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 Bullet hole (courtesy

“An attempted car theft in a quiet neighborhood Tuesday morning turned into a Wild West shootout when an off-duty River Rouge police officer exchanged gunfire with two groups of robbers,” reports jumping the metaphorical shark with their over-used, poorly chosen, Hollywood-based metaphor. “The off-duty officer, a sergeant with the River Rouge Police Department, received a call from a neighbor that several men were attempting to steal the officer’s vehicle . . . The officer armed himself, grabbed his police identification and went out to investigate . . .

The officer, whose name hasn’t been released, found his vehicle three blocks away and confronted three men who were stripping it. He arrested one while the other two fled the scene.

“A few minutes later, the pair, now armed with guns, returned in a vehicle and demanded the release of their accomplice,” [Sgt. Mike Woody of the Detroit Police Department] said. “After an argument, one of the suspects pointed a gun at the sergeant. The officer opened fire and the gunfight was on from there.”

“The situation grew even more dangerous when a second vehicle pulled up and engaged in the gunfight as well.

“They were working in teams apparently,” Woody said. “The sergeant was fighting off two cars. During the exchange, the arrested subjected jumped into one of the vehicles and they all fled the scene.”

According to Woody, the River Rouge officer was not injured in the exchange and it is unknown if any of the suspects were wounded.

If you live in New York, where the SAFE Act forbids gun owners from owning “high-capacity” magazines or, indeed, loading more than seven rounds in a magazine, this has got to be worrying. On the positive side, the NY AG’s recently released field guide to the SAFE Act tells officers they can’t inspect a magazine to check for the number of cartridges loaded without probable cause. Whew!

The rest of us would be well advised to carry a gun with greater rather than fewer bullets. And a spare mag. As TTAG reader Dirk Diggler does when he hits his hometown, sensibly enough.

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  1. Carrying forward with the Wild West meme. I guess this outlaws learned not to tangle with Wyatt Earp.

    Every since the Navy Yard shooting and Nairobi mall terrorist attack I never go to a public place with less than twenty two rounds of ammo on my person (2 8 rounders and the standard 6 when I take the Nano to the mall.)

  2. Why does the media have to portray this as a “Wild West” shootout? I am sick of hearing this phrase when it comes to any DGU or when it’s applied by anti-s when talking about gun free zones. I guarantee modern day Detriot and its local environs are much more dangerous than the “Wild West”.

    • Because the media sells papers/advertisements via sensationalism. And the public believes that the O.K. Corral shootout was normal during the expansion of the west. Because a simple “shootout” is not inflammatory enough. Remember, the job of the media these days IS NOT to report the news, IT IS to SELL you something. Radio, TV and newspapers are all in the promotion business either to promote their favorite cause or political agenda or to sell you something including their toilet paper. They all trying to get your attention — to SELL you something.

      • Yep. Exactly. Exactly!

        Besides, a Wild West shootout has a much better ring to it than just another episode of the constant gang violence that afflicts a failed city.

  3. We have all heard the anecdote about the TX Ranger who was asked if he as carrying his sidearm because he expected trouble and he retorts no that if he was expecting trouble he would have his rifle. If one is so inclined as to chase thieves from the scene of the crime I would say you should expect trouble and arm yourself accordingly.

    In this case I would observe that perhaps the officer should have exercised the same thought process before leaving his house. Note this is an observation rather than a criticism. When you gotta go you go with what you have… just one more reason to make sure what you have meets the needs of the moment.

    • Good points, but he perhaps be didn’t have an AR with several 30 round mags or a Mossberg 930 with buckshot and slugs ready to go. Not that *I* have that stuff, mind you, but he might not have.

      • Ha what kind of crazy people would we be if we staged weapons ready to be used in defense of ourselves and our castle? 😀

      • I have been asked by friends that I allow to see some of my collection “Why are all those ‘assault rifles’ loaded?”. I ask them if an emergency occurred, do you want a fighting chance, or a bunch of expensive clubs. Once they understand that emergencies can happen in seconds, they usually change their tune.

  4. It was a slow news day. . . . . Don’t worry – they will find something to latch on to tomorrow when the former mayor (Kwame Kilpatrick) is sentenced. . . . .

    And not all of Detroit is bad. But, like any major city, there clearly are parts I wouldn’t go to without armed escort. . . . .

    Anyhow – I always carry one spare mag but when I go home, I carry two or more. Just saying . . . . .

