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Reader Ben W. writes:

I share this story that happened a few days ago to an acquaintance of mine who lives a few blocks away from me. It’s a perfect example of why, regardless of what your personal beliefs or political opinion is, your personal protection is 100% your responsibility. Last Sunday, at roughly 4:00 pm in a relatively nice neighborhood in Savannah, Georgia, two men walking down the street began to open fire on the neighborhood. They just casually strolled down the street, shooting at houses and yards, until they had their fill and left . . .

No one was hurt or killed. They most likely were a couple of gang bangers trying to cause a distraction for a separate crime, (that’s my guess) or possibly a couple of true psychopaths getting ready to conduct a bigger show.

Anyway, my acquaintance, who was home at this time, was obviously scared and called the police while this was going on. The police got there a good 10 minutes after the dudes had bailed. The response: one cop in a squad car (not pictured above). He got out and casually strolled around, and started picking up spent brass with his bare hands.

My acquaintance went out to talk to him and asked, “Shouldn’t you be wearing gloves?” The cop said, “Oh, uh yeah, I guess I should, huh?”

A couple more cops arrived and they don’t understand why my friend is shaken up and scared. They went with him into his house and began to get very testy with him, and started to question him. They seemed to be rather irritated that they were called, and didn’t think the situation was a big deal.

He eventually asked them to leave, multiple times, and they finally did. Nothing else happened afterwards. It didn’t even make the local TV news. As far as I know, these guys are still on the loose, brazen enough to light up a neighborhood on a Sunday afternoon. That’s reason enough pack heat, always, everywhere.

So, as has been repeated many times here on TTAG, the antis will scream about how we “don’t need guns, we have the police to protect us.” In reality, no one is going to protect you. It’s primarily your responsibility. Get a gun, learn, train, carry it always, and then buy some more guns. Be ready to defend yourself from anything, because the police are simply the clean-up crew.

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  1. I’ve been saying the same thing for a long time. I respect what the police do. I do not begrudge them for the job and limitations that they have. I however will never allow myself to be in a situation where I will require someone that is 30 minutes away to save me. I’ll protect my family. You just send the coroner.

    • If the article is true, I don’t respect this police response in the slightest. There are police who do good work. I’ll respect them.

    • You respect the cops for sloppily cleaning up a crime scene and not giving a shit about solving the crime itself?

      • More like the Paula Dean restaurant. And T-Sex, maybe you should brush up on your reading skills.

        • Heh. The unintentional humor of that post is that statistically Bob will be more likely to be protecting himself from the police more than so-called “bad guys”, ergo, the cops will not be saving him in 30 minutes. They’ll be stopping the paramedics from saving him as he bleeds out, for officer safety.

        • Bob, that means the coroner will be removing your corpse after the cops are done invading your home.

    • From the picture, it looks like some of the cops on the Savannah-Chatham police force need to stay out of the donut shops. However, if they must frequent those places rather than patrol the streets, then at least keep their radios on.

  2. Once told a jury “This is the first case I’ve ever had where the police showed up while the fight was going on. I think there was a donut shop next door!”
    OTOH, when home invades were scared off by my dog when only my two teenagers were home, the cops were there in 3 minutes.

  3. I suppose that’s why they’re the bravest and not the finest. Hostile stupidity is often confused for bravery. Or are they the finest? That makes it even funnier.

    • Great, call the cops to report a shooting and they turn you into a person of suspicion and start hassling you.

      I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the cops sat in their car to give the perps plenty of time to get away (because they are cowards). I’ve seen first-hand accounts of cops doing just that to avoid any confrontation.

      Now, once they respond to a situation where clearly there are no dangerous criminals around, that’s when they get all testy and hostile and start escalating things until they hopefully get a chance to beat on some helpless innocent citizen.

      Sorry, but there are very many coward cops like this.

      • ” I’ve seen first-hand accounts of cops doing just that to avoid any confrontation.”

        Please post them and their links.

      • First hand account would be a police officer stating “Yeah, we sat there until the BG was sure to be gone, then rolled in with our clipboards ready.”
        I don’t think you meant that.

  4. There it is.

    Any honest street cop will tell you they have no “duty” or ethical mandate to protect you or save you. We’re on our own out here. The ten-minute response time is about average.

    That is kind of an odd situation, though; I’m not sure what an appropriate response would be, short of simply blowing them away on the spot. They present a lethal threat to everyone in the neighborhood, so there’s that. No cops in sight and no telling if or when they’ll show up. Don’t wanna rush up to them with my Glock or even a shotgun; I guess I’d have to take them out with a rifle but also expect to get immediately arrested and jailed and prosecuted by the “law enforcement” establishment.

