Category Archives: deadly force

Neutralize the threat (or not)

“According to the document, Roberts said in the process of leaving the room, he noticed Garcia on the floor at the bedroom doorway and shot him again to ‘be certain he was deceased to eliminate any threat of having another altercation’.”

http://www.wlox.com/2019/02/12/court-documents-saucier-shooter-claims-self-defense-says-boys-death-was-accidental/

Big problem. “Neutralize the threat” isn’t always the right course of action.

Roberts is facing first degree murder and manslaughter charges, both felony offenses.

That’s going to be a Negative Outcome.

In the original report about the shooting, it’s unclear whether the two year old boy was killed intentionally or just a downrange failure.

http://www.wlox.com/2019/02/10/two-year-old-boy-man-dead-after-shooting-saucier-home-suspect-arrested/

No matter what the Outcome, the shooter’s life has now become a shambles and will be for the foreseeable future.

Book Promo

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Concealed Carry Skills and Drills downloadable eBook. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions downloadable eBook. http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, downloadable audio recording. http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

In Fear for My Life is not a ‘Get Out of Jail’ card

‘I was in fear for my life’ has become something of a mantra for those who carry weapons for Personal Protection. However, ‘fear’ has no bearing on whether a shooting is a legal act. Only the ‘reasonableness’ of the act is germane in a Court of Law. Stopping your car, getting out of it, walking back to a school bus behind you, and then shooting at it is unlikely to be viewed in court as ‘reasonable.’

https://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2019/02/06/caught-on-video-man-shoots-school-bus-on-i-35w-in-minneapolis/

“Lilly told officers that he feared for his safety and that is why he shot at the bus driver.” The responding officer was unimpressed and took the shooter into custody. He is now being charged with Attempted 2nd Degree Murder and other charges.

https://www.hennepinattorney.org/-/media/Attorney/NEWS/2019/Lilly-Kenneth-cplt.pdf

Pure luck and poor marksmanship are the only reason this person isn’t being charged with Murder. As it is, he’s still facing 20 years or more in prison. The prosecutor is planning to throw the book at him and rightly so. That’s a Negative Outcome.

The actions of Mr. Lilly were outrageous and it was sheer luck that neither the bus driver nor the little girl were killed

https://www.hennepinattorney.org/news/news/2019/February/Lillie-Kenneth-attmurdcharge

know the rules

Not understanding the rules is one of the topics addressed in Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, my downloadable audio recording. http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

It’s probably just as well that he was no more skilled than what he was.

Concealed Carry Skills and Drills downloadable eBook. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

Indoor Range Practice Sessions downloadable eBook. http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

The Tactical Professor’s SHOT Show Odyssey (Part III) – Site visit to the Duel at the Dumbster (continued)

More thoughts about the Duel at the Dumbster

Legal issues aside, the Duel also demonstrated how proxemics come into play during Defensive Gun Uses. Shootings and gunfights involving Private Citizens almost universally occur in Social Space (4-12 feet) as defined in the science of Proxemics. That’s my conclusion after studying the over 5,000 DGUs in my database. When they start out with ‘Monkey Dancing,’ as this one did, it’s unavoidable that the shooting will be close. Monkey Dancing can’t be done at much of a distance. While Law Enforcement Officers need to be concerned about the Tueller Principle, the dynamics of Private Citizen encounters are far different.

Proxemics

Diagram by WebHamster

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The Tactical Professor’s SHOT Show Odyssey (Part II) – Site visit to the Duel at the Dumbster

Phase 1 of the Odyssey – The drive there

Since we were driving through the Southwest, I felt compelled to make a visit to the site of the Duel at the Dumbster in Abilene. Actually seeing the lay of the land always helps me gain a better understanding of the dynamics of shootings and gunfights.

For those unfamiliar with the incident, here’s a quick synopsis. A father and son confronted another man about placing a discarded twin mattress by the dumpster in the alley. After approximately two minutes of monkey dancing between two prideful fools and a man with mental health issues, gunfire erupted. A few seconds later, the individual with mental health issues didn’t have to worry about his issues anymore because he took a load of ‘scattershot’ to his head, along with other wounds. The fools are now in jail awaiting trial for Murder.

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Downrange Failure

As [the Officer] struggled with Villalon, [the homeowner] drew a handgun and fired in their direction, striking the officer on his right arm, according to police.

Homeowner shoots McAllen officer who responded to burglary

This is the Negative Outcome I categorize as ‘Downrange Failure,’ i.e., hit someone downrange who wasn’t the criminal. It’s the smallest category of Negative Outcomes but the consequences tend to be high.

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The odds and stakes of home protection

The discussion of shooting someone in your home without warning or identification has reared its ugly head again. “I’ll shoot anyone in my home” is probably the second most foolish and ill-considered dogma among gun owners today; “It’s not loaded” being the first.

