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A customer at a Santa Ana, California restaurant, waiting in his car for his burger and fries, looked through the drive-thru window and saw a masked man with a gun walk in and demand cash. The driver then pulled a gun and opened fire on the armed robber inside.

At least one shot hits the drink machine. Next you see the man turns and he is wounded and falls to the floor.

“Tres balazos,” said witness and restaurant cook Daniel Acevedo. That translates into three bullets.

Detectives marked at least two bullet holes.

Acevedo said the shots came from the drive-thru window.

The cook said a man and two women had pulled up to order food at the same time the robber was inside. He does not believe they were together.

“Al mejor el carro quizo ayudar,” Acevedo said, believing the people in the car were trying to help, at best.

The shooter then sped off into the night. The stick-up man was hit once in the back and cops found him bleeding not far away. He was hospitalized and is expected to recover.

You make the call…did the man in the drive thru make a good decision? Was this a good defensive gun use or was he the irresponsible gun owner of the day?


This post was originally published in 2018.

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  1. 50/50. Bad guy got hit and the cops got him. But no way would I shoot through the drive through into the joint. No way to have a clear view of who else was in the line of fire.

    • “No way to have a clear view of who else was in the line of fire.”

      Yeah, but…

      Consider the shot *angle*.

      Being at a lower angle (assumption) to the assailant, a missed shot would eventually strike the ceiling.

      Not an easy call, but we weren’t there, and didn’t see the shot picture of what the armed defender in the drive-thru saw…

    • Yeah.

      Not saying its was the best action to take……but I understand.

      And no way I’d convict them of anything if I was on a jury…..based on the information I currently have at my disposal.

  2. Well, we kinda need more data than the limited amount provided.

    – The alleged robber “walked in with a gun”. Did he threaten the employee with death or bodily injury, pointing the gun at her, or did he have it at his side and allow her to view it on his person and make her own assumption?

    – Did the driver perceive the employee’s life in imminent danger at the moment he presented his own gun, thereby acting to save the employee’s life? Or did he make his own assumption and choose to intervene? Did the employee scream or otherwise communicate that she feared for her life at that moment and required immediate assistance with deadly force?

    – Did the robber know the driver was even watching? Did the robber ever present a threat to the driver?

    – Why did the driver flee the scene, if he was a Good Samaritan? Was he perhaps a rival gang member?

    – The only witness statement available was in Spanish, and with spelling errors, no less? Wut?

    • Tried the link, but that news page’s video isn’t opening for me, so I haven’t been able to see the security cam footage.

      • Same here but the utter lack of any information really affects this garbage story.

        What if the car BEHIND the guy blasting away into the drive thru window has a gun or is a cop? All they see is some guy shooting into a drive thru window. They have a serious advantage over the guy who haphazardly shooting through the window and blow them away from behind. Now the “Good Samaritan” has been shot and/or killed by another “Good Samaritan” or cop. Another BS no info TTAG story. It’s a BAD shoot that could have gotten the “Good Samaritan” killed assuming he just wasn’t trying to murder the guy in the burger joint. There’s more to come as most drive thrus have cameras that capture license plates. The cops will find the shooter based on the plates and then there might be some more info.

        • The fact that this 3+ years years ago kind of proves that this is a garbage story.

          You would think TTAG would have procured the final disposition of this shooting. From the YouTube video, a VERY bad shoot.

          “Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot.”

          “NEVER fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.”

          The possibility of a ricochet or the round that went through the window is reckless endangerment or possibly depraved indifference. If the 1st shot is 6″ lower he possibly takes out the woman. The bullet that bullet went through the window could have hit anyone.

          The armed robber was a 60 year old homeless guy so I doubt it was a gang thing. More then likely the Honda was stolen and the gun was a street gun.
          Otherwise why take off? The PD has your plates unless the car is stolen.

  3. The whole concept behind the 2nd Amendment is that sometimes citizens have to do ugly things for good reasons.

    • Can’t it be both? A robbery was foiled and nobody but the perpetrator was injured. The result was good. On the other hand, intervening in an armed robbery at a place of business by firing through a drive through window without clear sightlines is very, very stupid and irresponsible. Though for what it’s worth, I’d hesitate to call this a ‘defensive’ gun use, since the shooter inserted himself into the situation.

      • I thought about saying almost the same thing. I don’t know if ANYONE who would say this is a good idea if it was suggested to them. But it turned out well and just. Whether it was right or wrong is entirely subjective.

  4. The shooter may have been MS-13 and the restaurant may have been under their protection. Turf, ya’ know.

  5. Combat and fighting are often messy like this and don’t have absolutes that people who don’t actually do always want.
    You make your choices and live and die by them as well as those around you.
    Some days it’s better to be lucky than good.

