Previous Post
Next Post

According to “On Friday, Vincente Fuillerat strapped on a bullet-resistant vest, broke into [Samara] Routenberg’s home and got into a shoot-out with both women. He fatally wounded both women with a shotgun before turning the gun on himself.

Mr. Fuillerat was enraged that his wife had left him for someone else: another woman. (Ms. Routenberg.) “I can’t compete with that” he reportedly said.

We don’t know if both women had firearms. We don’t know which firearms one or the other or both used for their defense. But we do know one critical indeed all-important fact: they lost the gun battle with Mr. Fuillerat.

Gun control advocates will undoubtedly use this incident to suggest that a defensive firearm is no use against a determined, armed domestic abuser. Well, in this case it wasn’t.

Then again, neither was the Florida court’s protective order of the sentence of 36 months probation doled out to Mr. Fuillerat for threatening his wife with a metal pipe. I digress . . .

Here are three critical lessons from this tragic story.

1. Maintain situational awareness

If you know there’s a threat against your life, the sooner you know about it the better. The more time you have to avoid an attack entirely, call 911, bring your firearm to bear and/or choose the best time, place and method to engage.

Don’t go through life in Condition White, oblivious to potential threats. Maintain situational awareness, raising it appropriately as needed; depending on your environment.

If there’s a specific threat against your life, take specific actions to be ready to defend yourself. Think like your potential attacker; where and how would you attack you? Also, simply, be ready to shoot. Most importantly . . .

2. Home carry

Again, we don’t know the specifics of this case. But it’s also true that a gun on your person is FAR more useful than a gun anywhere else.

The general rule of a gunfight: the first person to land shots on target generally wins. The faster you can get to your gun, the faster you can shoot someone posing an imminent, credible threat of death of grievous bodily harm, the better.

You spend a great deal of your life at home. Why wouldn’t you carry a gun there?

3. Practice

A lot of gun guys and gals focus on learning and refining armed self-defense techniques: marksmanship, getting off the X, drawing your gun, shooting and moving, seeking cover or concealment, reloading, aiming for the pelvic girdle (which would have helped here), etc. It’s all good stuff.

The more automatically you can perform these skills the better. That comes from repetition. Practice.

Armed self-defense practice has another benefit that has nothing to do with the techniques per se. It conditions you to accept the possibility that you may find yourself in a gunfight. So when you’re in one, it’s not completely uncharted territory.

Our condolences to the friends and family of Mrs. Fuillerat and Ms. Routenberg. If nothing else, let their deaths be a warning to us all. Bad things can happen to good people.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Shotgun with number 4 shot is very effective. A cloud of shot to the upper body will land .25 shots in the face and neck area. A shot to the legs is also debilitating. It doesn’t require careful aiming. Body armor isn’t going to cover it all and it you have a 3 foot wide pattern at 20 feet you’re going to score hits.

    • Please.
      If you have never actually fired a shotgun, don’t pretend to be a super shotgun operator on the internet.

      Even a tactical length, cylinder bore shotgun is going to give you a pattern measured in inches at home defense range.

      As for the need to aim, well, if you know how to shoot a shotgun you know how to point it, not aim it. But you better do one or the other or you’ll miss.

        • Because poster number one doesn’t seem to know the difference between #4 bird and #4 buck, so it’s hard to go try his magical amalgamation of both… he’s describing a bird shot pattern (though impossibly large at indoor distance), but with buckshot size pellets.

          Poster number two is right– actually pattern some shotguns and you’ll sound more like you know what you are talking about.

        • I own a bunch of shotguns; my HD gun is a Mossberg 500, 20″
          It’s loaded with #4 BUCKshot, not “shot.”

          At 10 yards (30′) the spread is about 4~5 inches. I have no idea where “you have a 3 foot wide pattern at 20 feet ” came from. That’s patently ridiculous. Oh, wait, you got that from a movie, didn’t you?
          A 12 gauge blast to body armor with buckshot within 30′ will knock any perp back, incapacitating him for a few seconds. That’s all I or anyone practiced to control the situation, one way or another. And very few burglars use body armor.

