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Colt Mk IV

“Ruben Kendrick had just stepped out of the bathroom of a Citizens Bank in Warren [MI] when he was confronted with a bank robber pointing a gun in his face,” reports. “Moments later, Kendrick, 60, was able to draw a pistol of his own – and he emptied the gun as the suspect tried to flee, authorities said.” As scandalous as that may sound to those who recoil at the thought of recoil – firing wantonly at a bad guy’s back! – authorities are providing new details of the robbery which put Mr. Kendrick’s actions in perspective. . .

The teller asked [the bank robber] to have a seat. But instead of waiting, Mann took out a semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at her, according to the complaint.

Kendrick was standing near the counter when Mann then trained the gun on him. He told Kendrick to step behind the counter with three other bank employees.

But Kendrick said that he couldn’t. Mann then grabbed him by the back of the neck and pushed him to one side of the counter, the complaint said.

Mann then demanded that he be given “all the (expletive) money,” with no hidden dye packs, according to the complaint.

Students of armed self-defense note: the more aggression a bad guy displays in the commission of a crime, the more likely he is to use his weapon. When bank robber Mann grabbed bank employee Kendrick, it was a signal that a “simple” robbery could get very, very bloody. That’s without considering the robber’s body language, word choice or tone of voice. The fact that Mann knew about dye packs also indicated it wasn’t his first rodeo.

Indeed it wasn’t. casually tosses in the fact that Mann “has a violent criminal history, having been convicted of second-degree murder and assault/bodily harm less than murder in 1989.” Not that Kendrick or anyone one else knew that at the time, but again, subconscious cues. And retroactive props.

Employees handed [Mann] the cash, but Kendrick looked over his shoulder and put a round in the chamber of his concealed Smith & Wesson M&P Shield 9 mm, which could hold eight rounds, according to Fouts and Warren Police. He had a license to carry a concealed weapon, Fouts said.

Then Kendrick opened fire. He emptied the rounds, hitting the robber three times – once in each arm, and once in a leg. Another shot smashed the glass of a bank’s window.

Mann never returned fire, though his Colt Mark IV was found to be loaded.

Moments later, Mann staggered out of the bank and fell. Of the $11,000 or so he dropped, about $2,000 is still missing, Fouts said.

Click here to read Ralph’s review of the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield in 9mm. The gun comes complete with two magazines: 7- and 8-rounders. According to this report, Mann didn’t keep one in the pipe. (Not ideal: chambering a round takes time, makes noise and limits capacity).

Anyway, assuming Kendrick shot at Mann seven times (using the seven-round mag), he achieved a 42 percent hit ratio in the middle of an armed robbery. That’s nothing to sneeze at.

Kendrick’s adversary was carrying a Colt Mark IV semi-automatic pistol, either a Series 70 or Series 80 model. (Colt stopped manufacturing the Model 70 in 1983 to make the gun drop-safe, then reintroduced it in 2003) Like all “standard” 1911’s, the Mark IV accepts seven-round magazines. Although Mann might have kept a round chambered, we’re still talking approximate like-vs.-like capacity wise. Yes but . . .

Mann’s gun was a .45, Kendrick’s a 9mm. You can debate caliber efficacy until the cows come home, but I know which gun I’d rather carry. Do carry. That said, the firearm wasn’t the determining factor of the outcome of this confrontation, was it? Truth be told, it hardly ever is.

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  1. Yes, the way I read that it appears that a man with a second degree murder conviction was able to get a MI carry permit.

  2. I wonder how far away the robber was, that Kendrick only managed to hit him in the arms and leg, with no body hits. Maybe it was a really big bank?? You think the bank will charge him to fix the window?

  3. Not to coin a phrase, as RF likes to say, but here goes:

    “A gun fired is more effective than a gun pointed.”

    Feel free to use it.

    • It’s my understanding that you can only use a firearm for defense. Point a gun at someone and they defend with a gun. But shooting at someone running away isn’t the best idea of “self defense”

      • A good practice, to be sure, but not necessarily the whole story. In Washington State, for example, you can use deadly force against someone in the commission of a felony – e.g., a bank robbery.

      • I would suggest that shooting at someone running away who has or may have a gun is no different from shooting at them as they stand in front of you. Are they running away or running for cover? I know that I’m not interested in finding out which one is right.

    • From Michigan’s Self Defense Act.

      Deadly force is allowed if:

      “(a) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.

      (b) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent sexual assault of himself or herself or of another individual.”

      It leads to the question of what constitutes imminent. If you witness a robber shoot someone and then attempt to flee with the gun, can you assume they will shoot someone else if not stopped? I don’t know if this is covered by the law but I doubt you would be prosecuted for shooting a fleeing murderer.

      This guy shot a fleeing man who had credibly threatened murder during the commission of a bank robbery. Again, I don’t know if his actions were strictly allowed under Michigan law or not, but it seems unlikely he will be charged.

      “The shooting is under investigation, but it appears Kendrick was justified in his actions, said Fouts (the mayor), who added that he was still awaiting a conclusion from authorities.”

