A member of AR15.com recently took the time to write up his experience of having to use lethal force to save at least two people not counting himself. He has graciously allowed us to share it here.
I’ve been debating posting this for a while. I got a call from the prosecutor last week telling me that the ‘official’ investigation is finished, and that he was definitely not pursuing any charges. He also said to my wife that I was a good man, and a brave man, and that my actions were heroic. Me? I’m doing okay… as long as I don’t start thinking about anything too much. My wife is having a hard time with it, considering the fact that she witnessed everything from approximately 10-15 feet away. She already sees a counselor, I’m debating going to one, but I would need to find one that is not an uberliberal, which is a problem around here.
OK, here goes.
was a normal Tuesday night, I was in the process of making tacos, as we
had invited the older two kids over for dinner. I had just got a text
from my wife that she was on the way home from the YMCA and that the
youngest had gone home with his sister. This was a VERY good thing, as
he didn’t witness anything…. I don’t even want to think how traumatic
it would have been for him.
8PM rolls around, I hear someone screaming bloody murder. I figured it was kids playing outside. I saw my wife’s car sitting out front so I went outside to say hi. I walked outside to my wife screaming “My God, he’s gonna kill her!” as she’s on the phone with 911, and see my neighbor across the street striking his girlfriend in the face while she’s sitting on the ground, as the girlfriends 9 year old daughter hits the dude in the back with what looks like an aluminum T-ball bat. He grabbed the kid and threw her about six feet.
This occurred in seconds. At that point, when I saw the dude pick up the bat, I ran inside and grabbed my handgun off my desk and went back out. I did not want to see someone get their head caved in. When I came back, at this point, the daughter had run in the house, and he had the woman down on the ground and was trying to choke her with the bat on her neck. I crossed the street, came to the ready position, and told him to get his ass off of her or he would be shot. This distracted him enough that she got him off her and he stood up and looked at me. I ordered him to sit his ass down and wait for the police, he threw the bat toward me.. at this point, the woman ran inside with her daughter and locked the door and he sat on his porch.
At this point, I’m just waiting for the police to arrive… he had other ideas. At this point, he stood up, shouted “YOU DON’T KNOW ME MOTHERFUCKER”, and started rapidly moving toward me, I started retreating backward, around 10-15 feet but I knew that my wife was back there, along with one of the other witnesses, so I couldn’t just run home… this guy was going to hurt anyone he could get his hands on, or beat my ass and take my gun away if I let him get too close.. he was quite a bit bigger than me and definitely spent a good amount of time at the gym. When he was about 5 feet away he lunged at me, and I shot him four times in rapid succession. The whole time he was approaching me I was yelling “STOP, DON’T DO IT!, STOP!, STOP!” His legs just collapsed under him and I will never forget seeing the blood rushing out. At this point my wife told 911 that he had been shot and I was told to put the weapon down so I sat it on the back of my wife’s car and just stood there and shook, and waited. The cops got there 30 seconds after I had shot… 30 seconds. The whole situation lasted from 8:00PM to 8:03PM when the wife hung up with 911 after the police arrived.
I remember, after the shooting, feeling like the world is coming crashing in on me. The first officer put me in cuffs and had me sit in the back of the car while they did the preliminary investigation. He was extremely kind. I remember sitting in the back of the car praying for the soul of the man I had been forced to shoot, praying for the mom and daughter, praying for the well being of my family. While I was in the car, I noticed that my left hand and arm was covered in blood spatter. The evidence tech took pictures of this, and then the officer helped wipe me off. During this time also, one of the lady officers on scene sat in the vehicle to use the computer, and said to me,”You know that you’re a hero to that woman and little girl.” That remark helped to calm me down a lot. About 2-3 hours later, the officer came back to the car and told me that the county prosecutor, who was on scene, had told him to uncuff me. He told me to just stick around but don’t touch anything, I would have to go to the station and make a statement. I asked if I could go into my apartment and see my family and he graciously allowed that, I just wasn’t allowed to talk to my wife about anything regarding the situation, as we had not made our statements. I went back outside and was approached by the Chief of Police for our town and he said,’What you did was heroic, you saved them.’ He told me that they had had prior dealings with the man and that he was a dangerous individual.
Fast forward another hour, and I’m sitting in the office area of the police station waiting to make my statement, watching the officers check in the evidence… I saw them check in my gun and they confirmed that I had fired four times, I wasn’t sure if it was four or five, and that there was blood on the slide, they checked in the bat, and they checked in a chunk of hair and scalp that had come from the mother. And a few other miscellaneous things.
While I was sitting there, finally in some kind of light, I noticed blood stains all over my shirt and pants. He was REALLY close when I shot him. Anyway, gave my statement, kept it simple and to the point. Had my wife bring me new clothes so they could put mine in evidence and I walked out and got in the car, and cried… a lot… probably the most I’ve cried since my mother died in 2000. My wife said to me,”I used to say that my father was my hero, but no, you’re now my hero”. My wife had gone through a similar domestic violence situation with her first husband and barely escaped alive, I couldn’t be there to protect her from him, but I could be there for this. The officers thanked me repeatedly for being cooperative and they were completely awesome, I have nothing but love for them.
I’ve gotten a few more details as time has passed. Apparently he had told her that one way or another that he was going to die that night and was going to take her with him. I know that they had had some rough spots, they lost a baby back in January. My son works with his brother in law, and he was described as a mean drunk.
I picked up my firearm (Sig M11-A1) a month after
everything had happened, and the PD had cleaned the blood off of it and
oiled it to prevent rust, thank you again to them.
The call I got from the prosecutor this last Monday was illuminating. I asked about the toxicology screen, and his BAC was .228, and he had THC and anti-depressants in his system. The prosecutor was not sure about steroids as he said that they generally do not test for that. All I know is that he charged someone that had a loaded weapon pointed at him, so something broke inside his head.
I went shooting for the first time since the event this last Saturday.. and it just felt good… this is the hobby that got me through the deaths of both parents, and countless other stressful life events.
I’ve heard the word hero used multiple times… I’m not a hero, I only did what I had to do so that I can face myself in the mirror every day. The heroes are the guys that do stuff like this every day, The police, fire departments, the armed forces. They keep walking back into the mouth of hell repeatedly to save others. They are heroes.. I’m just a regular guy trying to keep my little corner of the world safe.
thing I’ll never forget, a male neighbor screaming ‘My God, won’t
somebody help her!’ while he stood there and watched…. I don’t know
how to feel about that, it just saddens me at the end of the day.
And a big thank you to my daughter for being there for her mother and I, and my son in law for watching his brother in law so that he did not have to see the scene.
Take aways from this.
1> I need formal training.. I’m ok, but I could be a lot better. My wife is also offering to go, which is a first, she needs to be able to defend herself when I’m not around. I think she understands that now.
2> CCW insurance? Is it worth it? I know that I was
lucky in that I live in a gun friendly state with good politicians, it
could have gone far worse legally.