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I drew my gun, and had to defend myself for doing it. (Repost)
#1
This is a repost from another place..., I hope that's ok.

-------------------------------------------------------

This happened in March, and I couldn't post anything about it until today, because today was my prelim hearing day.

First, the story.

I was on my way to work when I a guy in a silver SUV came up on my ass at a high rate of speed. I was doing 50 in a 45, on the 2 lane country back road that goes to my place of work. He started doing the weaving back and forth and backing off and speeding up coming inches from my bumper before backing off again. I could see him making gestures and mouthing things, but I couldn't make that out, of course.

Well, to avoid an incident, I simply started to slow down to prepare to pull off the side of the road and let him by, since I felt he was a danger to me and other motorists. I got down to about 25 and pulled into a little pull off along side the road, into a small parking lot..., which there wasn't a way to pull out of again without doing a U turn.

Apparently my slowing down enraged him, even though I wasn't doing the "jam on the brakes" thing like some people do to ragers. I did NOTHING to escalate this guys already high level of rage, and I thought me getting out of his way would resolve his issue.

Wrong. He pulled in behind me and as fast as I could look in my rear view, he was out of his vehicle with some sort of weapon in his hand, but I couldn't make out what in my rear view. In the following second, I decided that I could not allow him to approach my driver window with me still in my truck, and I couldn't attempt the U turn because that would again, put him right at my window, so I exited and drew my firearm to the low ready position. I felt, at that moment, that my life was in danger.

I ordered "GET BACK IN YOUR CAR!"

He yelled something about being a slow fuck and other expletives but did not back up.

This time I raised my firearm to center mass and ordered again "GET BACK IN YOUR CAR AND LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!"

He backed up and got back in his SUV, still yelling unintelligibly so I backed off and jumped in my truck and tore off out of there doing the U turn to get away from him. At this point, I was within a 2 miles of work. I knew that if I could get there, I would be safe because if he pursued me, he'd have to deal with the army that secures my site. *NOTE* I am not allowed to have a firearm on company property. There is a secure storage facility right across from company property where I park (30/month), so as to not violate the rules.

He did follow me for a bit but I saw I was gaining distance. I was able to get my wits about me despite shaking like a leaf during a tornado, and I tried dialing 911. All I got was this "Doo doo doo doo" tone! I was like WTF? By that time I made it to work. I hopped out and ran in and never saw the guy again.

I felt sick and was shaking uncontrollably due to the adrenaline, so I told my boss that "I have to get out of here, I have to take care of something, I will tell you about it tomorrow."

So I headed towards home. That is when I was finally able to get in touch with the police.

They asked me to come to the station to make a statement, and I agreed because until this point, I felt completely justified in the action I took and didn't think for a moment that I would be the one charged with anything.

When I got there, I found out that the rager made a statement before I did and he told the exact same story, but put me in his place!!!!!!!!!!! He told them that he never got out of his car and that I was chasing him for no reason and when he pulled over I got out and pointed my gun at him for no reason!!!!!

So, it became a his word vs my word thing, and I felt compelled to tell the true story even without an attorney present, because had I not, they would have arrested me and I would have spent the night in jail waiting for arraignment to let the court sort it out. In my line of work, I likely would not have survived the arrest and arraignment for a gun case.

So, I told them exactly what I told you. The one thing I had going for me is the fact that he told them that I turned around and went back the other way when he took off. Of course, like I said, I went to work and I was able to provide badge logs proving that within 5 minutes of the incident, I was at my work site.

Also, one of the cops used to be security where I work and he knew the type of background and scrutiny I am always under, so he felt sure I was telling the truth, but he didn't know what to do so he would let the "courts sort it out." His words. The cop also admitted to me that the rager did in fact have a gun!!

However, again, it became a his word vs my word kind of thing.

I was not arrested or detained and they didn't even take my gun. They only took my statement and said that they may send me a summons by mail, consisting of potentially of an M2 for reckless endangerment and an M1 for terroristic threats! A possible end to my gun rights!