        • ^ This!

          If the bank robber dropped his gun and then sprinted for the door, that might be a different story.

          If the person still has their firearm in hand after expressing their intent to use it and they are within about 100 yards for a handgun or about 600 yards (give or take) for a rifle, they are still a deadly threat.

        • I couldn’t find a reference to how the perp retreated, he could have either turned and ran or backed away, or turned sideways leaving a ballistic option open…we don’t know. Even in a turned and ran scenario, the perp may have done so well after Kendrick started shooting. But I don’t think any primers were struck after Mann started running away. I’m going to assume that this wasn’t a shooting in the back.

    • You’ve got to love the condition 1 dogmatists. Here we have a story about someone who wins a gunfight carrying in condition 3, and the take away is condition 1 is the only way to go.

  4. Unless you have a .460 Rowland or a 10mm, the ballistic difference between most good self-defense .9mm, .40 or .45ACP is minimal.

    In the end, it’s all about shot placement.

  5. So morale of the story.. Hit three times with a 9mm in three of his four apendages and still manages to make it outside.. Meaning he got hit 3 times and is still potentially in the fight.

    3 hits with a .45 and he’s flopping on the ground like fish out of water..
    But…. If he could only hit 3:7 with a 9mm, he likely would have wiffed a lot more and maybe only get one hit with the recoil difference of .45.
    So the 9mm vs. .45 to me is all in training. If you carry more than you practice, carry a 9mm. You will increase your chance of hits under stress and lower chances of hitting by standards. If you practice enough to double tap a .45 accurately, bigger holes stop bad guys faster.
    That’s what I get from this story.

    • You could have hit the guy with 45 in the exact same spots and the result would have been pretty much the same. You really need to learn more about terminal ballistics of the big 3 defensive calibers, and what it reliably takes to stop someone.

    • “3 hits with a .45 and he’s flopping on the ground like fish out of water.”
      Exactly. Because his arms and legs would be completely blown off!

      • What difference if his arms and legs are blown off or disabled so he cannot function. Either way is a win for the Bank and the employees. Not necessary to blow things off to get someone to stop. Which is really the goal, I think. Not to kill him or blow his limbs off. In the long run it might be better for Society to be rid of this bad guy but that is not the decision to be made by the shooter at that point in time. The goal of a defensive action is always to stop the attack.

      • I know you’re joking, Curtis in IL. Astonishingly, there are people who know about guns (and so should know better) who don’t.

        Seriously, people, thinking a hit (or a few) from a .45 automatically equals incapacitation is nothing more than magical thinking.

    • Yeah, except no.

      There are quite a few documented cases of people being hit with .45 multiple times and … still in the fight.

      One of my favorites is Jerod Restin’s first gunfight. He found out he got in a gunfight when he was shot in the JAW … with a .45.

      Restin went on to receive numerous other wounds in that firefight. He won it, but only when he managed to get the muzzle of his own weapon directly on the attackers head and rapid fire three quick shots…contact woulds to the head, of which autopsy revealed only one was ‘fatal.’

      So much for your theory, eh?

      Real world handgun terminal ballistics trump Geezer Science every single time. I’m not convinced banking your life on some sort of nonsense that the gun you carry is ‘magic’ in some way is the most rational, tactically sound decision making.

    • Unless you hit a vital, they are walking out. Time needs to pass before they can bleed out enough to stop. Caliber doesn’t change that.

      • One suburban cop by the name of Tim Gramins now carries 145 rounds of 9mm ammunition on his person on the job, as he says, “every day, without fail.” That is because he survived an encounter with an attacker that would not go down, even though he was shot 14 times with .45 ACP — six of those hits in supposedly fatal locations. Gramins had to fire 33 times to get those 14 hits. And even then his attacker survived the ambulance ride.

        • 145 rounds of 9mm – That’s roughly 3.8 pounds of ammo, in addition to the weight of the gun and 8 or 9 magazines.

          I hope he’s in good shape. It’s gotta slow him down a bit when he’s chasing a perp on foot.

    • Depends on the 9 and 45 you are using. A 1911 has relatively benign recoil. More of a push than a snap. A subcompact plastic fantastic can be quite snappy. It takes a heavyweight nine like a Hi Power or M-9 to beat a 1911 on recoil.

    • That’s the way I look at it. These caliber wars are tedious. The good guys won this round, and without losing anyone in the process. Unalloyed win.

  6. Whoa there cowboy ! Is no one asking what happened to the 2 grand that is missing ? The gunfight is inside the bank. The bad guy drops just outside the bank. 2 grand goes missing ? hmmm…. lol … small town huh !!!

  7. This is the part that I chuckle at. We know exactly what happened. It’s over and done with. But here comes the…

    “If he’d had a different caliber..”

    “3 hits out of 7, he needs to practice…”

    “If this or that had been different he’d been screwed….” Is this a cheesy Star Trek episode? We gonna sling shot around the sun and change history?

    Good guy won, bad guy lost. Arm chair quarterbacks gotta BS.

