Image via screenshot / WTOK

When our friends in the gun-grabbing community argue against civilian firearms ownership — and make no mistake, their goal is a gun-free society where only police and the military are armed — they ignore the fact that Americans defend themselves with guns 500,000 to 3 million time a year. That’s a lot of assaults, robberies, rapes and murders that are prevented.

But no defensive gun use comes without risk. A gun owner can do everything right and things can still go very, very badly.

In this tragic case, an armed robber with a long criminal history was out on ‘earned release supervision’ from a 15-year sentence when he decided to visit a convenience store and started “running around the parking lot with a gun.”

Jeremy Apperson, a truck driver, was standing beside his car pumping gas. He and his wife had dropped their daughters off at a birthday party and stopped for gas and a soda.

The armed robber, identified as Robert Leon Jackson, age 30, approached the car window and pointed the gun at Jeremy’s wife Samantha, at which point Jeremy pulled his concealed handgun and shot Jackson once. Jackson responded with a spray of bullets, hitting Jeremy who died at the scene.

Jackson then went inside the convenience store to attempt a hold-up. He shot and killed a female cashier before another employee fired several shots at him. A third victim was wounded and drove himself to the hospital. Jackson fled without getting any cash and was later captured with at least one non-fatal gunshot wound.

This incident occurred in Philadelphia, Mississippi. The mayor, James Young, had this to say:

“I understand the system but many times the system is just failing us. But, most of our crimes, many are committed by the same people. I don’t know, I don’t know what answers there are. This gentleman just chose Philadelphia to be his killing field.

“I even have to wonder where he got the gun from. You can get the gun from anywhere. The gun didn’t drive to Philadelphia, the gun didn’t walk out of the car into that building. It’s still about making sound choices.”

It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy who’s armed and intent on evil. Sadly, while many miscreants make tracks at the first sign of an armed response, that isn’t always the case. And it’s never without significant risk.

In this case, good guys with guns did indeed stop the threat, but at a terrible price.

119 COMMENTS

  1. Maybe this is why police will empty their mag to stop the threat. We as armed citizens have to stop being so “nice”. No need to give the criminal a “chance”. We deserve to go home to our families too.

    • In a sense. One belief in force study is that mass media (movies, TV, etc) have conditioned us all to think that when someone gets shot they either drop like they got hit by a magic ray or get blown across the room. In reality there’s often very little indication of a hit, so sometimes people keep shooting.

      That said, it’s not always a bad thing. Just as people don’t really get blown across the room by a handgun round, they don’t usually drop dead from one either, even if it will eventually be fatal.

      In general, I’d say if it’s worth shooting someone once, it’s worth shooting more than once.

    • Dump the mag. As has been said elsewhere, a person worth shooting once is probably worth shooting more than once. Stop the threat.

    • You stole my thunder…exactly the point. From the details here, it looks like the good guy got the drop on the bad guy BUT foolishly STOPPED shooting after 1 round. We have to realize that handgun rounds SUCK. You NEED to keep shooting with careful aim and diligent speed until the bad guy SHUTS DOWN. In the politically correct and legally wussified America gun trainers dont write or speak about this, YOU HAVE TO SHOOT TO KILL. PERIOD. It has been replaced with neutered phrases like “stop the threat”. BS intended for the courtroom.

      40 years ago I learned as a Fed LEO these words. Don’t draw your gun unless you use it, and when you use it SHOOT TO KILL. This has been washed out of all the firearms training today. But there is a good chance one hit is gonna do squat….keep shooting.

    • Problem is, the same prosecutor who would give a cop who emptied a mag into a thug a “pass” would not be so “understanding” toward an average citizen who did the same thing.
      When it comes to prosecutors and cops, there is a double standard. The cop will get a “taxpayer-paid vacation” and time to “get his story straight while the honest citizen who was defending his life will get a jail cell and a phone book.
      Happens all the time…

      • It’s not the prosecutors i fear as much as the juries. Even if the defense if good, there’s always a pile of anti’s that will say it was unnecessary force.