    • I had the same thought about how to respond … and the same thought that it would be extremely perilous from a legal standpoint. How would investigators be able to determine that your response was righteous self-defense and not an attack on two pedestrians out for a walk?

      • Exactly. What to do, what to do. Watch and observe and hope like hell they don’t hit anybody and that the cops show up real soon? Or take them out immediately so they won’t hurt anybody? If you do nothing, someone among your neighbors could get hurt or killed. If you blow them away, you’re likely going to jail. Or at least getting arrested on the spot; the cops showing up will mos def be good for that, shows they’re actually doing something now. Like picking up the empty brass on the street, setting up the yellow tape, etc. Janitors with guns, in other words.

      • “How would investigators be able to determine that your response was righteous self-defense and not an attack on two pedestrians out for a walk?”

        I would guess the fact that the two deceased had guns on them and the spent shell casings all over the place from those guns would go a long way towards showing you did the right thing.

        That wasn’t a serious question was it?

        • My question was extremely serious.

          If you were to intervene quickly, there would not be shell casings and bullet holes all over the place.

          And even waiting to intervene until after they shoot into several cars/buildings, how would the police establish that they shot first? Perhaps I shot at them first and they fired back in self defense and hit the wrong cars/buildings in their confusion/panic. And who is to say that investigators will find any of their bullets? Finding a .357 inch diameter hole in a neighborhood is like finding a needle in a haystack. Finally, remember deputy dog who arrived on scene and started picking up brass immediately without recording the location of every piece. Once the cops start disturbing evidence, who knows what conclusion they will draw.

          Without video of their activity before you light them up, this seems incredibly precarious to me. I don’t want my fate to rest on the hands of police properly processing the evidence and drawing the correct conclusions.

        • Uncommon, Don’t think any armed homeowners would have thought to respond until they heard some shots fired. So, there likely would have been some bullet holes and shell casings when the cops showed up.

      • Would the police believe the pedestrians fired their guns first or believe that the pedestrians fired in self-defense?

        If the shooters got away, would someone shooting at them from their house be arrested for shooting within city limits?

        There would not have been brass in the street if they used a revolver. The only evidence would be your recently fired gun.

        • …and the criminal’s recently-fired revolver with empty brass in the cylinder, and the bullets that they fired into houses and cars, and the fresh gunshot residue on their hands…

          Plenty of evidence on that scene, revolver or not.

        • Simple answer buy rubber bullets. Aim to knock out and not kill. Then when cops arrive you have two men going to jail, no one died, and they will think twice before coming down your road again because next time there might be real bullets.

      • Well the spent brass at their dead feet should be enough proof. If they survive and leave, the cops won’t be there to do anything anyway.

    • Hard decision. If they fired the gun in your direction it is certainly ok for you to shoot back. That is a credible threat. If it was celebratory gun fire or shooting up property not near enough for you to be in the line of Fire that migh be different. I don’t know. I think an average, prudent person who sees somebody randomly walking down the street and shooting would say that person is intending to kill or do serous bodily harm to the residents of that street. They also have the opportunity ( the loaded gun). And the threat is immediate as soon as they pull the trigger. The questions would be so you have a duty to retreat? Here in Texas its hell no. Also would a prudent person think they are a credible immediate deadly threat to others , say your neighbors kids? And would you be justified in using force to protect them? Would you be able to live with yourself if you did not and they shot a baby or an pregnant mother ? I know here in my city . Houston Tx. It is pretty safe to say that shooting that person ( assuming a city street not a country area ) would likely be considered justified from the info you have shared. UNLESS they where shooting only at vacant houses that could easily be identified as such( then their intent was likely vandalism or criminal mischief ). But if they aimed and fired at an occupied house then prolly so.
      I suppose if you had cover for you and the family you could get behind that, use verbal commands to tell them to stop and drop weapons. If they presented a threat then a shot would be justified( at least here ). I certainly would try to find cover if possible before I stated trying to shoot at them. But if no cover is available for you and your family immediate action might be needed

        • Or for most folks, their iPhone video cam.

          And for cripes sake, hold the damn thing sideways and NOT vertically!

