“A couple who had just eaten dinner at Shells off Fowler Avenue were walking to their truck parked nearby, when two teens confronted them,” myfoxtampabay.com reports. “‘They literally sprinted up to the bushes to him, closing that distance very rapidly, pointing that firearm right at him,’ said Tampa Police Lt. Michael Stout.'” This is an excellent example of a concealed carrier who suddenly finds himself SOL. He’s ambushed by two bad guys, one armed. They’re pointing a gun at him. He’s got a companion’s safety to consider. The odds of retrieving a concealed firearm and successfully bringing it to bear on the bad guys are very, very low. And yet . . .
Police said Reginald Smith and Jeremiah Walker, both 17, demanded cash and their phones.
They said Smith had a gun, but he didn’t know his male victim was also armed.
“He had a concealed weapons permit and a pistol in his pocket,” said Lt. Stout.
The male victim drew his gun once. Officers said he felt their lives were in danger.
“Our female victim began to flee back towards the restaurant. As she did that, the suspect that had a firearm began to point it at her. That made her significant other believe he was going to fire,” said Lt. Stout.
Police said the man fired a shot and the victims scattered.
“The suspects fled with their money and phones, but dropped all of that and the firearm,” he said.
Smith couldn’t run and was arrested at the scene. Walker turned himself in later that night.
We don’t know the exact sequence of events. Clearly, the armed self-defender didn’t draw his gun at the onset of the attack. He waited for an opportunity to draw his firearm, perhaps a moment when the perps were distracted by the process of organizing their haul. Result!
Should you do the same: look for a chance to draw your gun in self-defense? Yes. Absolutely. There’s no guarantee that an armed robber will be satisfied with your valuables. There are thousands of cases where armed robbers shot their victims after they secured their ill-gotten gains, whether to eliminate witnesses or just because.
Whether or not you actually counter-attack during a violent altercation is another matter. Each incident is different. What if you’re with a child or several children? What if both attackers in the scenario above had been armed? What if you’re pistol-whipped, dazed and bleeding? Your odds of success will vary according to the circumstances.
Sorry tough guys, but there’s no shame in complying if that’s your best maybe even only option. Still, always plan on attacking. If you’re behind the curve, remember that things change. Quickly. Look for your chance. You just might get it. Oh, and the armed robber in this case was holding a replica gun with the orange tip removed. Wonder if our guy saw that . . . [h/t SS]