        ALSO, two years ago, a good guy, who didn’t know the victim, capped/killed a rapist in the act. 6 months later when the trial started, the rape victim said she didn’t think the shooting was really necessary.

        Good guy found guilty. Prison. Felon. Life over, rights gone, family left without sole provider.

        • Been more than a few times where someone defended a stranger and paid for it. I’ll take care of family. Anyone else can wait for the LEO if they do not have a means to defend themselves. Not my problem since the good Samaritan act will not protect me if I were to become involved using a weapon.

        • Jesus, what a slut! “He was just raping me a little!” Defense should have called a half-dozen normal women, to ask them if an armed defender should have just walked away and let them be raped, or maybe got in line, or if he should have shot the mofo.

      • I love it when people pontificate about the ‘aggressive prosecutor’. Who cares? Live through the event and then worry about the ramifications. This poor guy won’t have to bother with a prosecutor, but do any of you want to trade places with him?

        • Actually, among non-LEO’s the real world hit rate IS higher, closer to 50%. And it’s worth noting that LEO hit rates vary WILDLY among departments. LAPD and NYPD both struggle to get above 15%, but in rural Alabama you’ll probably get 50-75%. People who genuinely enjoy firearms (and own personal firearms which they train with on their own time and their own dime) are going to be better shots than those who don’t, obviously. Non-LEO concealed carriers are almost certain to be gun people, whereas plenty of cops really aren’t.

      • 30% hit rate under stress is actually VERY good. I’m sure you know that “Sgt of Marines”. Fake ass veteran.

      • And those without adequate training, say resident of Englewood area of Chicago, have a higher rate because they spray and pray, hit multiple people who are not their intended targets, do not turn in their weapon after the shooting, or leave all their brass at the shooting location for accurate counts?

      • During a training session, I apologized to the trainer for what I considered poor shooting on my part. Without missing a beat the trainer said, “Relax, you’re better than 90% of the cops I work with.”

        PS: I’m not that good.

    • People just look for any reason to bash the 5-0, even if it means agreeing with the guntrollers by demanding police be banned from using “high” capacity mags or even semi autos. Principles die quickly for those with an axe to grind.

      • That has more to do with hating double standards than having any ax to grind or agreeing with the antis. Or do you support a two-tiered society where the enforcers get to live under different rules than the unwashed masses?

        • Nope. I hate when police get off with murder just as much as anyone. Especially clear cut cases such as the infamous hotel video where the officers murders the crying man on his knees. But I also very much despise common arguments seen on this site about how “all cops need to go back to .38 revolvers!” or “cops shouldn’t get high capacity mags!” or “cops should be banned from having guns!” All those arguments using the same exact retarded line of thought the Antis use.

        • Cops need to be restricted to the exact same weapons as everyone else who lives in the state. That seems really simple. If a cop needs XX in order to defend his life, then so do I. On top of which, if that’s the way it works, then the people will be working with the cops, and vice versa, to make rational decisions about gun control. I haven’t even heard of a cop who wants his OWN guns controlled.

  2. Very disturbing to read. And yeah, I drew a lesson from this: one shot will not likely disable a lethal threat to me or my family, and if it’s a single assailant, I’d better use up some of that defensive ammo rather than die with a full mag. You can’t take unspent rounds with you.

    Lord be with Jeremy’s family.

  3. Prime example of why just owning a weapon and carrying one doesn’t make you well armed. You need to know how to actually fight with your weapon. Going to the local range and standing there shooting groups at 15 feet isn’t going to prepare you to do anything fight worthy.

    • JD,

      Going to the local range and standing there shooting groups at 15 feet isn’t going to prepare you to do anything fight worthy.

      You are exactly right. That is why I go to locations where I can move and shoot — and set up “shoot, no shoot” targets for appropriate drills. That could be on a friend’s rural property or a safe location in a state or national forest.

    • And yet, there are hundreds of thousands of defensive gun uses per year by everyday people with that much or even less training. Curious, that.

