Tanya Brooks managed to surprise a home invader. He took off. Ms. Brooks gave chase. By her own account, she stood in the middle of the street and shot at the fleeing bad guy — in his car. He drove towards her. She shot again.

No. Just no. If you manage to disincentivize a home invader or potential assailant (or assailants) with a firearm and the bad guy takes off, leave him be. Then call the police. Note: if Ms. Brook lived in a gun rights averse state like New Jersey, she’d have been in a world of legal trouble. And lose her gun rights forever.

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48 Responses to Self-Defense Tip: The Only Gunfight You’re Guaranteed to Win is the One You Don’t Have

    • Okay, I watched the vid Michael. I would argue that her first “mistake” was tactical when she stepped outside to confront the home invader. While it is unclear to me exactly when she fired, she appears to have fired some of the shots after the threat retreated; a big no-no. Lastly why is she talking to the press? Here is a tip: STFU.

        • Sorry for being unclear; I was definitely NOT telling you to STFU but rather this homeowner as she should not not been blabbing to the press, as you know.
          I see your point about the cul de sac. as However, had she remained inside he would not have presented a lethal threat to her as he drove by. Lastly, those shots went somewhere…hopefully they don’t find a body in day or so.

        • She couldn’t remain inside. She was already outside.
          I’m going to assume all shots hit the car. I’m hesitant to blame someone for defending ALL of society from people who choose to prey on others.
          I’d like to see more stories like this one and fewer stories where cops kick in the wrong door and throw flash bang grenades in baby cribs.

        • Sorry for being unclear; I was definitely NOT telling you to STFU but rather this homeowner as she should not not been blabbing to the press, as you know.
          I see your point about the cul de sac as if he went the wrong way he had to come back. That said, had she remained inside he would not have represented a lethal threat to her as he drove by. Lastly, those shots went somewhere…hopefully they don’t find a body in day or so.

  1. The biggest mistake she made was giving a statement to the media. If you are involved in a shooting, the first person to hear your account should be your lawyer. I think she’s OK on this one though. Chasing the fleeing thugs into the street may not be the best plan, but I don’t believe she did anything illegal.

  2. I disagree, RF. Law abiding citizens such as this woman need to be normalized, not used as a warning of what not to do.

      • This. The guy was trying to get away, he just drove the wrong way when he fled. Knowing that he would have to turn around and come back, by her own admission, she stood in the street to shoot him. Then he aimed his car at her, and she shot again.

        Absolutely nothing correct about what she did there.

        • Just as long as you believe every single police shooting in this same scenario is wrong, then I have no problem with your belief. I may not agree with you, but I respect your opinion if you are consistent.

        • The police would be justified in trying to stop/apprehend the guy, knowing that he had to come back. And once he aimed his car at them, they’d be justified in shooting him.

          But she literally admitted that her intent was to shoot the guy. Period. Not keep him from getting away, or try to get him to stop so she could attempt to regale him with a valuable life lesson, hoping he might change his ways.

          No, she went out into the road, because she knew he had to come back, and she was going to shoot him.

          Hopefully you can see that those are 2 entirely different situations.

        • You realize cops use the excuse that the driver tried to run them over all the time. I don’t give police a license to shoot under any circumstances that I wouldn’t be justified in doing the same.
          If, when she stood in the middle of the street pointing a gun at the perp, he had stopped the car and surrendered, Tanya would be featured as Gun Hero of the Day.
          I smell hypocrisy.

        • Except the police are charged with apprehending criminals and you are not. You are only authorized to protect your life , or in some cases, defend the lives ot others who are in immediate danger. If the police were constrained by the rules governing private citizens than all a criminal would have to do to avoid arrest was turn his back on the cop and walk away.

          The police are not in the same category as a private citizen despite what you hear around TTAG.

        • If, when she stood in the middle of the street pointing a gun at the perp, he had stopped the car and surrendered, Tanya would be featured as Gun Hero of the Day.
          I smell hypocrisy.

          I don’t know if you’re just not reading things correctly, or you’re purposely ignoring the point.

          No one is disputing the fact that a shoot would be justified (by her or the police) when the guy aimed his car at them.

          But her sole purpose for walking into the street was to shoot the man. Period. He went the wrong way, that’s a dead end… when he comes back, I’m going to shoot him.

          Do you not see how that’s wrong?!?

        • The image of a teen girl murdered by a police officer who jumped on the hood of her car as she tried to drive past him is burned in my brain. He was never charged.
          She had three passengers in the car with her and she was not committing a crime.

        • You gents argue all you want about the legal technicalities. Shows us how pussified this country has become. This is Mississippi. She won’t be charged. This country was better off when property owners did shit like this to send a message to the bad guys.

        • If I was on the jury I would have interpreted her statement as this…

          1) She went into the middle of the street to flag the dude down and tell hime to wait there until the cops arrived. He had the obligation to stop and avoid the pedestrian. Then he tried to run her over and thus she had to shoot at him in self defense. I vote lady acquittal.

          or

          2) When you commit a criminal act and cause shock and awe to the victim, the victims irrational response due to stress is 100% understandable. I vote lady acquittal..

        • If I’m ever on jury for a case like this, INNOCENT–perps trail, GUILTY, hanging at sunrise. Seriously, we need public hangings again.

        • “(1) An officer or private person may arrest any person without warrant, for an indictable offense committed, or a breach of the peace threatened or attempted in his presence; … .” She was totally within her rights to try to stop him from leaving and shooting at him when he tried to escape by running her down.

          Going out into the street to shoot him, not so much.

  3. If you’re ever in a situation like this adrenaline may cause you to do things you’d never do when considering the situation dispassionately.

