Carjackers Stopped by Armed Driver – Armed Citizen Stories

H/T AmmoLand.

It was luckily the car driver was armed and was able to defend himself.


U.S.A. –-( We start with this news report from Fox29 news in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

You drive for Lyft. You get a call to a residential area in Philadelphia at 5 on a Sunday morning. When you pull up to the location, two teenagers run up to your car. One of them has a gun. Your attacker orders you to get out of your car and give him the keys.

You are a gun owner. You have your Pennsylvania License to Carry a concealed firearm. You’re armed this morning. You present your firearm and shoot the armed attacker nearest you.

Your attacker drops his gun. The other attacker puts his arms up in the air, so you don’t shoot him. The wounded attacker shouts to someone in a car nearby and that car drives away. You step away from your car, look around, and then call 911.

Police arrest your two attackers. EMS takes your wounded attacker to the hospital for treatment of a non-life threatening injury to his leg. Police also recover your attacker’s gun. It is a BB gun. The attackers who remained at the scene are 14 and 15 years old.

Lyft says you’re not supposed to carry in your car, but an unarmed driver was carjacked in Philadelphia yesterday. You didn’t want that to happen to you.


Our armed defender did a number of things to save his life. Well before this incident, he recognized that driving the public around is a dangerous job. The defender went to the time and trouble of being publicly armed in Philadelphia. He got his permits. Day after day, he dressed around the gun and carried concealed.

On the morning when he was attacked, our defender recognized what appeared to be an immediate, unavoidable, and lethal threat. It sounds like he kept his head and chose his moment to defend himself. When he had an opportunity, the defender shot his immediate attacker until the threat stopped, then the defender stopped shooting. He did not shoot at the second attacker or at the other car because they were not an immediate threat at that time.

After he defended himself, our defender stayed at the scene. He called 911 and made a statement to the police.

Our society changes everyday. Rideshare services now bring hot food to hungry people at all hours. They are also delivering fresh cars to criminals. The carjacker gets to order up the time and location of their robbery. As he places his order, the carjacker can select or reject the make and model of the car.. and the appearance of the driver.

Carjackings are up across the country, but particularly for rideshare drivers.

There are a number of things that were not mentioned in the news report. Let’s look at what we would want to do if we were in a similar situation.

The defender shot his attacker in the leg. Typically that is hard to do from inside the car, so it looks like the defender might have fired as he opened the door and got out of his car. Shooting from inside your car or shooting as you get out of your car are not the presentations we’re taught in our concealed carry class.

If you can, take a class that goes beyond firearms safety and the minimum required for your carry permit. We can learn to shoot from unusual positions. We can also dry practice our shooting from a seated position.

It is harder to find good opportunities to live fire from unusual positions. For example, I could not usually draw and fire from a seated position at my public range, but I could do so during competitions. In that setting you can learn by watching others as well as from your own experience.

We talked about firearms training, but we also have to talk about the judgments involved. Every shot we take will be judged against the legal standards for justified self-defense. Our defender shot when he faced a threat, and he stopped shooting when that threat was sufficiently diminished. The law is not a fool and it recognizes that it takes a moment to realize our situation has changed. We don’t have to be perfect but we want to be responsible with every shot we fire.

There is more we can learn from this news report. These two attackers were not alone. There was at least one additional accomplice in the car that drove away. Multiple attackers are the rule rather than the exception. That is why we want to look around after we’ve addressed the immediate threat.

There is no easy rule to follow when we decide between moving to safety or staying at the scene. There could be greater safety if we flee. We have to weigh that against the possible loss of evidence or witnesses if we run away. In this case, the second attacker might grab the BB gun and disappear. It is unlikely that the wounded attacker would tell the truth about the attack. Criminals usually run and we don’t want to run if we don’t have to. Each of us will have to weigh the pros and cons of that decision in the moment.

Once we’re safe, we want to call 911. Stay on the call and say little. We give our location. Ask for police and medical support. Say that someone is wounded and the scene is secure. Say that there were additional attackers. Give a description of their car and the way they were headed as they left. Tell the dispatcher what you look like including how you’re dressed.

