Real Life Encounter
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Thread: Real Life Encounter

  1. #1

    Real Life Encounter

    This happened in Phoenix, Arizona about 20 years ago, before cell phones. A good friend of mine was a Sgt. in the Air Guard and sold vacuum cleaners at night. He dealt in cash and carried his 1911 in the glove box of his Bronco. One hot July night he became involved in a road rage incident with a 30 year old guy who'd spent the day at Traffic Survival School then gone drinking. My friend and the kid played auto tag around town for quite a while. Finally my friend pulled over and the kid pulled up behind him, leaped out of his ride, and began punching my friend in the face through the open window of the Bronco. My friend wears eyeglasses and the kid punched him in the face and glasses a few time then turned and walked away. My friend got his 1911 out of the glove box, got out of the Bronco and drew down on the kid saying something to the effect of "How brave do you feel now sucker?" In response the kid made a grab for the 1911 - like in the movies - when he did he actually pulled on the 1911 causing it to discharge. The bulled severed his aorta and he bled out. His last words were, "Mommy....mommy...." He bled out so completely that the coroner got his blood alcohol level from his eyeball fluid - 0.07 - drunk enough to be stupid.

    My friend was tried in Maricopa County Superior Court. The "Victim's" family was there wearing roses. My friend's family and friends were there in support. A really sad situation. My friend was convicted of manslaughter and did 5 years in state prison. No NRA to help him. County prosecutor told him he was the victim until he introduced a pistol into a fist fight. No one made an issue of his finger being on the trigger but it sure makes sense when a guy who's already beat you is coming back at you.

    This sad event helped me see the reality of the consequences of drawing...yet I hope it wouldn't keep me from protecting myself when needed.

    My friend said over and over he never wanted to kill the drunk kid, he just didn't want to get hit again....but it was his anger that drove the road games and that got him out of his ride to approach the kid after being punched out.

    Don't know that there's any right and wrong...just what happened one sad July night in Phoenix.

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  3. #2
    It might go much the same if it happened today. Since the guy was walking away when he pulled the gun on him, he could have let him go since there was no longer a life-threatening situation. Now if he could have gotten to his gun while he was still being beaten, that might have been different.
    Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons ~ For You Are Crunchy And Good With Ketchup

  4. #3
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    Your friend pulled over, the other kid pulled in behind, got out of his car and then moved toward your friend to beat him. Why didn't your friend punch on the gas and get out of there while the other kid was out of the car? Perfect escape from someone who obviously was having aggressive tendencies.

    Your friend got punched in the face and then the other kid WALKED AWAY. Your friend then escalates the situation and pulls his gun on someone walking away. STUPID MOVE. Only 5 years in prison? He's lucky he didn't get a murder charge.

    Your friend, at that point was no longer defending himself. He became the aggressor since the physical altercation was over.

    The only time that firearm should ever be pulled is when you are willing to use it. His actions and words proved otherwise. He was trying to intimidate at that point. The other kid had every right to then try to defend himself from the aggressor with the gun.

    Three things your friend could have done: a) during "auto tag", your friend could have driven to the nearest police station, b) he could have escaped the moment the other guy leaped out of his car, and c) gone home or preferably to the police after the other kid walked away.

    If he had gone to the police, the other kid would have been charged, the other kid would not have been dead, and your friend wouldn't be a felon for life.

    You mention that you don't know if there's any right or wrong. Really? There was wrong from both of these guys. However, the incident should have been over when the other kid walked away. The physical incident could have never started had your friend driven to a police station, or after pulling over, sped away once the other guy jumped out of the car. Your friend had several good choices, he chose none of them and then chose an absolutely horrendous decision to pull a gun on someone walking away.