          I would suggest you find someone who actually knows about shotguns, and take a defensive use class sometimes.

    • The Fudd is strong with this one. The only piece of Fudd wisdom you left out is that just racking the shotgun will scare the intruder away.

    • #4 shot is .13 inches diameter. You’re thinking #4 BUCK (which is .24 inch diameter). And it’s not a CLOUD of shot. It’s more like a wad at home defense ranges. You’ll get MAYBE an 8 to 10 inch pattern at 20 feet. So if you’ve never patterned a shotgun, don’t make claims that beehive rounds exist…

      • 8″ – 10″ at 20 feet? Maybe out of an 18″ rifled bore shooting birdshot.

        But really, what kind of BS load spreads that fast?

        • Now I wanna see if taofledermaus can make a shell with a coned wad, that forces the buckshot to spread immediately after exiting the barrel.

      • “You’ll get MAYBE an 8 to 10 inch pattern at 20 feet.”

        Maybe, indeed.
        My 18.5″ 590A1 shoots #4 buck at 5~6″ at 20 feet.
        Shotguns just don’t offer the spread most people think they do.
        18.5″ is what most legal shotguns come with as a short bbl (the way the feds measure bbl length is capricious sometimes, so manufacturers add the extra half-inch to be on the safe side).
        Birdshot spreads a little more, but isn’t anywhere near as effective as buckshot.

        Yes, patterning your shotgun is a worthwhile thing. I get a wider pattern with Royal Buck (no shotcup) than with Federal Flightcontrol (usually puts one 3~4″ hole in a paper target at 30′). Remington Magnum is between the two, as Rem uses a buffer with the pellets (as do many other brands). If you want to know what your shotgun will do at a given distance, buy some targets, different brands/loadings, and have a fun day at the range. I can almost guarantee it will be an eye-opening experience if you’ve never done it.

    • Aw, c’mon guys, cut ‘im some slack. He got his info off the internet and it’s staying on the internet.

    • everyone is so scared of being ‘mall ninja’ i guess it is illegal to postulate on the lethality of shotgun loads, as for the person whining about the original comment not knowing the difference between #4 shot and #4 buck, seeing how this love triangle wasnt between 3 pheasants, I think we can use context clues to figure it out for ourselves. so many idiots, so little time!

  2. “We don’t know if both women had firearms.”

    The two women were armed, according to the local paper:

    “”He came here with the intent to murder them,” she said.

    But it appears Routenberg and Lisa Fuillerat were prepared for him because the two of them had armed themselves.

    Although Vincente Fuillerat was shot once in the bulletproof vest and in other places, it wasn’t enough to stop him from overpowering the two women, Lusczynski said.”

    Headshots, people.

    Center of mass shooting is of little good when the attacker is wearing armor…

    • “Center of mass shooting is of little good when the attacker is wearing armor…”

      Depends on what you shoot them with. I hear an old German 88 pretty well defeats body armor.

        • The Germans figured out that if they turned the 88 horizontally it was a great tank killer out to pretty damn impressive ranges.

          Maybe dragon skin can take an 88 but regular plates are toast.

  3. “…aiming for the pelvic girdle…”

    This is a horse that gets beat plenty but I’m gonna give her a few kicks.

    This is, IMHO, completely overrated. If your goal is to immobilize someone it might work and it might not, just look into Bat Masterson about this. Either way it’s very unlikely to take a determined person out of the fight and against someone with a shotgun they’re still very dangerous once they’re down but not out. Hell at that point they might actually be more dangerous. In fact, in the case of Masterson he got back up and dispatched his attacker after Mr. Masterson had been shot in the pelvis and knocked down by the shot.

