I often read that most defensive shootings occur within three yards, with three shots or less, within three seconds. As far as I can tell, this is a complete myth.
The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports lists the distance for some shootings of law enforcement officers. The stats average out to three yards or less. But not all, not even most, reports list the distance of the shooting.
Moreover, the distance listed isn’t always the initial distance the officer was shot at, but the distance at which the officer was killed. Note: this data only exists for the officers, not non-law enforcement victims of shootings, which is the vast majority of victims.
As for the other two measures –three shots in three seconds — I can find absolutely nothing to validate those numbers, especially for non-law enforcement victims. At the same time, hundreds of online videos of shootings shows far more shots taken, often over a longer period of time.
I’ve asked a FBI agent, a sheriff, and the Texas Department of Public Safety if there’s any source for the distance at which non-law enforcement victims of shootings were shot at. They’ve all told me no.
If anyone can provide distance, time and shots fired information for defensive gun uses and post it here, I’d be most appreciative. Meanwhile, you might want to re-consider your EDC’s ammo capacity.