A reader sent me a link to a public Facebook status and figured I’d be interested in it. I certainly was, but maybe not how the submitter had hoped. While I hate putting people on blast, I also sometimes find it necessary. There are many learning experiences out there, and this is a perfect example of one.
Here is the post in it’s entirety. Give it a read, and then let’s get into the discussion:
Tonight was eventful to say the least. We went to the Rapid Roberts on sunshine and 65 to get gas on our way home. Matt got out of the car and headed to pump gas. At that point a guy came walking out of our front drivers side of the van looking at matt pumping gas then at me, back at matt and then stared at me, all the while he was walking twords the passenger side of the van. He opened the door and pulled put a knife about the size of a machete and pointed it at me while starting to get in the van. I screamed ‘matt get your gun!!!!’ And the guy stopped getting in the car and said ‘your lucky he has a gun’ and then shut the door and started walking away. I then got out of the car and went twords the guy at the same time matt pulled his gun out and pointed at the guy. I then said ‘he’s got a knife, shoot the fucker!’ Matt did not shoot him. Instead he called 911 and the guy continued to back away facing us. The guy then walked down the north side of sunshine to the other side of 65. I told matt to get in the car and I started following the guy at a distance. We saw him as he started banging on people windows and pulling on handles trying to get into people’s cars. We drove past him and turned around in the kum’n’go parking lot. We went back twords where the guy was and by that time he had already gone back across the underpass and was then trying to get into cars on the south side of sunshine. Having no luck he started walking westward down the south side of sunshine. We pulled back into rapid ro erts facing sunshine and watched him walking twords Wendy’s and then trying to cross sunshine. At that point we heard sirens and police arrived and had the guy in his knees, hands behind his head. I walked a little ways up video taping from a distance. He points at me and shouts to the officer that I have a gun and am going to kill him. (LMAO, if only he would have been that lucky) I continued videotaping until he was arrested.
The picture below is of the guy from the greene county jail booking. I will never forget his face.
All four girls were in the car. Kasi was awake and watched the whole thing go down. She knows that we keep her safe and that the police are here to protect us but we also have to protect ourselves. This is why we carry. THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO PROTECT OUR RIGHT TO CARRY.
Yikes. While this certainly must have been a scary situation, there were a few things that
could have should have been handled in a much better way.
Point #1: Keeping your door locked
Gas stations are target areas for criminals. If you’re sitting in the car waiting for your significant other to pump the gas, keep that door locked. Routinely, criminals will wait for the driver to get out, and then they’ll go for the passenger door to see what they can swipe before you notice it. The best bet: keep that door locked regardless.
Point #2: Don’t move towards the threat
If you’re in a threatening situation, your objective is to get away safely if possible. Since this story points out that she “got out of the car and went towards the guy”, I think its safe to say that she could have successfully distanced herself from the retreating threat.
Point #3: Don’t shoot, or advise someone to shoot, at a fleeing/retreating suspect
We carry firearms to defend ourselves and not to actively go after the bad guy. Once the threat has left the area, there should be no reason to discharge a firearm. The woman in the story yelled for her husband to “shoot the fucker!” because he had a knife. However according to the story, this was said after the man started retreating. Luckily, the husband used his better judgement and dialed 911 instead.
Now if the man had still been right there with the knife, that’s a whole other story. If refusing to leave or drop the knife, all bets are off.
Additional topic worth mentioning
The most interesting part to me comes later on in the story, where we are told the man begins moving around from car to car, trying to get in. It seems that at least some of the cars were occupied at the time. Here’s an interesting scenario for sure, especially for an armed citizen. If you’re witness to a person, carrying around a massive knife and trying to get into vehicles that have people in them, what should you do? Is that enough reason to potentially discharge your firearm in an attempt to stop the bad guy?
While laws will differ from state to state, my personal opinion is this: Since these situations are unlike any others, and since we wouldn’t know the whole scope of what was going on unless we find ourselves in the middle of them, it’s best to imagine the situation and make an informed decision. So in this particular case, if I were walking down the street and saw a person with a knife trying to force their way into a vehicle that was clearly occupied, I would approach with a drawn firearm and order them to drop the knife. If they came at me or the people in the vehicle, all bets would probably be off. But that’s just my 2 cents.