  8. Three hits to three extremities, more than likely fired rapidly. Had Kendrick been using a .45 I’d imagine that his 3:7 ratio would have been a little lower. Had those been body hits I’m almost certain that Mann would experienced four hits, three to the back and one as he hit the floor. Assuming (yeah, I know) that Kendrick uses a .45 and gets only one or two body shots I’m skeptical as to the overall difference. Long story short, I’ll take lighter recoil and higher hit percentages over larger wound cavity and higher kinetic energy transfer. I don’t see a huge difference between 9mm to the heart or liver and a .45 ACP. I’ll take the capacity and higher hit rate any day of the week and I’ve owned both enough to know what works for me, but like Siris said, do what works for you.

  9. “Fouts also said the situation ended “pretty good,” and he was glad no one else was seriously hurt. He said that Kendrick may have saved other people from harm, but added: “We don’t want vigilante justice.””
    What an idiotic thing to say. He should have left off his last sentence. How is stopping a bank robber vigilante justice?

    • Well for one it makes the cops look bad, if we all took the law into our own hands why would we need to pay a group to do it for us?

      Sadly and more likely I think that’s a legal thing, so some tool doesn’t try and sue the PD when they empty a magazine into a kid for destroying a mail box “Well that guy shot that bank robber and the cops were cool about it”. Or when someone doing the right thing hurts someone with a stray “What do you mean I’m on my own?”

    • Agreed. This is the sort of pontification that makes me seethe at cops.

      Where were the cops? Not in the bank. That’s all we need to know about the cops. They weren’t on the scene when the turds hit the turbine blades. As a result, they’re just MMQB’ing along with everyone else. Since we taxpayers are paying their salaries, they should STFU, write up their little reports, and be on their way.

  10. Funny looking at the title here. Leads you to believe there is a contest proving which weapon to be superior. But, as someone already pointed out; shots fired and hitting their target do more than no shots fired – regardless of the caliber.
    Now I had a buddy who is a DEA agent. He said the bad guys laugh at the 9mm. Said he would not carry anything less than a .40cal. I took that to heart and do the same. You can argue there is not much difference between the 9 and the .40, but it is enough. As to the .45cal. You will get no argument from me as to it’s capabilities. It just has a tendency to be a little much for some people.
    As for all the other discussion here about whether Kendrick was justified by law, about his “hit” ratio, is his employer going to stand behind him (not fire him), etc…until you find yourself in such a situation you cannot know how you will act. I know a lot of commentators on here will say, “I’d a shot ’em”, but you do not know. Kendrick acted out of a combination of emotions; fear, anger, concern, adrenalin pumping. The fact that he was able to get his weapon unholstered, get a round in the chamber, aim the weapon (as best he could), and empty his magazine and hit the bad guy 3 times, all without the bad guy getting a shot off…hooray for him.

    • .40, but it is enough. As to the .45cal. You will get no argument from me as to it’s capabilities. It just has a tendency to be a little much for some people.

      I would disagree, as I think would most. The .45 ACP is typically easier and softer shooting than the .40 S&W. The reason to use the .40 over the .45, though, is magazine capacity.

      I, too, like the .40 round.

  11. Three out of eight, even if they were only peripheral hits, is better than the NYPD. I suspect he fired as quickly as possible without conscious thought about sight picture.

    I once read an account by Jeff Cooper about an incident that looked like it would turn into a gunfight. He related reminding himself about trigger control and focusing on the front sight as he got ready to defend himself.

    • “Three out of eight, even if they were only peripheral hits, is better than”

      Not having a gun to fight back and being slaughtered in the back room by a guy who probably has a long history of violence (as this guy DID have).

      Really…I don’t get all why all the caliber war stuff pops up in these stories (not saying YOU did that, your comment just struck a chord).

  12. The thing that saddens me most about this story is that my community presently lacks this degree of vibrancy. It’s like 90% white, so that’s obviously the problem. It’ll be OK soon enough. Diversity being our strength, and all that.

  13. Honestly this degenerated into a caliber war? The point is he shot the bastard. I like calibers starting with 4-but then I can easily control it. Work out more…

  14. Nice victory over your own title, RF. Shadowboxing? 😉 Glad he got away with not having a round in chamber but not a good idea.

  15. Mayor Fouts, reckoned by more than a small crowd to be a few fries short of a Happy Meal, also said “He apparently exercised some caution by not shooting the robber in a vital area.” (As if our hero wasn’t aiming for – or at least attempting to hit – center mass…)

  16. “Not ideal: chambering a round takes time, makes noise and limits capacity”

    In my mind the biggest reason to keep a round chambered is it avoids a failure mode – a jam when jacking the slide to chamber the first round. That is a big opportunity for failure and clearing a jam at that point would be a BIG problem.

  17. The man, had a gun in his hand. Whether or not he was facing the CHL holder is irrelevant. What if the suspect was running to find cover, so that he could return fire? Until the suspect left the building and all the individuals in the bank were safe and locked down, I would be the world’s most efficient lead factory.


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