I was almost involved in 2 shootings (part 1 of 2)

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:: So there I am standing at the john, gun in my hand; gun in my holster.... ::

:: pop! pop! pop! ::

:: Swap the gun in my hand for the gun in my holster.....::

:: Peek outside... clear! ::

:: Start running for my car....::

:: Lessee now... which gun is it I've got in my hand.....??? ::

I was involved in an incident in Va Beach about 15 years ago. I wrote about it on a firearms board and got all kinds of feedback on how I screwed up. Looking back on it, I agree that there were things I could have done better, but I lived and stayed out of jail, which to me is good enough. Remember that the best ways to survive a gunfight are

1 Don't get in a gunfight
2 If you must be in one, bring a long gun like a shotgun or carbine.
3 If that is not possible, bring a BIG handgun
4 If you must be in one, end it as rapidly and violently as possible. The longer the gunfight lasts, the higher your chances of being shot

It seems to me that you did fine. Don't let people who weren't there criticize you. A good plan, violently executed now is better than a perfect plan carried out next week.
My Dad always told me ...it's a damn poor pair of feet that will stand there and let it's head get abused. Their shooting and their choices of what they did was of their own choosing. You went home that night, they did not.
And in a gunfight, remember the axiom, "Speed is fine, but accuracy is final." Those little sonic cracks as bullets zip by don't stop anyone.

-Sans Authoritas
Eric F~ you did alright considering the extent of your training, which is what you fall back on in moments like these. I have seen worse happen when guys are fired upon for the first time. I would highly recommend a combat handgun course to teach the art of entering the frey. I am glad you made it out in one piece, after all you obeyed the first rule and brought a 1911 to a gun-fight.
I would highly recommend a combat handgun course to teach the art of entering the frey
I have a bunch of training I have picked up here and there over the years lots of IDPA some uspsa and a bit of 3 gun tactical matches, some formal training also. Muscle memory and peritition has a clear ruleing in this case. unfortunatly I have little funding for more schooling right now but as soon as I am able its already on the list.
If I were in the same situation, I'd have probably stayed in the bathroom, but then I don't run all that fast and I probably present a larger target area than you do. :neener:

I'd say you did fine. You're alive and you're not in jail, and that's all that matters.
"Let me add a twist to the scenario. How would we armchair commandos have handled this?"

Clearly, you have not studied your "Tales of the Mall Ninja". Suggested Mall Ninja actions include:

1) Drawing at least two of the six Glocks you carry on your person
2) Duct taping rifle plates onto your body armor when you get back to your car
3) Entering the fight while displaying your CCW Badge to the perps so they know you're going to win the fight


Good job! You survived and were able to do some thinking in the adrenaline dump. I'm looking forward to reading your reflections on the event.

The worst thing about these events are the damn cold sweats and racing heart that happen at night after the event.
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tunnel vision blinded me so much I could not even get a visual of the first shooter I saw. How can this be prevented?

Prevented? Nah.

Controlled? Yes.

When we get confronted with a terrible situation, nature has instilled survival mechanisms in us that kick in automatically, one of which is the "tunnel vision" you referred to and experienced.

You are NOT going to prevent your body from doing what nature designed it to do, BUT, you don't need to in order to choose and execute a course of action, and you DID choose a course of action. A sound one imo.

You were in a secure area.

You didn't initially expose yourself to be mistaken for a combatant.

Solid imo. Can we do things better? Yea, but hindsight blah, blah, blah.

It has been my experience that in order to perform effectively in stressful situations you must first recognize and accept the fact that your body is going to do things that you can not control. Practice is the other component, and outside of military and LEO training, most folks just don't get the practice.

Adrenaline spikes, emotion, increased heart rate, breathing, sweating, fixed / tunnel vision. All of these things will take place, but it doesn't matter. People will often make the mistake of recognizing these symptoms as they occur and actually becoming increasingly excited because they REALIZE that they are excited. In a sense they get scared because they realize they are experiencing fear, which is just another survival mechanism as is a raised pulse.

When the body does it's thing, let it. Stay focused on what you need to be focused on, and make a conscious effort to remain calm and do things SMOOTHLY and deliberately because in a heightened state, you will tend to move and do things FASTER than what you perceive. Eventually your body will settle back down and you will grow more comfortable with your new stressful environment. This may take seconds, it may take minutes, but it WILL happen if you are a strong willed individual.

Rather than eliminate stress, which you can never do, EXPECT it, ACCEPT it, and stay focused and you will do alright. As you did in that encounter imo.
EMTs (and/or Paramedics, Doctors, nurses, etc.) aren't going to have much of an impact on scenes like this. A rarity that someone has an injury that can be positively affected by a trained bystander. What these victims needed was rapid transport with Advanced Life Support procedures done en route. Which is why I rarely stop at collisions. I can't pull an ambulance out of my butt.

So Eric F, just out of curiosity, where are you a FF? I'm a Paramedic in Courtland and cut my teeth in Windsor and Carrsville. PM me if you want.
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