I was thinking about a proving grounds scenario done by USCCA and I would like to know what others would feel they would do. In the proving grounds he did very well. I just want to know what other options people have thought about. Here’s the scenario: A guy has a hammer and charges you saying I’m going to kill you. What do you do? Remember he has stated he is going to kill you and is charging. I would like a lawyers response from the eyes of a prosecuting attorneys views for the responses if possible for after the fact.
Draw from conceal and fire since it’s a deadly threat (if you recall, hammers are statistically deadlier than rifles are). I wouldn’t try to use my pepper spray or less than deadly force in that I wouldn’t be able to be confident that it would actually stop the threat.
That’s exactly what the person did in the scenario. Thank you for your response. Me personally, I feel I would charge him as well and cause as many injuries as I can as quickly as possible. I personally don’t feel I would have enough time to draw and fire from concealment so I would prefer to respond with what I know I can do.
Great point, I guess I just assumed he was at a distance of 7+yds…but if he’s within 5…I’d have to rethink that…do I attempt to parry and increase distance, do I engage in grappling at close quarters…do I attempt to deflect/absorb the first hit to give myself some time to better position myself?
I think a lot of it would depend on my confidence in being able to grapple with them vs get a shot on him. Also, that’s where my tac pen (and maybe knife if I had time to deploy it) might come into play.
Maybe I draw, take the first shot from a retained position and possibly against his body already knowing I’m only going to get one shot, but maybe that shot would better increase my chances in the ensuing hand to hand fight (my tac pen is easy access so I could get that into the fight quickly and at close quarters).
Or, best case scenario, after being shot he catches a case of FIBS/FIBSA and backs off giving me the distance I need to better secure my position with my handgun.
That’s the thing about how I worded it. The distance is up to you. Any assumptions you made aren’t really an assumption. That’s why I asked for others thoughts on it. Everyone thinks differently.
So I’m up against a guy angry or crazed enough to want to kill me, and he’s wielding a hammer and charging me…
He sounds not rational so I probably can’t talk him down. De-escalation probably not an option.
I’m not gonna be able to beat him in a grapple, and if he gets a strike in, I’m injured, incapacitated or dead. I’m not going to be able to outrun him.
If he’s further than 24’ or so, I may have time to put an obstacle between me and him… a locked door, a car, a bench, a big hay bale, to give me more time to respond.
If he’s closer than 24’ or so, I’m out of time because he can close the gap as quickly as I can draw.
In either case, I need to get off the X… move laterally, away from him, or 90 degree off his line of travel, depending on the environment. I’m dropping anything I have in my hands. While I’m moving, I’m drawing and preparing to shoot if needed. I’m yelling at him to stop… “Stop! Stay away from me! Drop the hammer! I’m armed! Don’t make me shoot you! Stay away!”
If he keeps coming with the hammer, I’m probably going to have to shoot him.
Other things that would matter are where we were, if there was a crowd, if my granddaughter an/or great granddaughter and/or hubby were there, if I was on my front porch or a public place… lots of other factors.
@Zee I left all those factors out to give everyone the chance to really think about it and think about everything that would change pending on whose around and whose not, where you are and so on. As far as I’m concerned which is why I asked the question the way I did. He’s threatened to kill you and he’s charging you. You now have to react because he is forcing you to act. Everything that you decide for the missing information is totally up to you. There is no wrong answer, it is totally what you feel you would do.
@JamesR one thing I am totally against when it comes to a life or death incident. If I’m forced to defend myself, I’m not grappling/wrestling with someone trying to kill me. I’m either going to send him to the hospital or he’s going to the morgue. Either way I will be able to articulate the choice I made. I try to do the right thing and in most situations when things escalate not meaning to have it happen. I close my mouth and walk away. Other situations are harder because of the fact someone else’s life is now possibly in danger and that falls into the realm of do you want to jump in the shark tank to help someone.
I’m not sure I understand your statement. What if you don’t have a choice? And to be clear when I’m talking grappling/wrestling, I’m talking hand to hand combat (for your life if he has a deadly weapon like a hammer). You even mentioned the potential of “rushing him” and that seems like that would be hand to hand. Remember, the attacker gets a vote in the combat engagement as well.
