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By Mark Stanovich

In my mid-twenties (I’m fast approaching my mid-forties today) I ran a pizza shop in northwest Orlando. A place called Pine Hills, but locally known as Crime Hills. Within the first six months I was robbed twice. I was working for less than $7.00 an hour to show I was a hard-charger and that I was worthy of owning my own store one day. I couldn’t afford a firearm for protection on my take home pay. I was a Navy veteran, my experience with handguns was shooting a 1911 into the water off the fan tail of my ship out in the middle of the ocean. I never missed. No one ever missed the water . . .

The owners of the store lived 80 miles away and they did in fact loan me a handgun, a Sig P230 (.380 acp), but I was terrified to lose it as it was more than a month’s pay for me. It was “safe and sound” in my apartment under my mattress during the first robbery, and in a holster at the one o’clock position on me during the 2nd robbery. With a gun in my face, it might as well have been in lunar orbit.

On August 9, 1994 around 9:30pm I was alone in the shop, my delivery driver was out on the road, the SIG P230 was on me. I was in the office when I heard the chime of the front door open. There was a one-way mirror upon which I could observe the kitchen and counter where people placed their orders, but from that vantage point a wall obstructed the front door. I was smoking a cigarette and wanted another drag before heading out to take the order of the customer who had yet to appear at the counter. Nice of him though, he was giving me time for an extra drag. Upon the completion of which he finally showed himself at the counter.

By the time I had realized he had panty hose over his head he was jumping over the counter, at which point I noticed something silver and metallic in his hand. He had not noticed the glass I was looking through. I remember noting at the time — and somewhat comically given the circumstances — that the heart-pounding slow motion effect of extreme fear like the movies portrayed was surprisingly accurate.

Unlike my two previous encounters, I had an opportunity to respond. Needless to say, I was also getting pretty f-ing tired of said encounters. The office opened out to the back prep area of the store with an adjoining archway to the kitchen. I came up to the archway, saw a figure in front of the cash register, the SIG was in my hands and I leveled it at the center of the figure. I fired once. Deafness. Wind tunnel. Ringing. Where did the trigger go? Looking down, trigger was in single action, my finger was in the space where double-action trigger would be. Looking up. Where did he go?! Gone. Why am I still standing in the open archway?!

I ran back to the office and looked out the window in time to see the robber jump back over the counter towards the front doors. I called 911. The first deputy on the scene was a K9. A baseball cap was left out front on the sidewalk. The K9 took one sniff and nearly tore his partners arm off in pursuit. About 150 yds away the dog lost the scent in a parking lot across the street where the getaway car must’ve been parked.

Some time after finishing my statement a call came in that a man fitting the description I’d given police was admitted into a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest. I followed a deputy there to ID him.

Lessons learned:

First: I was observant throughout the day. I noticed the individual I would later be shooting on two separate occasions. Once just walking with some younger kids through the parking lot, and another walking down the sidewalk in front of my store. He even opened the door as he walked by. When adding all of this up I was not overly concerned, but for some reason I locked the inner side-door next to the counter when my driver left to make a delivery. This is what kept him from appearing at the counter so soon upon entering the store. H had obviously been casing things.

Second: I needed a significant increase in caliber. He ran (I will take it on faith he did not stroll to the getaway car) 150 yds. with a gunshot wound to the chest. The little .380 (Hydra Shok) managed to penetrate no further than his ribs causing lots of discomfort to his lungs later that night, prompting the doctors to operate to remove it. What if he were in the mood to fight? He surely expended enough energy running away that he could have done so. What if he were on drugs and not felt the shot?

After that, I suddenly found the ability to quickly save enough money to buy a handgun of my own, this one in .45 ACP. A S&W 4516-2 which I still own and will never sell.

Five years would pass without any more encounters. A few of my drivers got robbed in that time, one being car-jacked (he left his CCW at the store and his car turned up the next day). Meanwhile I allowed my range time to decrease thinking the bushwhackers were going after the stagecoaches while leaving the home-fort alone.

