One year ago today. 12/19/18

One year ago today, I had the kind of day that every father dreads. I was at home, not doing anything particularly important, when my phone rings. I look down and see it’s from my daughter. I answer it and say “hey Tumblebug, what’s up?” thinking it’s going to be about Christmas and when she is going to be getting home from college.

What she says next will stay with me for the rest of my life. She is crying and says " Daddy, there’s 2 black guys shooting at another black guy on the opposite sides of the street from each other and they have hit my car and I have glass all over me, I’ve drove around the corner and parked behind the gas station but they are still shooting and I think one of them came around the back to see if I was there". I told her to call 911 and then her Mom (it was about 6 blocks from where my wife, her mother works).

I run to my safe and grab my Keltec KSG shotgun and my Glock 41, jump into my car. I get my wife and daughter on the phone and I literally, burned the engine of my Mercedes SL500, out getting there. I made what is normally a 15 minute drive in 9 minutes and that’s with a traffic stop in between. Fortunately, the police officer listened to my daughter and wife and then escorted me the rest of the way there.

We arrived as 911 did, the guys were still blazing away and when 911 arrived they didn’t even send an officer to check on my daughter they all went off in pursuit of the 2 who were on foot and a couple after the one who was gassing up his car.

The officer who escorted me, was out of his jurisdiction, but he got on his radio and got additional units dispatched to come for my daughter. My wife had gotten there before me and her and my daughter were hiding in the back of my wife’s car under a blanket and my wife’s car sunshade. I sling my shotgun over my shoulder, started assessing and administrating first aid to my daughter. How she didn’t get hit I do not know, I am a subject matter expert on ballistics and trajectory from what my rating was while I was in the Navy and I still can not explain it.

After I make sure there is no immediately life threatening issues, I get 2 cups and tape them over her eyes so that she can’t rub at her eyes and leave her Mom to deal with 911, while I get her to the hospital. My daughter’s car took 4 rounds, 3 into the dashboard driver’s side gauges, and one into the driver’s side windshield pillar. All 4 came in from the passenger side where the 2 African American males were shooting from.

My daughter had to go into surgery, she had 7 pieces of glass removed from her eyes 4 from the right, and 3 from the left. She also lost part of the sclera of her right eye.

In the aftermath, I discovered things that honestly, made me want to lose my mind. The police lost all 3 of the shooters. 2 who ran into an apartment in the " subsidized housing" behind where the shooting was, the one driving lost them in traffic and went into another “subsidized housing” about 8 miles away and the biggest one the first gas station she ran too, closed and locked the door in her face, she moved to the gas station across the street until her Mom got there.

So I can get my head around the idea of people being scared of guns, especially guns in the hands of criminals. What I don’t understand is how any of the gun control proposal’s do a d*mn thing to get the guns out of the hands of criminals.

My daughter has handled this better than I have. She has taken ownership of the experience with grace and humor and wants us to take her out to a steakhouse for a “Good Job You Didn’t Die” dinner tonight. Which we will do and I will do my best to be in the spirit of how she wants to treat it. But I’ve never been more terrified in my life.

This is my value story and how I came to be a member of the USCCA. An organization I plan to be a part of for the rest of my life.

10 Likes

@Zavier_D

I’m glad that you’re daughter, your wife, and yourself are all OK and that nothing worse happened.

It’s a shame that they weren’t caught. However, due to the fact that I’m sure they will stay with their criminal ways, eventually it will catch up to them.

Let me ask, so that I may learn and share your experience and lessons with those around me, what lessons did you learn? What lessons did you share with your wife and daughter, and what changes will be made in your family, and in regards to how you carry, store, and implement weapons and skills?

Thanks in advance, and best of luck in the future!

1 Like

Wow. You raised one tough daughter!

2 Likes

One of the biggest lessons I took away from this tbh doesn’t really answer your questions but. It was to never part from someone who I love without them knowing that I love them. I haven’t always been the best at expressing that.

Tactically speaking, my daughter does not like guns, I don’t push her on that as it is her decision. But I made sure she took some self defense courses using both unarmed, and non lethal means such as a Taser, Mace, Kubaton, and even just an on body alarm she can pull. I have mentioned that I am very engaged in dog rescue, so I always have had from 3-6 dogs in my home. So when she moved out of the dorms I gave her 2 that I started training to be companions but also trained to keep her safe. A Rottweiler and an American Bulldog.

As far as my wife we sat down and had a long talk about how she had felt in the aftermath and she decided that she wanted to start CC so we joined the USÇCA together and started looking for the right handgun for her and got her CCP and we started going to the range every weekend. I taught her the basics and as thorough a grounding as I could in what I know and then we found a young lady (ex Marine) who was an instructor who could take her further on her journey.

We are much more pro active when it comes to our home and security, and she is now more active in situational awareness.

I always thought I would be enough for my family’s protection, and I would say this has been the most bitter of the lessons. I failed in that. As has been said many times you don’t get to choose when the criminals attack.

5 Likes

I am so glad to hear that your family is safe, @Zavier_D!

