On November 21 in Atlanta, Georgia, an armed robber tried to knock over a Family Dollar store. He was wounded twice for his efforts, then arrested. He’s lucky to have survived.
Atlanta Police say the man walked into the store around 9:55 p.m., pulled a gun and demanded the contents of the store’s cash register.
As the robber was leaving the store with the cash register itself, an Atlanta Police spokesman said one of the store’s employees pulled a personal handgun and shot the suspect in the hand and thigh. Police then arrived on the scene and took the suspect into custody without any incident.
It appears that the suspect never fired a shot. This was, in part, because of good tactical judgment on the part of the defender who shot him. A robber who displays a gun doesn’t cease being a threat because he appears to be walking away. A deadly shot can be fired in a fraction of a second.
Defenders should be thinking about when to act in a defensive situation. In some situations, there are few choices. In others, you have more options. If a criminal is attempting to gain compliance, the possibility of an advantageous time or circumstance is high.
It’s difficult for criminals to keep focused on all possible threats at all times. Their attention may be diverted by an opening door. They may allow an unarmed accomplice to intervene between them and their victim. Even a glance in another direction is enough to allow a practiced individual to draw and fire.
It’s not uncommon for a suspect to focus their attention on their main object: the loot. Some have even put down their guns to better grab more cash.
In the Family Dollar store in Atlanta, the defender waited until the suspect’s hands were full with the cash register. This didn’t stop the suspect from being a threat, but it helped to make any response slow and ineffective.
Each situation will be different. Consider your options. If you decide to make a move, time it to your advantage. Thinking through possibilities before a situation occurs, playing what-if games, will give you a number of pre-considered options and make your response faster and more effective.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.