Fact was I was no different than most of the untrained when going to the range. It was like a football analogy: 100 rounds and a cloud of smoke and I’d emerge with 30 or 40 minutes left on my hour range rental. However, I digress somewhat, I was stuck with the means of training myself. I could only afford to go to a range once or twice a month where I was beholden to the rules that most ranges have. No drawing. Guns pointed down range at all times, etc.

February 11th  1999 (Note: I have one Orlando Sentinel laminated clipping for this encounter)

The wakeup call.

I was up in the front of the store near the infamous counter talking to an employee when an 18-year-old kid jumped the counter and grabbed both of us by the shirt and pulled us away from the storefront windows. He told me to open the register. I stood, and turned my back to him so that he would not see me make my draw. It was a busy night, and things were just slowing down, which I am sure the robber was watching and waiting for.

He still held my employee. I did not see a weapon. I did not WANT to see a weapon. She was blocked out by the counter that enveloped our pizza line when I spun around. Had he pulled a knife after letting me go so he could use her as a hostage. I decided to fire as soon as I got my gun on him. I rushed getting a grip, rushed the draw, rushed the aim, but I hit him with the first and only shot I fired. He was less than 10 feet away.

But I didn’t know I’d hit him. I was focused on my gun, and my atrocious grip. I saw the webbing between my thumb and forefinger one half inch below the beavertail resulting in a harder than usual trigger pull. I might have had a 5-year hiatus between encounters but one re-occurring nightmare of mine through those interim years is the one where during an encounter, the bullet leaves the gun only with the force I apply to the trigger. Well, it sure felt as though that bullet had plopped straight to the floor like in an old cartoon.

Things would go from worse to worser when the would-be robber lunged at me under my still extended arms. Idiot I am, I was still appalled with my grip. So there I am thinking I have a fight on my hands. One hand is trying to break his grip, the other is trying to keep my gun out of his reach. But he is not trying to go for my gun. He is not trying to fight me at all.

My hearing began to come back. He was screaming, “Please don’t!” He had me in a bear hug around the waist. I couldn’t break it with one arm. Finally I felt something begin to give, it was both of us, falling to the floor hard, but it sufficed to break his death grip on me.

I got up on one knee, pointed my gun at him, and told to GTFO. He did, and then drove himself to the hospital where he would survive. I stood, my breath coming back to me, the entire left side of my cargo shorts were covered in his blood.

Wait! I have a .45 ACP and I would find out later that I had hit him in the neck. The bullet totally missed his throat, windpipe, carotid, jugular, and larynx judging from his screams. Even though I went up in caliber since the previous episode, due to the aforementioned storefront windows, I was very concerned about projecting lethality beyond the glass, so I loaded up with MagSafe Swat loads and they simply did not perform as the manufacturer claims they’re supposed to.

I was left with many things to ponder. How can I effectively train myself for these encounters? How should I equip myself? The latter was a multifaceted question since my S&W was now evidence and in police custody. Luckily I knew someone who knew someone who wanted to sell almost the same pistol. A S&W 457 was the aluminum frame version of the 4516. As for loading it, I chose MagSafes again, but this time I went with their Defender frangible rounds. I will admit that in this timeframe the FBI standards were a lot less understood and frankly many didn’t seem to take their research with too much seriousness. The lunacy of arming agents across the board with 10mm’s was still fresh in our minds.

So there I was, back pretty much where I started, with the benefit of two not so ideal experiences upon which to draw from. Yes, surviving them both was truly ideal. However, good enough being the enemy of perfection, I embarked on a complete revamping of everything I did.

I still only shot at an indoor range in a single lane with the applicable range rules that went with it. Thinking hard on the these imposed limitations, I did what I could to improve my performance. The “100 rounds and a cloud of smoke” training I did in the past was obviously not cutting it. Peppering a silhouette with 50 rounds told me nothing about my status with a handgun.

After 20 rounds I lost the ability to see where the hell my shots were appearing on the targets. Secondly I never saw bullet holes appear on my two adversaries, so why was I even looking for them on the paper? The 800-pound gorilla, though, was my perceived inability to make follow-up shots. Fact was I did not feel competent doing so. Every wanna-be and their Green Beret uncle knows about double taps, but to do it when it mattered was a real proposition for me. I took it very seriously that what my weapon fired was totally on me as to where it ended up. I potentially had customers beyond every bad guy I encountered to that point, and beyond.

