Category Archives: deadly force

Avoiding Mistaken Identity Shootings

Another Mistaken Identity shooting occurred last week. A teenage girl came home from college to surprise her mother with a visit and got shot instead.

https://www.wkbn.com/news/local-news/police-report-mom-mistakenly-shoots-daughter-in-girard/

The teen’s mother told police that she was in her bedroom when she heard a commotion inside the house. She said the noise scared her and that she was not expecting anyone.

The mother said someone came running into her bedroom and that’s when she fired one round from her handgun. She then realized that she had shot her daughter, the report stated.

Obviously, in between hearing the commotion and firing the shot, the woman armed herself. It’s unlikely that she said anything in the process or her daughter probably would have said something back. The ‘surprise visit’ was most likely a bout of homesickness.

decision inputs dont understand

As I mention in my book Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make, any ‘bump in the night,’ or in this case “commotion inside the house,” carries with it a set of competing probabilities. It could be an intruder, which is the assumption most people make when they hear it, or it could be a member of their household. The member of the household is the most likely scenario. Why is this true? Simply because they live in the same house as you do and they are not constantly updating you on their location. Where teenagers, such as the unfortunate shootee in this incident, are present, the chances of them leaving the house and returning without informing their parents is extremely high. This fact has to be figured into the home defense plan of any parent or adult in the household.

Competing probabilities

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Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make – The Book

So many people asked me for a book version of my Serious Mistakes CD that I sat down and wrote it.

It’s available for download at http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

This book is not about techniques of shooting firearms; it is about Decision Making, specifically what leads to Bad Decision Making.

Our Mindset leads to our Decisions. Our Decisions lead to our Actions. Our Actions lead to our Outcomes. This sequence controls our destiny in everything we do, including using a firearm for Personal Protection. Unfortunately, decision making in the firearms community tends to focus on the tool, the firearm, instead of the desired outcome for owning it. Endless debate goes on about caliber, action type, ammunition capacity, and other material oriented aspects of ownership. In the broad context, these are extremely minor considerations as long as the owner can operate the firearm adequately.

Where the discussions don’t go nearly enough is the circumstances involving the usage of firearms and the decisions about our internal software that we have to make. “Usage” doesn’t always mean shooting the gun, either. There are a host of other issues, such as storage, legalities of carrying, and even possession, that aren’t often discussed. But those internal software issues are much more likely to determine the difference between a Positive Outcome and a Negative Outcome than hardware issues like type of gun and caliber. The amount of misinformation that runs rampant within the gun community leads many new owners down the wrong path in their Mindset and potential Decision Making.

This book provides some insight about how to avoid the Serious Mistakes.

It’s available for download at http://seriousgunownermistakes.com

https://store.payloadz.com/go/?id=2617872

It is a PDF document. If you want, you can send it to your Kindle or Kindle app on your SmartPhone. PDFs can be converted to the Kindle format so you can take advantage of functionality such as variable font size, annotations, and Whispersync.

To have a document converted to Kindle format (.azw), the subject line should be “convert” when e-mailing a personal document to your Send-to-Kindle address. Instructions for sending documents to Kindle and Kindle apps are available on Amazon’s website.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/sendtokindle/email

How to send a document to your Kindle:

To find your Send-to-Kindle e-mail address, visit the Manage your Devices page at Manage Your Kindle.

Documents can only be sent to your Kindle devices or apps from e-mail accounts that you added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List. To add an e-mail account, visit the Personal Document Settings page at Manage Your Kindle.

To send a document to your Kindle device or app, simply attach it to an e-mail addressed to your Send-to-Kindle e-mail.

It is not necessary to include a subject in the email.

Straight talk about Incident Research

Mickey Schuch, of Carry Trainer, was kind enough to do an interview with me. We talked quite a bit about incident research, among other things.

We also talked a little about my My eBooks.

Indoor Range Practice Sessions http://indoorrangepracticesessions.com

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

Advanced Pistol Practice

Shooting Your Black Rifle http://shootingyourblackrifle.com

The Process is the Punishment

#tacticaltuesday

Here’s a good example of “The Process is the Punishment.”

Trial judge overturns guilty verdict in Bellingham self-defense case | Bellingham Herald

“Kamuran Daniel Chabuk, 30, shot his neighbor, Joshua Mark Kiener, the night of May 11, 2013, outside the front door to Chabuk’s apartment at 2633 Nevada St.”

Note: May 11, 2013 was the date of the incident.

I ran across the incident while going through my database yesterday, so I decided to follow up on it.

His trial was 2 1/2 years later in November of 2015. He was found guilty of assault; Mr. Kiener was injured not killed. BTW, Kiener is also suing Chabuk civilly.

In April of 2016, 5 months [during which I assume he had to sit in jail or prison] after his conviction, a judge ordered that he be given a new trial. The prosecution appealed the trial set aside.

The hearing before the Appeals Court was scheduled for January of 2019. So far, I am unable to determine the outcome.

So, about 6 years with the Sword of Damocles hanging over his head. Just to get a new trial, not to be found Not Guilty or have the verdict set aside with prejudice.

Just imagine what his legal bills and bondsman’s fee are for this whole process. While the State of Washington reimburses lost wages and legal fees in self-defense cases when a Not Guilty verdict is received, that doesn’t apply if the charges are dismissed prior to a Not Guilty verdict.

What was the proximate cause of the whole incident? Going outside to investigate some sounds he heard. The platitude goes, “If you wouldn’t go there without a gun, why would you go there with a gun?”

Although I generally try to refrain from using platitudes, in this case it applies. Would he have gone over to the fight without his gun? Call 911, stay inside, and be a good witness. There is rarely any good reason for a Private Citizen to leave their home to do an investigation. The potential for a Negative Outcome is high and there is no upside for doing so.

 

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

For those who are interested in improving your pistol shooting skills, my books are available as downloads.

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.

Continue reading →

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