How to deal with store robbery as a 3rd party CCW

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by ChronoCube, May 26, 2010.

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  1. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Member

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    I was going over this scenario in my head. Suppose you are in a convenience store one night and legally carrying a concealed handgun. Where you are, it is legal to use lethal force in defense of self and others.

    There are a few other patrons in the store, and a clerk at the checkout counter. One man armed with a handgun comes in, points the gun at the clerk, and demands the money.

    If you see this while in the store, how should you react? You and the robber are equally armed.

    After drawing your weapon (assume that is legal) you can do one of three things:

    1) Open fire on the robber immediately, since he is clearly threatening the clerk.
    2) Aim your weapon at the robber and say "get out of here or I'll shoot!"
    3) Stay out of sight with gun drawn in case the robber tries to eliminate witnesses, and maybe call the police.

    #2 exposes you to the risk of them opening fire on you first. But #1 and #3 might present risks of their own:
    #1 Suppose the robber reflexively pulls the trigger when he is hit, and he kills the clerk. Could you be blamed for triggering his death?
    #3 They take the money and leave, and no one gets hurt. But you are caught on video as being armed. Could you be blamed for being armed but not doing anything to stop it? Could you be suspected as an accomplice for the same reason?

    By "blamed" I mean being charged under some law that requires you to assist those in need, or sued by the clerk or his family.

    Are these realistic concerns? How would you act in this situation?
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  2. JellyJar

    JellyJar Member

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    Too many "what ifs" to say exactly what you should do. However, I boil it all down to three general things...

    #1 Don't get shot yourself!!!

    #2 Don't shoot an innocent person!!!!!!!!

    #3 Do what ever else is best for you and everybody else given the circumstances!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  3. hammerklavier

    hammerklavier Member

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    Unless you are police officer, you should not act to stop a robbery. If you own the business, then it's your call. If you think someone is going to get killed then you can choose to be a hero and prevent it. Otherwise, try to lay low, be ready to go for your gun if necessary, and be a good witness.

    I think the one exception would be if you think you can stop the robbery without anyone getting hurt. Telling the robber to leave does not secure his weapon. To open fire on him is to endanger yourself and the other people in the store.
     
  4. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Are you going to wait until he points it at you, so you have to draw and fire when he has the advantage? I don't think so.

    You are either going to draw and retreat, or draw and shoot. Draw and "make threats" doesn't sound like a wise option - you may get the clerk or yourself shot.
     
  5. Warhawk83

    Warhawk83 Member

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    I can't say that I would shoot, but I definitely wouldn't draw and warn the guy.
     
  6. rbohm

    rbohm Member

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    the first question you have to ask is;

    can you call the cops without drawing attention to yourself?

    next,

    is the clerks life in real danger?(many criminals use the gun for intimidation purposes only)

    next,

    can you draw your weapon and reposition yourself to prevent hitting the clerk if it becomes necessary to shoot?

    and lastly,

    are you willing to shoot another person, even a criminal?(you would be surprised at how many people would honestly answer no).
     
  7. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    If the perp's back was to me, and if I had a clean shot angle, I'd be very tempted to draw, approach slowly, and without saying a word of warning, turn off his computer.

    I'm expecting you guys to educate me on why this is a really bad idea.

    Les
     
  8. Bill_G

    Bill_G Member

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    Quote: Unless you are police officer, you should not act to stop a robbery.

    +1.

    My snub nose is there for me and my Family's protection. i am not a LEO. if I get shot and disabled.....who will provide the paycheck for my family? does that sound selfish? who will pay for my possible $100,000 medical bills?

    the owner? LOL

    the other customers? LOL.
     
  9. shockwave

    shockwave Member

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    If you want to discuss this, consider how Travis Bickle handled this exact situation:

    Taxi Driver: Convenience Story Robbery.
     
  10. c919

    c919 Member

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    Ok, well are you absolutely positive that the robber won't shoot if you just stay put and don't draw?

    My gun is only for protection of me and my own as well, and I'd consider being caught up in an armed robbery would be a pretty good time to protect myself if necessary. Which means that I had better be prepared to do so should he point his firearm at me. Action beats reaction every time.
     
  11. ChronoCube

    ChronoCube Member

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    Nobody said anything about not drawing. Drawing is a given in the scenario I gave. The only question is whether to stay hidden with weapon drawn. Now if the robber started hunting for customers, then he can choose to engage.

    Thanks for the video link, shockwave. Looks like Travis handled it in almost the same way that wrs840 described. Only he announced himself so that the guy turned around and took his gun off the clerk.
     
  12. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    I get your point.

    ...and, I've never seen that flick.

    Les
     
  13. jcreid06

    jcreid06 Member

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    I could type up this big super long answer to this based on the Texas Penal Code. Google sections 9.31, 9.32 and 9.33. IT will give your answer.

    In Texas it is a defense to prosecution to use deadly force assuming you had the right to use that force. You would still possible be booked and stuff for the shooting and at trial phase be expunged of the charges.

    Based on your scenario and how the penal code reads you basically put yourself in the clerk's shoes. If you would be justified to use deadly force as the clerk then you have the right to defend a third person in the same manner. Thus you would have the right to engage the robber with deadly force if he was exhibiting a deadly weapon.

    Further, if you do shoot the robber and his gun discharges and shoots the clerk I don't believe you would be responsible as you didn't actually shoot the clerk.

    Don't forget though. You may fade the penal heat but you could still see a civil case.
    So in your scenario you would have the right and I feel duty as a licensed citizen to engage that robber. I would never suggest pulling your gun and using verbals alone to try and get him to run. You might pull the gun, bead down on him and say put the gun down or something and if he made any movement engage him.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  14. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    It's not my business to go starting gunfights in a public place where innocent people might get hurt or killed. As long as it's only a matter of cash register money, I would do my best to remain out of sight while observing the proceedings. If it looked as if things were going from plain stickup to something worse, though, then it might be necessary to reconsider that decision.