I made range visits twice a week for the first few months following the second incident. I slowed myself down. I shot bullseye targets to better gauge my bullet placement and to see if I was thumbing or anticipating recoil. I only shot 50 rounds a session in 5-shot groups. I was slow but methodical. I learned trigger control, and trigger reset. I knew the axiom of 100’s of repetitions to remember, but 1000’s to be instinctive. I disciplined myself to not look at the holes I made in the target until I had shot my 5-round strings. Groups got tighter. I kept range distances to roughly 10 yards. I thought of endless scenarios while at work. Somehow I knew it was going to happen again.

I got my S&W 4516 back 14 months after the second incident, however I wouldn’t have it for long.

July 12, 2000 was a Wednesday and a fairly busy one. It was approaching 8:30 when things began to slow down. I had decided to call a friend about plans we had made for that weekend. I was next to the counter using the bank of phones next to it to make my call.

A few kids came up to the front on their bicycles, and I waved an employee to the counter to take their order. The phone to my friend’s shop was ringing. He answered, we said “hey” to each other, then a loud noise coming from the lobby of my store caught my attention.

I turned toward it. A young man of over 6 feet in height was jumping over the counter and coming towards me. A gun was in his right hand and pointed at me. He put his left hand to my throat. He yelled something I couldn’t make out.

He had me bent over backwards, I was looking down at my waistline and saw the clip of the IWB holster through the bleach holes of my shirt. I was scared he’d see it too, terrified he’d use it against me. He brought his gun down hard striking me on the head. I dropped the phone. My friend, hearing the commotion on his end and knowing what I had been through in the past and where I worked, tried to hang up and call 911. In those days for some reason you couldn’t hang up on an inbound call.

After receiving the blow to the head. I sprung up to bad guy #1’s face. To this day I do not know what prompted his response, but he turned and ran to the back prep area to subdue an employee there. I was totally left alone. A second robber, bad guy #2, was 6 feet to my left emptying the cash from the register and completely oblivious to me. What a gift. I now had two bad guys to contend with. Not so good odds. Whatever I did, the first thing I had to do was even them with absolutely no margin for error.

Bad guy #2 was still grabbing the cash and was the best candidate. I lowered my hands slowly, bringing them to the bottom of my t-shirt and with the same slow but deliberate speed, I pulled the shirt up with my left hand, made a sure grip on my S&W with my right, cleared the holster, did a left face, took a single step towards bad guy #2 who was faced now to my left, leveled the gun to the side of his head and pulled the trigger. He dropped to his right.

I took a position around the pizza counter, putting it between me and the archway that bad guy #1 should be returning through after hearing my gunshot. He did. I met him with fire. He fell to the floor. I saw an employee get out of the way of the fallen body. She looked at me wide-eyed, I gestured for her to escape through the front. She did.

I made my way to the back office seeing the other employee that bad guy #1 had gone after and I gestured for her to leave as well. I picked up the cordless phone in the office and made my way back to the archway to keep watch over the two bad guys on the floor. Puddles of blood were growing from under their bodies. As I pushed the digits, the bloody finger prints I left was the first indication to me that I was bleeding from the earlier head wound.

Bad guy #1 survived and is a quadriplegic from the wounds he sustained. He was charged with the murder of his accomplice, bad guy #2, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

That was the last night I worked in the pizza business. I was done with it. I could not go back with a bandage over half my head as it would be obvious who I was. Being a target for reprisals? No thanks.

I got my S&W 4516-2 back a little over three years later, at which point the police had it in their possession longer than I had when adding the previous 14 month stint. I still have it, but no longer carry it.

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      • That was an issue of shot placement. You could argue the .380 did it’s job, too. It ended the robbery and made the aggressor want to be anyplace other than where he was.

      • Comparing a center chest hit from a .380 to a nick of the neck from a .45 is not an appropriate comparison. I don’t know if the the .45 would have stopped the bad guy had it hit center mass, but I seriously doubt that it would have stopped at the rib cage as did the .380.

