Defensive Gun Use of the Day: The Only Thing That Stops a Bad Guy with a Box Cutter Slashing his Mother’s Throat Is a Good Guy with a Gun.

I wish we didn’t live in a world where people try to slash their mother’s throat – or any of the other heinous, violent things people do to each other. But we do. “Victoria Mendez was driving home from work around 10:30 Sunday night when she saw her estranged son standing near the corner of 50th Drive and Windrose, just down the street from her house on the northern Glendale-Phoenix border,” reports. “‘I rolled my passenger window down and I said, ‘Hey Hakeem [Shawky, above], what’s up? How are you doing?’ she explained. ‘And he popped his head into my window and he says, ‘I just want to give you a kiss, mama.’ . . .

Mendez said as she leaned toward her son – whom she hadn’t seen in about three months because of his drug addiction – he pulled out a box cutter.

“And then he proceeded to get into the car and started stabbing me and slashing at my throat, telling me that he was going to kill me,” Mendez said through her tears. “He grabbed within the wound itself that he had created with his bare hands and he started pulling at my esophagus.”

As Mendez fought for her life and screamed for help, she said a neighbor came to her rescue.

A Mom demanding action? Cut that out! I mean, stop that right now! No. Someone armed with a – gasp! – gun.

He (neighbor) said, ‘Stop or I’m going to shoot,'” she recalled. “He (Shawky) wouldn’t stop. He (neighbor) shot him once. It didn’t even phase him, he (Shawky) was so high on drugs. And the second shot I heard, he (Shawky) went down and I was no longer being cut.”

And her son was no more. Is the world a better place as a result? I know most of our readers would reply with an emphatic yes, but I don’t think that’s the right question to ask. I’d ask was innocent life preserved? Yes. Yes it was. With a gun. [h/t ShootingTheBull410]


  1. avatar Rokurota says:

    That is a seriously messed up meth head. I’m sad his mom had to go through that.

    I don’t celebrate when bad guys get capped. But when Bloomberg can guarantee this crap will never happen, then we can talk about giving up our tools of self-defense.

    Ha, just kidding. Not even then…

    1. avatar James says:

      Are you kidding? Bloomberg and his mommies just added this drug addict mom slasher to their list of victims of gun violence.

    2. avatar Davis Thompson says:

      Right, of course. A world without guns is a world where the old and weak are victimized at will by the young and strong.

  2. avatar Chrispy says:

    The violence in the world never ceases to amaze me. This was a seriously deranged attack.

  3. avatar JoeVK says:

    He…reached into the wound to try to pull stuff out? Ew. Seriously messed up. People will probably argue that he didn’t deserve to be killed because he was high and didn’t know what he was doing, but IMO, he knew what he was doing when he got high, so he killed himself. Suicide by good samaritan.

  4. avatar AllAmerican says:

    Damn. Good thing that guy was there to put that scum down.

  5. avatar Tripwire says:

    Sight picture! first shot should have ended it

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      The good Samaritan may not have had a line at the central nervous system without the possibility of also striking the mother — especially if the attacker was constantly moving around.

      It is one thing to hit a bulls eye on a stationary paper target. It is an entirely different matter to deliver a shot to the central nervous system of highly agitated attacker in the midst of an attack on an innocent person.

      Of course central nervous system shots stop an attacker right now. Just keep in mind that you can put about six rounds into the torso of an attacker within 2 seconds from a semi-auto pistol (assuming the attacker is just a few feet away) and those six hits are going to stop any attacker almost immediately … quite possibly faster than waiting several seconds for the perfect central nervous system shot.

      Caveat: when I referred to six hits I was assuming all hits to the upper central torso area from high performance bullets out of 9mm/.38 Special and larger calibers.

      1. avatar JJ48 says:

        “Just keep in mind that you can put about six rounds into the torso of an attacker within 2 seconds from a semi-auto pistol (assuming the attacker is just a few feet away) and those six hits are going to stop any attacker almost immediately”

        While this is likely, I’m not sure you could claim it as definite, depending on how you’re defining “almost immediately”. In the CCW course I took, I remember watching about Trooper Coates, who was murdered during a routine traffic stop. After the guy started attacking him, Trooper Coates fired six rounds of .357 Magnum at point-blank, with five of them hitting center-of-mass, and the guy still held on long enough to get in some more shots on the trooper, who ultimately succumbed to his wounds.