    • Observe and report, observations should be conducted from cover, preferably with a rifle w/ optic, and several normal capacity magazines. I would also use a rifle that I was willing to leave in police custody…..indefinitely. Really, unless you see someone iminately in danger, it would be a tough call to pull the trigger. Yes yes, every bullet could kill someone, but every bullet of yours has a lawyer on it, and I would not want to be tied up in litigation and out hundreds of thousands of dollars over an event that solved itself, i.e. The gang bangers left and wood putty and new windows were all that was required. It is also not your duty to “save” the neighborhood, especially at the cost of your freedom and retirement. Police think the same way.

    • Yeah, first thought, they’re a brazen and obviously lethal threat to everyone in the area so I should grab my rifle and shut them down in the street with no warning.

      Then I think about having to explain two headshotted goons in the street and the media crapstorm that would follow and I think, well, maybe not.

      • You posted the same thing in the linked article’s website. You’re either a troll or a gun owner who doesn’t care at all about other folks’ perceptions of gun owners. First of all it makes us look trigger happy. Secondly it perpetuates suppressors’ already shaky stereotype.

        • Justified shooting in self defense would make us look trigger happy? And doing it quietly without causing more disturbance would be a bad thing? Wow. Okay then.

    • actually this sounds pretty simple from a legal standpoint if your main concern is not violating the law. Guys walking down the street shooting into cars does not present the level of “imminent threat to life” that is required for a lethal response. Now, some jurisdictions have a threat the property clause which might protect you, but it’s dicey at best.

      That said, the first round that comes whipping through your window or changes things and you can respond more agressively. Of course you need to make sure you shots don’t miss and go into a neighbor’s house.

      • The problem I see with the “first round” line of reasoning is that it doesn’t look like a sustained fire situation. So these guys take a shot at the house at 123 Willow, then 124 Willow, then 125 Willow, then MY house. So, I fire back. Now, the prosecutor tells the jury that a simple straight-line extrapolation of this pattern points to 127 Willow as the next target. The threat to ME has passed; my pretext for self-defense expired.
        What did I know of the situation prevailing at 127 Willow at the time? That my neighbor customarily suns herself on the front porch? Or, she takes a nap? Or, I don’t have any idea what she does at this time-of-day. Pretty weak defense-of-others argument.

    • Hell, the cops don’t or shouldn’t have to tell you. The reason people are so outrages and amazed is that they don’t bother to keep up with what is impacting their lives and their children’s.

      The SUPREME COURT has ruled that the cops have no constitutional “duty” to protect anybody. If anybody doesn’t believe it: JUST GOOGLE IT!! It is law!

      Forget what they told you in elementary school: the police are not your friends. Unless they happen to feel like it.

  5. I’ll repeat a story I have told before. I was a PO and got a call if robbery in progress. Knew it was legit because we could listen to it live on the air. Took us less than a minute to get there running code 3. Robbers got the money and were gone before we got there. Never caught them. As fast as we were, we still could not be there in time. Luckily, no one was injured physically.

  6. Damn, three of those people need to stop patrolling the Crispy cream place, the woman couldn’t get out of her car fast enough to save her own ass, and that’s a lot of ass.

    • I’m 59 years old, and I’d bet the ranch none of those officers could catch me in a foot chase.

  7. Heard a sheriff speaking on tv just this week. Average time on job of police officer in US is 18 months. Kojak ain’t gonna show up when you call 911.

  8. Somebody asked how would they know they where not two pedestrians out for a walk? Well they where pedestrians. Just happened to also be active shooters. But the cops would find brass and bullets. Plus they would likely have “ear witness” accounts of shots fired if not electronic detection and 911 recordings if you left the phone open and called before you acted

    • First cop on scene was policing brass, otherwise known as destroying evidence, what makes you think any brass was going to be entered into evidence? Just as likely the guns would disappear after the cops arrived, your story is clearly a lie, off to prison. You still have to shoot them, because it’s the right thing to do for your family and your neighbors. But know that you are betting against the house that you will be treated fairly.

  9. The anti’s will disagree. They will say that the bangers got their weapons in the parking lot of a gun show and this is reason to require national registration.

    • Except they would say it was an unregistered full auto machine pistol with 100 round clips stolen from a knuckle dragging life member of the NRA who never reported the theft.

    • They were sweet gentle aspiring rappers about to turn their lives around. Some racist red neck gun owner shot them with an AR-15 machine gun with special black ammunition, an over capacity magazine and a cop killing silencer.

  10. Even if the Police can reliably show up in 2 minutes after being called, in most legit self-defense situations, that’s about 1:57 seconds too late.

    And that’s assuming they immediately engage the criminal (and do the right thing) when they show up.