When faced with the possibility of being grilled on the stand, and having to lie on the stand, the rager told the truth at the prelim today. I was in at 11am and out by 1107 am, case dismissed.


Now for the gun draw.

This was the first time I had ever drawn my weapon on another person, and I hope it is the last. I had always wondered;

1) If I COULD do it.
2) How I would react if I DID do it.

In the moment, I was so steady and clear of mind, no shaking, no second guessing. I was even aware enough of my actions to keep my finger off the trigger. My orders were clear and concise.

I was quite happy with how my body reacted.

But, the instant I left the scene, like I said, I began shaking uncontrollably!

I hope I never have to do that again, and I'm thankful he didn't force me to make the ultimate decision.


Finally, if there is anything you think I should/can do better next time, please let me know. I know the "don't talk to cops" mantra, but like I said, I felt I had no other choice if I wanted a chance to save my job. Any police interaction greater than a traffic stop could cause me to lose access..., and this did. In fact, I won't get my access back until tomorrow. So I had to make a choice in the moment, and I told my story. I hope you understand that.

Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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#2
Here is some Q&A to save time having to go over the same things..., although it appears to be the same crowd here so I doubt it is necessary. Smile Some may be statements with responses.


Q. Did he get your plate number or other identifying information?
A. Yes, he did get my plate number..., and it is a personalized plate with
an easy to remember number..., something, along with getting a dash cam,
I'm going to remedy.



Q. This is just what I would do and I'm not being a critic . I would have
stayed in my vehicle doors locked and weapon unholstered and had he
tried to enter the vehicle then I would react . All whille having 911 on
the line.
A. Thank you for the tip. In the heat of the moment, I decided I didn't
want to be trapped and be forced to have to make a one handed shoot
cross body out the window.

The whole thing... pulling over, him getting out, me getting out and
drawing, to him getting back in and me getting back in and leaving took
under 10 seconds.

I had a lot to consider in just a few seconds.



Q. Was the other guy also charged since it was his word against yours?
Shouldn't he have been found guilty if he admitted to what he did in
court?
Good job though, glad you're safe.
A. He was not charged at the time, because I was the only one that admitted
to using a firearm. This is the part about the "cop didn't know what to
do, so he'll let the courts sort it out."

I asked what was going to happen to him next, but the DA and the cop
didn't say much except that I may be called in to testify at some point.

Personally, I hope that I'm not. This has been such an ordeal that I just want it behind me.



Q. And never block yourself in always have an escape route . You are lucky
this lunatic didn't. Decide to take aim but well played sir .I'm glad it
worked out
A. Yes, that is one giant lesson learned! I'll never make that blunder again for sure!



Q. Could you not get through to 911 because of poor cell service or some
problem on their end? I know you were shaken up, but maybe keep trying
911 for no other reason than being first on record with your story?
A. I think it was poor service, because where I pulled over, I never have
service on that stretch of road. I thought that 911 calls always go
through, but I guess if you ain't connected to anything, there isn't
anywhere to send the call.



Q. Here is my question. Since he told the truth on the stand is he going
to be charged with all of the charges that they charged you with the M2
and the M1? With added charges of making false statements to police
etc...?
A. He may be charged and I may have to testify, but since he has rights, the DA and the police wouldn't give me any other details except that I may be called in.



Q. did thoughts like .......going to jail forever, loosing your job, people not believing you etc go through your head??
A. Not at all. I maybe had my gun out for 2-3 seconds. During that whole
time, all my senses were focused on not putting the finger on the
trigger until needed, aiming true, and issuing clear and concise
commands. It took everything I had, there was nothing left for other
thoughts.



Q. Have you had any formal training?
A. Yes. I've had standard stationary pistol classes for different permits
and such, and I took a course in defensive shooting..., the kind where
you roll around in the dirt and get your shiny new ninja commando gear
dirty.