  4. Some folks on a different thread at TTAG have been arguing that carrying larger, and hence heavier, high capacity pistols is overkill. That can be true, but given what we know about how an attacker can keep on coming (and shooting at you or stabbing you or beating you) and possibly killing you, having more rather than less gun has its merits, especially if there’s more than one assailant. Word to the wise, chaps. Let this brave man’s death not be in vain for us defenders.

    • Carry a Sig 365 or G43 small enough to conceal easily both fire full power 9mm load them with Hornady critical duty or the newly developed hyper velocity ARX ammunition.

      • Sgt of Marines,

        Good luck with your sub-compact pistol (with 6 + 1 rounds of 115 grain, 0.355 inch diameter bullets) stopping a determined attacker. And if we are talking about multiple attackers, you are in deep-trouble in a real-world firefight.

        I will stick with my super-reliable, full-size, semi-auto pistol that holds 15 + 1 rounds of 180 grain, 0.400 inch diameter bullets.

        Remember the saying, “There is no replacement for displacement.”

  5. “I understand the system but many times the system is just failing us. But, most of our crimes, many are committed by the same people. I don’t know, I don’t know what answers there are. This gentleman just chose Philadelphia to be his killing field.”

    I can tell you the answer. Take these violent repeat offenders behind the courthouse and put a bullet in their head.

    If you’re gonna give a guy life in the can for a crime, just go ahead and shoot him rather than spend a buttload of money and resources keeping him alive.

    • “…This gentleman just chose Philadelphia to be his killing field.”
      If I see one more idiot Ahole call one of these criminal ANIMALS a “gentleman” I think my head will explode!!!!! Using such polite terms to describe a murderous bastard is insulting to the victims and the reading public.

  6. “Prime example of why just owning a weapon and carrying one doesn’t make you well armed. You need to know how to actually fight with your weapon. Going to the local range and standing there shooting groups at 15 feet isn’t going to prepare you to do anything fight worthy.”
    Indeed, I went to my local gun range after I purchased my S&W Shield 2.0 chambered in 9mm and I got yelled at by the range officer for practicing what I’d call “Real-World” scenarios shooting at 3 and 5 yards when I was told to shoot no closer than 15 yards. I’d imagine a real-world scenario where an armed thug would try to assault you/mug you/rape you/etc a whole lot closer than 15yds, what the heck!!!

    • There is a minimum distance on targets at ranges so that a headshot or any shot not on EXACTLY center of the target won’t end up in the ceiling (or beyond the berm if outside). Although for indoor ranges I’ve been to it’s typically 5 or 7 yard minimum, 15 is excessive unless it’s an outdoor range where the berm is far out.

  7. Judge to would be victim “so, Ms XY, why is it you shot your assailant 27 times”? Would be victim to judge “please forgive me Your Honor, I ran out of cartridges”.

    ‘Nuff said.

  8. As earlier alluded to,

    Shooting multiple times might make a jury think overkill…or something. I believe TV and movies do play a part in the misconception of one shot stops.

    something to ponder.

    • Continue shooting while he arguably poses a threat to life or limb and while the ammo lasts. There’s just no choice but to do it that way. Your lawyer will just have to make the jury or at least one member thereof see reality.

  9. If only this misguided gun-carrier hadn’t escalated the situation, he would still be alive. He’s the one that started all the shooting. And now two people are dead and two wounded all because of one guy who thought he was Wyatt Earp.

    This is why people shouldn’t be allowed to carry guns. (Now tell me why I’m wrong.)

    • What’s misguided about shooting at someone aiming a gun at your wife? His only arguable mistake is in not shooting the criminal more.

    • .the ah on “earned release” was carrying illegally, what do you say about that, jamf?
      .tell me again how another law would prevent this, since the “gentleman” was not concerned about obeying laws.

      • Another law would have prevented it because the concealed carrier wouldn’t have been carrying, and therefore couldn’t have escalated the situation by pulling his own gun and shooting. Let the robber have what he wants. The police can pick him up later and nobody gets hurt.

