It Should Have Been a Defensive Gun Use: Robber Slits Throat of Woman in Supermarket Parking Lot

Whole Foods Texas has transformed itself into a “gun-free zone.” No wonder, then, that some of our Lone Star State readers have vowed never to darken the store’s doors again. But c’mon. Whole Foods is home to some of the world’s best cheeses, including our man JWT’s epic, prize-winning goat cheese. In Austin, the yoga pants parade alone is worth the price of admission. Which is, it must be said, disarmament. One of the reasons I don’t mind [so much]: the parking lot is close-in, small, well-organized and well-lit. In contrast, my local HEB supermarket is a sprawling affair in front of a relatively large and chaotic parking lot with plenty of hidden sight lines. It’s an open invitation for robbers. Which helps explain this news item [via]. . .

Austin police are investigating a violent attack at a south Austin grocery store. Police say a man cut a woman’s throat while trying to rob her.

The woman left the H-E-B store at South Congress and Oltorf, just after 1:30 a.m. As she was walking to her pickup truck, which was parked beside the far back corner of the building, a man attacked her with what police describe as an “edged weapon.” They say he cut her throat, they struggled and he took her purse.

The woman walked back toward the store, trying to get help. A security guard heard her and used his orange security vest to put pressure on her wounds until EMS arrived.

Police report she is now out of surgery and expected to recover. Because her wounds were so severe, she was unable to give officers a detailed description of the suspect.

Detectives believe the attack was random, and they are now searching for the suspect.

I don’t think that word “random” means what thinks it means. A criminal staked out a location where he had a high chance of success, waited for a suitable victim and attacked. Viciously. If this victim had been armed – and HEB does not ban legally carried firearms from its stores – there might have been a very different outcome.

Then again, maybe not.

You never know what’s going to happen in a violent or threatening encounter. No matter what, it’s always best to be prepared. First, by avoiding stupid people in stupid places (e.g., a poorly-lit, crowded parking lot after midnight) doing stupid things. Secondly, by being situationally aware, so that you can detect a stupid person about to do something stupid (like rob you) as early as possible and escape, evade or attack.

As regular readers and clear thinkers no doubt know, shooting an attacker can be an excellent way to stop an attack. Again, HEB does not have a “no guns” policy. So, with proper licensing and situational awareness and armament, the victim could have launched an armed assault on the robber. I wish she had. And here’s a related message for Whole Foods: disarming customers inside a store leaves them disarmed outside the store. That’s something Shannon Watts and her Moms Demanding Disarmament will never acknowledge or consider. But you should.  [h/t JF]


  1. avatar preston says:

    this is the stupidest way to make your point. SHE WAS IN THE PARKING LOT. there was NOTHING keeping her from keeping a gun in her car but she choose not to. has nothing to do with the grocery store but i forget, you have no integrity RF, you’re just a as bad a bloody shirt waiver as the MDAs.

    1. avatar jonwaynetaylor says:

      Nothing keeping her from getting a gun in her car except for the man cutting her throat, you mean.

    2. avatar KingSarc48625 says:

      She was walking TO her truck FROM the store. Lighten up and learn to comprehend what you read.

    3. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      “As she was walking to her pickup truck…”
      No mention whether HEB has a “no guns” sign.
      Stores that require customers to disarm make them vulnerable in the parking lot.

      Stories like this are powerful reminders of situational awareness, common sense and the value of tooling up. And they’re useful when Shannon asks a supremely stupid question like, “who would ever need a gun in a grocery store?”

    4. avatar Sian says:

      Was she in or at her truck when she was attacked? No? Then you don’t make much of a point.

      Also, I don’t think H-E-B has a policy, could be wrong, never been to one.

      The Whole Foods in Tampa has no such policy. And that cheese omg.

      1. avatar jeromepotter says:

        that cheese to die for OMG . And the cuts of balogna

    5. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      And what the Hell good is a gun in your car preston when a violent criminal attacks you before you return to your car? Do you politely ask your attacker to pause their attack so that you can go to your car and retrieve your handgun?

      Is it really that hard to grasp? Or are you a troll preston?

    6. avatar foodog says:

      Is this the same off-his-meds preston from before?

    7. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Actually, there is an error in the title: the words “parking lot” should be at the end since the robber did not actually slit the victim’s throat in the supermarket; rather the robber slit the victim’s throat in the supermarket parking lot.

      Preston’s comment is nevertheless silly.