    Many years ago my then-40-something mother was mugged in San Francisco while in her medical residency. After she was hit and knocked down her purse was stolen and the mugger took off. She chased the mugger for several blocks before the adrenaline started to wear off and she began wondering, “What the &*%$ am I doing?”

  4. In my CHL class in TX, it’s considered a no-no to pursue or shoot at a perp fleeing during the day. Because you have transitioned from victim to the aggressor when you attack the fleeing perp and they are not actively attacking you while fleeing.

    Of course, the gray area is recognizing the difference between fleeing and repositioning an ongoing attack.

    If the fleeing perp has communicated that they are leaving to attack someone else, that is a different story and you can stop them from harming another person that is imminently in danger.

    Of course this all changes when the sun goes down.

    • Very little changes when the sun goes down. Also it is perfectly legal to pursue them if you would be entitled to arrest them.

      “OFFENSE WITHIN VIEW. (a) A peace officer or any other person, may, without a warrant, arrest an offender when the offense is committed in his presence or within his view, if the offense is one classed as a felony or as an offense against the public peace.”

  5. WAPT is in Jackson, Mississippi and I’m sure they view something like this very differently than they do in less firearms-friendly states. However, she still may have been in legal jeopardy, both criminally and civilly, had any of the rounds she fired taken effect. She had effectively “ended the threat” once the man fled and standing in the middle of the street was placing herself in jeopardy rather than having the perp do it. Yeah, we all like it when bad things happen to bad guys but if you don’t do everything right, it can come back and bite you in the ass.

  6. The problem with all the legal stuff above is we’ve told felons that crime victims are straitjacketed when they fight back. That is why there is so much crime. If one out of every ten criminals were shot dead during their crimes, the crime rate would be one percent of what it is now.

    If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police, and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore what he must be taught to fear is his victim. — Jeff Cooper

    An unarmed man can only flee from evil, and evil is not overcome by fleeing from it. — Jeff Cooper

    The will to survive is not as important as the will to prevail… the answer to criminal aggression is retaliation. — Jeff Cooper

    • Exactamundo. The rest of the bad guys on the bad side of this Mississippi town will know not to fuck with this woman.

  7. I have a feeling this woman has watched too many straight to DVD Wesley Snipes or Steven Seagal movies, but all in all I’m just glad she is OK….

    • I like her. She fights. Enough with the metrosexual ‘girly-man’ mindset that now pervades our cities. One fighter is worth a thousand genteel wimps whose only tactic is to say to the criminal “Please don’t hurt me! Please! Please! Please!”

      One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that ‘violence begets violence.’ I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure – and in some cases I have – that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy. — Jeff Cooper

  8. I don’t find it beneficial to ostracize someone who didn’t do everything perfectly to the letter. We should absolutely use these events to make us better prepared and more educated. Those lessons will keep us safer if put into a DGU situation. Stories like these also mean we need to do a better job reaching out to casual gun owners, for lack of a better term. It is our collective responsibility because not all gun owners are activists or enthusiasts.

  9. What about this: What’s going to keep this guy from coming back at a time of his own choosing to get even? I don’t know if I’d ever feel safe at home again if an attacker got away, and was free to threaten me, my family, or his next victim because I let him go when I had the chance to stop him. I have no problem with her decision.

    • I agree.
      Those of us that have been robbed at gun point, I have been robbed at gun point twice, have a revenge gene in our system. We are tired of criminals getting away who attack us.
      As long as her bullets didn’t hit someone or private property, she should not be prosecuted.

  10. Tanya was entitled to shoot to end a deadly threat. Had she managed to shoot that sonofabitch, I assure you that the threat would be ended, maybe for good.

    Yeah, she went too far, further than I would have gone, and I still support her.

  11. 1: From a strictly legal point of view, she’s probably over the line when she gave chase.

    2: From a moral point of view, I think she did nothing wrong.

    3: From a logical point of view, the time to do the shooting was when both the legal and the moral cases were aligned, when she surprised him inside the house. Factor this into your scenarios.

    • So lie in wait while some POS destroys your front door and comes in? Fuck That. I’m flanking the motherfucker. I don’t know his intentions or if his crew is around back.
      Take care of business.

  12. I don’t really see the problem. It sounds to me like she knew he was going the wrong way on a cul de sac and stood in the road in an attempt to prevent him from fleeing the area.

    He then tried to run her down which is when she shot at him. Drive a car at a cop and they’ll shoot at you too.

    Now, I won’t say standing in the road to impede the egress of a fleeing criminal is smart but legally I don’t see how it’s much different than about a year ago when I was walking into a liquor store while some guy was trying to run out while stealing a couple cases of Busch Light (blech!) and I tripped him.

      • Well, I suppose he could have tried to steal worse beer. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen Bud Dry for sale… ever? But then I don’t really go looking for Anheuser-Busch products. I prefer Heineken or a solid IPA. If I’m going to kill my liver I want to taste it.

        Really the reason I remember what he had was because the cops that showed up made fun of him for getting busted trying to steal such shitty beer.

  13. Legal? Nope. But since when has legal aligned with good, decent, and right? She did right.

    I’m with Ted. “I don’t like repeat offenders, I like dead offenders.”

    • Dead offenders are not repeat offenders, something the ‘bleeding heart’ crowd fails to recognise. We need fewer repeat offenders.

  14. Shoot until the threat leaves. After the threat leaves, stop shooting, memorize the plate, and call 911.

    Unless a fleeing suspect poses a clear and present danger to others, the police are not supposed to shoot at them either. That’s what radios, helicopters, and squad cars are for.

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