        Laws don’t stop criminals from carrying weapons, but they will reliably stop almost everyone else.

        How do you convince someone that’s not a good thing?

        • Did you miss the part where the piece of shit went into gas station and murdered an unarmed clerk? Also why the f*ck should anyone give a criminal what he wants? Is that what it means to live in a society of laws? Just let predators take what they want without consequence?

        • I try not to exchange too many words with moral perverts, but if your philosophy is to give criminals what they want, they often want more than money. If he wanted to rape your wife at gunpoint in front of you or your kid, would you draw the line there? You also seem to pass over the CDC’s study, referenced in the text, that shows that citizens stop crimes against themselves and others 500 thousand to 3 million times in a year, which dwarfs how many unlawful uses of firearms occur in a year. You still want to disarm citizens? Also, you keep using the phrase “escalated the situation.” Once a gun is presented and pointed at an innocent person, the situation is escalated to that involving a lethal threat—you simply can’t know if or when he will pull a trigger at that point and as all police know, you have to shoot now in that situation. Are police guilty of escalating the situation too when they open fire on armed people pointing guns at them? It’s really hard to take sub-morons like yourself seriously. I could go on and on with you but there can be no point in doing so.

        • so it’s ok for any d-sucker walking down the street to help themselves to your wife, kids, wallet, car without fear? tell me how well that works in the UK or anywhere else.

        • so we law-abiders should all be unarmed so that entitled d-sucker criminals can do as they please, and then deaths will be prevented?

        • It’s very likely that what this criminal would have wanted from you was: You – dead. Are you willing to give him that? If so, I respect your choice, even if I don’t agree with it. Others should be free to make a different choice.

        • No sarcasm. It was an honest question, trying to get good arguments to happen (in a peckerhead type of way).

          This is almost exactly the scenario the anti-gun contingent has in their heads when they say concealed carriers will only make things worse. And if we’re honest, there’s a decent chance that the concealed carrier DID make things worse.

          People will use this incident and any future ones like it as an “I told you so” reason for disarmament. We need to have compelling arguments — using emotion and facts and reason — ready to deploy against the anti-gun interpretation.

    • The situation was already escalated as assault with a deadly weapon was in progress. His mistake was in not actually neutralizing the threat. If you engage, fully commit.

    • Ah…. cause you’re just trolling? I don’t know is this some kind of trick question or something? Or are you just really stupid?

  10. Guess he should have been carrying a .45. (Yes, this is a blatant attempt to get a caliber war started.)

  11. “In this case, good guys with guns did indeed stop the threat, but at a terrible price.”

    One reason the anti’s don’t want people having guns because it reminds them that life may require them to do terrible things, at a terrible price.

    / A Story about Choices <- Navigation HInt, so you can skip the narrative part.
    On 9/11 whispered questions bounced around my somewhat left of Mao workplace. Someone asked me what I though, with an audience, of course, trolling for the relief of a bit of jingoism to righteously denounce. (They're so transparent.) You could see the denunciation chorus warming up in anticipation.

    The answer they got wasn't quite what they were hoping for. I talked about the cold war. More or less like this:

    "Maybe Iran was a threat, maybe Korea, maybe amped-up jihadis, maybe this or that. Back in the day we had people who'd demonstrated they could and would win a world-war, blitz n occupy their neighbors, fire off nukes, and launch rockets, who also declared we were the main enemy, and famously shouted "We will bury you." in the UN while banging a shoe.

    "There's a difference between theoretical, how likely is it danger, and the risks from people with skill, malice,and will. The whack-jobs who'd been chanting "Death to America!" for decades have just demonstrated the ability and will to do as they said. This morning it moved from cheer-leading to a mission statement.

    "If they're coming at you that hard, for real, you have to decide what you will do about it. "Nothing." becomes a choice, with consequences you own. "Whatever it takes." has its own consequences. We made choices laden like that during the cold war.

