no idea what is going on. Moreover, you have no idea how the spouse will react when you confront their significant other even if they just got the crap kicked out of them.
    Its none of your business. Cal the po-po and maintain a safe distance.

  13. Domestics: Yup, one of the situations you should be more than willing to let the state handle the situation fully. Police get paid to put up with that shit. You don’t.

  14. Very sad. I don’t agree with the way he did things but I am sure he was trying to do the right thing in the heat of the moment.

  15. Domestic disputes are very difficult for even law enforcement to sort out. He said, she said.

    In the case detailed above, the worst thing the guy could have done was intervene. He wasn’t armed, and the other guy was. Not a wise tactical decision.

    I’m not a lawyer, but if he was armed, and saw the situation above, I’m reasonably sure he could have used deadly force to stop the encounter in most jurisdictions, provided the assailant did not flee the scene.

    However, if it’s just a loud squabble, phone it in and let the pros handle it.

  16. Domestic violent situations escalate very quickly and very unpredictably. . Reason to pull out your phone to call 911 than a handgun.

  17. I don’t know the whole story, but if true, the “hero” made a bad move. Although the bad guy shot his wife, he disengaged and was leaving. He was no longer an imminent threat to anyone on the scene, and there is no reason to believe it was immediately necessary to use deadly force. So, if the “hero” had killed the bad guy, he would have likely been considered the aggressor in this second incident. In court, the jury would never be told about the prior domestic dispute. I bet the attorney for the bad guy will claim self-defense…and he may just win. Never chase the bad guy. Guard the scene just in case the bad guy returns, call for backup (police), and be a good witness.

  18. Some key information from another news website:

    “Bradden confessed to slapping the gun out of the man’s hand and shooting him, according to the arrest warrant.”

    Mistake #2, close enough to have a gun slapped out of his hand.

  19. If he had enough time to retrieve his firearm from a truck, he had enough time to get clear and not get shot. But, he tried doing the right thing…

    He should have taken a long distance shot and killed the guy where he stood. Dangerous person, fleeing the scene, etc.

    Fair fights are for suckers. You don’t confront a person who just shot somebody else. You just shoot them.

    • He didn’t try to do the right thing…he tried to be a hero. He wasn’t a cop, it wasn’t his job to stop an armed criminal who was fleeing the scene. Not to mention he foolishly came within arm’s reach of the guy.

      • “He wasn’t a cop, it wasn’t his job to stop an armed criminal who was fleeing the scene.”

        So, only “cops” (aka, “agents of The State”) have moral responsibility to stop fleeing bad guys?

        Where do you draw that line?

        Just for grins:

        “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
        ― Edmund Burke {generally attributed, or Genesis Ch 6 if you prefer}

    • Many times the person who wins the gun fight is the one who shoots first. Basically end the fight before the other guys knows he is in a fight. Typically the police win because they shoot as soon as they see any indication of threat. It not worth it to intervene unless you are legally covered to shoot first.

  20. “Domestic Disturbance” doesn’t quite fit a guy shooting his wife in a Walgreens parking lot and fleeing in his car. Antell stepped in and was, sadly, killed. The description presented in the DMN article sounds like he made some mistakes when confronting the shooter.

    The line “But letting him go would have likely left all concerned unharmed” seems misleading as well, since the shooter had already shot somebody.

    • Not to mention he shot someone in the head shortly afterwards. Given that that someone was pointing a gun at him, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t likely to go pursue violence elsewhere, get into a road rage incident, etc.

      Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean that Antell wouldn’t tell you he made a mistake if you could ask him.

      Another angle is that we or the media shouldn’t be the ones that define if he is remembered as an idiot or a good man trying to ‘save one life’ or spread some good in the world.

  21. Many decades ago I found myself in an argument with a girlfriend in the street. Nothing physical was occurring and I was not visibly angry (I’d seen this before and knew it would work itself out). She was yelling pretty loud and a bystander intervened on her behalf. She immediately started pummeling him in the face. Bewildered, he slinked away. Her anger at me then seemed to dissipate. We went to dinner and had a nice time.

    I feel sorry for the man who got killed and for his family. He should have tried to be a good witness and left the rest to the professionals.

  22. Domestic Disputes are the absolute most dangerous situation for police to handle. They are so unpredictable that police are trained to never handle one alone unless its just such a rural location that a backup is unavailable. A marine is ill equipped to handle such a situation, especially if they’ve never had the training that police do.

  23. There is nothing to be gained getting involved in this sort of crap. She chose him, she can deal with him. If the good samaritan had shot the hood-rat’s husband, who’s side do you think she’s taking when she talks to the police and prosecutors??

    • ^^This. She would have said they were just having a few words, boyfriend/husband’s gun went off accidently, and the intervenor came out of nowhere and tried to kill her guy, so he shot him in self-defense. Dead guy can’t dispute anything.

  24. Never get involved in a domestic issue. Men have been brainwashed by years of TV into believing you should always run to save the damsel in distress regardless of the facts, and that after saving the woman you will be rewarded with her praise. Truth is 7/10 times the woman is the one acting out of line to begin with and she is making a scene like an immature child. For the remaining 3/10 times where the man is at fault, the woman will blindingly stick by her abusive man anyways. You are more likely to have to fight both the man and the woman.

    Avoid stupid people doing stupid things.

  25. To the antis who think guns are to blame, the incident could have just as easily gone down this way:

    The initial altercation that turned the morning bloody began as a spat between Bradden and his wife, Quinisha Johnson, an employee at the Walgreens, reported the Dallas Morning News. The couple was arguing outside the store when Bradden pulled out of the parking space trying to run over his wife’s feet, striking her once in the ankle, according to reports.

    As the driver, Ricci Bradden, tried to leave the scene, Antell tried to stop him. Bradden stepped on the accelerator of his vehicle and ran over Antell crushing his head.

  26. Yall should go read the nonsense being thrown around on all of the vet military sites about how this guy died a hero and how we’ll all see him in Valhalla and all that other nonsense because he was a marine.

    Then watch the literal thrashing of anyone who is like yeah but he did everything wrong and thats why hes dead.

  27. I guess Antell didn’t “deserve to die” but I don’t have any sympathy for him. Gun owners need to completely stop any idea that they are “sheep dogs” or “white knights” and need to retreat as quickly as possible from any situation that does not directly threaten themselves or the people that they are immediately with.

    Any cop will tell you that the standard procedure for dealing with domestic disputes is to “circle the block a few times”. In a domestic dispute, the man is often already of the mindset that he is being disrespected / “made somebody’s bitch”, whether the underlying reason is real or imagined. The man thinks that the woman is cheating on him, for example.

    So now enter this random White Knight who isn’t even a police officer whose job it is to do this sort of thing, but is just a random member of society who thinks that he is going to impose his will on the guy who already thinks that he’s being disrespected, and now this White Knight is by implication also making the “Aggrieved Male” out to be the criminal in this situation when AM already feels that he is being victimized by his woman (again, whether real or perceived). Its basically a perfect recipe to drive the AM so crazy with humiliation that he shoots the White Knight.

  28. When I lived in Louisiana, I had friends that were full-time and reserve cops.

    All noted that the reserve guys often pulled the worst calls since they worked at night and got a high number of domestic disputes.

    A cop going to a knock-down, drag-out family fight usually will cause the family to rally and direct their anger at the police.

    Lots of confiscated skillets, knives, and shovels. And lots of injuries.

  29. This is why guns aren’t a magic talisman that makes you invincible. Sad way to demonstrate the lesson.

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