Defensive Gun Use: Two Attackers Shot, One Killed

A Houston man called Jose (not his real name) by a news agency was standing by his house last Tuesday, chatting with his father, when their visit was interrupted by armed robbers. The teenage criminals hadn’t planned on Jose being armed.

It was around 8 PM when two teens walked up the driveway toward Jose and Jose Sr. “The first teenager pulls out his firearm and points it directly at us,” Jose recalled. “I didn’t let him finish talking. My first reaction was to take out my gun and open fire.”

Reports say Jose fired seven times. Both assailants were hit. One died that night; the other has been released from the hospital to recover from his wounds.

Defensive Gun Use

Jose said he’d never seen the suspects, who looked to be about 15 or 16, before the attempted robbery. They had been walking around the neighborhood for about ten minutes before the attack.

“I didn’t want him to die, but oh well. He asked for it,” Jose said. “I had no other choice. It would be me or my dad laying down on the ground dead. I had to do what I had to do to protect myself.”

Immediately after the incident, Jose called 911—a good decision. He’s been a concealed handgun licensee for about four months.

These are all the details available. Compare this to another headline from Houston from 11 months ago—except in that case, the homeowner was unarmed: Robbers Shoot, Kill Man in Front Yard Robbery.

An examination of the obvious, but perhaps not common, things Jose did right reveals the following:

He was armed at home. Too many concealed carry students tell me they don’t plan on carrying at home. Though your neighborhood may not be a crime magnet, exceptions occur all the time—consider the September 2015 Houston robbery named above.

Marine Corps veteran and founder of Gunsite Academy Colonel Jeff Cooper reportedly said, “if you don’t have a gun within arm’s reach, you’re unarmed.” How far away are you from an accessible gun for personal protection gun right now?

He acted with swift, decisive action. Jose’s fast reaction is indicative of a mind that didn’t just take a class, buy a gun, and forget about self-protection. He had likely made a decision long ago to act as he did in the face of deadly force.

He shot with effective accuracy in dimly lit conditions. Not many people have trained for shooting in less-than-perfect light. We have no way of knowing if Jose had. Consider training and preparing for dim-light shooting, since that’s when most crime happens.

He was aware of his surroundings and knew something was a little off. Jose noted the presence of two teens, who weren’t neighborhood regulars, before the shooting began. The bit of unease that likely created surely helped his rapid reaction. It’s not necessary to be the block busybody, but keeping an eye on neighborhood activity is good for crime prevention as well as interdiction.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, and we aim to keep it that way. A neighbor of Jose’s chimed in, saying he and his neighbors work hard for what they have and intend to protect it. Many people living there, he said, have armed themselves.

The associates of these hoodlums will surely pick a new block soon—probably one where people believe crime never happens. Violent thievery has been practiced since biblical times. No use pretending it’ll never come your way.

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