    You mentioned this happened 20 years ago and you are a former LEO who comes from a whole family of LEO's, yet you aren't sure after all this time if your friend was right or wrong? I find that quite incredible.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  5. #4
    Good points. Don't see the need to drag how I posted into the situation though. A couple factors. Back then the "road rage" was getting common and out of hand. Just before my friend's incident someone ripped off a round into another car during "car tag." That round killed a child in the car - no clue why anyone with a child in the car would engage in "car tag".... the other is back then punching a man wearing glasses in the face was like an ultimate bad thing to do and I can't help but think my friend was indignant over that. Big mistakes I see are same as mentioned...not ending the duel at a police station or safe location...drawing down on the kid when he had disengaged the fight and left, and pointing the 1911 at the kid with a finger on the trigger. I'm also surprised that the charges weren't more severe due to the insanity of the times back then...so much car to car violence happening in Phoenix then. My point of the post is to point out how complicated such situations can be and how easily our anger can suck us into lethal situations and block the clear headed thinking we have after the fact.

  6. There's another point that's being over looked here the OP's buddy pointed a loaded weapon at the bad guy and the bad guy wasn't intimidated in the least. As a matter of fact the bad guy attacked the OP's buddy when there was no doubt that he was armed.

    So much for the firearm as deterent theory
    We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee, we don't take our trips on LSD. We don't burn our draft cards Down on Main Street. 'Cause we like livin' right and being free.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Dollar View Post
    There's another point that's being over looked here the OP's buddy pointed a loaded weapon at the bad guy and the bad guy wasn't intimidated in the least. As a matter of fact the bad guy attacked the OP's buddy when there was no doubt that he was armed.

    So much for the firearm as deterent theory
    You mean so much for a drunk being rational. Weird that you came to that conclusion.

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
    Time to add FireMarshall Bill to the block list.

  8. Quote Originally Posted by Warbirds View Post
    You mean so much for a drunk being rational. Weird that you came to that conclusion.

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
    How is it wierd? there are many here that tell us that just the sight of the the mighty boom stick sends criminals running
    We don't smoke marijuana in Muskogee, we don't take our trips on LSD. We don't burn our draft cards Down on Main Street. 'Cause we like livin' right and being free.

  9. #8
    Join Date
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    Our anger and emotion should never play a factor into whether we pull a firearm or not.

    I have gotten into arguments, disagreements, and down right awful tempers while carrying. Not once did it ever occur to me to pull my firearm on the other person. Good thing too, some of those heated arguments were with my wife. If one cannot control their temper to the point they don't know when to pull out a gun and when not, they really should never be carrying.

    That firearm comes out only when I feel my life or someone else's life is in danger. It's not there to assuage my hurt feelings or to seek vengeance. That's how I see what your friend did. He consciously, after getting beat up and the other guy left, leaned over the front seat, opened the glove box, grabbed the gun, opened the car door, aimed the gun at the other kid and said, "How brave do you feel now sucker?". This wasn't just anger, this was conscious and calculated. And what has your friend said he wanted to do if the other guy hadn't tried to disarm him? Just stand there awhile, perhaps? He raised the stakes and once raised, it's very difficult to come back down.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote."
    ~ Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

  10. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Dollar View Post
    How is it wierd? there are many here that tell us that just the sight of the the mighty boom stick sends criminals running
    So you expect rational thinking from someone under the influence?

    Funny, I have had a drunk point a gun at me but never someone sober, but you don't see a difference there.

    Try finding a real reason to justify your opinion, this one is weak.

    Sent from my SPH-L720 using Tapatalk
    Time to add FireMarshall Bill to the block list.

  11. #10
    Situations like this are why pro-gun-control people are afraid of guns. Pulling a gun during road rage is one of the things they keep saying will happen if everyone is armed! That is a specific situation that an anti could pull out of a hat and say, "If we had gotten rid of all the guns, that guy wouldn't have died." They won't see that it doesn't matter, it's possible it would have ended in someone's death. To be honest, it is highly unlikely though... Blustering, several punches, and everyone would have gone home bruised but satisfied.

    That's why it's so important, as wolf_fire said, not to let emotions like anger dictate our actions. Different times back then, yes, but that gun shouldn't have left the holster.
    Modern Whig
    "Government is not meant to burden Liberty but rather to secure it." -T.J. O'Hara

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