According to news reports, a Florida man with a concealed carry handgun intervened over the weekend to save the life of a clerk at a convenience store. The concealed carrier didn’t fire a shot, and it’s no surprise that the incident did not gain much news coverage. However, the story reinforces the principle that we do not know when or where we may have to intervene with deadly force.
Concealed Carrier Intervenes in Robbery:
Over the past weekend, a man walked into a southern Florida drive-through convenience store called Zoom Thru. He asked the clerk to cash a check. After the clerk told the man she could not do that, he left the store.
A short time later, the man returned. Once inside, the man drew a knife and demanded the clerk give him money. He followed closely behind the clerk as she moved through the store.
At the same time, a customer pulled to the drive-up window and could see the clerk inside. According to police, the customer in the vehicle said he thought the clerk appeared “scared and distraught.” The astute driver sensed something was wrong and saw the clerk silently mouth the words “call nine one one.”
It was at this time the driver saw the knife in the robbery suspect’s hand. He drew his concealed carry gun and pointed it at the suspect. He ordered the suspect out of the store, and he complied. Once outside, the concealed carrier told the suspect to lie on the ground, where he was disarmed and held at gunpoint until deputies arrived and could take the young man into custody.
Concealed Carry Considerations:
I applaud the concealed carrier’s quick thinking, awareness, and willingness to act. I think learning from incidents such as these is essential.
Consider the concealed carrier’s challenges when he was outside and the suspect was with the victim inside the store. We all could undoubtedly find ourselves in a similar situation. What would cause you to act immediately, even if outside the store, versus another option? Could you pretend not to notice and then enter the store, giving yourself better access to the suspect and victim? Would simply calling 911 be acceptable?
Much of this is speculation as we don’t have any more specifics. However, it is always good to study these incidents and set a framework that would govern when and why we would use our firearms to defend someone else. Some questions to ask yourself include,
- Do you carry your gun every day?
- why/why not
- Are you aware of people around you and able to recognize when things don’t seem right?
- What is your current firearm skill level, and do your limitations?
- Have you thought about what it will take for you to intervene on someone else’s behalf?
- What is your state’s law related to using deadly force?
Check out this post about establishing the correct concealed carrier’s mindset and avoiding common mistakes concealed carriers make. Also, if you want to quantify your self-defense firearm skills, we have some standards you can use.