Have you practiced your response to an armed robbery in training or even mentally? Having your Active Self Protection plan in place in advance can give you the advantage, as it did this intended victim!
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Original video with some detail on the armed robbery is available in our Instructor Development Portal.
What does this armed custodian teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robbery?
- 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. Almost every armed robbery we see at ASP occurs in transitional spaces, and this is no exception.
- 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. This intended victim was able to stop the armed robbery because he had enough awareness of his surroundings to counter it before it was on top of him!
- It is very easy in a deadly force encounter to get tunnel vision and forget that there might be additional threats nearby. That can be a deadly mistake to make in an armed robbery! Make sure to break that focus on the immediate threat once it’s been sufficiently stopped and actually LOOK for any trailing accomplices or additional threats that might be coming your way. This victim did a great job of not assuming this armed robbery involved only one attacker.
- In your follow-up, if you have to stay in the vicinity of a downed attacker like happened in this armed robbery, don’t leave their tool near them if you possibly can help it. Always think of your safety first, and getting as far away as possible is always preferred for CCW, but if you have to stay in the vicinity for whatever reason, get the force multiplier away from the attacker you just stopped if you can. If you had to shoot them, the shock might wear off after a time, and if they’ve lost blood they can recover consciousness while on the ground and continue to present a threat. So if you can’t get significant distance and get out of contact to the threat, get the tool away.
- Our goal as self-defenders is to stop the threat, be that threat an armed robbery as here or a carjacking or what have you. We are not vigilantes and we are not out to kill, we seek to stop the threat against us. Shooting to wound will not stop the threat reliably, and neither will shooting an attacker in an extremity. The only reliably means to stop an aggressor who means us death or grievous bodily harm is to put shots in the center of their available mass to cause nervous system collapse or bleeding out. (exsanguination is the technical term)
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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