This was originally posted as a comment to the "DANGERS OF INTERVENTION" post. As it wasn't so much an intervention incident as a "this happened to me" incident I thought it deserved its own post. What can we learn from this incident? How did the author do? What would you have done differently, if anything? Part of the Thinking Gunfighter philosophy is learning from the experiences of others. The author at this time has preferred to remain anonymous.
In the last three years, thanks to about 80 hrs of combat handgun, carbine, and shotgun, I have walked away unscathed from an attempted carjacking where I exited quickly and got behind the engine block as it's all that stops a bullet, as well as an attempted robbery by getting inside their loop (look up OODA LOOP)and having them reacting to me, which is a clearly critical part of preventing/winning a gun fight.
I had just exited a convenience store in a NC city at 10 PM on a 30 degree night and a small guy, with a curiously clear voice, asked me if I had a few extra bucks. I had the hair on the back of my neck rising as well as a screaming in my head that this was not a panhandler but rather a deadly situation. I did not yet know why and never had this feeling before. What happened, IMO, is that my subconscious had picked up a 2nd bad guy coming quietly behind me. When the smaller guy in front of me got about 10 feet away as his pace exceeded mine despite my having my hand on by gun under my coat and issuing stern and loud commands to back-off or we were going to have a big problem, I saw his eyes divert to my left for just a moment. A quick look revealed a guy about 3" taller than my 6'2" frame and 75 pounds heavier approaching from about 20 feet away.
Bringing my eyes back to the smaller guy in front of me he was putting one, and only one, hand in his right jacket pocket. At that point my weapon was aimed immediately right at his chest, time became non-existent, and I had tunnel vision begin as I screamed, "Show me your &^%$ hands". I had learned in a class with a Federal trainer that one hand only goes into a coat to come out with car keys, a knife, or a gun. As we were not near any car but mine and he had just changed to demanding money, it almost assuredly was a gun. Had my hand seen a weapon emerging I had already angled him to have empty stores behind him and I had determined I would break the trigger that I had 1/2 pressure on.
There was no question in my mind. If he came out with a gun I was shooting right in his chest until he fell. I can only say that I know now I can drop the hammer because I am going home to my wife and kids and will do what I have to. I probably could have shot, but I would have needed a good attorney and a lot of money to have done so. Cops I know who I have described the situation to have said I could have been shot through the coat and should have shot. Well, they have their legal fees paid for and I don't for shooting, "Father of the year", as the media will say. Plus, it would have been made a racial incident. I called the Federal Agent the next day and he said to never report such things. If I ever have to shoot someone, which I prefer not to, they are going to bring up any previous involvement and a DA who wants to prosecute is going to claim I am trigger happy. Their job, if they prosecute, is not to find the truth, but to put me in jail for a long time.
I cannot stress enough to those guys carrying a gun out there with a CCW/CHP that if you have not taken at least one 10 hour combat handgun class from a very, very qualified LEI, or former LEO, YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO. You have no idea because, "In a crisis situation you default to your lowest level of training competence". And if you have no training you have no real idea of how, in split seconds, to formulate a game plan. You are reacting to your assailant and will likely be the loser. You will not be practicing a different type of shooting nor will you be screaming, as I did, in the event of witnesses. I have read discussions where the guy who was not the aggressor yelled, "Back off or I'll blow your &^%$ brains out". That's a great thing for a Grand Jury to hear. There's a way for a civilian to likely stay out of jail. If you have taken no classes and not practiced what you have learned, then you don't know them.
If anyone is offended by my words then good. Maybe it will give you pause to get some training from qualified (not everyone really is) training for in both my situations I would have been guessing as opposed to assessing the situation and going into a combat mindset to win. Just a non-LEO citizen's experience on how I went from being the mark to THEIR THREAT, at which point they decided to go find another mark.
Train often, train hard, and carry always, as you are not smart enough to know when evil decides you are an easy score. BTW, I know half-a dozen guys who carry most of the time. My experience has fallen on ears that tell me what they would do to the guys who dared tried to do that to them. Talk is cheap. Tough talk is stupid talk.
Training hard in NC
P.S. I got behind the engine block in the carjacking attempt as I pulled into a spot against a wall and they pinned me in at the rear. I know now to always back into a spot as they will pass you buy when they see that you are aware of their actions.