A few months ago, my dad got robbed while he was working in our garage. Fortunately, no one was hurt and the idiot only got four dollars. I was home, but I didn't know anything was going on until my dad came in, told us what happened, and called the police. I got to thinking how I would have handled the situation if I had known what was going on. Here's the scenario: My dad was against the back wall of the garage, and the robber was in the middle. The garage door was open, with the car in the driveway just outside. The garage entry door is just to the right of where my dad was standing. If I had the element of surprise, what would be the best action. Sneak up behind him and order him to put his gun down? Try to physically disarm him? Shoot first, ask questions later? Or maybe enter the garage through the entry door with my gun ready and draw the robber's attention toward me? What do y'all think?
A few questions are in order the biggest one being, was the robber armed? How far apart were your dad and the robber. What other objects were in the garage? Allowing that these answers might alter my answer, if you had known about it and were ready I would have stepped into the garage through the entry door (closest to your dad) and depending on what kind of firearm you had, cock it while pointing or rack the slide etc, ask "What do you want?" and give the perp the chance to retreat. If he had your dad at gunpoint then all bets or off and I'd forget about racking a slide...I'd shoot as soon as I had a target. If he didn't retreat at that point the choice is yours...he has given it to you. Personally if he was armed and he didn't retreat I would shoot him. Sneaking up behind him and shouting "Freeze!" might be appropriate in some circumstances but my preference would be to face him and let him see that I am armed. That way you can see his face and have a better idea of his intentions. If you startled him from behind and he was armed he might shoot out of fear. Also I wouldn't want him between you and your dad should a gunfight ensue. Keep in mind if he wasn't armed and you shot him you might have a bit of a problem as the garage door was open. Walking into a garage through an open door is not quite the same as walking into the house. Then again...you might get better answers from our members with LEO experience.
Last edited by RunningOnMT; 01-18-2009 at 07:40 PM..
I did forget to mention that he was armed. My dad said it was a semiauto, but he didn't know what kind it was (or if it was even real-it could have been a re-painted airsoft gun). My dad was about five or six feet from the robber.
Well, here in NC, we are not required to try to retreat before using deadly force if it's on our own property. If I had a shot, I would make my presence known and he would be looking down the barrel of my loaded and cocked P99. He would have one chance to retreat or surrender. Pointing a weapon at me or one or my family members demonstrates an immediate threat of death. serious injury, or sexual assault (as required by NC law). If he did not retreat or surrender, I would most likely shoot. However, never having been in that situation does make it difficult to give a definate answer.
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If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. - Samuel Adams
Then again...you might get better answers from our members with LEO experience.
I agree with MT on this one. What state do you live in? What are the laws like? It's important that you try to do something immediatly to change the senero that made this perp come to your garage. Maybe get a dog. This may help keep the guy away. You have to consider that this guy is comming back. So get a plan started. If this happened at night then get it lit up. Fence off the opening. Do anyting you can to stop him from comming in to your property. This is best, send him down the road.
Last edited by cycloneman; 01-18-2009 at 08:07 PM..
I'm assuming the guy had a pistol pointed at your dad? To me, I think the best thing would have been to approach from behind but not at an angle where your dad would have been in the line of fire. Using the car as cover, (keeping the engine between you and the bad guy as you have a good chance the motor would stop or deflect rounds if he fired at you), if possible, I would try to get close enough for a head shot. If he had the gun pointed at your dad when you came in from behind, I would not hesitate to shoot him if I had an easy head shot. If you shoot him in the body, he might still get shots off at your dad. If you are shooting a decent size caliber and hit him in the head, it will be instant lights out. My belief is that if someone points a gun at me or a loved one, he has forfeited his right to live, plain and simple. If you couldn't get close enough for a head shot, I would probably wait until he turns around to leave. If his gun is down, you might yell for him to drop the gun assuming he will see you already drawn down on him. (Remember, your using the engine block as cover). But chances are he will start to raise his gun to shoot at you. I would shoot for center mass the instant he started to raise his weapon. You gave him a chance to surrender. This ain't supposed to be a fair fight!! All this is assuming you have the presence of mind to stay cool under pressure. Also, I hope your state has a 'castle doctrine' law. Otherwise, life may become very unpleasant for you legally, even though you had every right to shoot this guy! (according to common sense, anyway!)
Thanks for the info, everyone. My dad said the douche bag couldn't have been any older then 15 or 16, and we think he may have been caught a few days later in the same area (the police were almost certain it was the same asshat).
Cycloneman, I live in Indiana, but I'm not sure about all the laws (I'm still pretty new to shooting). We do have a dog, and usually she goes ballistic whenever anyone even comes close to the house. But at the time, she was out in the backyard and apparently didn't notice. If I had to actually shoot the guy, I use 124gr +P copper JHP rounds in my 9mm, so we would have had quite a mess to clean up. Fortunately it ended the way it did with only four dollars lost, my dad was ok, and we didn't have to wipe the robber's brains off the wall. If he comes back though, I'll be ready.
Tough call but I would want to be armed with something nasty like a shotgun with buckshot. I would have approached thru the door near your dad and shoot when I first acquired the target. This risks are there will be more than one armed perp or the one you shoot will shoot your dad or you. Also you won't know he has a firearm until you see him so your reaction has to be almost instaneous. The way it ended you only lost 4 bucks so who's to say that isn't the absolute best result as the potential legal fees could be in 5 or 6 figures.
NRA and NAHC Life
"Both oligarch and tyrant mistrust the people, and therefore deprive them of their arms." -Aristotle
for $4.00 you dont need a shoot out at the OK corral.
if you walk in and surprise the BG, anything may happen....including someone losing their life.........are you willing to bet on that??
if you decide to "take the shot", like some have suggested, with your father having a gun pointed at him............you better make damn sure that your first shot kills the BG immediately.............are you willing to bet on that??
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