Author Topic: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?  (Read 465 times)

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Offline Graybeard

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The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« on: December 13, 2019, 10:54:28 AM »

Kevin Michalowski - 12/12/2019

On a hot summer night, you have three more hours to drive before you get home. It’s been a long business trip with some wins and some losses. You have visited more clients than you care to remember and right now, you just want to get home. If you stop for gas now, you can grab a cup of coffee and pull into the driveway by 1 a.m. There’s no traffic on the roads, and you can really make some time on the interstate.

The gas station looks well-lit and actually kind of quiet. There is one truck at the pump as you pull in and start pumping your gas. A minivan pulls in just seconds behind you, and a tired father who has clearly been on vacation too long with his four young kids gets out to fill up. You both nod in quiet understanding. It’s as if, without any words, you say to each other, “Been there. I feel for you.”

You decide to wash the windshield as the tank fills up. Just as you pull the squeegee for the last time, you hear the telltale click of the auto-stop lever on the nozzle. Dropping the window-washing stick back into the bucket, you grab the nozzle, replace it on the pump and head inside to pay and get your coffee. Joe Minivan is not far behind you, and the guy from the pickup truck — which clearly had a bigger tank — is also just finishing up. It looks like all three of you will converge on the cashier at the same time.

Senses Start to Tingle
As the three of you enter the store, it seems that everyone had the same idea: drinks and snacks. You fan out in a different direction, looking for the “healthier option.” Reaching into the cooler and pulling out a bottle of mocha latte something-or-other, you hear the door of the shop open. You begin moving toward the check-out counter, ready to pay for your gas. Joe Minivan is already there, and the driver of the pickup truck has found a bag of chips and a soda and is moving into the line behind you.

The sound of the door opening indicated that two men were coming in. From your spot in line, you notice that one of the men is looking around the entire store. The other guy has turned his back to his companion and is looking out the door, holding the door handle with his left hand. His right hand is in the pocket of his hoodie. At about the same time, you notice the other man also has his right hand in the pocket of his hoodie. Just as the hair on the back of your neck stands up, the man scanning the store pulls a small auto-loading pistol from his hoodie and shouts, “Alright. Don’t do nothin’ stupid. I only want the money. If y’all play along. We’ll be gone. Everybody get up here where I can see ya.”

The robber starts waving the gun and directing people toward the cashier’s counter, while you instinctively set your merchandise on the counter and begin to blade your body, thinking about how you can get to your gun if you get the chance. You notice the accomplice is still looking out the door while the robber is shouting for people to move. Pointing his gun at the cashier, he demands that the young man behind the counter open the cash drawer and put the money in a bag. When the teen cashier fumbles opening the drawer, the robber screams, “Hurry up, Kyle! Get that money in the bag, dammit!”

Taking Stock of the Situation
You consider reaching for your gun but think about what it means to draw against an already drawn handgun. You look for cover and decide there is nothing really accessible and begin to think that maybe, just maybe, the robber will take the money and leave. You might just be a witness to this robbery instead of a participant in a deadly force encounter.

As the robber continues to demand that the cashier hurry up, you begin to slowly sidestep toward the only piece of cover you see — the hotdog roller off to your right. Your movement is too quick, and the robber notices, directing his attention and his gun toward you.

“Where you think you’re going? Get over here and gimme your wallet.”

Your heart is pounding so hard you can hardly hear. Your feet feel like lead as you plod forward. Your hand reaches back to your pocket, passing right over your gun resting in your inside-the-waistband holster. You pull out your wallet and hand it over. This apparently gives the robber an idea. He decides he wants all the wallets and begins demanding them from the other patrons.  You think about reaching for your gun while the robber is focusing on the other shoppers but just don’t feel like you can win the race.

With all the wallets in his bag full of money, the robber could walk away, but he seems to want more.

“What else you got? Is there a safe in the back? Show me that safe! Everybody, get in the back. We goin’ to find that safe. Move!”

And he starts directing everyone to the back room. What do you do?

Your Options
Follow orders and move to the back room, hoping he will take the money and go.
Bolt for that piece of cover, draw your gun and come up shooting.
Create a diversion and charge at the robber in an effort to control his gun while you reach for yours.
Things to Consider
Can you get your gun into action? If the robber decides to fire at you, what are the chances he will hit you? How well can you move? Are you injured? Does your back hurt? Do you have a bum knee? Can you make it to cover? You have lots to think about, but there is one overriding concern: The back room is the execution chamber.

