Category Archives: deadly force

Man shot and killed for peeing in public – Or was he?

Title of the story:

Man urinating in Houston street shot dead after being confronted by angry residents

https://currently.att.yahoo.com/news/man-urinating-houston-street-shot-114605999.html

This certainly implies that this poor gentleman was killed for relieving himself.

However, more details come out further down the page.

Houston Police Department spokesperson Lt Ronnie Willkens said witnesses told police the victim was in the neighbourhood [sic] to buy drugs, and that an unspecified number of residents confronted him when he started urinating in the street.

Then the plot thickens further:

Fuentes and the suspect then got into an argument, during which both men pulled out guns. The suspect shot Fuentes-Buezo and then fled the scene.

The details are sketchy so far but there’s a distinct possibility that ‘Mr. Pee Pee’ pulled a gun on the wrong person in the group that confronted him.

Of course, there’s the de rigueur regurgitation of anti-gun statistics at the end of the article.

Here’s the original story by The Independent.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/crime/houston-man-shot-urinating-texas-b1865280.html

The headline looks like this on a Google search.

It’s called Yellow Journalism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_journalism in the US and Tabloid Journalism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabloid_journalism in Lost Britain (formerly known as the United Kingdom). This story is a very pure example.

The sadly entertaining thing is that The Independent tries to put on the image that it isn’t a Tabloid Journal.

Anyone who thinks there’s not a Culture War going on is sadly mistaken.

The BOGO on Tactical Professor books continues

I’m grateful to my subscribers who send me news reports about the Negative Outcomes gunowners encounter. The ones about children gaining unauthorized access to guns really make me sad, especially because some folks defend practices that lead to those tragedies. Consequently, the purchase of any Tactical Professor book now includes a free copy of Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make.

In addition, I have reduced the price of Serious Mistakes by itself to $4.99. I’d make it free except that people only value things they pay for.

If anyone who has purchased any of my books would like a free copy of Serious Mistakes, email me through the About section above and I will send you one.

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Deadly Conduct and Attempted Murder

Those are the charges in two incidents where Negative Outcomes resulted from gunfire. Both situations occurred when people thought they were making good decisions about employing a firearm for Personal Protection but the legal system doesn’t agree. Unfortunately, both incidents are material for the updated and expanded Second Edition of Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make http://seriousgunownermistakes.com that will be published later this year.

Mom charged [with Deadly Conduct] after shooting her 5-year-old son while trying to target loose dog, H[ouston]PD says

https://abc13.com/mom-accidentally-shoots-her-son-trying-to-shoot-dog-5-year-old-shot-by-angelia-mia-vargas-deadlyconduct-of-a-firearm/10728726/

A mother [who was riding a bike down the street] has been charged after accidentally shooting her 5-year-old son [who was also riding his bike down the street] while trying to shoot a dog that was running across the street in north Houston, according to Houston police.

FBI agent charged [with Attempted Murder and other crimes] in off-duty shooting of man on subway

https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/fbi-agent-charged-off-duty-shooting-man-subway-78019158

Valdivia shot and wounded the man from a distance of roughly 2 to 3 feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters) after repeatedly telling the man to back up, county prosecutor Robert Hill said in court.

The man had approached Valdivia on a train, sat across from him and asked the agent for money, Hill said. The man muttered expletives and began to walk away when the agent said he didn’t have any money to give, the prosecutor added.

‘Watch your mouth,’ the agent told the man, according to Hill.

After the man turned and approached him again, Valdivia pulled a gun from a holster and shot him, the prosecutor said. Another passenger was in the agent’s line of fire, about 15 feet (4.6 meters) away, [which resulted in an additional charge of Reckless Endangerment] but wasn’t harmed, Hill added.

Note that getting the last word in, e.g., “Watch your mouth,” is not the way to Break Contact. Breaking Contact (Part I) The moment a criminal, or in this case undesirable, breaks contact, let it go. If possible, increase your distance by going in the opposite direction. Moving away from an adversary is a good skill to practice, probably far more useful in everyday life than practicing shooting on the move.

Guns are not general purpose tools for Personal Protection. They are special purpose tools that are useful only in a very limited set of circumstances. The legal system did not believe either of these incidents fell within that set of circumstances. Probably both persons charged will end up pleading to lesser offenses. Whether those will be felonies or not remains to be seen.

The mother’s relationship with her son is unlikely to ever be the same and she may lose her right to own a firearm forever. The FBI Agent’s once promising career is over, even if he is acquitted on all the charges, which is unlikely. At best, he can hope to keep his job as an FBI Agent, if he wins acquittal. The chances he will ever advance or get a good assignment again are minuscule.

Minuscule – very small

If you carry a gun, carry pepper spray, PERIOD. Lacking a non-lethal force option implies that all you are willing and capable of doing to defend yourself and your loved ones is to kill someone. That’s not a rational decision.

Whether it was necessary to do anything in the dog incident at all is questionable but using pepper spray as a defensive tool would have had less consequences. Also try to avoid or deal with having irrational fears about dogs.

