Defensive Gun Use at a gas station
An Aiken County, South Carolina man is safe today thanks to the handgun he carried in his car and his willingness to use it … but it was nearly not so.
A man, whom we’ll ironically call Gunsen Carr, was pumping gas at a Shell/Subway station just after 6:00 AM last Thursday. He was approached by another male, later identified as Steven Klimek, 39, who came up behind Carr, demanding money and insisting that Carr get back inside his own Ford Ranger. Klimek was armed with a handgun.
Carr complied with part of the request, handing Klimek 15 dollars. However, that wasn’t enough for the thug, and a physical struggle ensued. Carr attempted to disarm Klimek, but it didn’t work. During the struggle, Carr did get into his truck, but not to comply with Klimek’s demands. He went there to retrieve his gun. He fired, stopping the attack. When police arrived, Klimek was lying on the ground at the pumps, opposite from the Ford Ranger, dead.
Exact details of the incident are under investigation. It’s refreshing to see Carr’s local media outlet complying with the request of law enforcement to not publish his real name. It’s doubly refreshing to read the statement by local law enforcement, who so far haven’t pressed charges, saying they’re standing behind this man who had to defend himself. Carr is correctly labeled the victim in the local news coverage—a rarity in this era where legitimate self-defense is often demonized in the media.
We don’t know Carr’s level of situational awareness and whether he saw the stranger’s approach. The lesson here is, gas pumps are a high-risk area, just like places with cash registers. Stay mentally present and use your senses to stay aware of what’s happening as you’re refueling, washing the windshield, checking oil, and such. Lock the doors to your vehicle during the process, and avoid turning your back to the world, head inside car, to get stuff out.
Gunsen Carr tried being nice. He gave his would-be attacker 15 bucks. Many plans stops there, but a Plan B is always a good idea. Fortunately, Carr was able and willing to act before being kidnapped. This won’t be the first time regular readers of this column will see the admonishment to carry your gun on your person. Carr was lucky to have had time to get his out of the car … and placed himself in a very disadvantageous position to do so. This incident could’ve ended very differently.
Could Carr have run away once the incident became an attack? Maybe. We don’t know his physical condition or whether he was pinned down in the vehicle. There’s no mention of a child or other company with him, but that may have been a factor in his decision to fight. Running away may have been a legitimate option, but so is fighting back in this case.
If you find yourself in a situation where an attacker, whether it’s someone you know or not, is attempting to take you to a second location, be like Gunsen Carr and FIGHT. Fight hard and fight immediately. Chances of survival at that second location are slim. What would you have done differently? Let us know in the comments below.