During the Sack of Béziers in 1209 AD, the Abbot of Citeaux, Arnaud Amalric, head of the Crusaders, is reputed to have said: “Kill them. For the Lord knows those that are His own [Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius].” Although it is disputed whether the Abbot actually said this, it is the source of the quip, “Kill them all and let God sort them out.” If you consider it for just a few seconds, “I’ll kill anyone in my house” is philosophically not very far from this. Hopefully, we’ve gotten a little smarter and humane over the course of nine Centuries.

Children sneak in and out of the house, spouses get up to go to the bathroom, friends try to surprise you, and people who are mentally challenged, either permanently or temporarily by intoxicants, enter into homes without malicious intent.

I now have close to a hundred Negative Outcome mistaken identity shootings in my database in which someone shot their spouse or child. Those people will never get another good night’s sleep as long as they live. For the ones where the shootee survived, I doubt the relationship will ever be the same. For those who think they’ll check to make sure all their family members are in bed first, that doesn’t always work, either.

Tragedy: Florida Man Shoots, Kills Fiancée Day Before Wedding

And shooting some poor old geezer who has Alzheimer’s isn’t any better, just because he’s not a member of your family. In that particular case, there was no prosecution but the Cost of Killing was still enormous.

On average, my research indicates that someone mistakenly shoots their spouse, child, or other innocent person in their home every single week in the United States. Two words, “Who’s there?” and a flashlight would go a long way to prevent these tragedies. “Challenging will give my position away,” “The flashlight draws fire,” “blah-blah-blah;” that’s all foolishness parroted by people who have no understanding of METT-TC. Mission, Enemy, Terrain and weather, Troops and support available, Time available, and Civil considerations.

australianparrots-crop

Veterans who should have learned about METT-TC, but didn’t, annoy me greatly when they prattle this kind of foolishness. To be fair, I really didn’t understand it until I was a Staff Sergeant and even then only vaguely. This is another reason not to listen to opinions from people whose only real claim to fame is that they qualified Expert with some weapon in the military. Someone’s ability to Qualify with a rifle has ZERO to do with their understanding of any tactics at all, much less tactics about highly ambiguous situations. A better criterion than Qualification would be “How many Operations Orders have you written?” If the answer is Less than ten or especially None, then the person’s ability to plan any operation is questionable.

staff-sergeant

The odds that the bump in the night are an intruder are low. I’ve calculated them at three percent but I can accept other numbers. More likely, it’s an innocent party. How many of us have investigated a bump in the night as compared to how many of us have then found someone who needed shooting? The stakes are very high, the life of a loved one or innocent party. Some localities are now prosecuting Mistaken Identity shootings as Manslaughter or Second Degree Murder. Even when there are no legal consequences, the psychological toll will most likely be for a lifetime.

The Flashlight chapter of Indoor Range Practice Sessions is a FREE download. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2505573-ebooks-law-indoor-range-session-11-flashlight.html Please get it, practice using your light, learn to speak while holding your gun, and think about identifying people before shooting at them.

You could even buy the whole book, if you want to learn something about shooting. https://store.payloadz.com/details/2501143-ebooks-education-indoor-range-practice-sessions.html

Followup on Negative Outcome (Part I)

It’s useful to track a Negative Outcome incident from start to finish. In this case, the Negative Outcome was an Unjustifiable Shooting.

Man who killed teens trespassing on property sentenced to prison

A quick summary of the events is:

  • Two individuals were on a Michigan man’s property, early in the morning.
  • Most likely their intent was to steal. They were on a ‘crime spree.’
  • The man heard them and came out on his porch with a .22 semi-automatic rifle.
  • He challenged them.
  • At least one of them began to run away.
  • He shot both of them and killed them.
  • An investigation followed.
  • Months later, he was arrested and charged with two counts of second degree murder.
  • More than two years later, he was convicted and sentenced to a long prison term.

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Equipment is not a proxy for skill

Yesterday, this article showed up in the search that I continually have running for personal protection incidents and I shared it on Facebook.

Prosecutor: 13 bullet holes showed self-defense for man cleared of murder charge https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/counties/dewitt/prosecutor-bullet-holes-showed-self-defense-for-man-cleared-of/article_def55934-d637-11e8-9546-637075a1ed02.html

When I share things, I often quote what I consider an important point of the story. For this incident, I thought this was important.

The number of bullets fired by Martinez [27] stood in stark contrast to the single, fatal shot from Kirkman’s antique, bolt-action .22-caliber rifle.

winchester 22 rifleSomeone immediately took me to task about the .22 caliber aspect. Apparently, they thought I was advocating carrying a single shot .22 rifle for personal protection. I don’t recall saying that, I merely used the quote as an illustration of the difference between being a spray and pray artist vis-à-vis aiming and getting a good hit. Perhaps that wasn’t clear from the quote.

antonio shooting giphy

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Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part III)

garbage buffet dumpster crop

An unedited version of the Dumbster Fire video, entitled Two Fat Hillbillies Kill [Man whose mouth writes checks that his ass can’t cash] Over Garbage, is available on LiveLeak.

https://www.liveleak.com/view?t=9SIw5_1537458941

Note that the LiveLeak video is raw footage and contains language that some may find offensive. While the first minute and a half is woofing and Monkey Dancing, after that it starts getting very serious.