The important thing in viewing these stories is not to harsh on the persons involved because that’s easy but non-productive. Rather, try to learn something from their misfortunes.

  • Do you consistently carry a non-lethal force option?
  • Have you practiced with your NL force option using an inert version?
Practicing with an emptied inert unit
  • If you have irrational fears, have you confronted them and programmed yourself with a rational response to the trigger?
  • Have you mentally and physically practiced breaking contact?

Gaining knowledge from others’ experiences is one of the useful legs of Will Rogers’ learning triad. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/116468-there-are-three-kinds-of-men-the-ones-that-learn

Tactical Professor books (all PDF)

Breaking Contact (Part 5)

#mindsetmonday

Our goal in personal protection is to force a break in contact. We want them to go away, or we want to go away. One or the other.

The final segment of the CCW Safe Series about my concept of Breaking Contact is posted.

https://ccwsafe.com/blog/breaking-contact-pt-5

This edition focuses on success stories. I like those.

[W]hen a concealed carrier enters a self-defense situation with the goal of breaking contact — as opposed to a goal of killing or disabling an attacker — the defender has a substantially higher likelihood of avoiding a deadly shooting or making a successful self-defense claim when all else fails.

Shawn Vincent

Leg shots

Initial investigation revealed several individuals were in the home watching tv and playing games through the night. A 37-year-old Ridgely, Maryland man became enraged and began attacking the other occupants with a knife. At some point during the altercation, one of the stabbing victims retrieved a shotgun and shot the male subject in the leg.

The 37-year-old Ridgely man was transported by EMS to Bayhealth Kent General where he was pronounced dead.

https://abcnews.go.com/US/man-stabbing-spree-home-shot-killed-victims/story?id=77936754

So much for the idea that shooting someone in the leg isn’t the application of deadly force. The Village Idiot JRB has no clue but that’s no surprise.

The Delaware State POlice initial report for the incident.

https://dsp.delaware.gov/2021/05/26/update-homicide-investigation-police-activity-hartly/

Breaking Contact (Part 4)

Breaking Contact Part 4 is up.

https://ccwsafe.com/blog/breaking-contact-pt-4

Marissa Alexander,  Alexander Weiss, and Jerome Ersland are the cases discussed in the post.

The lesson for concealed carriers is that if you manage to break contact with a perceived aggressor, do not re-engage.

Breaking Contact (Part 3)

#fridayfundamentals

The CCW Safe https://ccwsafe.com/ series about my concept of Breaking Contact continues with Part 3.

https://ccwsafe.com/blog/34532

Part 2 of the series focused on situations where the concealed carrier initiated contact. Part 3 focuses on incidents where the carrier was initially approached and failed to take the opportunity to Break Contact.

I hate platitudes when they’re used in an attempt to simplify a complex topic into a sound bite. “Better to be tried by twelve than carried by six” is one of the most commonly parroted sayings in the firearms community. While many times we are presented with the optometrist’s question, “Which is better, A or B?,” decisions that are made in advance and are going to affect the rest of our lives seldom are binary. I like to think we’re smarter than parrots that have been trained to say one or two things.

As Shawn points out, the decision process has several more options.

When the goal is not necessarily to kill or disable a would-be attacker, a defender is open to other options that carry less legal risk and may produce more positive outcomes.

When breaking contact is the goal, sometimes it is better to disengage rather than attempt to de-escalate.

My personal paradigm is:

  1. Avoid
  2. Escape
  3. Confront
  4. Resist

Any attempt at de-escalation, even when benign, is a part of Confront. Disengage is part of Escape. Escaping is higher on my priority list than Confronting.

Similarly, in the Gerald Strebendt incident, he unnecessarily moved up the paradigm from Escape to Confront. A confrontation inherently carries more risk associated with it than an escape. As John Hall, former head of the FBI Firearms Training Unit put it:

Any encounter carries with it an element of chance.

My initial post about Breaking Contact (Part I) is located here:

The second is here.

If you would like to purchase my book, click on the image below. The detailed investigations and reports of incidents involving off-duty LAPD officers are very instructional for understanding the differences between Avoiding, Escaping, and Confronting.

Downrange Incident in Rock Hill

This story is about what I call a “downrange incident,” meaning that innocent parties are downrange and in close proximity to the criminal when the shot needs to be fired.

During the initial investigation process, officials learned the 19-year-old allegedly initiated a verbal altercation with others in the apartment. Authorities said the altercation then escalated when the 19-year-old began assaulting those in the apartment and threatened to kill them. The 19-year-old strangled a male who[m] he assaulted, officials said, and was then shot by another person in the apartment in an attempt to stop the attack. Officers said the 19-year-old then turned and started strangling a female in the apartment. He was then shot a second time, then collapsed.

https://www.wcnc.com/article/news/crime/19-year-old-shot-in-rock-hill/275-32c631c0-bb0c-415e-98c2-e8db8a9cd2a9

These types of situations happen more often than is commonly thought. Having it happen twice in one incident, such as this one, is rare however. Making a clean close range precision shot should be part of our practice regimen.