    • I understand that there was a Second Amendment march today in Lansing … did you attend?

      I know you are not a Michigan resident but why not help spread the message for your home town?

  5. And if this man was not a police officer (even off duty) he would be sitting in jail now…

    Mere peons would not be allowed to tool up and go investigate (or as the prosecution would state – “initiate”) the confrontation…

    • ^ This

      Carrying a shotgun or AR around looking for your car may get the police there looking for YOU instead. It really is sad but I could see that going much worse.

    • This is where antis and pros are farthest apart. You, me and most pro2A feel it’s your right to “tool up”, go out and investigate the theft of your property. The antis, who are by nature statists, do not. They want you to cower in your home and call the police. Who will certainly not get there in time to do anything. Tis far better to for you to be dependant on the idea of police protection (provided by the governement) After all, it’s only property and you have insurance. Otherwise, by tooling up you risk the “O.K. Corrall” scenario mentioned in the article.

      Nothing is worth fighting for and all you have to do is surrender your safety and property to the State, that’s what it’s all about. Control. Now turn in your guns cowboy and join the sheep.

      • Until the sh1t lands on the antis’ doorstep; then they are clueless as to why the coppers haven’t shown up yet and what to do about it.

        The antis give definition to ‘at your mercy’.

        • What’s really revealing is that if it happened to one them, they’re so entrenched in the anti gun dogma, they still wouldn’t get it.

    • Not so much the case in Detroit. Lots of DGU’s in this area. So much that you rarely hear about it. About a year ago a CCW holder put down an armed robber at a Coney Island restaurant with 7 well placed .40 S&W rounds after the robber had already shot the owner (who wasn’t seriously injured). There were several customers and employers in the restaurant and he may have prevented a massacre. Didn’t make it past the local news.

    • How do you manage that honking handle?

      I have the 3.8 compact XDm, and I only carry the compact configuration (which still gives me 14 rounds). At my usual 3-4:00 IWB, the full-size grip gets in the way whenever I sit down, and unless I wear a loose overshirt (and sometimes even then) it prints like crazy.

      I guess I could just find a way to carry one of the full-size mags as a spare — 19 rounds of backup wouldn’t be a bad thing.

      • I open carry. However, I don’t have much of a problem concealing it with my go-to concealed carry holster for all my handguns: the galco “stow n go”. I also have the 3.8 inch. It prints just a little. Bending or squatting down to pick something off the ground is uncomfortable but other than that I can forget it’s there.

        • Ah, open carry. I thought that might be it.

          I could do that where I live, but I’m not that brave. Inevitably some ninny is going to call the cops, and I don’t want to deal with that. Even if the police are cool about it, it still would take away time that both the police and I could put to better use. So for me, cc it is.

          I might experiment with a more aggressive forward cant in the ol’ Kholster IWB rig. I really wouldn’t mind carrying more bullets around.

  6. Curious as i read article. Did officer call in requesting backup. I heard nothing mentioned of such. Did officer call it in at all before approaching situation. It went from vehicle being broken into to two blocks away being stripped.

    • He probably did. But he was in Detroit. There is no police response in Detroit until someone is dead or wounded. They do not respond at all to burglary or personal property theft. Citizens are asked to file a report. It is doubtful that the report will be investigated. Because of Detroit’s financial woes, its police force has been shrinking (I think it is down to one-third of its authorized strength) while the crime rate has steadily risen.

  7. I couldnt agree more with an above poster, had this not be an LEO, I could only imagine the slew of charges and the media firestorm of a subject trying to defend their property with :gasp: a gun.

    • Anywhere other than Detroit and it would be that way.. but since it was Detroit, the only reason it was news at all was because there was an LEO involved.. Without an LEO, it have been just business as usual and as such, not even worthy of a footnote on page 10 😀

  8. Capacity and reload times are perhaps the biggest reasons i’m looking to change over from a wheel gun to an automatic, finances permitting.

  9. I understand the urge to be critical about his actions or choice of weapon but in his situation I would have wasted no time and grabbed what I had as well. The longer you wait the further they could be and calling the police department isn’t exactly a lightning fast affair. I’m always wearing my pistol so I probably would have lit out of that house like my a$$ was on fire looking for my car. I can call the cops WHILE I’m looking.

    Remember, When seconds count the police can be there LONG after your car is in pieces and the bad guys are gone. How high on the dispatch priority list is a car theft in a wonderful violence free mecca like Detroit?