  6. Not yet known, if the cops locate and arrest the shooter, all is bad. If he got away with it, Kudos, dude, you’re a winner! Any time someone draws a firearm planning to do crime, he should end up with new holes.

    • The cops likely could not arrest the shooter. His shooting was justified.

      The question is was his tactical response safe or risky. But without actually knowing the lay out of the drive in or the shooters skill level , we have no idea.

      • “The cops likely could not arrest the shooter. His shooting was justified.”

        I got one word for ya,

  7. I dunno. With my eyesight I’d hit the worker. Now I’m supposed get cataract surgery next week so mebbe I’d give it a shot(😏). Seriously I’d call the po-lice…

    • You’re gonna like the results…

  8. No one, from anywhere, is qualified to judge another persons decision. However, let’s review the TTAG authors article.

    ” You Make the Call: Good Defensive Gun Use or Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day?”

    Exactly what type of reply or response is being solicited (above quote); judgement or opinion?


    = ” *waiting in his car for his burger and fries, looked through the drive-thru window and saw a masked man with a gun walk in and demand cash.”

    Does the DGU\ser read lips? (demand cash). ‘this’ TTAG article does not post anyone/recording confirming this –supposed “demand for cash”.

    = ” *The stick-up man was hit once in the back …”

    What drive-thru window, within the USA, faces the indoor customers back, while said indoor customer is on the line facing a cashier?

    = Was the ‘supposed’ indoor perp –ultimately a fleeing felon? (shot in the back)

    To close-out this response,

    = “did the man in the drive thru make a good decision?” –NO–

    = “Was this a good defensive gun use” –NO–, not at this distance with obstacles, and other immediately available (indoor audio) –yet, unknown to the DGU\ser in the car.

    = “or was he the irresponsible gun owner of the day?” Too strong a label to say “the irresponsible gun owner of the day”

    Everyone could do well by learning how to mind their own business –until its time.

    Feel free to fill in the blanks.

    • “Exactly what type of reply or response is being solicited (above quote); judgement or opinion?”

      You must be new ’round here.

      The response asked for and received was a *discussion* of the events that went down…

  9. Possibly just a Californian who is sick and tired of the current “woke” movement. Was it a good shoot? Well, no, bad guy still breathing. Was it a responsible act? Well, I wasn’t on site and details seem to be missing. We can hope the bad guy will not repeat after this experience, but we all know better. As for being shot in the back, bullies usually run when confronted by someone who is tired of bullies.

  10. With ANTIFA BLM defunding and disbanding the police, and woke prosecutors persecuting the innocent, shoot, shovel and shut up is the new mantra for a righteous defensive shooting.

    How much you bet that there were dozens of witnesses who didn’t see nothing and any security camera imagery was wiped before the police arrived on scene.

  11. Good shoot or not, we’re gonna see more of this, given our current social environment.

  12. Irresponsible!. Just because you have a license to carry doesn’t make you a cop. Or maybe he didn’t have a license, who knows. Even a cop wouldn’t have just opened fire. I’m thinking it was a gang member who recognized a rival gang member and wanted to take him out.

    • Hmmm, that sounds like ‘sumpin you’d say.
      Flip side of the coin for when that wiley mama possum comes ‘round here ‘bout midnight and knocks over the garbage can making a racket, causing a fuss, and then leaving the muss as she trots off into the shadows.
      All that even after we leave out small bowl of cat food for her.

  13. I never use the drive through; not at the bank, not at the pharmacy, and not for food. If the only option is drive through, I drive away. I like to get out of the car, talk face- to -face and eat at a table. And if someone pulls a gun and threatens harm, I want a clear shot.

    Drive-through: a way to burn fewer calories while purchasing additional calories. Yup, for the infirm and disabled drive-through are great. But me, I like to move.

  14. I fail to see the problem. Bad guy down, good guy wont get prosecuted and lose everything he has on attorney fees. No innocents hurt. It was the best possible outcome (except the robber lived).
    Sometimes we have to make a decision and dont have time to consult lawyers or armchair experts.

  15. It was a good shoot.
    COULD it have gone wrong? Yes. DID it? No.
    We don’t know what the shooter saw at from his angle and how competent he is. So this should definitely serve as a lesson and you should be careful where you send lead, but all that ends well is well.
    Also, good thing he didn’t mess with the Commiefornia “justice” system. They don’t like god guys with a gun.

  16. The life of everyone at the scene of an armed robbery is in imminent danger. That justifies using deadly force without warning. The only question that remains is whether the shooter had a clear line of fire with a safe backstop. Having used drive through windows occasionally, I would think not. However, I drive cars that are low to the ground. Somebody in the seat of a jacked up pickup might have a better view.

  17. In Maryland the legal thing to do is watch the robber kill the employee. As a result, I would watch her and any other poor soles die. However, this does not change the fact that I still want my fast food order in a timely manner.

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