From my old YouTube Channel that I can’t access anymore.

Breaking Contact – Our Objective

#mindsetmonday

An interesting aspect of reading Use of Force reports by different POlice departments is seeing their varying views about how to interpret the incidents. While the LAPD provides a very detailed analysis of officer marksmanship for each incident, the NYPD has a quite different view, at least in its public releases.

“Objective Completion Rate

The [NYPD] does not calculate ‘hit percentage’ when describing ID-AC [Intentional Discharge – Adversarial Conflict] incidents. The NYPD uses an ‘objective completion rate’ per incident to determine the effectiveness of police firearms discharges. When a uniformed member properly and lawfully perceives a threat severe enough to require the use of a firearm and fires properly and lawfully at a specific threat, the most relevant measure of success is whether the member ultimately stops the threat. This is the objective completion rate. Regardless of the number of shots that strike a particular subject, the objective is considered completed when the actions of the subject that threaten imminent serious physical injury or death are stopped by a member’s use of deadly physical force, i.e., a subject stops their threatening actions after being shot.

In 2019, uniformed members of the service successfully stopped the threat by discharging their weapons in 24 of the 25 ID-AC incidents, with at least one subject shot in each of those 24 incidents, for an objective completion rate of 96%. The objective completion rate is used for statistical and informational purposes, and is not a factor considered in the investigation of the individual incidents.”

NYPD Objective Completion Rate

In other words, when the officer actually hit the “subject/perpetrator/assailant” with at least one round, the objective of stopping the Violent Criminal Actor’s action was achieved.

NYPD Intentional Discharge – Adversarial Conflict

Unlike the LAPD analysis, NYPD data doesn’t provide us information that’s useful in terms of developing physical skills. However, it does provide us with an interesting philosophical viewpoint on what’s important in Defensive Gun Uses. Our ‘objective’ as Private Citizens is exactly the same as for officers of the NYPD, whether we call it “stopping the threat,” “breaking contact,” or use some other term.

The initial post about Breaking Contact (Part I) is located here:

https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/04/10/breaking-contact-part-i/

If you would like to purchase my book about LAPD Shootouts, click on the image below.

Someone thought their car was a holster

Investigators said initial reports indicated the 9-year-old had found a handgun inside the car.

9-year-old believed to have fatally shot 11-year-old boy in car in Pleasant Grove, Dallas police say

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/crime/2021/04/11/9-year-old-suspected-in-fatal-shooting-of-11-year-old-boy-inside-car-in-pleasant-grove-dallas-police-say/

My tolerance for this kind of idiocy gets lower and lower with every one of these incidents I read about. Anyone who leaves an unsecured gun in a car is a fool. People who do it can sugar coat their reasons all they want and I’m still going to say:

If you leave an unsecured gun in your car, you’re a fool. If you consider this an acceptable practice, please unsubscribe from this blog; I don’t suffer fools gladly.

When a child gets shot because of an adult’s carelessness about securing a firearm, it’s no different than if the child was killed while the adult was drinking and driving.

Mommy and Daddy, where’s my older brother?

He’s not with us because you killed him when we left you alone in the car with an unsecured loaded gun.

Think about having that conversation any time you feel like leaving your gun in the car.

Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make

Breaking Contact (Part I)

CCW Safe is doing a series about our ultimate goal in Personal Protection. I am happy that I have been able to make a contribution to the literature of our Art.

Our goal in personal protection is to force a break in contact [with a criminal attacker]. We want them to go away, or we want to go away. One or the other.

https://ccwsafe.com/blog/breaking-contact-pt-1

This philosophical fundamental is the true meaning of “Get off the X” for the Private Citizen. Sidestepping or whatever method is taught to get off the X isn’t the end or even the important part of the process. Forcing the attacker to withdraw or making our escape is the end objective.

It’s nothing new. Military units have probably been doing this since before the Roman Empire existed. It’s easily overlooked at the moment of an incident, though. For some folks, escaping is a natural response but for others it is counter-intuitive and needs to be practiced.

In some cases, what we’ve learned needs to be unlearned and replaced with a more appropriate tactic. Assaulting through the kill zone of an ambush toward the enemy is a prime example. Infantrymen are taught this from Day 1 of their military training. However, it’s often not a viable response in civilian life. Sadly, the LT Dwain Williams incident https://tacticalprofessor.wordpress.com/2021/02/26/using-cover-effectively/ is an example of how wrong this tactic can go.

As Shawn points out in the Breaking Contact article https://ccwsafe.com/blog/breaking-contact-pt-1, POlice officers are especially vulnerable to falling prey to the subconscious instinct to chase when they are off-duty. Several incidents in Real Shootouts of the LAPD https://realshootoutsofthelapd.com demonstrate this. However, private citizens are vulnerable too and he cites several cases where this occurred.

Practicing, using an inert replica of your tool, a simple Battle Drill of Breaking Contact with an attacker is worth actually doing rather than just thinking about. We learn physical skills through repetition.

If you would like to purchase Real Shootouts of the LAPD, click on the image below.