Typically, when a robber decides to move victims from one location to another, something bad is about to happen. These robbers have made no effort to conceal their identities and are not satisfied with the money they have gotten. Moving people to the back room gives them a chance to commit murder, unseen. There is no way anyone should comply with the order to move to the back room. It’s like being told to get in the car. Once the criminal removes you from the scene, things only get worse.

What About…
The second option listed above might be the best. Move as quickly as you can to that cover and look for a safe shot at the bad guy. But remember, there are two bad guys. Focus on the most imminent threat first. That is usually the closest guy with a gun but pay attention. Target fixation is a real thing. You must not focus on only one guy and ignore the other. Use cover to the best of your ability, engage the biggest threat first and keep looking for that other bad guy.

Sometimes it might be better to go for the bad guy’s gun, rather than draw your own. But again: two bad guys. If, as the situation plays out, you find yourself so close that you can make a lunge for the gun, you might want to try that. But that brings an entirely new list of things to think about.

Have you had any training in taking a firearm away from someone? Is this robber bigger and stronger than you? Where is the other bad guy? Will that accomplice come to the aid of his friend or will he bolt at the first sign of trouble? Can you get both hands on the bad guy’s gun or gun hand? Once you do that, can you keep that gun pointed away from you? I’m sure there are more things to consider, so it looks like grabbing for the robber’s gun would not be the best option but could be a good option if you could not get to cover and start shooting.

Whatever You Do
The worst option is to be herded into that back room like sheep. Don’t go in there! You are betting your life on the kindness and mercy of people who have used guns to steal money. Do you really think you can trust them to spare your life? If you go into that room, all you have is hope that the bad guys will decide to allow you to live.

The stakes in this scenario, like all deadly force scenarios, are extremely high. Lives are on the line. Your life is on the line. You are caught up in the middle of a robbery that could quickly turn into a mass murder. You have a chance to fight back. Should you shoot?

About Kevin Michalowski
Kevin Michalowski is executive editor of Concealed Carry Magazine and a fully certified law enforcement officer working part time in rural Wisconsin. He is a USCCA- and NRA-Certified Trainer. Kevin has participated in training across the U.S. as both a student and an instructor in multiple disciplines. These specialties include pistol, rifle, shotgun, empty-hand defense and rapid response to the active shooter. Kevin is passionate about the concealed carry lifestyle, studying the legal, ethical and moral aspects of the use of force in self-defense. He is a graduate of the Force Science Institute Certification Course and has worked as a professional witness and consultant on matters concerning the judicious use of deadly force and deadly force decision-making.

Bill aka the Graybeard
President, Graybeard Outdoor Enterprises

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life anyone who believes in Him will have everlasting life!

Offline JeffG

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2019, 02:17:23 PM »
The back room is the execution chamber.

Gun disarms are effective, but operate on the premise of the gun discharging. Too many bystanders.
I would not draw directly against the drawn gun. I would need a diversion. As we all turned toward the back room, tripping the person ahead of me might create that. Depending on the reaction of the robber, pretending to stand there frozen, (waiting for him to turn toward the fallen customer) or me kneeling to help, would provide the cover needed for my drawing motions. The time for action is there, and shooting the robber would be likely.  Shooting the head and face would keep all but the tallest bystander out of the line of fire.
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff

Offline Lloyd Smale

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2019, 01:36:37 AM »
all nice to talk about but who knows how much reasoning you will actually do in a situation like that. I think personaly id do what I was told right up to the time I actually knew they were going to shoot someone. Draw and shoot before that with two people and chances are that you might take down one but some other innocent person will get shot if not you. After all theres children in there!  If it were one on one I might think differently. Its actually pretty rare that someone robbing a store executes everyone in the store at the time.
blue lives matter

Offline Dee

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2020, 03:46:34 AM »
Maybe I missed something, but there are 3 people paying for their gas, 1 attendant, and two perps, one of which is watching the door.

Mysood Ayoob is also a "part time reserve cop" gun rag writer that makes his lvin giving advice on situations he's never been in.

If someone comes into a store waving a gun around, hes already made his decision that a confrontation is alright. The very act is irrational, so my decision was made years ago.
You threaten me with a gun, you'd better watch me close. If I get a chance I'm not letting an idiot decide MY fate.
We'll discuss it later in front of a jury, but he won't be there to testify if i win.

The very act of being armed, is an intent to decide ones own destiny, and not let some fool decide my ticket is gonna get punched over 20 bucks and some change.

But that's just me.

1st Corinthians Chapter 11, Verse 28. But let a man EXAMINE HIMSELF, and so let him eat of "that " bread, and drink of "that" cup.

