We see this kind of outcome fairly regularly when an armed robber meets an armed clerk whose Active Self Protection is up to the task! Nice work by the clerk to make this armed robber reconsider his life choices.
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Original video of the armed robber is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
News story interviewing the armed clerk and showing that the armed robber was hit by his fire: https://get-asp.com/3rce
What does this clerk teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robber?
- Situational awareness is your best friend. It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private. The clerk had to know that these things happen and be ready for an armed robber, and he was!
- Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. Convenience stores are transitional spaces, and while it’s a rarity for anyone to get into a gunfight in a convenience store, it’s definitely more likely than at the library!
- In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. The clerk here was able to bide his time and wait for his opportunity to get to his firearm to deal with the armed robber.
- In the moment an armed robber attacks you, you must look for your opportunity to protect yourself. It is strongly possible that the moment of the attack is not that moment. You want to wait for the time that the armed robber is not focusing on you to act with decisiveness to protect yourself.
- In most instances that we see on surveillance video, the first person to put shots on target wins the gunfight. That’s not 100% because injured people can stay in the fight a long time, but it is a good “rule of thumb” because once someone gets shot they usually stop thinking about whatever it is they were doing and start thinking about the pain they’re in and how not to get shot again. The lesson in that is clear: be the first to put shots on target. (this is the corollary to Joe Frick’s Rules for a Gunfight #3, “Only hits count. The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.”) Here the clerk put a shot on the armed robber and that took all the starch out of him.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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