    8. avatar ropingdown says:

      Preston, try as I may I cannot fathom why you capitalized “she was in the parking lot:” RF’s entire point was that if (as she was) the woman was returning to her truck from a store that bans firearms (which is implied but may not be true)….it would be of no avail to have a pistol stowed in her truck. Once she, defenseless, had her throat slit by the the psychopath…the truck’s inventory is of no relevance.

      Children should be protected by upright armed adults. Adult women should be empowered to defend themselves. When the ghouls come out with knives, a gun is required for defense.

      Shannon will certainly agree with what I’ve said….if I write a large enough check, which I won’t.

    9. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I miss the whole gist. HEB says nothing about guns, the problem was the lady in question simply did not shoot the sukkah for some reason, nothing about a GFZ.

  2. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    ” just after 1:30 a.m.”
    “parked beside the far back corner of the building”

    Common sense?

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      “Common sense?”

      Definitely lacking in this case … as is often the case. (hence my moniker)

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      It’s retail. They probably force their employees to park as far away as possible so that customers can have the close spots.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        You got that she was an employee, where?

        1. avatar Hannibal says:

          The dog told me. He’s now telling me to dance to the Mexican Hat Song.

      2. avatar PeterW says:

        If an employee, another employee should have walked her to her car. It’s 1:30 IN THE MORNING.
        If a customer, this is a terrifying and painful lesson that nothing good happens after midnight; if you must venture out at that time to catch up on grocery shopping, keep your gun hand free and 2,have a gun.

        1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

          or send your BF or husband. . . . sorry, my wife has a carry permit and is damn fine shot. She won’t go out after 9 pm anywhere alone, esp the store, and we live in a neighborhood where the biggest concern is a stolen bike on occasion. no, the spousal unit always sends me out to run these types of errands. and mr 9mm glock is always in my Remora holster. . . . along with lovely rounds of Hornady

        2. avatar juliesa says:

          That’s ideal, but doesn’t work for women without men, or whose men are sick, or women who work odd shifts.

    3. avatar Bradley Ward says:

      True. But victim shaming is generally considered bad form.

  3. avatar Farmer Tyler says:

    Worst thing that people do regarding situational awareness is looking down and their damn phone walking across a parking lot. I catch myself doing it every now and then. If your waiting for someone in a big box store watch people going to and from. It will surprise you how many don’t look up

  4. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

    You should move to Iowa, Robert. I carried in Whole Foods the other day. Don’t know if they’d like it if they knew. Don’t care either, I broke no law.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      Did they take your money with a smile, Gov.?

      1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

        It was my wife’s money, but yes, the hippie dude at the checkout looked quite pleased. I was carrying concealed though.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      I’ve carried openly in the Wholefoods (Wholefoodses?) in Bellevue, WA, Redmond, WA, and Seattle, WA (Westlake, not Magnolia) a few times. The only comment I ever got was from a checkout clerk wearing a pictogram shirt “I [heart] [shotgun] [zombie]”. Usually I carry concealed though.

  5. avatar Vitsaus says:

    Looks like Kroger attendance is going to increase.

    1. avatar Dirk Diggler says:

      I secretly wonder if Shannon or Bloomy own stock in Kroger . . . .

  6. avatar Joe R. says:

    Claims of protection are Wrongful (with or sans “no-guns” sign). The no-guns sign are a movement beyond zero (into negative territory) in the realm of safety.

    But this could have happened on any other day at nearly any other time. The only thing between you and the next a-hole wishing to do you like this is such individuals lack of immediately piqued desire to do you such harm. Any claim to the contrary is BS and Wrongful, and anyone’s claim that they can or do protect you from such situations is ABSOLUTELY FALSE. [loosely paraphrased, TERMS, J.M. Thomas R., 2012]

    1. avatar NJ2AZ says:

      amen. I have made a similar point to everyone who argues we just need moar laws to make us safe(r).

  7. avatar Red in Texas says:

    The only reason she wasn’t armed, was through personal choice. HEB has no 30.06s, or gun-buster signs posted.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      If your employer implements a rule and threatens you with unemployment if you break it your choice is not so simple.

      1. avatar Red in Texas says:

        No mention of her being an employee, but I can see how you would come to that conclusion.

        BTW, I’ve yet to see an HEB(in TX) with an employee parking lot. The back of the stores are where the loading docks are located. 😉

  8. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    Wear a gorget people.

    1. avatar pcrh says:

      Duh. Obvious solution.

      Codpieces are also handy.

  9. avatar Kevin says:

    The point, which was poorly made and overly wordy is this: this should have been a defensive gun use.
    There was NOTHING that HEB did or didn’t do that would have prevented her from carrying a firearm.
    However, if she had been at Whole Foods, their rules would have prevented her carrying (if she chose to do so).

