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“A ‘Good Samaritan’ shot 23-year-old Darren Lamont Evanovich outside a grocery store in Minneapolis Thursday night,” reported last Friday. “Police said they received a call saying a robber stole an elderly woman’s purse and pistol whipped her in the head. Not long after, police said they got a second call saying the alleged robber had been shot and killed in the back of Super Grand Buffet, which is located on the same block.” . . .

When police arrived on the scene, they said the “Good Samaritan” approached them and said he witnessed the robbery, chased the robber and shot him after confronting him.

The man told police he had a permit to carry a handgun and said where his gun could be found. Police said they detained the man for questioning. He has since been released.

More than a few members of our Armed Intelligentsia sent me a link to this story—for obvious reasons. Unless there’s a kidnapping or an imminent threat of death of grievous bodily harm, a “Good Samaritan” shouldn’t chase a bad guy.

For one thing, it’s extremely difficult to know the whole story: who’s doing what to whom and why they;re doing it. Trying to separate the white hats from the black hats with a gun in your hand puts you on a hiding to nowhere. One wrong decision and life as you know it will be over.

Truth be told, if your actions stimulate fresh violence, you will be held responsible for whatever happens next. As our “Good Samaritan” may soon find out, you can shoot a fleeing perp and still be guilty of murder.

If you witness a crime in progress, you should observe carefully and call 911. A fact that brought to light, later.

“I would never encourage one of my students to get themselves involved in another person’s fight,” [firearms instructor Erik Pakieser] said. “Even if they’re coming to the defense of an innocent person, I always tell my students that the actions they are about to take are going to have significant consequences. They could get shot or killed, there could be potential criminal liability, potential civil liability. You should weigh those consequences against not acting.

Not to mention the fact that you could kill an innocent bystander, or cause the death of an innocent bystander, or die. It’s better to be a good witness, help the police apprehend the perp, and let the prosecutor prosecute.

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  1. Sage advice here. One of the reasons that perps tend to bug out at the sight of an armed citizen is that they know that you aren’t coming after them. If they thought you might pursue then you are going to get into an unnecessary gunfight. Just remember he a professional and you are the amateur so in a dynamic situation he has the advantage.

    As I read Virginia self-defense law your right to defend yourself ends with the threat to your person. If the bad guy decides to run away and you choose to go after him you are now the law violator and you can expect to lose your CCW and probably be prosecuted to boot.

  2. That was rule number one when taking my CCW. You must never ever chase after a fleeing bad guy. I am kind of surprised the police let him go considering his actions.

  3. So therefore if a bad person commits a murder(s) and flees — not threatening anyone else — then no one, who may or not have the real ability to stop the murderer, should do nothing physically aggressive (chase after, shoot, etc) the bad person. OK, I understand what the law demands and in some cases it makes sense, yet there is also something wrong about it the concept.

    • It is easy to make assumptions based on appearances. In the CHL class I took, the instructor mentioned instances of citizens mistakenly taking the side of a perpetrator against an undercover cop. Oops.
      Acting on assumptions is not always the safe thing to do.

      • While generally true, in this case I don’t imagine the “good samaritan” mistook the elderly lady beating Darren Lamont’s hand with her head while she was attempting to steal his pocketbook.

        Just saying… 😉

      • And yet, the thing about undercover cops is that they tend to be dressed like criminals. Not dressing like a criminal is a pretty good way to decrease your chances of getting shot.

    • One of the problems with chasing a murderer is the fact that the police don’t know you from the perp. They see you running after someone with your pistol in hand, they will mistakenly think you’re the criminal.

    • Last year, on my block (usually a quiet safe place), a neighbor ran down and tackled a bg who robbed a jewelry store. As the robber was fleeing, he cut through a hospital, and somewhat behind him an over-weight middle-age female cop came out shouting to the men on my block to ‘stop him’ ‘stop him’!It’s now funny in retrospect.

      My neighbor could have been knifed or shot. The bg could have otherwise gotten away. The cop should not have called for others to stop the “suspect”. Should my neighbor, who tackled the bg, be held accountable for assaulting him?

      Non-professionals and vigilantes getting involved may not usually be a good idea yet for capable good citizens to hide behind or rely upon the police when other people have been victimized there is still something about this ideologically I find wrong.

  4. I think we can all agree that chasing the BG was wrong, wrong, wrong.

    Now let’s give the “Good Samaritan” a medal, or at least help him start his legal defense fund.

  5. Darren Lamont won’t be beating anymore old ladies up, the Good Sam will be getting holiday cookies and nice pie from the old lady.

    But a bad idea, could have gone the other way, and the rabid left will seize on this , note the lovely statistics and attitudes on display in the news story. Good luck finding a jury to convict, especially when pictures of the old lady with bruises is shown. If the upstanding citizen robber turned and pointed the gun then he’s actually in the clear, since the crook made a threatening move. Should be an interesting case. The civil lawsuit which will inevitably arrive will question why he didn’t just act like everyone else and refuse to get involve, or help/criminals count on apathy of the public since otherwise they might get shot by Good Sams.

    But don’t chase them down, if you must do something flatten them with your truck and hold them under the front wheel until LEO shows up.

