Self-Defense Tip: It Ain’t Over ’til It’s Over. And Then It Is

Titan Tiger .38 special (courtesy

“According to police reports, the incident happened at the Tiger Mart, 901 East Meighan Blvd. [in Gadsden, Alabama] about 9:27 p.m. A 47-year-old man working at the store told police that a man ran into the store holding a gun. The gunman was described as a black man wearing a black shirt, black pants, gray gloves, a black ‘do rag’ and a red bandana covering his face, and red, white and black shoes. He was carrying a Titan Tiger .38 special handgun.” I believe the correct nomenclature is “doo-rag.” And as we’re a gun site, please note that Germany’s Weihrauch & Weihrauch makes the Titan Tiger revolver which appeared in the 1978 movie Dawn of the Dead. But back to the story . . .

The employee told police that he backed away from the man and his own handgun fell out of the back of his pants. The gunman attempted to pick up the gun. The employee then grabbed the robber’s gun and put his foot on top of his dropped gun. The two men then began struggling, as the employee attempted to push the gunman out the door.

A Tiger Mart employee grabbed a Titan Tiger. What are the odds?

At this point, a 29-year-old man who was outside sweeping up the parking lot entered the altercation and began hitting the gunman with his broom. The robber then fled in the direction of Wahl Street. The employee told police he took the would-be robber’s gun and fired three rounds at him as he ran away.

OK, now you know why we’re here. You do NOT fire a gun at a fleeing felon.

If your bullet or bullets hit the bad guy as he scarpers, you got some serious ‘splainin’ to do, Lucy. Maybe not in criminal court (depending on the jurisdiction), but the large number of ambulance chasers inhabiting our legal system virtually guarantees a civil suit. Which are really expensive and endlessly annoying.

If you miss, you could be charged with reckless endangerment and lose your gun rights. If you hit an innocent passerby, oh man are you in trouble. All of which gets worse if someone dies. Despite the fact that you could have died in the moments before you let loose the ballistic dogs of war.

It’s easy to say don’t shoot at the bad guy or guys (or gal or gals) when they’re leaving the scene of the crime. It’s another thing to resist the natural – yes natural – urge to mete out vengeance. The trick: when foes flee, check for other potential perps lurking about. In other words, break visual contact with the primary target.

Tunnel vision is not your friend; it inhibits analytical thinking. The sooner you break visual contact with your former foe or foes, the sooner you can start thinking again. Even if you look elsewhere for just for a second, you’re kick starting your rational mind.

So make sure you practice your post-shooting scans. And don’t just shoot ‘n scan. Shoot, scan, shoot again, scan again. As the Brits say, it’s the bus you don’t see that kills you. As I say, only dogs chase busses they can’t catch. And if they do, what then?


  1. avatar tfunk says:

    What happened to the armed robbery at Panera story?

    1. avatar Brandon says:

      +1, what’s the deal TTAG?

  2. avatar jwm says:

    Yep, the well trained uber crook. If any of us actually encounter a bad guy this is it. A doofus without a clue armed with a junk revolver. The clerk probably gave him a better gun than he had when he started his crime.

    We need to spend thousands of dollars and countless man hours on our own learning how to respond to this threat. Apparently, Pull Pistol-Shoot Same ain’t complicated enough.

  3. avatar Ralph says:

    What a comedy of errors. One employee has his gun drop out of his pants, and another saves him by beating the robber with a broom. A freaking broom!

    If it wasn’t real, it would be considered bad fiction. Hell, it would be considered bad science fiction.

    1. avatar Retired LEO says:

      I guess guess the store doesn’t sell wasp spray. If it was CA, NJ or NYC the guy with the broom would be in jail for assault with deadly cleaning item.

    2. avatar Grindstone says:

      I would love to see the security cam footage of that.

  4. avatar Jack says:

    I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd the moment I saw the picture of that finely crafted revolver.

  5. avatar KCK says:

    I think the bus the Brits are talking about is from theAmerican tourist that want to look left first and take a step out in the street before looking right, where the bus is comming from.
    I know I almost got clipped a couple of times.

    1. avatar Grindstone says:

      When I was in London in 2001, they had “Look Right” etc painted on the cross walks.

  6. avatar John Boch says:

    I have that very pistol with a 2.5″ ish barrel.

    In .32 S&W Long.


    1. avatar Another Robert says:

      How does it work? As in, how well or poorly…

  7. avatar Scott Phillips says:

    Another self-defense tip: don’t use a crappy holster that won’t retain the gun during movement OR don’t stick your gun in your pants without a holster. This could have ended badly and given the anti’s more ammo for their side, which obviously isn’t desirable.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Scott, I’m sure that the store employee’s first thought when he dropped his roscoe was “OMG! What will the antis think?”

  8. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    I think the store employee was merely trying to return the bad guy’s property. Realizing he couldn’t throw the revolver that far, he settled for returning the bullets.

    On a different note, I don’t know anything about the quality of Weihrauch’s firearms, but they make some the finest airguns in the world. I’ve had a pistol and a rifle made by them for close to 30 years. Their 2-stage triggers are amazing.