      • which is why he then went on to discuss shot placement etc 🙂 Whatever number you choose, choose it wisely.

        • As Mr. Stanovich describes there are too many variables in using a handgun for defense to make general statements. Hats off to him that he survived three encounters and the reason he survived is he used his brain and kept his wits.

          This link is a good read about documented gun use Spoiler alert; For handguns the results are about the same regardless of caliber. One of the most tragic accounts of bad luck is here Officer Coates, while wearing body armor, shot his assailant 5 times in the torso with a 357. He was killed by return fire from the assailant who used a 22.

      • I think he also mentioned having a weird load due to his concern about having a round go wild and hurting an innocent. Perfectly understandable, but there is a price to pay.

        Me? I carry an LCP because its what I can carry given the job I have, but I carry ball ammo in it because I wants cumin oomph out of that little guy, and, while I hope I never have to, if I’m in a situation where I have to pull the trigger, I hope I have the presence of mind to keep pulling it until… well, until the threat is a lump of meat, frankly.

      • @ Fleas,
        I am convinced the .45 wasn’t enough in the Feb 99 encounter predominantly due to the round I chose to load. I believe MagSafe measures it’s weight at 68 gr. I was told the bullet worked it’s way out of the entry wound when they changed the bad guys dressing and was submitted into evidence. It somehow ended up in the box my S&W was in when I picked it up from the evidence warehouse. I still have it.

  1. It’s always funny how people describe time after a life threatening or high stress event. For some it speeds up, for others it slows down. For me though, it simply ceases to exist.

    And yeah, there is no caliber that people carry that is one shot stop 100% of the time. That’s why it’s good to train to put multiple rounds in a attacker.

    • Haven’t been in a DGU but have experienced how time slows down when bringing up a pistol or shouldering a rifle.

      Also sucks to be bad guy #1, quadriplegic and 15 years prison. Would have been more merciful for him if he died there on the spot.

    • Time doesn’t exist anyway. Time is a misreading of reality. The only time that exists is RIGHT NOW. The rest is merely an illusion.

  2. You would think criminals would have learned that the pizza place in Pine Hills is where you go to permanently retire after the second DGU.

    • This was precisely my thought. In a bad neighborhood, you’d expect them to try again eventually, but I’d think it’d be more than just a little over a year later.

      Fascinating stories though, and cements my desire to not want to have to go through something like that.

      • I saw that Justice Files episode at some point prior to the July 2000 encounter. Lance’s will to never given in inspired me greatly.

  3. A solid read. Sincerely appreciate you sharing your experience(s).

    Did you receive any grief over the ‘side of the head’ threat cessation? Seems like it would be fodder for an overzealous DA. Not Monday morning quarterbacking by any stretch, just interested to know.

    Question tangential to the premise: BG#1 was charged with the murder of BG #2, even though you delivered the fatal wound? Not knowing law outside of the boob tube, my wild guess is it has something to do with the fact that he “got his partner killed by involving him in the commission of a violent crime” or some such… but I’d be curious to know the exact whys and wherefores of it.

    • Question tangential to the premise: BG#1 was charged with the murder of BG #2, even though you delivered the fatal wound?

      It’s a legal theory called Felony Murder. If you are engaged in a Felony where there is a reasonable expectation that someone may be killed, you are legally responsible for that death, even if you didn’t pull the trigger.

      I’m not a fan of such laws, but they exist.

      In this case, he brought a firearm to a robbery, hit someone over the head, and this caused the death of another person, though that person was his accomplish. That’s where the murder charge came from.

      Oddly, I actually know this particular case, but since all the details haven’t been listed I don’t want to say too much.

    • Many states have laws that provide for the charging of any and all perpetrators of crime should anyone be killed during the commission of that crime, regardless if they are good guys or bad guys. Essentially, the argument is that they enabled the killing by being involved in the crime.