    "I've been in those buildings. Just like the cold war choices, real enough that you might have to make them, the 9/11 attack means I may have to choose to kill or die in a moment. And as a citizen, that extends to policy choices a lot less hypothetical. I may have to step up, engage, and choose, not just if some BGs aim their next set of jet missiles, but policy too. Because the stakes are real, bad enough policy may require flat-out revolution from me, whatever the terrible price, because it's not just a tiny theoretical possibility any more. It's real, like someone with nukes and missiles, swearing "We will bury you.""

    That isn't what the squishy-people at work wanted to hear. No knee-jerk dinging the designated scapegoats of any of the teams assembled: foreign whack-jobs, local war-mongers, universal disengaged, etc.

    Civilian disarmament people don't want to face that requirement for themselves: to do right, you may be required to kill or die in a moment. By choice. On purpose. If you step up to being a human in the world — meaning caring for your own life, and perhaps others — it reminds them of the possibly terrible price they may have to pay, for the same reasons.

    I've been mostly dead a couple times; pretty sure I was headed for the whole trip. One thing that helps you tolerate it, and live with yourself after if you happen to live, is realizing, when you're up against it hard, "I did right, as I knew it, as much as I could manage." The one that sticks, at least for me, is wondering whether you shied from a terrible price.

    I can't imagine knowing you're dying, while knowing you shirked doing right by other people, because you couldn't stomach the terrible price. Shying away from the real world, and your agency in it is kinda like that a little bit, every day.

    DGU-guy died. He didn't know if his family lived through the whole thing, or even for another minute. He did know, for as long as he was able to know, that he did what he could — made the terrible choice, met the terrible cost, and paid the terrible price, the best he could.

    The anti-people will try to mock him for that: some flavor of "It didn't work." They won't say that crap in the face of laying his choice our plainly. That will even shut up gaggles of proto-SJWs, looking to make a spectacle of the graybeard, to get off their own hook, on 9/11.

      • d-rats love confiscation/disarmament of law-abiding people because they don’t want their illegally-armed constituents/homies/relatives to get shot up as they go about carjacking, home-invading, mugging, etc. as with the abortion-loving baby-murderers, they want defenseless victims.

      • Thanks for the kind words.

        Thanks, also, for reading past the need for a copy edit at least. I had to get to work. (I’m writing way better since right after the stroke — way fewer typos and garbles than even just a year ago. Punctuation still isn’t intuitive for me. Obviously.)

        I’ve never yet had to choose to hurt someone to keep someone else safe. I could live with never knowing that terrible choice.

  12. Yeah empty your mag officer…unless you’re Jason van Dyke shooting Laquan McDonald. BREAKING! The Tiny Dancer© isn’t running for mayor. Even he’s tired of Chiraq’s BS…news at 11…

  13. Seriously as the saying goes better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6, keep shooting until threat is over, being politically correct will get you killed in situations just like this.

  14. Two words come to mind…situational awareness. If I was in the same situation and that skunk was pointing a gun at my wife, me or anyone I know in the same situation, I like to think my training would take over and I would be on autopilot. I can’t be sure (are we ever sure?) but I think I would have fired until he was down and no longer a threat. Disarm him, check on loved ones, call my lawyer then call the po po. In that order.

    • Use your training and expertise to shoot the gun out of his hand. That’ll do it every time. Here’s how; two to center mass, one to the face, check gun hand. If he’s still holding the gun, two more center mass, one to the face, recheck, rinse and repeat. I’ve heard it would be difficult to shoot a gun out of someone’s hand, but I don’t see why!

  15. I told an anti in a thread right here on TTAG that carrying a gun doesn’t mean I’ll win the fight or survive. All it means is that I have a chance.

    No promises, just a chance. That’s all I want. The anti’s would take that chance away from you. Just as they did in all the school shootings. Gun Free Zones and no issue areas are just the anti gunners way of enabling murder.

