Carjacking Turns Into Gunfight

There are good examples of CCW holders protecting themselves from a carjacking, and then there are examples like this. I don’t think he practiced Active Self Protection before OR during the fight here. What do you think of his approach?

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Original video here:


News story with details here:


What is the correct way to protect myself from a carjacking?


  1. Never leave your keys in your car or the car running if you are not in it. Period, end of subject. The only time you can leave a car running is if your car is equipped with a remote starter that can leave it running while you take the keys and lock the car on the way out. This carjacking would be a non-starter if the car didn’t have the keys in it! Take the keys and put them in your pocket for goodness sakes.


  1. Your car is not a private space, and you must continue to think of yourself like you’re in public. If ever you wonder if people don’t think of themselves as in public in the car, pay attention to drivers in their cars and see how often they are picking their nose or singing along at high volume. Don’t let your smartphone take all your attention when you’re in the car, either! Think of yourself as walking down the street and pay attention accordingly. This carjacking starts with the carjacker getting way too close without the owner knowing he is there. Be aware of your surroundings when you’re near your car.


  1. 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. Every carjacking happens in a transitional space because stopped cars are transitional spaces! And gas stations certainly qualify as transitional spaces as well.


  1. 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 carjacking might not have happened if the carjacker had seen that the man was alert to his surroundings.


  1. We must each decide what is worth protecting. Life is always worth protecting because it is of inestimable worth; as unique bearers of the image of God, people are the most valuable “thing” imaginable. Property is something else, though. With property we always have to balance the benefit against the risk to ourselves and our families as well as bystanders. Even where it’s legally allowed, you should consider whether it’s wise or prudent to defend your property, because doing so puts you at risk and not just the bad guy. In this carjacking, the victim put himself at huge risk early in the conflict, then put everyone in that gas station at incredible risk to shoot the fleeing carjacker. I don’t think that he will face charges, but a nasty DA could make his life miserable and punish him with process.


  1. One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “imminence,” (get a nutshell here: or the whole concept here: Imminence means the threat is happening RIGHT NOW, that it’s neither too late nor too early for you to defend yourself! The standard of imminence is seen as a triad of ability, opportunity, and jeopardy (also known as the AOJ triad, which is explained here: In this carjacking the victim missed the moment of imminence and protected himself too late, which endangered many people. Don’t pull your gun and run after people after the deadly threat has passed.


Attitude. Skills. Plan.


(music in the intro and outro courtesy of


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