    • It could have been a jurisdiction with felony murder –
      “The rule of felony murder is a legal doctrine in some common law jurisdictions that broadens the crime of murder in two ways. First, when an offender kills accidentally or without specific intent to kill in the commission of a felony, the offender can be charged with murder. Second, it makes any participant in such a felony criminally liable for any deaths that occur during or in furtherance of that felony.”

    • Felony murder laws.
      You willingly engage in a felony which has the potential to be life threatening, and somebody dies in the course of your felony commission, that equals felony murder in the first degree. Accomplices have gone down for a lot longer than 15 years after cops shot their partners.

      I don’t see why an armed robbery in which your partner gets himself killed is more worthy of punishment than an armed robbery in which your partner gets away with the money.

      I don’t have a problem with all the robbers going down for felony murder when a defender or victim is murdered. When people engage in armed robbery, they’ve already decided that they’re OK with killing you to get what they want. Therefore the line between a robber and a murderer is pretty thin to begin with.

    • If you commit a crime, and someone dies during and because of the commission of the crime, you are responsible for the death, because you caused the events which led to the death. This is the same reason why criminals go up for murder if a cop dies during a high speed chase.

      • Correct. Sometimes this is referred to as the Law of Parties, which sounds fun, but isn’t. It just means that if you’re involved in the overall crime and someone in your party kills someone else, you go down for the murder, too, as hard as the trigger man.

    • @ Dryw
      I was a victim of a forcible felony, in my place of business (castle doctrine) both of which allow for the application of deadly force.

      • Appreciate all for the clarifications re: Felony Murder above, and for the additional insight Mark.

        I assumed as much (Castle Doctrine in play), but as I have been fortunate enough not to have been involved in a DGU I figured I’d ask the question regarding potential ‘sticky points’ such as facing in the application of defensive force… and how such factors in when justified force is required. Did not intend to pry.

        The relay of your personal experience was enlightening. Again, thank you for sharing.

  4. Both times the caliber was enough. The bad guys stopped what they were trying to do and the author did not sustain serious injury. I call that successful.

  5. I hope I never have to experience even one of these events. I applaud you though, for learning from your own inadequacies and solving them rather than plod ahead in blind ignorance. I think that decision saved your life.

  6. Mark – thank you sharing all three incidents with TTAG readers. I respect your commitment to your own survival. There is much to be learned here.

  7. Thank you for sharing your experience, we need more honesty like this in the world.

  8. Thanks for the great article! I probably would have quit the business after the second robbery. The only have is whether you still carry anything? I’d also be interested if you’ve suffered any lasting effects from the head injury, PTSD or anything else…

  9. Wow, riveting read, even if it is a bummer for us .380 guys. Glad you survived every encounter, you cat like creature. Probably best to get a desk job for a while. I’m with the others, though. I’d be interested in hearing about the legal aftermath of all this.

  10. Thanks for sharing your stories. Those are interesting.

    The bullet missed his corroded artery? LOL
    Editing, TTAG, editing.

  11. Thank you for your honesty Mark. Having experienced the massive slow-down during a .357 to 12 gauge standoff, I applaud your ability to function as you did. We’re both very lucky indeed (Mr. 12 gauge dropped it halfway through my trigger pull; thank god for double action.)

  12. It was while delivering pizza that i had my first mugging attempt; after which I started carrying a gun; a Ruger .357 revolver, then I went to a Glock 30. I never had a DGU or mugging attempt after I started carrying. I no longer deliver pizza; but I still carry a gun. It’s now been seventeen years. The only time I actually drew my gun to use it was when 4 pit bulls attacked my dog while out walking. The dogs scattered as I was starting to squeeze the trigger.

    Yep; Pizza Delivery. The one job where average people get to know what it feels like to be a prey animal in the jungle; unless you start carrying a gun. Then it is obvious that the law of the jungle also is at play; that predators look for the helpless, the weak, the defenseless and the unaware. When you are none of those things; the predators usually leave you alone to look for easier prey.

    • I think you should be a bit more specific. Pizza delivery is a dangerous job, if you live in a dangerous area. Pizza guys who deliver where I live, in a retiree area of Florida, have a safe job.

      Regarding the OP’s post—I’ve been to Pine Hills. It’s horrible. I know exactly the type of people who were robbing him. He didn’t describe them, but I will. They all look like Trayvon Martin.