It doesn't really matter how you "think" it is, but how it ACTUALLY is.

Offline oldandslow

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2020, 06:22:10 AM »
Mysood Ayoob is also a "part time reserve cop" gun rag writer that makes his lvin giving advice on situations he's never been in.

Right on the money with that statement. I don't believe anyone really knows what they will do until confronted. We can boast and pound our chests all we want but unless faced with that situation will never actually know our response. Dee, having been a cop, has a much better handle on this than most of us do.

Offline Dee

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2020, 06:55:23 AM »
Ya know oldandslow, I'd like to be right everytime,  but having worked many shootings over the years (3 once in the same day), I learned to never arm chair quarterback a man, for a fight I wasn't in.

We used to use the "reserve cops & reserve deputies" for parking lot duties, at fairs, and funeral escorts. Doing the manual labor harvesting marijuana patches ect. They had minimally required state training,  "ride along" experience.

They themselves had minimal actual dedication to the work, and most wouldn't even consider giving up their jobs for police pay.
Some would develop a taste for the work and jump in with  both feet, while most didn't have the stomach for the nasty part but, like the status.

Some were actually useful, and were an asset, but were never trusted with important information, or critical duty.
1st Corinthians Chapter 11, Verse 28. But let a man EXAMINE HIMSELF, and so let him eat of "that " bread, and drink of "that" cup.

It doesn't really matter how you "think" it is, but how it ACTUALLY is.

Online Bob Riebe

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2020, 01:13:44 PM »
As far as Ayoob's history:
He retired from the police force with the rank of Captain in 2017.
 Massad F. AyoobDOB 07/20/1948 in Cambridge, MA
  • Bachelor of Science in Business, 1970
    New Hampshire College, Cum Laude
  • Director of Lethal Force Institute, Inc, 1981-present
Teaching Experience
  • International Director of Police Firearms Training, Defensive Tactics Institute, 1980-82
  • Special Instructor, Chapman Academy, 1981-88
  • Assistant Professor teaching weapons and Chemical Agents, Advanced Police Training Program of New Hampshire 1974-77
  • Special Instructor, NH Institute of Karate
  • Feature lecturer, Missouri Police Shooting State Championships and Seminar, 1983-88
  • International Instructor Staff, PR-24 police baton training program
  • National Chairman, committee on police firearms training, American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers (ASLET), 1987-present
  • Co-instructor (with former world combat pistol champion Ray Chapman) of Advanced Officer Survival Seminars conducted nationwide through Police Marksman Association
  • Lecturer and coordinator, first state ASLET seminar (New Hampshire, 1988)
  • Guest lecture experience includes Second Chance Officer Survival Seminar 1980-85
  • Smith & Wesson Academy Instructors’ update
  • Metro-Dade Police Academy (use of deadly force, unarmed combat and arrest tactics, officer survival)
  • Ordnance Expo., Los Angeles 1983-84
  • New England SWAT Seminar
  • ASLET NATIONAL SEMINARS (knife/counterknife; plainclothes/off-duty encounter management; forensic aspects of gunshot/knife/bludgeon wounds)
  • Regional International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Seminars, New York (ammunition selection) and Switzerland (dynamics of violent encounters)
  • McGill Univ. School of Medicine, Royal Victoria teaching hospital (wound dynamics, knife and gunshot), 1988
  • International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors (aftermath management in police shootings), National Conference, 1988
  • Lecturer, National Tactical Invitational, Gunsite Training Center, 1995
  • Personal Training
    • Smith & Wesson Academy Advanced Combat Shooting, 1st in class
    • Smith & Wesson Academy Instructor Course, 1st in class
    • Smith & Wesson Academy Officer Survival Course, 1st in class
    • Smith & Wesson Academy Weapon Retention Instructor Course
    • Smith & Wesson Academy Instructors’ Update (Twice)
    • Smith & Wesson Academy Match Shooting School
    • PR-24 Baton Instructor Course (Lon Anderson)
    • PR-24 National Instructors’ Seminar (annually)
    • National Instructor, Telescoping Baton (CASCO)
    • National Instructor, Persuader Baton (Joe Truncale)
    • Instructor, Straight Baton (COPSTK)
    • PPCT Pressure Point Control Tactics (Bruce Siddle)
    • Kubotan Instructor Course (Takayuki Kubota, John Peters)
    • International Police Academy Defensive Tactics Instructor Course (Rated “master instructor” by Sensei Jim Morell)
    • Advanced Homicide Investigation (Lt. Cmdr. Vern Geberth, NYPD, ret.)
    • Medical Legal Death Investigation (Dade County Medical Examiner’s Office)
    • International Homicide Investigators Seminar (Twice)
    • NYPD “Hostage Negotiation for Supervisors”
    • NYPD “Post Shooting Tactics”
    • NYPD “House Clearing Techniques”
    • NYPD “Off Duty Confrontation Tactics”
    • NYPD “Summary of Violent Encounter Patterns”
    • NYPD “Police Shotgun Program”
    • Ordnance Expo. “Firearms and Ballistic Evidence”
    • Ordnance Expo. “Handling Barricaded Suspects”
    • Ordnance Expo. “Officer Involved Shooting Investigations”
    • Ordnance Expo. “Officer Involved Shooting Investigations Advanced”
    • Ordnance Expo. “Officer Survival””
    • AELE, “Police Civil Liability Seminar”
    • Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, B.O.S.S. program including officer survival, intelligence briefings on outlaw bike gangs, booby traps, counter-ambush tactics, arrest techniques
    • Sceptre Baton Program, Georges Sylvain
    • Illinois Department of Law Enforcement Counter-Terrorist Series, including “Use of Explosives in Terrorism” and “Hostage Negotiation”
    • Escrima (short stick fighting) seminar, Grandmaster Remy Presas
    • Knife/Counter-Knife, Master Paul Vunak, Jeet Kune Do, Long Beach, CA.
    • Knife/Counter-Knife, Hank Reinhardt, Atlanta
    • Knife/Counter-Knife, Sensei Jim Maloney, Uechi-ryu, Concord, NH
    • Chapman Academy Intermediate Pistolcraft
    • Chapman Academy Advanced Pistolcraft
    • Mid South Institute of Self Defense Shooting, Advanced (John Shaw)
    • Defense Training, Inc. judgment shooting program (John Farnam)
    • DEFT Simulator (Judgment Shooting Test), LAPD Academy
    • FATS Simulator (Judgment Shooting Test), Atlanta (consultant for mfr.)
    • Calibre Press Street Survival Seminar
    • Glock Instructor Certification
    • Glock Armorer’s Certification
    While Ayoob has been in the courtroom as a testifying police officer, expert witness, and police prosecutor, he is not an attorney; he is, however, a former Vice Chairman of the Forensic Evidence Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), and is believed to be the only non-attorney ever to hold this position. [3] [4] His course for attorneys, titled "The Management of the Lethal Force/Deadly Weapons Case", was, according to Jeffrey Weiner: "the best course for everything you need to know but are never taught in law school.----------------------------------
Now it does seem that any action that he was involved in as a Police officer is not, or I have not found, any where.
As he has been involved in court cases, that does seem a bit odd.

