Family dollar

CORRECTION: [CCW IN ACTION] Family Dollar Attempted Robbery


Back in March 25, 2016, we wrote up a story going over the details of an attempted robbery behind a Family Dollar in Tyler, Texas. At the time, based upon the news reports available, I commented that the details of the case seemed sketchy due to the incident occurring behind the store.

As it turned out — it was sketchy. But not for the reasons I mentioned. Thankfully, the concealed carrier that was involved in the incident got up with me and was able to shed some light.

Recap of the Concealed Carry Event

The Tyler Morning Telegraph reported that an attempted robbery occurred around 8 p.m. behind a Family Dollar store in Tyler, Texas. The incident was stopped by a man who was licensed to carry a concealed handgun. Tyler police interviewed the two purported victims of the event.

The victims reported that they were there to buy a dog. A young man greeted them and told them to come around back to see the dog. When the two victims followed, they were allegedly ambushed by several other men who yelled for them to get on the ground. One of victims had his concealed carry handgun and drew it to protect himself and his friend. The criminals fled and the concealed carrier reported the incident to police.

Concealed Carrier’s Correction To Article

I commented in addition to the article, saying that I thought it was highly suspicious that the two men would go around the back of a building to look at a dog.

And it was highly suspicious as the concealed carrier pointed out in his statement to me.

“Originally, we were supposed to meet them at a Burger King maybe a mile up from the dollar store. The guy called and said his buddy was inside buying some groceries and was taking forever and wanted us to come there instead. [Red Flag #1]”

The concealed carrier reported that he already felt uncomfortable about the change in venue but he was armed with his handgun just in case.

We get out at the Family Dollar around 8:00-8:15 p.m. My buddy texted [the seller] that we were there and a nice dressed kid (17-18 yr old) comes from around the front corner of the building and says, ‘I have the dog in my car right over here.’

The car in question was parked in a section of the parking lot that wrapped around the building. [Red Flag #2]

As we rounded the corner, I saw a Chevy Malibu. They [the sellers] had told us they were in a newer model Dodge Charger.

The concealed carrier noted that this was the third Red Flag.

The area [we were heading towards] was not lit and very dark but I could not see there was no light until we rounded the corner. [Red Flag #4]

Immediately I’m looking around for threats and I notice the top of 3 or 4 heads of people squatting down on the other side of the trunk area of the car.

I said to my buddy we need to go and the guys jump up and rush us from around the back of the car. The front guy in the group raised his arm as he was standing up as if he was raising a weapon and I immediately drew my weapon. The moment my weapon left my holster the guys did an about face and ran the other direction.


Alright. Let’s take a pause and recap.

Where The Concealed Carrier Made The Best Of A Bad Situation — And How We Can Avoid Future Bad Situations

The criminals, in this case, gave themselves away with the following flags:

  • Unexpected change of venue.
  • Meeting time is at night.
  • Location is not brightly lit and clearly visible.
  • Unexpected change of vehicle.

The potential buying party started to get a hint that this may not be a legitimate deal and proceeded with caution. When the ambush was sprung, the concealed carrier immediately drew his gun and proceeded to defend himself and his friend. He told us he sent his friend around to the front of the store to seek shelter and proceeded after him because it was the opposite direction of where the attackers were fleeing.

Once they had secured cover, the concealed carrier notified police via 911.

In addition to this, the concealed carrier and his friend both got out of the area and went to the parking lot of Sam’s Club because they felt it was a good neutral ground. They maintained communication with police and sought to leave the area where a threat may be present.

Was this a shady deal? You bet.

Did the concealed carrier use good judgement and maintain his situational awareness? Absolutely.

This is real life concealed carry, folks. Red flags pop up all the time and we struggle to sift through potential false flags and real ones. This guy understood that there may be the potential for a bad situation to arise and took proper precautions. Unfortunately, he couldn’t know what he didn’t know about the Family Dollar parking lot and the perfect ambush spot the criminals had set up for him.

He never fired his gun, he immediately sought shelter and informed police of the situation, and he got himself and his friend to safety away from the scene of the incident.

The concealed carrier did a textbook example of what you should do if you’re unexpectedly caught in that type of situation. More importantly, we’re glad both him and his friend are safe and the situation concluded without bloodshed.

What a great lesson! Carry every single day and if you start picking up on red flags, trust your intuition. In private sales of dogs, possessions, or anything else, always make sure to follow these five simple rules:

  • Meet in a public, well-lit area visible to all.
  • Set a time and location and stick to it.
  • Make the other party give descriptions of themselves and their vehicle. If the details don’t match up in-person, cancel the transaction.
  • Always carry your concealed carry handgun with you at all times.
  • Bring a friend for backup.

Thank you to the concealed carrier who reached out and gave us his side of the story. This turned out to be highly educational and it’s something I hope we all can learn from.

As per Concealed Nation policy, we will not disclose the name of a concealed carrier involved in an incident. If you believe you were the subject of an article related to either your own self-defense or an incident in which you used your concealed carry handgun, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

Original Article: “CCW IN ACTION: Armed Texan Thwarts Attempted Armed Robbery Outside Dollar Store: Why Concealed Carry Works“, March 25, 2016

About James England | View all posts by James England

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry…

James England is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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