    And what is the realistic likelihood that Police could show up ANYWHERE 2 minutes after a call to 911. Even if you’re next door.

    I think most Anti’s don’t even realize that the job of the Police is not to protect you. It’s to arrest criminals

  11. The reality is that most beat cops are more disgruntled than union plumbers and significantly less skilled at their craft. It is a lot easier and safer to show up and write a report, than it is to show up and risk intervening. Any one with an idyllic view of policing has never been a cop. Most show up, do the job, and go home, just like any trade. One reason society is asked to fawn all over police and call them heroes is because the establishment would be out of luck if everyone realized how thankless and crappy the job really is. Sometimes they accidentally do heroic things, most of the time they are expected to fail, so they do. People get what they expect, and the police go home safe.

  12. I call BS. 2 shooters walking around a neighberhood randomly shooting the place up? First response to active shooters 1 patrol cop and not a swat team?

    If this story was true bloomberg and shannon would be all over it. Headlines would be calling for more gun laws to make our cities safer.

    • It does not fit their agenda. Guys who are already criminals, breaking laws that already exist. They want to make you and I criminals for doing nothing but attempting to be self reliant in our own self defense. Have you ever been to savannah? Story sounds reasonably legit. Replace savannah with any number of other cities and I bet this happens regularly with no national attention.

    • The media doesnt post 1/10th of all DGU’s reported and none of the DGU’s as a rule when no shots are fired… the above is somehow disbeleived because of what again?

    • This sounds like the type of neighborhood where the residents almost uniformly hate the police (and where someone shooting is not that unusual). The police probably don’t want to arrive too early because they might have to stop someone ‘jaywalking’ who matches the description and then they’ll face federal investigation.

      • That reminds me of East Chicago, Indiana where I used to work. Years ago (don’t know if it’s the same now) there used to be a lot of after-hours drinking and gambling (and other activities) on the business strip in East Chicago. Whenever there was a fight or shooting, the cops would stage themselves on either end, wait for the disturbance to die down, then go in after it was all over.

    • You’re funny. I was shot at in Savannah Ga. We called the cops. They strolled up 10 minutes later. They didn’t do shit.

    • The story is, unfortunately, 100% accurate. I was there at the time and witnessed the entire thing, including the bumbling police response. When I called an officer over to make a report he actually said to me, “well it wasn’t that big of a deal, no one got hit” He said he was going to send another officer to take a report. And no one ever came to take my statement, even though I commented to the first officer that I had seen a car full of people leaving the scene. We are in serious trouble here in Savannah. We need outside help!!

      • Be careful what you wish for.

        Unfortunately this is probably something we will see more of in coming years; the police (and I was once one, back in the Neolithic), really don’t have much interest anymore in actually helping people or responding to serious incidents. They now operate largely on the Low Hanging Fruit Theory of Law Enforcement, which means pulling out all the stops to bust people for stupid misdemeanors and avoid, if possible, any serious and/or violent criminal activity. For that you gotta call SWAT. And if there aren’t enough calls like that, well, you have to start sending SWAT to collect overdue library fines and jack organic farmers up for their carrots. Plus the training sucks now even worse than when I was on that gig.

        The wife here regularly runs into veteran police officers during her own gig, traveling around the country, and they tell her that departments have a lot of young kids not long out of the academies and they’re hiring recent combat vets from the Sandbox (with hair-trigger responses out on the street for some odd reason) and now immigrants from south of the Rio Grande.

        Anyway, long story short; the honest ones will tell you they have no duty to protect or help us and that we’re on our own out here. I guess my response to that particular incident in Savannah would be to dial 911, keep the phone open, and report the situation. If the perps are firing into houses and yards and rounds are all over the landscape, I would simply have to put them down and take the legal and media consequences. It would be a crap shoot; I’m likely to end up being crucified for my action, but there have been cases where the civilian shooter has skated and the cops and DA have said straight up that it was a legit shoot. This one is pretty tricky, though.

  13. It’s much easier and makes more money for the government to pull over and ticket minor traffic violations and arrest “drunk” drivers who have done no damage to anyone’s person or property than to track down and arrest dangerous criminals. Simple math.

  14. We constantly hear the police say ” we need you , the citizens , to help us ” but many times the dispatcher or responding Pd. is full of attitude. ” we are the pro’s ” ” How could YOU know anything ” I called in an smoke alarm sounding on my block , on a nasty rainy night , cop sounded pissed when responding, turns out the building next door had a frozen busted pipe & the house was heavily damaged, but hey ,what do I know.– Lose the ATTITUDE

  15. This is the same dept that John Galletta from the infamous Iron Clad Armory is from. I have actually called that dept. on the phone a few occasions. They strike me as being totally incompetent, so none of these comes as any surprise.