Oh, and there is the training to be a senior reactor operator for a nuke
plant. I think above anything else, my ability to remain calm when a
nuke plant is melting down around me, helped me most here. I attribute
that to my calmness while my gun was drawn.




Q. You said the cops said he had a gun. Was that the weapon of some sort you said you saw? I mean was it drawn?
A. I have to be honest and can't say that for sure I saw a gun. It happened
so fast. I just felt an overwhelming fear for my life. My mind thought
it was a gun, so maybe that is what I saw. But, in my statement, I said I
couldn't be sure. And since I admitted to drawing my gun, this is where
the cop was confused as to what to do. I couldn't specifically say that
he drew a gun, he said he didn't, and I said that I did.



Q. I have to be honest and can't say that for sure I saw a gun. It happened
so fast. I just felt an overwhelming fear for my life. My mind thought
it was a gun, so maybe that is what I saw. But, in my statement, I said I
couldn't be sure. And since I admitted to drawing my gun, this is where
the cop was confused as to what to do. I couldn't specifically say that
he drew a gun, he said he didn't, and I said that I did.
A. Thank you very much for the advice. I agree, I wish I had kept moving.
Since I didn't, I wish I had chosen a better spot. Those are my biggest
mistakes, which I won't ever repeat if faced with a similar situation
again.



Q. Justin, did you get the sense that the police would have been willing to
visit the place where you pulled over and check tire tracks to at least
try to determine who was telling the truth? I know they ultimately
accepted your statements, but in the absence of a recording, had the
other party taken a stronger position does it seem like they'd have been
willing to do a physical investigation to determine who was being
truthful?
A. No, I did not get the sense that cops cared to do anything of the sort.

But I did. I went and took photographs including measurements the day after.

I scoured the route for security cameras as well. Almost got lucky with a
gas station, but the camera didn't quite reach the road. It is a very
rural road.

With what I had from my work, my pictures, and another piece of evidence
which I am withholding the disclosure of here, we were confident that
even if he didn't choose to tell the truth, that we would get a
dismissal. There were several gaping holes in his story, which my
evidence caused. The DA wasn't interested in taking a pissing match to
trial.



Q. Question... was he a big guy? Big relative to you?

Another question--- just how close were you to shooting him? One more step? Two? Start to raise whatever was in his hand?
A. He was bigger than me yes.

He didn't have a lawyer with him, as he was the "victim" to start with. The tables were turned.

How close was I to shooting him? I don't know, I've been wrestling with that since that day. I'm not sure I can ever answer it, but I think that if he had kept advancing, another second or two...,
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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#3
Jesus Christ, dude. I'm glad everything got sorted out. I don't see anything. I would've done differently. Having to draw on someone sucks; I know it firsthand.
Unbanned since September 2012.
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#4
I think this is a good story to read. Goes to show that you don't plan on when you need to defend yourself, it just happens. Be ready and don't think it can't happen to you.
Everytime we look the other way when someone else loses rights we disagree with, we make it easier to lose the rights we support.

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#5
Thats the last time I try to let you know you have a tail light out....

I read this on another site and its scary reminder of you never know when your gonna need it. Especially since I used to drive on that road every weekend.
"What you're feeling now ain't the worst pain. The worst thing is not feeling the hurt anymore."
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#6
Pretty crazy stuff isn't it?  It's kinda cool how, if you have done a bit of training/practice it kicks in without thought....it just happens.

So what, if anything, would you do differently?  Any idea how to conduct the follow-up with a call to the police?  Myself I don't want to involve the police if I can avoid it but a case such as yours gives another aspect towards the positive on immediate police contact.  You get to tell the story in a truthful manner before the other guy gets to come up with his story/lies.
ErSwnn, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#7
The biggest thing was to never again allow myself to be trapped. My incident and another posted at poofa illustrates that even if you try not to enrage the idiot, they may become enraged anyway since they are so unpredictable. Also, don't go anywhere without a dash cam. Smile

Justin
[Image: pafoasig.png]
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