I suggest you stay on the call so you know when the police are about to arrive. Put your gun away, preferably back into your holster. If not, then put your gun back into your car and lock the doors or trunk.

Give a brief statement to the police when they arrive. Tell them the essential facts and then state your willingness to cooperate. We can say something like this.

I was attacked and I called 911. That man pointed a gun at me and I defended myself. That man was also one of the attackers. I called you as soon as I could. Please arrest them. I’ll press charges and testify in court. I’ll cooperate and give a complete statement after I’ve spoken to my attorney.

Of course you want to tell your story, but now is not the time. You may be handcuffed. You may be arrested. You may be taken to jail until you post bail. You are a mess and this is not the time and place to state your legal case.

Have a legal plan and call them. Your lawyer will negotiate you bail. He will ask you to go over what happened several times, preferably at least once after you’ve had a chance to sleep. Let your lawyer take everything you say and put it into a coherent report. Having an experienced self-defense lawyer also makes it harder for a prosecutor to throw unwarranted charges at you. It happens, and you don’t want to face that alone.

We can plan to save lives, both before, during, and after an attack.


69 Year Old Man Stops Three Teenage Attackers – Armed Citizen Stories

H/T AmmoLand.

This story has a happy ending the victim was safe

U.S.A. –-( start with this news report from the Chicago Tribune.

You live in a borough of Chicago, Illinois. You’re walking back home at 11 at night when three teenagers stop their car next to you. They run in front of you and demand your valuables.

You have your Illinois Firearms Owners Identification card. You own a gun. You also have your Illinois carry permit. This night, your gun is loaded and on your hip. You present your concealed firearm and shoot your attackers. The three teenagers run away after the first shot. You stay where you are and call 911.

When the police arrive, you give them a brief description of your attackers and their car. The police arrested your attackers after they crashed their stolen car a few blocks away. All three of them are in their mid-teens and barely old enough to drive. The injured robber is taken to the hospital to treat his wounded knee.


Our defender went home uninjured because he did a number of things in advance, and in the moment of his attack. He owned and carried a firearm legally in Illinois. That took a considerable investment of time, money, and energy. He walked down the street many times before but decided to carry anyway even though there were many times he wasn’t attacked. That night, he dressed around the gun so he could both carry concealed and have his firearm accessible.

Our defender recognized when he faced an imminent attack. He defended himself while the attackers were far enough away that he wasn’t hit or knocked down. He was able to put shots on his attackers under dim lighting conditions that make it hard to see the sights. He faced multiple attackers and they may have been moving. He should have been moving during his defense. Our defender stopped shooting when his attackers turned and ran. He called 911, and then stayed at the scene. He made a statement to the police. It is hard to improve on that performance.

There are a number of things the news articles seldom report accurately, so we’re forced to speculate on what happened.

There may be other people on the street. We want to shout so we draw their attention. There may also be people who are awake inside their homes who will hear us. We want to create ear-witnesses who can report we said, “Stop. Get back.” before they heard the gunshots. The reason is simple. Good guys and give warnings. Bad guys don’t.

Have you practiced shouting “STOP” as you move and present your firearm?

That said, there is a time to talk and a time to fight. We want to move as we present our firearm from concealment. That movement buys us time as the attackers track us. That extra time is particularly important if our attackers are armed, but it is important even if we are attacked bare handed. Our movement also makes it harder for multiple attackers to coordinate their attack. We want to move back and to the side. We might not be able to move much because we don’t want to trip over things we can’t see.

I wish it weren’t so, but some defenders have been attacked in our failing cities after they defended themselves. You have to know your neighborhood and judge if you should move to safety while you wait for the police. The good news is that you survived the attack. Now we have to win the second fight. Now you have to explain why you were justified in the use of lethal force.

Why were we justified in shooting an unarmed teenager? We faced an immediate, unavoidable, lethal threat. We didn’t start the confrontation, and we only used as much force as was necessary to stop the attack. In combination with these factors, the disparity of force arrayed against us justified our use of lethal force in self-defense. In short, we used lethal force because we were innocent and going to be badly hurt or killed if we didn’t.