Deploying and Preparing for Combat

About 1:30 into the LiveLeak video, the son Deploys into a position where he can use his weapon. He still has his weapon across his shoulders. The Father and Son have at that point achieved a Position of Advantage because they can both use their weapons from where they are at but Orange Shirt can only get one of them before the other gets him. Prior to deploying to his right, the Son’s position wasn’t good because he is right handed and his Father was obliquely to his right. While this positioning isn’t exactly an L-shaped Field of Fire, it’s reasonably close considering the terrain. Being in the beaten zone of an L-shaped Field of Fire is not where you want to be when the loud noises start.

Approximately 30 seconds later (2:07), the Son takes the weapon off his shoulder and assumes a ready position with it. He is now Prepared for Combat. He has achieved a Position of Advantage and has his weapon in a position to use it quickly. Preparation for Combat doesn’t have to involve readying a weapon. The POlice often encounter criminals who take their shirts off at some point in an interview or confrontation. By doing so, the criminal has removed something that an Officer could use to restrain him or gain an Advantage. This is another example of Preparation for Combat.

When one side Deploys and Prepares for Combat, that means the situation is going to go bad VERY SHORTLY. If you have any way to withdraw at that point, you need to take it immediately because the action WILL begin within a matter of seconds, as we can see from the timeline of the incident.

  • 1:30 – Son Deploys to Position of Advantage.
  • 2:07 – Son brings his weapon to Ready. Preparation for Combat complete.
  • 2:10 – Father fires first pistol shots.

Using weapons adequately

At 2:10, the first pistol shots are fired by the Father. At 2:13, two things happen simultaneously; the Father bends to his left, leaving a clear shot for the Son. The Son chambers a round, brings his weapon into his eye-target line and fires two rounds. The smoothness, rapidity of movement, and effectiveness of his fire leave little doubt that he had practiced this before.

The Son’s weapon was a Shockwave, a weapon that fires shotgun shells but because of a clever design, is not categorized by the BATF as a ‘Short Barreled [i.e., sawed off] Shotgun.’ The Shockwave, its Remington counterpart, and pistol gripped shotguns are almost universally ridiculed among the ‘cognoscenti’ of the firearms community. However, Orange Shirt is now in no position to either agree or disagree with that Point Of View because he took a devastating hit in the head from it.

His son fired with a shotgun [sic] and I guess it was a scattershot because it took his eye, the top of his head, his ear

–the fiancée

Say what you will about the Shockwave but the Son understood the importance of getting his weapon into the eye-target line to use it effectively. He must have worked with the gun to the point where he was competent with it.

shockwave howardmurder crop

Don’t be deceived by appearances, just because someone looks like a goof doesn’t mean he can’t kill you with gear he is capable of using well. As my colleague Tamara Keel commented:

This is, however, tangentially related to the maxim that just because you’re carrying a Roland Special, [a high end pistol tuned for fighting] it don’t mean the bullets from a Hi-Point .380 are gonna bounce off you. A dumb [person] can kill you with crap gear adequately wielded.

The cost of killing

Regardless of the legal proceedings and outcome, the Father and Son will have a tough row to hoe for a long time. They’ve both been charged with murder, there is damning video evidence of the incident, and whether they win or lose in court, they’ll most likely be broke for the rest of their lives. The Cost of a Killing is always high, whether it is righteous or not.

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

Proverbs 16:18

Pride and ego caused the whole mess. Recognize the pitfalls they can lead to ahead of time and stay out of trouble.

I’ve written two different eBooks for those who are interested in improving their skill with handguns. They provide a roadmap to improving your competency at your own pace and within the resources you have available to you. For less than the price of a box of ammo, you’ll be able to use your time and other resources much more effectively.

For those who carry a concealed firearm, Concealed Carry Skills and Drills, is appropriate for you. The link to the downloadable eBook is here. http://concealedcarryskillsanddrills.com

For those who don’t carry a concealed firearm but keep a handgun for home defense, Indoor Range Practice Sessions, is appropriate for you. The link to the downloadable eBook is here. http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

My downloadable recording, Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make,  http://seriousgunownermistakes.com is particularly appropriate when analyzing this incident.

Previous posts about the Duel at the Dumpster

Serious Mistakes – Unjustified Killings

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/09/20/serious-mistakes-unjustified-killings/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part I)

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/09/21/lessons-from-the-duel-at-the-dumpster-part-i/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part II)

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2018/09/22/lessons-from-the-duel-at-the-dumpster-part-ii/

Lessons from the Duel at the Dumpster (Part II)

dumpster fire

There are even more lessons we can take away from the Duel at the Dumpster, which we probably could also call the Dumbster Fire. Perhaps the most important lesson of them all relates to the human dynamics of confrontations.

You’re always on video

We have to assume we’re always going to be on video. This is especially true when there are other parties nearby, whether they’re Seconds or just bystanders.

Here is a reasonably good transcript of the first minute of the confrontation.

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