    That’s it. Plain and simple.

    Now, regarding situational awareness, she shouldn’t have been at HEB at 1:30 AM unless it was an emergency. Picking up milk for her cereal would NOT fall into that category.

  10. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    At 1:30am there should be plenty of parking near the entrance. Obviously, she doesn’t have a defensive mindset. Hopefully she’ll learn from this terrible experience.

  11. avatar C.Rogers says:

    How many people actually read the story before commenting?

  12. avatar Ralph says:

    Absolutely hideous. If there are any people in the world that I hate (and there are), it’s armed robbers. Unfortunately, the bastard who cut this woman’s throat will probably get away with it, freeing him to do it again. And again. I can only hope that the next “soft target” he goes after will be alert and armed.

    1. avatar AMOK! says:

      +1; fully agree.


  13. avatar phyllis anderson says:

    I don’t care what store you go to or what state of the 50 if you don’t carry it is on YOU. I will not get a permit because I was born under a contract called the Constitution of the United States. I used to not realize that but my younger brother has carried since he was 15 and kept saying (Until I finally got it) that my 2nd amendment right is inalienable. I always carried while living in Texas, but twice I have lived in California and did not take any guns. But ever since those “knock out games” started I take my 9mm Baby Eagle everywhere I go. I carry it in my purse on safety, but it is chambered. And the situational awareness is of course a huge part of it because if you are not paying attention a gun will do you no good. Also, especially you women out there, don’t look submissive, look alert and confident. Kevin, As far as the time of night she or anyone else gets milk or whatever is irrelevant. If I had been in her shoes no one can say for sure, but we would most likely be planting the bad guy. Also be sure to do at least some target practice. 😀

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      Good luck staying out of jail “phyllis”…and good for you that you don’t look like a target.

    2. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I followed your concept for decades, but after the CHL law had been in effect for around 5 years with no nasty surprises, I figured if it was available it wouldn’t hurt me to have one. It still doesn’t stop me from carrying where it is not recognized, since I didn’t realize that/didn’t see that sign and on and on. Just not having a license at all – well, good luck to you, you won’t get an argument from me, you are exactly correct. But you may end up in jail, still correct.

  14. avatar Robb says:

    Go to Antonelli’s or Central Market for your cheese need Robert.

  15. avatar juliesa says:

    My son used to use that store when he was at St Edwards U. Horrible. I hope she recovers fully.

    The Whole Foods near me has an invalid 30.06 sign (lettering too small) so I could legally carry there, but I choose to no longer go there since I have other choices of stores that don’t try to ban guns.

    I may go back sometime to try JWT’s goat cheese though, if I can find it.

    According to texas3006,com, several WH stores have 30.06 signs that are invalid due to size, so you might check your store, Robert. Like a nerd, I actually measured the letters on the sign at my WH store. Don’t tell them, but they’ve been printing up the signs on letter size paper, and that makes the lettering too small.

    1. avatar PeterZ in West Tennessee says:

      Julie, I wonder if they did this on purpose. Putting up an invalid sign gets Demanding Moms of their back while not legally denying anyone concealed carry.

  16. avatar gsnyder says:

    The point is the gun-free zone. Even a CCL person is asked to leave firearm in vehicle, thus making them vulnerable. An advertized gun-free zone is a safe-area for criminals.

  17. avatar Johnny Mac says:

    For those of you who don’t live in Austin:

    That HEB can be fairly crowded even after midnight–it’s the closest 24 hr grocery to downtown–so it is fairly reasonable that the patron may have needed to park some distance from the entrance.

    Also, that neighborhood is generally considered safe–it’s an old neighborhood, but the new and updated houses and condos in the vicinity sell for $500K to over $2M. It’s not a street full of flophouses.

    I will admit that I’ve seen some transient folk hanging around S. Congress bus stops nearby that have raised an eyebrow or two. But–until now–I would feel perfectly safe walking to and from that HEB after midnight.

    Maybe it’s time for that Glock 43. It’ll cause less of a stir than open-carrying an AUG…

  18. avatar ARM28 says:

    If I am not allowed to carry a gun because of a store policy/law then the store or federal, state, or local government is at fault and liable for all pain and suffering (giant period). If when open carrying I get S.W.A.Ted then the state is liable. If I get attacked and don’t have enough time to load a round in the chamber when open carrying (utah law) then the state is liable. How are states, stores, and the sensitive types getting away with this crud? If they have that belief system then they should be liable.

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