    BB&C covered this rather in depth a while back and the take-away was that the pelvis shot is simply not reliable. Realistically I don’t think the pelvic girdle shot is really worth taking unless you intend use it to momentarily immobilize the person and rapidly follow it up with one to the brain case. Generally you’re better off going for the head and neck which will produce rapidly if not immediately incapacitating wounds. It don’t matter how hard the guy is and the vest doesn’t matter at all when you face-shoot him.

    • Sure, hit em in the girdle.

      Now they are really angry, prone, AND they still have a shotgun.

      You on the other hand, just traded a full standing silhouette for a smaller prone (angry, armed) target.

      Girdle shots are for guys with contact weapons at best. Just don’t.

      If two to the chest can’t stop him, go for the head.

      • I won’t say it’s never useful, there are situations in which it might be, but having it as a “go to” doesn’t really seem realistic to me… well, at least if you would like to maximize your chances of continuing to breath.

      • That sort of depends. If you are using a big, heavy, powerful round, hitting someone in the head of the femur will put them down.

        Hitting someone in the balls will end the fight.

        Nobody is going to maintain situation awareness if you’ve just put a 230 gr JHP right through their scrotum and turned their balls into jelly.

        • Many years ago I was in fist fight with someone high on something. I repeatedly kneed him in the balls with little effect.
          Finally someone came to help me and it took the two of us to subdue him.
          He was the son of a neighbor and certainly had trouble walking the next day.
          Not the same as getting shot in the balls but someone high on something is very dangerous.

      • I think you may be underestimating what a pelvic shot does to the body. No, it’s not perfect but it’s probably about as effective as any chest wound minus a direct shot to the heart. And in this case, where the guy has armor, much more effective.

        Yes, the head is probably a better target… but it tends to be harder to hit.

        • With a rifle I’d tend to agree with you. Ditto a shotgun. A pistol… not so much.

          Like I said, take a gander at what happened with Bat Masterson. Dude takes one to the hip and his attacker thinks he’s got Mr. Masterson for sure. Instead Mr. Masterson doesn’t lie there and shoot back he pops back up to his feat and blasts his attacker into the next life.

          Dave Spaulding over at Handgun Combatives says “I’ve talked to several people over the years who have either been involved or have been witness to armed conflict in which a pelvis shot was delivered, and all describe the victim of said wound going down but remaining in the fight.” That doesn’t sound real promising to me.

          Ultimately I think a lot of it comes down to what shots you can take because you have to fight the fight you’re in rather than the one you wish you were in. However, the concept that a “pelvic girdle shot” will stop an attacker with a gun is, IMHO, a serious overestimation. There are too many variables to really discuss here but adrenaline and drugs can do strange things. A man in Hawaii ran away from a volcano 15 or so years ago… with two seriously broken legs. Shattered the casts and everything but he kept going. Fucked himself up but good however, he did survive. That’s adrenaline. Replace that with meth and we know that in some cases people can take multiple rounds to the chest like they didn’t. Sure, they usually die but if they kill you before they drop, then as Hillary might ask, at that point what difference does it make? To you, it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference.

          The point is that in a gunfight you want to incapacitate rather than immobilize because while that guy might not be able to chase you any more his bullets still can and as another poster pointed out, in a house there ain’t really that much to hide behind when the person shooting at you has a long gun and realizes they can shoot through your concealment.

        • “The point is that in a gunfight you want to incapacitate rather than immobilize because while that guy might not be able to chase you any more his bullets still can and as another poster pointed out, in a house there ain’t really that much to hide behind when the person shooting at you has a long gun and realizes they can shoot through your concealment.”

          You get a lot of flack here, but I agree with this 100%.
          That’s why I use a 12 gauge as a HD gun. Any solid hit will incapacitate for long enough to control the situation one way or another, even with body armor.
          And, at least in my house, the wallboard won’t cover me from anything bigger than a BB gun. A .22 will go right through it, even from a 2″ revolver. Maybe others have better wallboard.

    • I’ve seen a few pelvis and upper femur shots that were powerful enough to shatter the bone. They were all, of course, made with rifle rounds. But they certainly immediately stopped the movement of the victim an all had a large enough blood loss that they would have died without immediate medical attention .
      I don’t know if that would be very likely with a pistol round.