    • Yes. The same “reasoning” of antis would apply to police if it were consistent. Police lives are no more precious than those of ordinary citizens, so why would we arm them (and not ourselves) even if issuing them guns by no means guarantees their safety? To give them a chance to defend themselves against armed criminals of course. Well since it is a fact that police cannot protect everyone, we must arm ourselves to give ourselves a chance against the same armed criminals too (who will be avoiding Ben police and seeking us out as well)

      • Edit- not “Ben” but “the.” iPhone auto correct strikes again. And no, for some reason it wouldn’t let me edit this time around.

  16. Rest in piece sir. All sheepdogs go to heaven. I hope that criminal gets the needle

    Edit thank you fir the lesson in pulling the triggee until it goes click it could save another life of a ttag reader

  17. Some people rather be put into a casket than a cage:

    You got to be prepare for those people. They are not like you. They won’t fight like you or make the same decisions. Shooting them once can make them angry like a lion.

    • I kept hopeing that helicopter was really an ac130 and i was going to heat the 40mm bofors go thum thump thump and see the car explode. Quick with that turneqet too.

    • My thoughts exactly!! WTF was this guy doing out!!!!!!??? I’m sick to death of judges making these decisions. There should be consequences for a judge who lets violent criminals back out on the street.

  18. I once read a quote from a Navy Seal in one of the gun mags that you should consider the assailant a threat until his head is separated from his body by more than 4 feet. Or words to that effect. I cannot confirm if this is true or not. Anyone with real world experience care to confirm?

  19. “Their goal is a society where only police and the military are armed”. Not really, many gun grabbers dislike cops and the military, and disarming them as much as possible (at least cops) is the next step, actually no some organizations have already been pushing this agenda for years. Their goal is a society where patriots are disarmed and thugs are armed. They believe they will not be targeted by thugs, at least not as much as the patriots, because they “do so much” for gangstas, antifa, BLM, and illegals.

  20. Glad that guy got early release on his 15 year sentence for armed robbery, but that pregnant lady from yesterday is facing 24 straight-up for defending herself after getting caught with weed years before.

    Seems legit.

    • Your comment could not come at a better time. If those two situations do not illustrate how totally fouled-up up our criminal justice system is, I don’t know what will.

  21. This is why we don’t let all these “innocent peaceful pot smokers” out of prison. Because the vast majority of people in prison aren’t people. They’re animals.

  22. I’m not prepared to comment on how this went down or who did what because we really don’t know.

    Why did Mr. Apperson only fire once? Could be a zillion reasons and many are valid. Maybe he saw something behind his target that changed his mind on a follow up or even a mag dump. No way to know.

    What we do know is this:

    You can literally do everything 100% correctly and still lose. Sometimes you’re just fucked. Accept that reality or put your guns away until you can.

    Mr. Apperson went out on his feet fighting to protect others. We can ask no more of anyone. He died well and has earned his mead horn.

    • Well put. He did what he did. We have 20-20 hindsight. Practice. Intervene when you feel you have no choice. Shoot to kill.

      • More likely he realized his revolver was mid 1800’s tech and decided not to chance firing any more rounds through such an antiquated device. At that moment he thought of his modern semi-auto and decided to retrieve it.

        As such, he got distracted and it’s the wheel gun’s fault.

        • Not recognizing the advantages that a revolver has over a semi auto is not the weapons fault. It’s operator failure. 😉

          I would like to know caliber and type of weapon.

  23. You shoot until the threat is stopped. And not one more. Gets some legal training, in addition to your shooting practice. I highly recommend Andrew Branca’s book “Law of self defense”.

    • Have you been paying attention? Even people in prison get guns. You can get a gun anywhere. Gun control is like the war on drugs. A complete and utter failure that is adding to the death toll amongst the innocent.

  24. A shame. I’d say something about having better shot placement, or like other comments, emptying the mag, but nobody ever knows how they will perform when placed under that sort of stress. I can only keep shooting targets and carrying extra mags. It may only slightly increase my odds of survival, but a slight increase is better than no increase.

  25. He forgot to keep shooting until the threat was neutralized. He was too nice or just not properly trained. What a waste and a loss.

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