        The moral of the story is to keep shooting until the threat is neutralized or you run out of ammunition. There is no guarantee of one-shot, one-kill.

    2. avatar Sovereign says:

      Not true. Meth heads when there high feel hardly any pain so if the first shot did not hit the central nervous system, then it doesn’t surprise me that he was still going. The second shot probably hit his spine or brain and therefore shutting everything down.

    3. avatar Swarf says:

      Woah! We got a badass here!

    4. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “Sight picture! first shot should have ended it”

      Every. Single. Time. Apparently, we can’t a DGU story without nonsense like this.

      There’s fantasy land and then there’s the real world. Guess which one that comment belongs to. Hint: It ain’t realistic.

      For further study: Real gunfights in the real world.

      1. avatar Gatha58 says:

        Very true. Check out the 6 second rule. Basically, most people that are shot, unless in the head/brain area, will stay alive and keep doing damage for about 6 seconds before they stop. One of the main reason that we are taught double taps in the CoM and then head shots IF the perp keeps coming towards us. A person can do a LOT of damage in their last 6 seconds.

    5. avatar AllAmerican says:

      Doesn’t work like that in real life there, guy. Especially when all hopped up on meth.

    6. avatar Stinkeye says:

      Why don’t you write up an article about all the one-shot stops you’ve managed in your obviously lengthy history of defensive gun uses? I’m sure TTAG would publish it, and it would help educate all the poor slobs like Ms. Mendez’s neighbor who, like the rank-ass amateurs they are, have to use two bullets to put down a homicidal drug addict.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I got a nickel says the first shot was CoM, when that had zero effect he went to head shot. Would love to know the shooter’s background, came to a neighbor’s defense late at night, stayed calm, escalated force swiftly but under control, who was this guy, Batman?

  6. avatar Cicero Smith says:

    What a terrible situation all around. Don’t use drugs, kids.

  7. avatar John L. says:

    Very sad … Two things no parent should ever have to experience.

    But we must live in the world as it is, not as we wish it to be, and at the end it sounds as though the correct person lived.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      “we must live in the world as it is, not as we wish it to be”

      That should be posted as a “Disclaimer” on every single anti-gun website or posted article.

      That’s it in a nutshell. We can wish bad things or bad people away, but that does not make it happen.

      Or, as I have often told my children: “Wish in one hand, poop in the other. See which fills up faster.” Interestingly, they repeat it now themselves.

  8. avatar Curtis in IL says:

    No word on whether or not the shooter took the compulsory training, paid an exorbitant fee and waited 90 days for government to mail a special card authorizing permission to carry one of the guns on the “approved firearms” list …

    Wait. This is Arizona. God bless Arizona!

    1. avatar styrgwillidar says:

      Yeah, if it were California she’d be dead and we wouldn’t be contemplating the use of lethal force in defense of another.

  9. avatar Shire-man says:

    You mean he wasnt visiting his mom for step 8 just trying to turn his life around?

  10. avatar BIG AL says:

    Saved us all a bunch of money.

  11. avatar Art out West says:

    “Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be long…”

    Hakeem-Shawky’s days were not long, and the world is better off without him.

    1. avatar Former Water Walker says:

      I’m with you Art…hell is a good place for him.

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      Great 5 minute videos for each commandment.
      Useful for kids AND parents with parents.

  12. avatar 33AD says:

    I’m surprised that a liberal, armed with good intentions and social programs didn’t arrive first.

    1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

      Or even the police.

      Or, that the Mom did not just pee on herself to make him stop.