    • Center of mass is fine if the need is to arrest the movement of your target. The problem is that that is rarely something you do in a DGU. If they’re running away, it would make sense, and that will put you in prison. If they’re running toward you but far away, that would make sense, and would land you in prison. Maybe if they are armed with a knife, means you lethal harm, but they’re your brother in law or some odd thing that makes lethal force necessary, but lethality undesirable.

      I did say its rarely something you’ll do in a DGU.

    • Pelvis shots are great if they have a knife or blunt weapon. They’re immobilized and you can get away.

      If they have a gun they can still shoot you, and that’s no good.

      • I think people are forgetting the context here: the guy had a vest on, they had handguns. In the situation where you CAN’T make a center mass shot (as in this one,) everything is going to shit and your ability to keep calm is gone, unloading into a dude’s pelvis is about the best you can do. Limbs are probably ineffective and the head is too hard to hit. People can keep beating the dead horse, but think about the statement in the context of a response to the article, not the context of pelvis shots vs any other areas in general.

  4. My HD gun is a Governor with the KSG as the if I have time to get to it gun. You have to aim at short distances. I have noticed that the 00 buck that I thought was shit @ 25 yards is better at HD ranges than any of the high dollar stuff. Cheap Spartan 00 buck that Walmart was selling for $13? a 25 rd box. This stuff opens quickly which is perfect for HD. I need to see if they still have any.

  5. They hit him multiple times with handguns. He killed them with a shotgun. Shotguns are devastating at house ranges.

    Every home in America needs a shotgun.

    • A shotgun is effective in the hands of a shotgun shooter. If you don’t practice enough to manage the recoil and put quick follow-up shots on target, you would be better off with something else.

      • Maybe I’m missing something. I shoot a 12 gauge pump with 2 3/4 inch 00 buck, 18 inch barrel. Recoil? I’m 5’4 150#, recoil is not a problem from the shoulder, (recommended) or from the hip. Rounds on target every shot. A 12 gauge pump with standard 00 buckshot has very little recoil. Aim a shotgun, sight down barrel on target/threat, pull trigger. It’s not a long distance precision shooter, but line that barrel up and you are gonna ruin the day/night of anyone in front of it.

        • As it may be. But it IS more recoil than an AR15, and a lot fewer rounds to boot. Some people aren’t well suited to using shotguns in stressful situations, whether it’s fumbling the safety or short-stroking the pump. Hell, when my adrenaline is pumping while hunting, I’ve lost count of my rounds in the tube, short stroked, and numerous other screw-ups. A shotgun is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

          People practice a lot more with rifles and handguns than they do with shotguns. Use what you train with, train with what you plan to use. Whether that’s a shotgun, a handgun, or a rifle, you do you. But know what your capabilities are.

        • “People practice a lot more with rifles and handguns than they do with shotguns.”

          I see that at the range. Few people even take shotguns to the range. That’s their problem.
          I watch people at the ranges I use. Most are shooting leisurely at targets. Very few are practicing mag dumps, or quick shooting, or even close range (HD range). They all want to see how far they can shoot.
          That’s fine (even necessary) for hunting.
          But for HD, it’s useless.
          I have no idea of how many shotguns are in circulation among non-LEOs vs handgun/rifles. But I will venture to guess that a LOT of shotguns have been bought, fired a few times, and put away because of the recoil. I personally have had to show some people how to fire a shotgun to minimize recoil and pain. (If you have an AR/.223 rifle, the recoil is so low that you may get into bad habits as far as proper shooting stance goes.) Once shown how to stand and hold the gun, they marvel at now easy it is to shoot.
          I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: practice is absolutely necessary. Shooting well is a perishable skill. It must be repeated to be relied upon.

          I buy Rio Royal Buck in 00 and #4 in bulk. 🙂

      • I have no problems with rifles save one. I live in a heavily built up area. Lots of people all around me. Low recoil buck is less likely to overpenetrate and hit an innocent.