    P.S. And I, the lowly citizen, would have probably HIT ONE OF THEM(and gone to jail).

  10. For me, my property is not worth my life. Someone steals my car… I’d be pissed, but I’m not gonna chase them down and engage in a fire fight. The risk just isn’t worth the reward.

    • I’m with you on this one; I’m no hero. Having your car stolen sucks, but firefights suck much more. When it comes to protecting things as opposed to people, I’ll settle for a fully loaded insurance policy.

    • Agreed, but remember this started with an arrest. The bad guys then withdrew and redeployed with reinforcements.

      • Fair enough, but I’m also not a cop, so I’m sure my citizen’s arrest would’ve been even less effective.

    • Material possessions are not worth the risk of death or post DGU legal proceedings to me. No wife or kids here, so I’ll stay put while the cops deal with Joe the tv snatcher downstairs.

      I am, however, greatly comforted that some free states go above and beyond to make a DGU in these less critical situations legally sound, like Texas. I would never confront a thief stealing power tools out of my own or my neighbor’s back yard shed, but it’s a relief knowing the law would be on my side if I did.

    • True. I carry insurance on everything of value to me. I’ve been shot at in the distant past and I would just as soon save the OK corral stuff for a real life and death. Protect myself and my loved ones. Junk can be replaced.

    • Just hide under your bed. There is nothing worth fighting for is there. Has America produced a generation of cowards unwilling to stand up for what’s right? I don’t go to the mailbox without my .45. It should be the duty and right of all Americans to be armed at all times. Watch how quickly these scumbags change their ways when being confronted by an armed populous instead of the cowardly victim class cowering under their beds. You make me sick.

  11. There are several things about this story that are very disturbing. First, there wasn’t one thief who stole the car and drove it to a chop shop , rather there were three and they just drove it a few blocks away and were stripping it in view of the whole wide world. And then–or perhaps it was just a phone call for back up–another car full of punks arrives and assists in taking an arrestee out of police custody. Unbelievable. These guys have no fear.

  12. Gangstas and a cop slinging lead at each other is a recipe for shot dogs, wounded bystanders and shattered windows. Fortunately, no bad guys were injured during the making of this bad joke.

  13. Superman syndrome. Gun and badge does not make it right to go solo all the time,esp over a vehicle. Oh and in detroit.

  14. An attempted car theft in a quiet neighborhood Tuesday morning turned into a Wild West shootout

    They only say that because it sounds stupid to say “Detroit turned into Detroit.”

  15. Gee I wonder how it would have turned out if a few LEGALLY ARMED NEIGHBORS joined in and let the bast..ds have it? Oh but we can’t have that then the neighbors would get arrested for firing a firearm in public.Golly,too bad.

  16. First up, please steal my car, the insurance company sure thinks it’s worth more than I could possibly sell it for. It’s pure macho crap to go out hunting your stolen ride. It’s generally a financial boon to have it stolen, why would you want it back?

    Second, packing a rifle around looking for a stolen car and then actually shooting someone is apt to be tried as murder, definitely not worth it.

    Third, a gun fight over property is a bad call in general. Lose and you’re dead, win and you might go to prison. Definitely not a wise idea to get that involved in a property crime.

    Fourth, this is sort of a loony situation, 3 original suspects, 2 of which return to the scene to fight for the release of the third and then they’re joined by a second car load, all in the course of a single incident? Move out of that neighborhood, it’s insane there! That is Hollywood level gangland stuff going on, the likelihood of that happening has to be in the billions to one. It’s not a reason to carry more weapon or more ammo, it’s an avoidable situation that is also so rare as to be statistically insignificant. If you’re thinking you need an AR-15 for a given situation you have identified a situation that you need to avoid. Two carloads of armed guys are more dangerous than a single rifle, every day, all day.

    Lastly the reason for carrying a spare mag is that the single most likely cause of failure in a pistol is mag related feed problems. A spare mag corrects this and lack of one may leave the pistol useless. It’s not because you might stumble into an ally with 27 ninjas all armed with Uzis. Mean while back in the real world. . .

    • Yes…there is this. We tend to lose all sense of proportion with these things sometimes.

      The only caveat I’d enter (emptor?) is that defending property may also mean defending your home itself and the people and things in it. In that case, someone has brought the fight to you, and that’s a different animal entirely.

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