    2. avatar lasttoknow says:

      this is why we should learn/train to “shoot to wound”. even if the BG continued to attack his mother, a shot to the hand, or the kneecap would have ended the fight, and we could have the son evaluated by trained mental health and drug abuse professionals. might have learned something form the son that would be valuable in persuading other people not to act out like that.

      sad day when killing a bad guy is preferable to rehabilitation.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        The shooter would most definitely have done that, I have it on good authority, but the only available unicorn in the area was unavailable to transport the drug-crazed killer, despite many attempts to contact it by rainbow phone. Perhaps you could contribute your own unicorn, as you troll your way on out of here. Your input is juvenile, I assume you are as well. Go upstairs and ask Mommy for a grilled cheese, and grow up.

      2. avatar JR_in_NC says:

        This is joke, right? Am I missing some sarcasm in your post?

        In case not:

        This nonsense belies a GROSS misapprehension of the dynamics of real life-and-death struggles.

        Shooting to wound:

        (a) Could ‘miss’ and still kill him

        (b) Wounding targets like extremities are smaller and moving around a lot; more likely to miss and injure/kill an innocent party

        (c) Many people don’t stop immediately from a MORTAL gun shot; see the ’86 Miami FBI shootout.

        Or perhaps consider one I worked. The armed thug that got shot SIX TIMES and all (but maybe one) showed to mortal injuries at autopsy.

        Point is, he was “Dead on his feet” (5 or 6 times over) get kept aiming his own weapon at the ‘good guy with a gun.’

        (d) See the above post about a mortal gunshot taking an AVERAGE of six seconds to incapacitate someone; that’s a lot of damage potential for a deadly shot. Now…compound that about 1000 fold for a “wounded” person.

        (e) Many people don’t stop until they ARE STOPPED. Sometimes wounding someone will do it; often it won’t. Too often it won’t.

        (f) There are many, many more reasons why “shooting to wound” is bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad, bad advice.

        Shoot to stop the “imminent threat of death or severe bodily injury.” That often means killing the person.

        Your advice in this case very likely would have gotten that woman killed by her attacker.

        1. avatar JR_in_NC says:

          “Shoot to stop the “imminent threat of death or severe bodily injury.” That often means killing the person. “

          To clarify:

          Intent is to stop the threat as quickly as possible.

          The kinds of shot placement that stops the threat as quickly as possible is also the kind of shot placement with a high likelihood of causing death.

  13. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    Quote from a ‘Matt Helm’ book:

    “If there’s one thing there is no shortage of in this world, it’s people. If some of them can’t behave themselves we’re better off without them.”

    The young man made his choices for whatever reason. Including attacking his unarmed mother. I think it is very, very, sad but- did she deserve to be killed? No.

    Would I rather the young man had lived and gotten his life together? Yes.

  14. avatar foo dog says:

    Tragic. If the gun-grabbers would spend 1/2 of the time and money they spend on fake campaigns,
    on drug and mental health education, and effective legislation for treatment facilities and training for LEOs, to refer per state laws to get the users help,
    then we would see fewer of these stories.

    THAT is the lesson of Rodgers, Loughner, and Lanza, per mental health pros and social workers.

  15. avatar Patrick says:


  16. avatar Amfivena says:

    I hope the shooter doesn’t get sued by the mother…

  17. avatar Hello World says:

    Totally disagree. A box cutter cuts cardboard, a metal box would suffice. Box cutters do a lousy job cutting through metal.

  18. avatar George in VA says:

    The kind of story that doesn’t make headlines but maybe should. Awful for the Mom. Good on the shooter.

  19. avatar Gatha58 says:

    Wonder if she will sue the shooter after she cools off and heals? After all, he was just a poor misunderstood drug addict, right?

    1. avatar LarryinTX says:

      I don’t mind her suing someone, as long as her statement begins with “he was killing me, this man saved my life”.

  20. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Is there a support link or something for the people involved?

    I feel like there should be as a kind of standard thing to do: to extend the care of aiding someone in a horrible situation, by doing a horrible, but needful thing, to helping them deal with the fact of that horror and whatever else. We should maybe have a standing “DGU surviviors’ support network” the rest of us could fund, and hope we never need ourselves. I’d kick in. (Much like the idea of a standing “gun grabbing nonsense legal fund”, there for the people who get caught up in the nonsense.)

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