  13. There are 380 guys? I mean I have one 380 but if you call me a 380 guy I’ll shoot you with something bigger. 😉

    • Yeah, you don’t want them limping away from the .380 thus making their point for them

  14. I have a sig P232 and I really like how it shoots. It’s just too big for me to carry in my line of work in the summer time. Also, if I’m going to have such a large pistol it really should be a 9mm or larger. Sweet pistol but just not good enough compared to what’s available.

    Thanks for the stories. Well written and very interesting.

  15. This story made me think of the time I was a training bartender. The owner of the establishment called me in the back room where he proudly showed me a tiny 25 cal auto that he had brought in to the place for “protection”.
    He had no idea that I knew anything about guns, or had any training on how to use a firearm effectively. However, I guess he thought that now there was a firearm to be reckoned with, his place would be free of any unauthorized cash “withdrawals”.
    I’m thinking to my self that this poor excuse for a pistol is going to get me into a lot more trouble than it can get me out of!
    I also thought of the bar owner, What a nitwit, what did he think I was going to do if two or three guys came into the bar with heavy artillery, maybe even a SMG.
    I told the owner that indeed, someone were to come in and point a gun at me, I don’t think he’s going to give me permission to go back and retrieve this not much more than a cap pistol. He didn’t say much more. I never thought about the gun much any more.

  16. Thanks for your service in the Navy. Great read about first hand DGU’s most won’t admit to errors and lessons learned. More I read about other range rules it’s great my local outdoor range rules are much more lax but still safe and allow draw and fire, double tap or even a mag dump if you feel like it.

  17. Did you ever think about maybe asking the owner to install a higher counter, with obstructions every few feet so it wouldn’t be so easy to jump over?

    • With all the robbers jumping over the counter, the owner should have erected punji stakes behind the counter!

  18. Crime hills is a crappy place for a night job. I think I’m gunna have to give my drivers hollow points instead of a few bucks in tips.

  19. I worked in a gas station in a “changing neighborhood” in the 1970’s. No guns but if I had been robbed once I sure as heck wouldn’t have gone back. You are one brave guy. Very good entry.

  20. There were a few that were a bit more eloquently written (no offense, seriously), but I like this one best for the straight forward description of real experience. My first thought is what a lucky SOB, but it’s more like a lucky *prepared* SOB. I’m glad you made it. Also, screw working at a pizza place.

    • It is said that cops “put their lives on the line every day for you”. More accurately, they “put our lives on the line every day for officer safety”, because they unjustifiably kill 3-5 of their employers for every officer who dies in the line of duty, and most of the dead officers are from vehicle crashes caused by the dead officers themselves.

      But pizza drivers really do ‘put their lives on the line’. Pizza delivery is one of the top ten dangerous jobs, law enforcement is not.

    • @ 0351
      Eloquence can bring on unforeseen troubles in publicly re-telling these types of personal experience.

      • yeah, fancy oratory nice and all. But it is best used as many politicians have done in a less than literal context. Getting overly poetic about a first hand account of taking a life can feel weird and not elicit the response and empathy you might expect.

  21. Terrifying stories, but thank you for sharing. Chinese food and pizza guys get it the worst from criminals… I don’t blame you for quitting the work.

  22. Thanks for an interesting read. Its given me some things to think about.
    I liked reading your retrospective about the “100 rounds and a cloud of smoke”.
    I was recently pleased to find a new range in my neighborhood…until I discovered their rules about not drawing, and no rapid-fire, to include controlled pairs aka double taps. Then I was sad…

  23. “The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed sub-category. He’s got esprit up to here. Right now, he is preparing to carry out his third mission of the night”

  24. Good article. While I’ve always stood up for letting the delivery guys protect themselves, from now on I’ll try to refrain from griping about pizzas being too expensive as well. I’m also surprised to find that they’re not only still in business but apparently thriving with a number of locations. I’m also curious to know if there were any further incidents after Stanovich left and what the succeeding manager did about it, if anything.