    1. avatar Bob72 says:

      You, sir, are hilarious. I had a good laugh. Since I work around lawyers every day, I can imagine them arguing in court that their client was just returning the bullets.

  9. avatar JR_in_NC says:

    “Tunnel vision is not your friend; it inhibits analytical thinking. The sooner you break visual contact with your former foe or foes, the sooner you can start thinking again. Even if you look elsewhere for just for a second, you’re kick starting your rational mind.”

    Ah, the first “O” in OODA.

    An excellent reminder. Tunnel vision is a killer.

    1. avatar Chris says:

      My kids made me sit through the Hunger Games abominations… family bonding time, and they’re all girls, so *shrug* At least they’ll watch Predator with me.

      Anyway, speaking to all three of these movies (HG, HG2, Predator) – where once I was relatively laid back and could enjoy them, now I’m all: don’t get tunnel vision Katniss, that’s how you get killed. Mr. Glover, watch your 6 man, inviso-super-predator could be one your ass. Don’t get tunnel vision.

      I’ve played enough CounterStrike and paintball to know how fast tunnel vision gets you dead – and in paintball, having a giant pink explosion right between the eyes is a sobering introduction to a the potential reality of a two-way firing range.

  10. avatar JasonM says:

    A Tiger Mart employee grabbed a Titan Tiger. What are the odds?
    This is also the year of the tiger.
    (Not really, but that would be funny.)

  11. avatar Indiana Tom says:

    As I say, only dogs chase busses they can’t catch. And if they do, what then? They pee on it.

  12. avatar doesky2 says:

    Well he did one thing worse than shooting at a fleeing robber……and that was admitting he shot at a fleeing robber. Talk to your lawyer and let him “jog your memory” of how it went down.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      ^ This!!!!!!

  13. avatar Grindstone says:

    It’s like everyone involved was the Jerry Gergich of robberies.

  14. avatar S. Cautela says:

    With all of those pristine handguns and long guns in “Dawn of the Dead” from that shopping mall gun shop they opted to use Titan Tigers?… (The fact that the gun shop hadn’t already been looted in any apocalypse, zombie or otherwise was probably the most unbelievable part of that movie… To include corpses rising from the dead and eating people.)

    1. avatar bigfinger76 says:

      The mall hadn’t been looted because the “apocalypse” had started literally 2 days before.

      1. avatar S. Cautela says:

        I was referring to the 1978 Dawn of the Dead film which was the the one that had the protagonists using Titan Tigers… In that film the apocalypse had been going on for a while before the cops bugged out of the city in the news helicopter… There wasn’t a gun store in the 2004 remake in the mall… (It was a separate business within binocular sight of the mall.)

        1. avatar jwm says:

          Yep, that version had cops being issued Titan revolvers and m16’s that looked a lot like the rimfire version that I believe was made in the PI. With the exception of the police revolvers every thing else used in that movie looked rimfire.

  15. avatar Full Cleveland says:

    “his own handgun fell out of the back of his pants”

    What kind of pants have a back that allows a gun to fall out?

  16. avatar Neil D says:

    Wonder if they employee who’s gun fell out had a carry permit? Would really be ironic if he was arrested for not having one and carrying. The BG gets away with a few hits with a broom and some missed shots. Better than getting hit from behind, like you said and the GG going to prison, I suppose.

    1. avatar Bob Wall says:

      If you go to prison, you’ll get hit from behind … lots. If you’re lucky, you might get the occasional “reach around”.

  17. avatar Out_Fang_Thief says:

    Isn’t a fleeing felon one of the police’s one and only justifications for shooting…uh…a fleeing felon? Just asking.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Generally, even by cops it is “allowed” only in certain, very specific situations. See Garner vs Tennessee.

      Edit: Apologies to Gregolas below; did not read down that far yet. His reply is more complete.

  18. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    “You do NOT fire a gun at a fleeing felon.”

    Unless you’re Officer Eduardo Sanguino, then you can kill an innocent bystander and wound your partner but still blame it all on the guy at whom you were shooting.!bLO9Kp

  19. avatar Gregolas says:

    @Out_Fang_Thief: The Supreme Court case is Tennessee vs. Garner, (1985). An unarmed 15-year-old trying to flee a burglary was shot and killed by a Memphis cop. This was completely legal in many states(including TN) at that time.
    The Supremes ruled that hereafter, cops could only use deadly force against a fleeing felon if the felon was an immediate threat to the officers (lets say, shooting as he ran) or an immediate threat to the public (taking hostages, carjacking to escape, firing at innocents, or running over people in the getaway car, etc.).
    I’ll teach my civilian classes that they restrict their shots at a fleeing felon to the same standards. I strongly advise against it, BUT if the felon is an articulable, immediate threat to third parties, and you can fire with endangering third parties, then consider shooting.

  20. avatar Mark says:

    It was an FIE Titan Tiger that I was first issued as a security guard in 1978. I used some of my dad’s hand loads in it. Then the cylinder would just spin freely. I turned it back in without mentioning the cause of freewheeling cylinder. Then they issued a Taurus to me. I treated that one more gently.

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