        If I lived in open rural country a rifle would be in the rotation for self defense.

  6. First my condolences to the family.

    There have been many good points made here. I would like to point that it is possible these women did every thing right an it just may not have been enough. When a person is willing to trade their life for yours, that person will often suceed in taking yours. I am sure most of you would also agree that no amount of training will assure you will survive an attack of any type, Some times its just your time.

    These women had a God given right to defend themselves. They choose execise their rights and take personal responsiblity. They armed themselves with a gun to give themselves the best tool to defend themselves. Yes it is tragic that they died. But they did not die as victims. They gave themselves a chance by arming themselves and having mental fortitude to use it. They died fighting for life, their lives.

    This is why I fight to support gun rights. So that if things start to go wrong there is a fighting chance to save lives.

    Tonight I pray that the familes pain fades quickly so they can remember these women fondly, I wil rasie a glass to these brave souls who are no longer with us, and hope that there are many more like them our nation.

    • I’ve said it here many times. I carry a gun so that I have a chance to fight back. Success in the fight is not promised.

      But if kapo bloomberg and the dems have their way I have no chance to fight back.

    • Well said.

      A lot of people have different #1 rules for a gunfight but the real #1 rule IMHO is “You can do everything right and still die”. People would do well to accept that early on.

      Sometimes you just can’t win.

  7. This happened somewhat near me; I had no clue the story was this crazy since I don’t care much if it is a domestic affair (Doesn’t really affect my life). I don’t really see a win scenario without pure luck. There aren’t any true cover zones within your home; everything will be passed with a shotty at short range. Concealment is also worthless. Combined that this isn’t a typical home invader; this is a man with vengeance in his heart, and suicide on his brain, so deterrence is worthless. If he was really prepare, I would assume he had on Level III, making most calibers ineffective. I mean, even if both victims had 30 round ARs with practice time under their belt, this guy had the advantage of cover from his vest, and first move status. In a high heat situation like that, they could’ve aim true towards the head and best win situation in my mind is one of them survives with massive injuries, mental and physical. Love can be one helluva drug. Overall, real shitty situation; wish people in life could let things go and just move on.

    • Agree, agree, agree, except…

      “Love can be one helluva drug.”

      When somebody shows up with a shotgun to mutilate your body, THAT AIN’T ABOUT LOVE.

      Perhaps what we need to say here is that selfish, unrequited infatuation can lead to insanity. What sane rational person sees murdering two other people and then committing suicide as the reasonable solution to any relationship problem?

      • Especially when it’s not another guy but a chick.

        I can’t think of a guy I know who wouldn’t be all over that shit. If their wife said “There’s another woman” their first question would be “Nice. When can we get her over here?”.

        The answer here was a threeway rather than a double murder/suicide.

        • This pattern, a spouse leaving their hetero partner for a same-sex lover…is more common than you think. The notion that raging passion and love/hate oscillation are somehow not very human simply ignores the history of mankind.

          Does anyone remember the author Patricia Cornwell? Recall that she got in the same sort of three-way with serious conflict. She “stole” the wife of a male FBI agent.

          Guys deciding they’re gay at the age of 50 or 60 seems oddly more common that I would have thought, as well.

      • I would just like to clarify I am not referring to ‘love’ in the context of how we think love is in the metaphysical sense, but love as the mental chemical cocktail that results from relationships and bonding. In the sense that Vulcans from Star Trek see it, as a thin red line that can as easily tilt from making us a better person to that which can send us into a jealous fit a rage. I guess a better clarification would be “The chemicals produce by relationships are one helluva drugs.”

  8. Curtis , I understand where you’re coming from and I agree one should pratice as much as possible . Then again my daughter all 5’2″ , size small shirt of her , on a good year puts 15 -20 Slugs through her 870 in preparation for deer season . This year due to work and being out of town a lot did not fire it once since last season .