    • If this was intended as a diversion, it apparently didn’t work.

      Further, it would appear that (in Savanna) nothing short of carpet bombing a NASCAR event or vandalising a doughnut shop would require a diversion.

  16. I received the exact same reaction back in 1991 in East Palo Alto when I’d call the cops about gunfire a couple blocks away. Because I could tell the difference between a 12ga, 9mm and .22, I got grilled to the ‘n’th degree by the responding officers. Finally decided “Quit being stupid and calling the cops.”

    All part of why I now detest cops. Detest paying for them, detest their legal powers without accountability, seriously wish that we’d dissolve every PD in the country and return to only elected sheriffs and deputies of same.

    And yea, I’m increasingly white of hair and I could outrun at least three of the five depicted above, and probably win a hand-to-hand confrontation with four of the five. It appears their PT standards to go with the IQ requirements.

  17. As a native Savannahian I can offer this for your consideration: St. Patrick’s Day. It’s a HUGE deal in Savannah. This year the partiers arrived on the 13th and went until late Tuesday. The general atmosphere is hard to explain to anyone who has not been to Savannah on SPD. Businesses shut down. Roads close. Three years ago it took me hours to get out of a parking deck and back to my parents’ house (usually a ten minute drive) because of SPD traffic. A ten minute response on SPD weekend is pretty damn good.

  18. Any one who thinks that cops are here to protect you and yours is nuttz,
    They are reactive and not very good even at that most time.
    You are responsible for your own protection.
    Take of business if needed, and wait for the cops to come later maybe……or don’t.

    • It could be worse.

      I know one guy on the ‘net who goes by ‘Fuzzy Pink Bunny Slippers’.

  19. too few Sam Vimes and too many Nobb’s and Colon’s out there. ( No disrespect meant to Corporal Nobbs and Sargent Colon.) ‘Slow down boys or the fight will still be going when you get there. Better to stroll along at the coppers pace and put the boot to the survivors. Enquiries are proceeding.’

  20. it would be great if we could ship all of the gang bangers to Zionsville, IN and just bide our time for the haters to have their road to damascus conversion. . . . . .

    • Well, the gang bangers hood has been slowly moving in that direction. The intersection of West I465 and I70 has been getting more interesting.

  21. Notice how they put the two blips far away from the camera. They still take up half the frame.

  22. “Relatively nice neighborhood in Savannah”, no such thing in my experience. The whole city is one big lousy gang land with cops who couldn’t flunk an IQ test.

  23. I lived in Savannah for 5 years, and my family still does. There is quite a bit of crime. The police Dept isnot that great. I was actually part of a group that was shot at by a group of ghetto boys. We called the cops…. they showed up 10 to 15 min later and the one cop said “they shouldn’t be doing that around here” and they eventually just strolled off, not even asking us questions about the suspects. Unreal.

  24. So after this experience of his, he should now be prepared with a 12ga shotgun, loaded with dragons breath specialty rounds and have it on hand to ambush the bastards next time they come around!
    The cops will be so stumped as to what happened, or even the identities of these extra crispy gangsters with no bullet holes in them, that they may just call animal control for disposal in order to avoid doing their job again.
    Do not take my word for it!

  25. I would not take a cop’s job, no matter the money. I can see some butt holes shooting up the neighborhood as well. Thing is, out here in the county, a lot of us are armed. We don’t have fancy stuff, a pistol, revolver, maybe. My four neighbors and I have 12 gauge shotguns and a plan. The plan is to kill anybody that messes with us. Firearm control advocates think banning firearms will stop the killing/violence by those that are inclined to commit killings and violence. My personal opinion is, stop those that are inclined to commit killings and violence, with a firearm or anything else you can get your hands on.

  26. At least these crooks in Georgia had the decency not to immolate a baby with a flashbang grenade.

  27. I live in the city of Detroit. Here the police routinely don’t show up, unless you’re the mayor, a council person, or a millionaire.

  28. Sounds like a case for a scoped AR with a 30-Caliber-Magazine-Clip that none of us supposedly need. If you are going to respond, you had better be absolutely certain of your neighbors response after the fact or have a recording of the gunmen’s activities. Preferably both.

    On that note, does anybody want to take a stab at how fast the police would have arrived if somebody had ventilated the two gunman?

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