  25. Sorry he had to do it, glad he could and did. Everything bad that happened was based on the decisions of the Billy Badass robbers. I hope the author feels no guilt. They decided to get shot.

  26. Dear God man, you had/survived three shootings and now you don’t carry a gun?
    Are you crazy?

  27. Brother, you’re a survivor, no matter the tool.

    IMHO, it’s your mindset and attitude for wanting to live, that even when looking back now, you may question why you did what you did at those particular moments, that helped you survive those encounters.

    IMHO, it’s your instinct for survival, you telling yourself that ‘you wanted to live, more than they wanted you dead,’ is what saved your life in all those three incidents, my man.

    Great to have you among us.

    And thank you, for sharing your personal story and possible lessons learned, with the rest of us. Definitely, everyone should familiarize themselves with the reality of lethal, dynamic encounters.

    Thank you, again.

  28. Mark buddy – I sure hope you now have found a nice, high paying job in the back of an office or away from crime hills. You have paid your dues and deserve some peace and quiet!!!!

    If that happened to me three times…my nerves would be fried.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  29. Thank you so much for sharing.

    I’m personally of the opinion that the .380 is a marginal caliber, but MagSafe and exotic ammo is also marginal. I’m glad you practiced and trained, such that it was. The real world contains restraints on training time and budgets. The sad fact is that most people only get to train on “square” ranges which don’t offer drawing, moving, and rapid fire. I continue to maintain that a partial mag dump of 3-7 rounds inside of 7 yards is a valuable skill – that also can’t be done on a square range. Rules.

    I respect your courage, calmness, and ability to evaluate your own performance and choice of tools. I’m glad that you survived without being too much worse for the wear, and were rightfully exonerated by the police investigations that ensued. May you win your next encounter as well, should you be faced again with the unfortunate need to defend yourself. I consider you a warrior.

    You are my choice for the winner. Carry on, sir.

    • “I continue to maintain that a partial mag dump of 3-7 rounds inside of 7 yards is a valuable skill – that also can’t be done on a square range. Rules. ”

      That does depend on the range. My “square range” lets people draw (once you demonstrate that you won’t sweep the other patrons because you don’t know how to do it), and they have no problem with rapid fire up to and including mag dumps. *I* don’t do them often because of budget, but that’s a different matter.

    • You are spot-on target with mag dumps. I train four to six personally. Draw from concealment and ambi-directional movement. Avoid looking for your hits. Train to dump and move/pause/assess…..then holster up. Mag dumps with movement are what I will actually do and what I want to do given a grave or lethal threat to myself/loved ones.

      This is an enormous difference from just standing and plinking for pinhole accuracy….which of course has it place.

      I have found tactical artifacts show up that I needed to train out. Ve

  30. The article at BUCKEYE where the author did a fairly good review of available data on caliber vs
    effectiveness is a worthwhile read. I spent 15 years in the knife and gun clubs of So. Central and
    E.LA. Saw a LOT of GSW’s…..we did not always learn what type of gun or caliber was used but
    anecdotally the larger the caliber involved the fewer people we saw in ER….part of that of course is
    due to the denizens of the region at that time (mid 70’s and 80’s) likely were less likely to own 45’s and
    40S&W was not yet available. But the larger the caliber the fewer victims alive to reach ER….and long
    gun victims especially 12guage were very rare.

  31. it took THAT LONG for you to get your gun(s) back? am i missing something?

    • The wheels of the justice system move at a crawl on a treadmill. Since the gun was evidence it sat on a shelf until the case was completely adjudicated. There must have been 4-5 different state attorneys I dealt with in the ensuing 3 year span after that last encounter.

      • A shining example of why not to carry/have expensive guns as self defense weapons.

  32. Damn, that was intense. Glad you got out alive, good for you for preparing the best you could.

    Worked as a pizza delivery guy b/c pay as a teacher aide sucked and the legislature stole our unemployment for the 10 weeks we were laid off every year. Dangerous, thankless job wouldn’t do that again, by choice.

    Wasn’t able to go armed b/c I worked in Chicago, in ghetto neighborhoods no less. Thanks a lot asshole bosses and machine assholes.

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