  6. The problem is it wasn’t a good guy chasing a bad guy. It was a vigilante-minded lunatic with a CCW license chasing a bad guy. Then he probably murdered him or at least did manslaughter to him.

    How many times have we read about a cop chasing a bad guy who “turned and fired over his shoulder” or who “seemed to be reaching for a gun.” The bad guy ends up dead and he didn’t even have to have a gun, a cell phone will do just fine.

    This is the story behind many of the so-called DGUs you guys are always talking about. And this is the story behind those supposedly more-law-abiding-than-regular-folks CCW guys.

    • I don’t like your tone Mike. The guy was idiot acting on good intensions but was not acting according to the law. By the way this doesn’t even qualify as a defense gun use because the attack was over. The bad guy wasn’t a threat at the time he was shot.

    • Anyone who comes to another’s aid or has the guts to fight back against criminals can’t be a good guy, but rather a “vigilante-minded lunatic” in the warped minds of scum like mikeb and his ilk. We’ve all met people like mikeb and his kind before; they’re the kind who would grab popcorn and watch while someone gets gang-raped in the middle of Central Park. They’re the closet sociopaths who empathize more with criminals than victims. Notice, no decrying the perp who used a gun to pistol-whip the old woman.

      Notice how practically every sentence of mikeb’s “argument” is pure, unfounded speculation gathered from the depths of his own baseless bias. Truly, do gun-grabbers ever have anything besides speculation? God knows facts don’t work for them.

    • “It was a vigilante-minded lunatic with a CCW license chasing a bad guy.”

      If it was your mother getting whacked for her purse you’d thank that lunatic I bet, or you wouldn’t think he was a vigilante as much as a hero. Or maybe not.

      Let me rephrase that for you “It was a guy with a CCW license chasing a lunatic bad guy .” There, much better.

      Most of us already agreed he made a bad decision and was lucky it didn’t turn out worse for him or bystanders. I sense a certain amount of empathy for the criminals from you, correct me if I am wrong.

    • “The police are the public and the public are the police”, Robert Peel.

      If a person decides to act in the role of posse comitātūs it is a decision that person makes, they are responsable for their actions and must be prepared to accept any consequences. However I would hope that law enforcement would see such acts in the spirit they were intended and not as some form of competition.

  7. I’m going to go with this………… this dead dirt bag will not longer be able to pistol-whip any more old ladys and there will never be a next time where he may just have shot the victim rather than pistol-whip them.

    This is the only reason one should after the suspect, if equipped to do so.

  8. Another tip passed on to me from a buddy who is in a SRT, do not go outside of your home looking for a “bad guy”. This can cause legal issues for you if you shoot someone on your property or cause you being dead issues if the police respond, think you are the bad guy, & shoot you. If you think there is an intruder outside call the cops , stay inside, & let them handle it. If the bad guy(s) come in your house then do what you must. Also note in most states you may not use deadly force to protect property, so you can not just shoot a guy stealing your car or the like. In Texas you can shoot to defend property but in most states if you do this you will end up in jail

    • “so you can not just shoot a guy stealing your car”

      True in most states. But in every state, you can defend your property with nonlethal, reasonable force if you so choose. And if the BG escalates and creates a truly life-threatening situation from which you cannot escape, you may meet his escalation with deadly force.

      The situations that seem so cut-and-dried on paper are very complex in real life, and there are precious few easy answers. That is why we say “STFU and call your lawyer.”

      • Words of advice from several known LEOs on some gun boards I frequent

        Some police officers have posted to the guns boards that; “No one is your friend after a self defense shooting”.

      • I agree Ralph. What I meant was simply walking out & dumping & magazine on some guy breaking into your car. You are also correct in no chit chat with police.

  9. Great article and comments.

    I was pleasantly surprised at 1) this guy’s actions, and 2) the law’s take on it: Convenience Store Customer Shoots Robber

    Maybe it’s a Texas thing, or maybe the shooter had a stroke of luck. Or maybe he was just stupid, I don’t know. I’m pretty sure the customer hasn’t heard the last of it, particularly the debate about “preventing a robbery.”

    • Lone Star justice certainly has broad reach. In some states the crook would be filing a lawsuit against him on top of weapons and assault charges.

  10. Wow! My brother protected that woman when everyone else watched her get beat, with a gun, in the middle of the day and he gets bashed? The police in Mpls usually deal with murder, no suspects. My brother stayed. He chased the guy to give the cops a description…the guy aimed…he shot. It’s easy for you to judge sitting behind a computer…the cops can’t be everywhere…we have an obligation to protect ourselves and our fragile.

    • You’re right shasha, I also don’t believe helping someone and running after the perp is wrong. As long as the correct steps and measures are taken, such as not drawing your weapon until met with similar force and making sure the victim is safe.

      Some of the arguments here also seem to suggest that I would be looking for a fight if I went for a walk late at night, was attacked, and used deadly force when presented with equal force. One can not just stay in their house with all their guns and completely avoid the outside world. I have a conceal carry permit to allow me to legally walk where ever I want whenever I want without fear or intimidation.


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