Did you daughter carry? Has she started carrying since then?

1 Like

One of the sweetest but also hurtful in a way things my daughter has ever said to me was this past Thanksgiving, when she said she felt like she was a woman’s version of me. I never wanted her to have to see the world the way that I do. But I did make sure that

  1. I was not raising my daughter to be someone’s trophy wife. She will be graduating from medical school in a few years completely debt free
  2. I was not raising my daughter to be a victim.
  3. At the appropriate ages I made her aware of the dangers and challenges that young women face. So that she was prepared.

But even with all of that sometimes life throws a wrench in to your carefully laid plans.

2 Likes

No, she does not like guns. She does have a Taser, Mace, and an on body alarm. Plus 2 big 100 lb+ dogs at home.

1 Like

@Zavier_D

The lesson of love is one of the most important lessons their is, that is the basis of why we choose to carry. Whether we love our life, our loved ones, or our freedoms. The weapon is simply to protect that.

I totally understand your daughter’s point of view, everyone’s entitled to their views, and given what she’s been through, I can’t say that I would like guns any better either. The non-lethal training is something that definitely put her in a better position than most, simply having the skills and the mindset can often be more of the battle than the tool. Great dogs! Bully breeds are the best. My brother has two of the best bully’s ever, loving dogs and very loyal

I’m sure your wife was quite shook up.I’m happy to hear she started to pursue her CC. and has become more active in her situational awareness. What handgun did she end up getting? How did you end up finding your instructor? Through USCCA or another place?

I’ve recently purchased my girlfriend her first handgun and will be paying for her CCW class. At first, she wasn’t a big “gun person”, but after about of year, not pressuring, but through some casual conversation, range trips, and introducing some perspective when appropriate, she’s very much on board with pursuing it. Which, back to the lesson of love, is something I’m very happy see, as now I know she’s on the path of being able to take care of herself in my absence.

1 Like

Actually she found she liked one of my .45’s the best. A full sized Ruger single stack da/sa. It’s kind of funny because my wife is very petite. But she likes the weight and solidity of it. She is also a very good shot. We found her instructor through our local gun range.

1 Like

@Zavier_D I know you may not see it, but you did not fail. We cannot be everywhere our loved ones are - that isn’t the way this life works. Knowing that, you did the right thing - you raised your daughter strong. When the moment came where she called on you, you sacrificed everything you had to in order to get there with the speed that was yours to create. I know you see the flaw in yourself, but I’m guessing your daughter does not. Borrow her vision for this, on this one, she has the better eyes.

As a strong woman who has grown up to be Very Much my Father’s Daughter, let me share my perspective on that. My dad was military and we did not have the benefit of growing up with the relationship it sounds like you and your daughter have. Nonetheless I hear my father quite clearly in your words… he would have wanted my world to be a safe place, and he would not have wanted me to see the world the way he saw it.

That said, I would have wanted nothing else. I have my fathers strength, and to the degree it’s been tested, his courage. I didn’t get that way by accident and I’m grateful that that part of him lives in me. Even though he’s gone, it’s my connection to him and I wouldn’t trade it for a world made of daphodils and birdsong. This world is made the way it is, and I’m very much my father’s child. That’s what I’d choose, every single day. Maybe your daughter feels the same.

That’s what I prefer too :slight_smile:
BTW, so did my dad.

4 Likes

I’m to hear that everyone is doing good…thank the Lord…
Why…the local P.D fumbled things up is a sham…God bless you all

1 Like

@Ronald_A.M

That is one thing I truly struggle with. I know what apartment they ran into, I begged the detective investigating the case to let me talk to the lessee as one parent to another. He refused, and about a month later she up and disappeared. So we will never get closure.

1 Like

So, the shooter was son/brother/partner of the lessee? If so, where do you think that conversation would have gone? In all likelihood, it would mean more hurt and frustration for you and your family.

1 Like

No idea, what they were to her, according to police, door was open and they ran in dragged a couch in front of door and then climbed down backside of building. The woman claimed she didn’t know them but she didn’t scream or anything when they ran through her house and rearranged her furniture.

So I thought it was worth a shot.

1 Like

There is a time to let others do that work… when they are more equipped to do the job than you are. When you are too close to the wound, and in the heat of emotion, is exactly that time.

Even if you had success, the result would likely not have stood up well in court, and that could just lead to a wound of having found them and then been unable to convict because of your actions. That failure would be on your doorstep and you wouldn’t be better off for that.

The outcome may not be everything you want, or everything you could expect, but it’s done, you did your job as a father at the time and since, and your daughter is well and strong.

It’s time to lay this one down and let it go, give yourself some peace. You did good. Let go. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

3 Likes

I get it, and I hear you @Zee, and as usual you are correct. I had no plans of going all vigilante or anything. Was just hoping that since she claimed she didn’t know them, that speaking to me she might reconsider and right before she moved out, the detective said they had ran my request up the chain and were considering it.

2 Likes

Thank you all for your thoughtful words. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: