Witnessed a robbery up close

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Airtime, Aug 10, 2016.


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  1. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    We need to nudge this site a bit away from the recent domination of opinion on current events and politics, it’s redundant to other sites and more depressing than edifying. Let’s try and move back towards stuff that helps us actually prep for survival. To that end I’ll offer this recent experience for consideration and discussion.

    I recently spent a week on a military base which prohibits the possession of private firearms. I had removed my usual carry piece from my person and truck. The next day I stopped at a convenience type store for a minute and was of course still unarmed. While approaching the cashier with my small purchase, a gunman burst in the door waving a semiautomatic handgun (horizontally) and shouted at the cashier demanding she put the money in a bag. I was maybe a dozen feet away enjoying a very good view of the business end of his automatic as I was maybe just 20 degrees out of the line to the cashier upon whom his attention seemed focused.

    It was interesting in that this was a store on the major highway in our modest sized town. Not a terrible neighborhood. I had been in there many times before. It literally took a couple seconds for my brain to grasp exactly what was happening as it was totally unexpected (need to work on that.) Maybe I was not as bad realizing what was happening as I think as the neurologists say that time doesn't actually slow down in our perceptions but rather our recollection of those events just plays them back in slowmo so maybe I did realize rather quickly. Anyway....

    I felt totally helpless.

    I was too far away to do anything if he started shooting and there was a display rack with candy etc. between us. I was unable to return fire if he started shooting. I couldn’t do squat to help the poor gal behind the counter. Afterwards I felt like a coward but all I could do was slowly slink away and try and not be perceived by the masked gunman as a threat to him. In the moment, I oddly wasn’t at all scared and did keep my wits. For example, I was leaving on vacation a couple days and in an instant I knew l didn’t want to loose my charge cards, drivers license, etc. and quickly pulled my wallet out, stuffed some cash in my pocket to hand over if demanded, silently dropped my wallet onto my foot, rolled it onto the floor and nudged it under the candy display rack. Another employee was behind me and as I slowly moved back away, gently pushed her back and whispered, “Go, go, go.” She went to back of store and I could hear her call 911. The clerk poured the cash drawer into a bag and the guy was out the door in less than 60 seconds from when he came in. Then it was another couple hours with police and all that before I could head back home.

    Of course I have thought a bunch about this since and have played many “what if” scenarios in my mind. I have thought a bunch if I should have or even could have done anything different. I have pondered, what if I did have my little LCP in my pocket where it normally would have been if not for the Army. I was maybe 15 feet away, how good would I have been under pressure shooting that far and over a display rack with a tiny LCP should I have needed? Would I be better served to carry my Glock 19 or 23? But those are hard to deep conceal inconspicuously inside the pocket of a pair of jeans and would I carry less often (quite likely) especially in the summer when I wouldn’t have a jacket? What do I need to do to improve my situation for the future should I find myself in this situation again?

    In retrospect I pretty much know that had I been carrying I would have likely done about the same. For example, there was a person roughly behind him and had I shot and missed to left would have risked hitting her and oddly I was quite aware of that. It was comforting that some of my training immediately came to mind about minimizing risk to others and what’s behind the target. It is also sobering that I could have had trouble getting the drop without a round or two or three or four coming in my direction first. So, the whole concept of slowly and covertly drawing early and moving back to be less of a perceived threat to buy time and opportunity became obvious. It has also been interesting what things I remember and focused on during the event. I could almost draw a picture of the end of the gun, could even tell it was a 9 mm or .40, but I could hardly describe the gunman’s mask.

    There are many lessons to be learned. I have some I might share, but what ones come to mind for you?
    (please try and keep it on topic.)

    AT
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Short featured to get a start on similar experiences and thinking. Good topic, methinks.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  3. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey

    Glad you are safe and still with us.

    Real life always plays out differently than we think. IMO - had you been armed doing exactly what you did was the smart move, and there is no sense risking your life over a little cash. Had the situation been different where you felt the robber was about to kill someone, well, that would be the time to act gun or not.
     
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  4. marlas1too

    marlas1too Monkey++

    airtime when I'm in a store no mater where that i can't carry I'm always carrying some kind of soup can and thrown at close range will just about kill some one and I always also carry a flip knife never know when you will need one and if I'm not buying the soup I will leave at the counter just being safe--- and I am the one your mother warned you about plain crazy b$%^h
     
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  5. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey++

    Nothing bad happened, so you did the right thing not to escalate. And at 15 feet, you should be able to get hits with a pocket pistol, but I know the sentiment. I often open carry just so that I can have the "best gun for the job" instead of just the one I can hide. Hard call.
     
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  6. Caveman Jim

    Caveman Jim Goin for the Glory

    A lot has been said about these types of situations, would you react or not react. There have been 2 times in my life that I have been in this type situation. The first one I was in a house during a home invasion/robery many years ago and I was not armed, i stayed put and lived. The second time I was in a big market in the back, I was armed but it was over by the time I ventured to the front.
    I do not think that if I was (in your case) really close to the perp that I would have engaged. Reason being is I am not a wealthy man and do not have an attorney in my back pocket. Now if the perp had singled me out and pointed his gat at me then yes I would have put him down.
    I carry to protect myself and my family. I do not carry to be a hero.....
     
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  7. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

    Rule #1
    Always carry even when there a signs that say not to.
    Post Office is #1, WalMart is#2

    Rancher
     
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  8. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    The better to be judged by twelve than carried by six philosophy. Agreed!

    Hard decision to make @Airtime. If you had been armed and had shot and killed the guy, you would probably be in jail. Had he started shooting, the clerk would undoubtedly be dead and you couldn't do her any good by shooting him after the fact. There is a load of responsibility heaped upon the concealed carry holder these days. One needs to decide if they are up to the task.
     
  9. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++

    Well, I think you did EXACTLY the right thing. For certain, there was no reason to get into a shoot out over a few dollars that were not yours, not the cashier's and was insured. You tried to move out of the line of fire, showing no aggression, seeking cover so you did exactly correct. Nothing to be ashamed of as far as I can see. Hell, you had the frame of mind to hide your wallet! That shows you were in control of yourself. I say "Well done!" @Airtime
    EDIT: It was a tough call but he was after money, plain and simple. Nope. You called it perfectly.

    Yeah, I always carry in Walmart and even Costco even though the latter doesn't want you to do so, not sure about Walmart. Screw'em no madman or Taliban is going to corner and slaughter me without me giving some back to him if I can help it. It's a damn killing field in those places! And, the sooner they are libel for us because we can't carry in there the better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  10. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I have to say, AT, that 15 feet is too far to engage with an LCP. Got rid of mine for reasons similar to that. Wouldn't hesitate to engage with a sig or Colt (or others) at that range, but the LCP has to much going against it for accurate and and quick shooting. You did the right thing being unarmed, and maybe also had you been armed as well.
     
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  11. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon West Coast Monkey

    I'm going to touch on this aspect of your post, why I have no say on how this site runs I too have not been 100% encouraged with the huge vast amounts of events and politics feeling is over welming its bad enough on my facebook account where I discuss guns with my family and friends I am inundated by events and politics memes and huge amounts of just events and politics crap. At first a few memes and post seemed ok to me, but there is a huge push of negativity looming over the monkeys in events and politics in my opinion. A few just push push push this and well I have slowly done other things. And we find half the stuff is wrong, mis-quoted or not even factual.
    Now why this does not reflect on the owners, admins or moderators. I took it upon myself for the time being to remove my paid membership just because I am seeing so much that concerning of events and politics that the learning and fun or survival and prep is slowly moving away. I need that more then I need to know Hilary has a Muslim terrorist visitor in her crowd no offense to anyone that posted that. I have my self tried to post humor here and there to try and drive away the negative spin.
    For me I need to know how to survive if these events and politics turn us to SHTF all this crap about events and politics wont matter diddly. I like SV I hope it stays on the path I enjoy because what we learn here could be life or death. I see this site as a huge resource one I am glad is here I am still sifting thru all the documents and how to's . Just my two cents.
     
  12. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Monkey+

    Had I been in your situation, armed with my LCP, I would not have engaged the robber unless he started to herd us into the back room! I would hope to be closer to him at that time.
    I feel that you did the best a person could do in that krappy situation! Glad you are OK! :)

    +1 with Marlas! A soup can is a surprisingly good close quarters weapon. Don't ask how I know! :D
     
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  13. duane

    duane Monkey++

    Faced a similar situation 20 years ago as a customer at a gas station, no gun, no phones, 3 of us and an idiot came in with a sawed off shotgun and demanded our money. Gave it to him and he left. He appeared to be drunk, high, or crazy and the gun was an automatic federal offence so it was serious. In retrospect I don't see anything I could of done different with the exception of being more aware of my surroundings. He walked in with it at his side, raised it and made his demands, took our money, and he left.
     