What is disparity of force? For example, a woman can say she feared being injured by a larger and stronger man. In this case, our older defender was in fear because he faced three young attackers. The disparity of force often comes down to the attacker’s size, their strength, the number of them, and how they are armed.

The law isn’t a fool. Three unarmed young men with their hands and feet are a considerable threat to a 69 year old man. Three children are not a lethal threat even though one of them is holding a toy gun and the other is waving a stick in his hand. You may have to take a beating and give one if the threat does not justify the use of lethal force.

Perhaps we are facing a larger and stronger attacker, but the threat isn’t lethal or imminent. Simply being a belligerent jerk is not a lethal threat. Walking away with our hand on the pepper spray canister in our pocket should be an option.

When we face a lethal threat, we still want to use the least amount of force and inflict the least amount of damage necessary to stop the attack and escape. Our first shot may be justified. A dozen shots against three moving attackers may be justified. Our shots at the backs of our fleeing attackers may be understandable, but they are harder to explain. I repeat, the law isn’t a fool.

Suppose we did everything right to stop an attack. The attack may start so suddenly and be over so quickly that the surge of adrenaline hasn’t hit you yet. Unfortunately, you’ll probably have the shakes and stutters by the time the police arrive. Now, you have to preserve your mantle of innocence. That is why you say little to the police, at least initially.

The police were not there so they don’t know what happened. Tell them that you called 911 and you were the victim of the attack. Describe your attackers and their car, but only say what you’re sure of. Point out evidence like shell casings, neighbors who witnessed your shouts and shots, or a weapon you think your attackers dropped. Tell the police officer that you’ll testify against your attackers. That is what cooperative witnesses do. Say that you’ll give a complete statement after you’ve spoken to your lawyer. That is what smart witnesses do.

Everything we say may be used against us. Saying that you hope the young men are OK sounds like a sign of compassion to us. To a Chicago prosecutor, that statement can be taken as an admission of regret because your actions were unjustified.

It may sound like a simple emotional outburst when we hear the defender saying, ‘I hope I hurt the three SOBs enough they can’t do this again.’ A prosecutor hears a confession that the defender meant to do harm to others rather than merely use minimal force to stop a threat.

Of course, our lawyer can try and explain why our statements were reasonable in context. We will pay him thousands and thousands of dollars to try and get our comments stricken from the record. Let’s make his job easier by saying little, and then letting the lawyer file the report.

The feelings of compassion and outrage are entirely understandable. So is the desire to tell our story. That is why you want a self-defense lawyer that has seen these reactions before. He or she knows what we are going through emotionally. He can prepare us for what we’re about to go through legally. Your lawyer is paid to listen. The police are paid to collect evidence.

Expect to pay tens of thousands of dollars for your defense. Ideally, you did such a good job that you are not charged. If you didn’t save a large amount of money, then you want to be part of a legal defense plan to help pay the bills and bail.

Saving a Stranger in a Sandwich Shop – Armed Citizen Stories

H/T AmmoLand.

This concealed carrier beyond a doubt saved the stabbing victims life.


U.S.A. –-( We start with this news report from the Kerrville Daily Times in Kerrville, Texas.

It has been a long day. You’re hungry, so you pull over to buy some food from a well-known sandwich shop. It is dark outside, but a number of people are still eating and ordering food. Two of the customers inside the sandwich shop begin to argue. One of them pulls out a knife. That is when lots of people leave the shop.. except you. You shout for the man to stop. You’re there when the man with the knife stabs the other customer. Now you run to your truck and grab your gun. You run back inside and order the attacker to stop. He stops the attack and retreats. You hold the attacker at gunpoint until the police arrive.


Police disarm and then arrest the knife-wielding attacker. EMTs take the wounded victim to the hospital. From there, the victim is flown by helicopter to University Hospital. You have your Texas license to carry, and you show it to the police. You tell the police what you saw. The attacker had 29 prior arrests. This time he is charged with aggravated assault. The Kerrville police department called you to say thanks.


