Once in a while, a defensive gun use story comes out that perfectly draws attention to the situational awareness habits we’re always trying to improve. One important safety habit is to avoid idling in a parking lot (usually with your head down, staring at your phone). Parking lots are a common setting for street robberies and attacks. Perpetrators frequently target idling motorists, especially if they seem passive and/or oblivious to their surroundings.
Around 8:00 a.m. yesterday in Lawrence, Indiana, an armed robber did exactly that, in broad daylight no less. Seeing a man sitting in his car in a strip mall parking lot, he forced his way into the vehicle, presented a gun, and demanded money.
The man kicked the car into gear and started driving toward an armored truck nearby. The suspect told him to stop, but the victim kept driving while initiating a physical struggle over the suspect’s gun. They never reached the armored truck.
Instead, they crashed into a fence. At that point, both men got out of the car, and the driver pulled his own gun. The two men exchanged gunfire and both ended up in the hospital with gunshot wounds.
The most recent word on this case is that the victim was non-critically injured, having taken a round to the shoulder. The perp sustained more serious injuries and is in critical condition.
Sometimes, it’s not possible to avoid potentially dangerous settings, and this may well have been one such case. However, it’s still a good reminder to stay vigilant in commonplace public settings in general, and keep your head on a swivel in shopping center parking lots.