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  14. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey Site Supporter+

    First and foremost, sincerely glad you acted as you did and are still with us-I enjoy yer posts;)

    I don't believe you had any option other than the one you chose. Any other in this situation would've been foolhardy. Had you been armed and the D-bag opened fire, well that changes things IMHO. I commend you on your level headedness and thought processes that were clear enough to allow you to think of the wallet play. I would not have thought of that. Your actions in this helped another to safety and helped bring in the police. WELL DONE SIR.
    As uncool as it may sound, the Dirty Harry response isn't always the proper one. Again AT, truly glad you are OK and went home to your family intact.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  15. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Monkey

    Dirty Harry carried a Badge. We concealed carry holders are considered criminals with no knowledge of the law. That in and of itself is disconcerting.
     
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  16. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey..... Moderator Site Supporter++

    AT I commend your actions... you handled it correctly as many have already stated. You looked out for your safety and the lady you ushered to move towards the other more safe area while this robbery took place. Keeping a level head and thinking clear under this kind of stress is difficult for most.... driving most into running away, freezing, or making some stupid move putting them in harms way. Well done my friend!!

    I will throw a few lessons learned...habits if you will that I follow, to answer your final question in your OP. Others, please add to this little list, as that is what I think, is ultimately the lesson of this thread AT is driving to... your safety under duress in a similar situation.
    • Fuel up during the day time in a busy area, if at night, make sure it is well lit.
    • Once your fueling starts, remain in your locked vehicle, especially at night... one more barrier for a bad guy to get to you.
    • Never leave your passenger door unlocked while prepping to fuel. Many thefts happen by sneaky folks opening your passenger door while you are out of the vehicle, swiping anything of opportunity like your wallet, phone or other.
    • Pay attention to everyone around you (get your head out of your smart phone and be alert).
    • Stay out of the premise if possible and just use the pay option at the fuel dispenser. Going inside opens you up to others being closer to you and what they may be going after. Leaving you limited opportunities to escape away from whatever, compared to being outdoors. Do you really need a can of soda and some Cheetos, probably not?!
    • Have primary, secondary and backup weapons to provide whatever defense you are allowed. You don't have a firearm...okay, but can you pull out pepper spray, tactical pen, knife and so on to provide a last line of defense if you are pressed into action. In AT's circumstance, distance and the situation allowed him to withdraw from direct action... but if it had escalated...what could/can be done with what is on you?
    • Are you physically fit to fight.... or run? If pressed into a fight, do you have training in basic self defense....
    • And so on.........
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
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  17. Brutus57

    Brutus57 "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley."

    First of all, good for you for staying safe. I carry a larger caliber than an LCP now, I used to carry a PPK clone in .380. Either is accurate to engage center of mass at 15 feet. If an LCP is not up to that task...why carry it?

    Brutus Out
     
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  18. Cathail

    Cathail Monkey+

    I'm with azrancher, i often carry event when explicitly warned not to. I do not let Corporations dictate whether I can protect myself; the army may be a bit more hardcore. even so, had I been carrying in that situation, i would have had an LCP as well. i cannot second guess your actions, never been in that situation. glad you came out alive.
     
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  19. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey Site Supporter+

    "Do you really need a can of soda and some Cheetos?"
    Dude, really? You gotta ask that question? Of friggincourse I need Cheetos. EVERY DAMN DAY:D

    Good points all, Yard.
    When ever we go on a trip out of town we keep a cooler in the truck just for this purpose. When I was driving from ND to Alabama I would keep one with my drinks and snacks for me and the cats on ice in the front passenger seat. You'd be surprised how much less a person has to stop that way. Whenever it was handy I would stop at a WallyWorld for fuel and to use the restroom. The restrooms are nicer than most rest areas and I would restock my cooler and pick up any odds n ends I might think of. The time in the store helped to break me out of that "road haze" one gets from long drives as well.
     
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  20. azrancher

    azrancher Monkey +++

     
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