An ordinary day turned into a shocking emergency in seconds. Fortunately, our good guy responded quickly and probably saved a man’s life. We can look at what the armed good guy did and think what we might do in his place.

Before the event turned violent, the good guy tried verbal commands to diffuse the situation. He established that the unarmed victim did not start the fight. Our good guy ran to get his defensive tools after the attacker stabbed his victim several times. When he returned with his gun, the defender again tried verbal commands. This time they worked. The armed defender did not press the trigger since there was no longer an immediate lethal threat to an innocent person. Our good guy also gave a statement to the police.

Like most news stories, there are a lot of things we don’t know. We’ll fill in some of the unknowns and think about what we should do if this happened to us.

Some people don’t think this was a lethal situation because the attacker only had a knife. Almost 1500 people were murdered with a knife in 2019 according to the FBI. That is far more than were killed with long guns, and few people ask if a shotgun is a lethal tool. The victim was stabbed three times and required immediate treatment at a well-equipped hospital in order to save his life.

While I consider a knife to clearly be a lethal tool, I’m not as confident about intervening on behalf of a third party. The story describes a repeat offender who had a history of violence. Most states allow a third party to use lethal force on the behalf of another person if that person is justified in defending themselves. In this case, it appears that the victim was innocent and had the right of self-defense. There is no perfect answer, and the actions you failed to take can haunt you as surely as the things you did wrong.

Most of us would act to protect a friend or family member from an armed stranger. I’d want to do it as soon as I saw a lethal, unavoidable, and immediate threat. That is why we carry a firearm on our body. Perhaps the victim would not have been stabbed or would have been stabbed fewer times, if the defender had his gun, his defensive tool, at hand.

We have to give the defender a great deal of credit. He recognized that things had changed by the time he came back with his gun. The immediate threat was passed even though there was now a wounded man who needed attention. We have to be able to articulate why we needed to press the trigger. Fortunately, the threat had passed.. sort of.

We still have a man with a knife and a bleeding victim on the floor. That poses a huge dilemma. The man with the knife is still a threat, though not an immediate lethal one. Also, a person with a knife can move a considerable distance before we can stop him with a firearm. The attacker might die from a gunshot wound, but we might die from a knife wound as well. No one wins a tie. We want to be far enough away from the attacker that we can stop the threat before he reaches us. Fortunately, a firearm works at a distance.

Time is working against us, and there is a lot to do. Shout for the customers watching from outside the shop to call the police. If the physical situation allows it, you’d like someone to treat the wounded man while you wait for the police and EMTs. You don’t want the people applying first aid to be hurt by the attacker. Nor do you want the victim do die due to lack of treatment. There are arguments on both sides. Now is a good time to think about what you should do.. and have some sympathy for law enforcement officers who face this situation more often than we do.

The EMTs won’t advance to treat the injured until they are sure the scene is safe. Nor should you. Ideally, you can separate the attacker and the victim. Then, someone else can get the victim to a position where he can receive first aid. Lots of us have trauma supplies in our cars and trucks. If you were one of the bystanders outside the sandwich shop, then you could lend a hand until EMTs arrive. We are more likely to use our trauma treatment training than our firearms training.

Now, let’s worry about you. You are standing there with a gun in your hand and the police are about to arrive. The person talking to the dispatcher should tell you when to put away the gun, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

There are a few great reasons to have your carry permit. The first is that you can have your gun, your defensive tool, with you when you need it. The second reason is that your holster gives you a place to put your gun as the police arrive. Then again, if the police say to drop your gun, then open your hands and let it hit the floor. As they sort things out, the police usually recognize that a guy or gal wearing a holster and carrying a concealed carry permit is one of the good guys. Stay still and give them the time they need.

I bet you know when you had your last firearms training course. When was the last time you practiced trauma care?

Rob Morse highlights the latest self-defense and other shootings of the week. See what went wrong, what went right, and what we can learn from real-life self-defense with a gun. Even the most justified self-defense shooting can go wrong, especially after the shot. Get the education, the training, and the liability coverage you and your family deserve, join USCCA.