The attacker initiates the hand to hand combat. The meaning of my statement is if my attacker forces me to fight for my life. I’m going to break anything and everything I can on my attacker until I feel I can safely get away. When I said I’m going to charge when my attacker is charging me. It’s because that’s their last chance to change their mind. If they don’t, I have enough body mass that when I collide and I land on them. Something is going to break and hopefully it ends there. If not I’m in a perfect position to continue breaking their body including bouncing their head off the concrete. I don’t like violence but when I’m forced to fight for my life. I will be extremely vicious fighting for my life and the lives of the ones around me.
Textbook Zee. Getting off the X is huge. Not much time to de-escalate if the attacker is within 24 feet. Your life is literally on the line if this is the case. You might get one chance to do what is necessary to save yours. Stopping the threat in the most effective way available is an immediate decision that needs to be made. Let’s hope none of us are ever put in this position.
I’m with Zee! Make space until you have drawn, then he has brought a hammer to a gun fight!
There’s no time to deescalate in this situation. The attacker is charging and has yelled I’m going to kill you. All you can do is respond because the attacker is not giving you a choice to leave the situation or talk your way out of it. As I’ve said before everything I’ve left out is totally up to you on what you would do. There is no wrong answer for this situation except irresponsibility. Personally my choice has always been go straight to hand to hand combat and break everything I can on the attackers body since they want to force it upon me. My firearm is for absolute last resort with all options exhausted. If I pull my firearm, I’m pulling the trigger after it’s on target. Which means it is an absolute last resort because I can’t take anything back after that round goes into my attacker/s.
Based on the scenario, I agree with others. This is a life or death scenario with both an implicit and explicit threat and intent to kill. Create distance and defend yourself.
@MikeBKY Can you also give us the thoughts of what a prosecuting attorney would be thinking for after the fact in a situation like this if the attacker was sent to the hospital or morgue since it is a clear case of self-defense?
What should happen in any incident such as described is that the police should investigate as they would any assault/homicide. This is before anything ever gets into the hands of a prosecuting attorney. The police are the first line in deciding if charges will or should be filed. If the police determine it was a lawful use of force, that SHOULD be the end of it. That does not stop the prosecutor’s office opening their own investigation but they usually depend on the police. If they open their own investigation and they come to the same conclusion, then that is the end of it in criminal court. In Kentucky, in order for such a case to go forward, they would have to present probable cause to the court that the force that was used was unlawful. The most likely cases where force would be unlawful would be that the person defending themselves was the initial aggressor or the force used was excessive or unreasonable.
Then it is time to face the civil claims for wrongful death or assault/battery. Kentucky law grants criminal and civil immunity in cases the use of force is permitted by law and is justified. And, In Kentucky, the court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff, if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution. KRS 503.085(3).
Thank you for that information @MikeBKY. I know in Texas, although I’m not an attorney. If you’re found to be justified in the assault/homicide on the criminal side. You are immune from it on the civil side. Like you said though, the defendant can’t be the aggressor in the situation. I’ve learned during the time I’ve been learning self-defense in other ways besides the use of any weapons. It’s best to just walk away and not engage in the argument. I know for some pride is hard to swallow and walk away but it’s always the best option. I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t talk when I’m in a crowd and I have to be comfortable to talk to someone even if it’s in a crowd. I have found that because I’m not saying anything and I’m not doing anything aggressive. It will be much harder to say I’m the aggressor in any situation especially with cameras all over and people recording things. If any self-defense situation happens with me the video will show I didn’t start and I tried to avoid it by walking away.
The only thing I’d change in @Zee’s response is:
I know from doing a Proving Ground myself, I’m probably not going to drop whatever is in my hands due to the grasp reflex. When you’re startled, it’s very natural to grasp whatever you have in your hands tighter (hence, finger off the trigger until you’re ready to shoot).
If you train for it, it might be something you can override. I know I couldn’t in the Proving Ground and Phil couldn’t drop the bag in his Proving Ground either.
Other than that, I’m with @Zee, get off the X - laterally - unless there is a way to get away or get cover. I’d have no issue defending myself against someone rushing me with a hammer saying he’s going to kill me. Just because it’s not a knife or a gun doesn’t mean it isn’t a lethal weapon.
I have never lost a fight I wasn’t in @Rebelcowboy32! As a LEO, there were times I could not avoid a confrontation and deescalation becomes the key. Otherwise, if you can avoid a fight, avoid it. It is never worth someone dying over, especially ME!