    She put two slugs into a whitetail about as fast as most guys I see shoot . Once you,know what to expect and see it’s not really a big deal, it’s not . Of course I did not start her off with ” now this will kick a lot .” More of its ” loud and kicks a little , but nothing to worry about .” Low brass, then high brass then slugs the first day she owned it .

  9. Holy crap, the article didn’t call it a “bullet-proof vest”!

    Here we have one of the few actual cases of a bad guy successfully using a ballistic vest to kill people. Bill named after the women proposing to make civilian ownership of vests illegal in 3…2…

  10. There are several things we learned from this.

    1. Body armor gives you an advantage in a fight.

    2. Shotguns are more likely to kill people than hand guns

    3. If somebody is actively trying to kill you , try and be somewhere they are not.

    4. If this guy was wearing soft armor, all the more reason for an ar15 as a defensive weapon.

    5. The first part of home defense is alertness. Survience cameras and alarms are examples of this. If you see the guy pull up to your house you have a better chance than if you don’t notice him until he’s kicking in the door

    6. Cover may be short in most homes , it is in mine. Maybe a safe room or even a safe wall would be a good idea. Some ar500 in one section of your inside walls could make a cover zone.

    • 7. Like doorknob locks, deadbolts and padlocks, glass doors and windows only keep people out if they don’t really want to get in. A front or rear door with a glass panel or even sliding glass doors will NOT stop a determined entry. As for sliding glass, even if it would be difficult to break it down, a shotgun will make short work of it. So would any handgun round.

    • Also have doors that won’t blow open with one swift kick. A simple reinforcement kit will mean they have to go THROUGH the door instead of just defeating the latch, and that gives you valuable time.

  11. Ya know, the press frequently uses the term “turned the gun on himself” and I hate it. It implies the the gun is sentient. It is not.

  12. I’ve noticed over the last 3-4 years a trend among trainers around the NE region to put more of an emphasis on going for the head shot. Everything from aiming at the head straight away to the old-fashioned aim for center mass but ride the recoil up the height of the target as you let fly.

    I’ve heard different stories about the origins of this. Some say it came back from the ME because of suicide vests, some say it came out of urban PD’s because of body armor. The more cynical folks say trainers are just trying to differentiate themselves and attract repeat/new business.

    If the typical shooters target at any number of the classes or matches I’ve attended is any indication the simplest way to achieve effective shots is to train people to hammer away at their attacker(s) with as much ammo as they have at whatever parts of the body you can see. None of this aim, fire, assess stuff. Meet your threat with overwhelming force. If that means sending all 7 rounds from your 1911 out at once so be it. Carry a spare mag and do it again if you have to.

    Shock and Awe. Surviving the encounter is a side effect of destroying the attacker.

    • Overwhelming force is always nice. The line between overkill and underkill is probably pretty thin. Just go for overkill.

  13. #4 – don’t cheat on your spouse

    #5 – try to avoid marrying crazy people that may try to kill you one day.

    • Funny thing about ending a relationship: the person ending it has made up their mind long before, grown detached, and thinks they are making a calm decision. The person on the other end gets hit with a ton of bricks and might not react in a calm manner.

      However, I’m surprised the headline didn’t read “LGBTA women butchered by evil white male”.

    • re: #4

      She divorced him. He doesn’t get to play the “oh I snapped when I found her with another lover” card.

  14. the lesson of the ft hood massacre is that anything can happen anywhere at any time for any reason

    be prepared…expect the unexpected

  15. Are any of the lessons in the article particular to this event? I don’t think so. Cuteandfuzzybunnies listed 6 lessons that are. Situational awareness, home carry (always carry when you can), and practice are basics that apply to pretty much any situation. This event is not even a great illustrator for these lessons.

    They had enough situational awareness, access to weapons, and practice to land multiple hits on their attacker. It’s just that nothing they had was sufficient. That might be the number one lesson from this case. That while your skills may be enough for most attacks, you may encounter a situation in which you need more.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here