    But my initial inclination would be to be a good witness, and not try to be a hero over a few $$$ in a stop'n'rob. The rest would be up to the perp.

    And it's never a good idea to forget that one of those other "customers" in the store might be the perp's tailgunner, just waiting for a hero to appear trying to save the day. Not likely, but possible, and it would sure complicate things.

    lpl
     
  15. LeonCarr

    LeonCarr Member

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    Just remember these words, "I was in fear of my life, I want an attorney".
     
  16. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    If I have to protect your families I will. And if that happened, you'd be glad I don't think like you.
    Just something to think about.



    If the situation is not life threatening, don't pull the gun. When/if it becomes life threating,(to ANY innocent person not just my family) then stop the threat as soon as possible.
     
  17. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    "Be a hero" is perhaps unnecessarily pejorative regarding motivation.

    How about if I simply believe that accepting living with unchecked dirtbags and expecting the downward societal spiral to somehow be reversed by the bloated bureaucracies that got us here to "deal with it"? This will reverse the trend? I'm skeptical.

    I'm not trying to be belligerent here, or especially challenge a Mod. I'm challenging myself. When do I decide my kids don't deserve to share the world with scum because "it's not my job" to stand against evil?

    Respectfully curious,

    Les
     
  18. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Too many variables. What is your angle of fire? What is the backdrop of the gunman? How many gunmen? Is he putting customers on the floor? The OPs scenario is one of a million possibilities and we could 'what if' it all day.

    +1 in general but I would still draw, discretely if necessary, at the first opportunity.


    In GENERAL - I would respond accordingly.

    1. If it's obvious there are going to be shooting victims (executions, etc.) I would draw, move, shoot and communicate.

    2. If it's still not obvious the intent of bodily harm by the shooter(s), I would discretely move off the "X" and draw as best I could putting not getting noticed as the top priority. Once this is accomplished, I would take aim and fire controlled pairs to COM, keeping in mind my backstop. I may shout a distraction to get the robber to turn his gun away from the clerk.

    3. As stated, I would shoot until the threat is stopped. I would either secure his gun or instruct someone trustworthy to secure his gun as I cover the door for any of his buddies, or shoot his buddies if he's acting in concert.

    4. Immediately instruct someone to call 911. When the police arrive I would tell them that I was in fear for my life, I want to press charges on the robber for armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon and that I want to talk to my lawyer.

    Of course my actions are actually reactions to the movements of the robber(s). The faster they accellerate the violence, the faster I'm forced to operate. I'm not superman nor am I bulletproof. I'm not there to be a hero. I'm not there to prevent a robbery. I'm not there to save a clerk from getting shot. I transfer the threat of the armed robbery to everyone in the store, and my life is placed in threat. I take that very seriously. Any side benefit to my action is merely that... the benefit to me being armed and refusing to be a victim.
     
  19. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I agree.

    It is highly likely that you will have to hire a lawyer after a justifiable shooting incident, you may be sued in Civil Court by the "grieving relatives", heck, depending on how anti gun the state you live in, the local jurisdiction may go after you.

    So, do you want to spend $15,000 to $100,000 in legal fees?

    I am not elevating something to a lethal force level if I don’t have to.
     
  20. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    Look, he's got a gun pointed at somebody else... Forget the legal ramifications and look at the ethical side of the equation. If you shoot him, what are the odds he shoots the poor clerk out of reflex or surprise?

    You don't want to make a bad situation worse. If the situation changes or deteriorates, then yeah, maybe shoot. But as described with the guy covering some other person, I sure wouldn't pull the trigger. I'd draw and back off and wait.
     
  21. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    leadcounsel: Is your position in this thread consistent with your sig?:

    Again, not trying to inject rancor, I'm just saying this is exactly the moral dichotomy I would be making a decision on.

    Respectfully,
    Les
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  22. zxcvbob

    zxcvbob Member

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    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  23. DeepSouth
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    DeepSouth Contributing Member

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    Do I want to, well of course not, BUT I simply must do what I believe is RIGHT and deal with the consequences later.

    Honestly the "I might go to jail, I might pay a lot of money in fines" that I'm hearing from so many people is no excuse.

    I see it like this, I can either tell my wife and children.
    "We are getting sued because I saved someones life by shooting a pathetic criminal"

    or I can tell them

    "That person might still be alive but I thought we might get sued by some if I intervened, so I hunkered like a coward and let the criminal kill them, but hey we can still afford another WII game"


    I just have to do what is right, fortunately I live in a place where I probably wouldn't have much said after that.


    If any innocent persons life is in danger, stop the threat. Wouldn't you want someone to do that for your family?
     
  24. ilbob

    ilbob Member

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    Your job is to protect yourself and your family. If you or your family is in danger do what you have to do.

    If it is just about money, stay out of it.

    There are situations outside those absolutes that every person has to decide for themselves.
     
  25. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Problem is you don't know if it's "just about money" until after the BG has decided to be benevolent and leaves the scene without killing anyone.

    There's many times that even after they get the money they still kill the clerk.

    I was robbed several years ago. I was unarmed and deep in normalcy bias at the time so I didn't react and do anything about it when I clearly had the opportunity to tackle the punk as he drew his little .25, pointed it in a safe direction and racked the slide before demanding I and the friend I was with hand over our cash. And frankly that inaction has haunted me for years.

    I can't imagine living with myself if I just stood there thinking "Oh its just about a few dollars" and watched some dirtbag kill some poor clerk.

    I guess I also see the whole "I'm just going to protect me and mine to hell with everyone else" attitude as part of the reason this country is going to hell in a handbasket.
     
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