Offline BUGEYE

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2020, 02:27:46 PM »
I would hope that the guy from the Church shooting was in the crowd with me. :)
Give me liberty, or give me death
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Give me liberty, or give me death

Offline Dee

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2020, 04:38:54 PM »
Ayoob has never gone beyond part time, and could bold the rank of captain as a reserve officer.
I have a good friend that is now an elected Sheriff, but was in the beginning a reserve who held the rank of lieutenant.
As for testifying in court cases, many folks with varying education, and expertise testify. A pathologist for example.

Like so many gun rag writers, ayoob relies on knowledge gleaned from books, and interviews, and passes it off as truth. All his shooting experience is at paper.

Writers like Colonels Jeff Cooper, and Bill Jordan were "real" combat veterans, with Jordan being the more deadly of the two, cutting his teeth on the Mexican border as a 30 year border patrolman.

While I used some of Coopers teaching methods, i didn't agree with many of his ideologies. Bill Jordan however, was dead on in about everything he taught. His book, "No Second Place Winner" is an excellent read.

1st Corinthians Chapter 11, Verse 28. But let a man EXAMINE HIMSELF, and so let him eat of "that " bread, and drink of "that" cup.

It doesn't really matter how you "think" it is, but how it ACTUALLY is.

Offline Dee

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Re: The Robber Takes Over: Should I Shoot?
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2020, 03:35:14 AM »
I would hope that the guy from the Church shooting was in the crowd with me. :)

Ain't that the truth . He was on Fox this morning commenting on Bloomberg's criticism of his being armed as a private citizen.
1st Corinthians Chapter 11, Verse 28. But let a man EXAMINE HIMSELF, and so let him eat of "that " bread, and drink of "that" cup.

It doesn't really matter how you "think" it is, but how it ACTUALLY is.