The Aftermath: Relationships Are Killers

Welcome to Aftermath, a portion of our First Line email newsletter where Attorney Anthony L. DeWitt walks you through a real-life self-defense incident and shares his key takeaways.

Relationships Are Killers

The attacker was apparently spoiling for a fight and went to a gas station food truck to confront his sister-in-law working there. Based on reports from CBS 8 news, the confrontation got ugly.

At some point, he brandished a weapon. The sister-in-law used her weapon to end the threat. A highway patrol officer was driving by and detained the defender, who was taken into custody but not charged. Police said it appeared to be a case of self-defense.

Are you able to carry at work? How would you have handled this if you could not carry at work?


As for are you able to carry at work ? Is it legal ? It is against the law for patrons to carry a weapon inside a place that serves alcohol. I am not a customer, I am an employee. Does the owner want me to carry ? They will not okay it nor will they deny. They do not want to know IF and they want full deniability to IF I was to carry. My first task at hand is to defuse the situation. De-escalate the situation and let things cool down. This is an art form that takes my calm demeaner and shares it to the person who is all wound up like a jack in the box, ready to pop any time. This is something I have worked on for years.


Well @Todd30 , if your avatar is a photo of you, who in their right mind would still be wound up if Burl Ives approached them in a calm soothing voice and asked them calm down, while handing them a cup of hot cocoa. :slight_smile:


My current employer allows us to carry in the company vehicles as long as we are legal (CWP) but we cannot carry to customers work sites if they forbid it (most do). When I do the suit and tie thing or Carharts and fishing shirts with company logo I carry, when I do the tool belt thing I don’t, my tool belt has some pretty lethal improvise able things in it.

Not sure about the new company yet but I am checking now. Good question.



Scary but you have to stay ready so you don’t have to get ready for a threat

  • If you are stalked or threatened, it is very important to make a police report before you’re forced to defend your life. Had this shooting taken place anywhere other than in public — in front of witnesses — the relationship between the parties may well have made this a closer case.*

This :point_up:t4:

I would love to be on record as the one who’s on the defensive, regardless whether it escalated or not.


Without being there, the only other alternative choice I can think of is;
Since it was in public, with witnesses, maybe close up and lock the food truck so that the other person can get in and drive away? Then file a report with local Law Enforcement. And hopefully the witnesses will cooperate.
I do agree with her actions as this was clearly a case of self defense!
After reading many of these real life situations I am learning, and beginning to see and understand how ones mind is not always clear, and how the law reacts to such situations.

First she was in the right to defend herself and the consumer. The question is had the perpetrator had been reported before this happen or was this been brewing for a long time to get this far? Sounds like it’s was just brewing up until the incident.

I would absolutely agree with your opinion

First…"…he brandished a weapon" Way to vague, was it a baseball bat, a knife, a machete or a gun???
Next, with other people about, should she shout to help, call 911?
it reads as if she is inside the food truck and he is outside…that may not be the case, he may have been within feet of her…but that is not reported.
I have no way to get an accurate mental picture of the actual situation.
One might assume he was right up next to her about to swing “whatever weapon” he had…but that is not what is reported here.
please clearly “paint” the situation so we know the layout of the event.

PLEASE stop using the word “weapon”. Call it what it is. HANDGUN.

1 Like

“If you are stalked or threatened, it is very important to make a police report before you’re forced to defend your life“.
This statement makes no sense at all. How in the heck are you going to make a police report with someone walking up and threatening you with a deadly weapon.
LOL, so what are you supposed to do? Say “hold on a minute I’ve got to make a police report before you come at me with that deadly weapon”. Geez, come on, think before you type!!!

His mistake was going to her job with ill intent. Second mistake was brandishing his handgun. Even in ccw training. If you show it you better be ready to use it. In Florida. Doing what he did could cost you your license and even worst jail time. These are the people who give us a bad name. Using gun for wrong reasons. It’s only to be used as last resort life or death situations. Not for oh you was mad and pissed off situations. Eyes of the law she was right. Ended the threat. Morally and we wasn’t there. Being that was family. I’m sure it didn’t need to go that damn far. But of course we all have that one family member who don’t need much to pop off. She clearly is that family member. I tell my own family. Reality/Laws don’t give a damn about your feelings and morals. Law is cut and dry. Your legally able to use deadly force if set individual come at you with gun, knife, vehicle anything that can kill you/harm. Outside looking in. This could’ve been avoided. But based on law. She’s correct and ended the threat.

I would have shot him. It’s just that simple. Brandishing a weapon is a clear threat to one’s safety. At that point, I am in fear for my life, so the appropriate thing to do is to respond as necessary. Hence, he would be in the Hurt Locker.

Where I work (Greenfield, WI), company policy states that you are not allowed t carry a weapon unless licensed by the DOJ, I don’t have a concealed carry permit, I have a concealed carry license. I’m often the last person to leave the building at night.

When the BLM. etc. was threatening protests in the area, I asked the CFO if I should bring extra ammo and maybe my 12 Ga. He told me that plenty of other employees carried as well. I took that to mean they were OK with me having a firearm at work.

At my previous job, the building had a “No Weapons” policy, but the building owner told me I could carry since I had the license and I often worked late.

The big thing is situational awareness. Can you avoid or de-escalate the situation? What’s going on around you?

I worked as a rent-a-cop, I learned a lot about de-escalation. Sometimes it comes easy, Other times, it needs to be “slightly” aggressive. Knowing the difference takes experience and can’t be taught,

In that situation if you see a person coming at you brandishing a pistol or any other firearm one must react quickly and defend your self.
i work from home and have a weapon nearby or on myself



Did you read the First Line email or just what’s posted above?

Firstly because of the relationship she would have known that he was armed possibly. Because of this, she should have kept the conversation to a minimum for words are just wind. If ignoring him did not work, then she should have left the building and at the first chance call 911, She also could have been smiling from the start. A smile can keep things calm sometime,

Able to carry at work. Would have done same thing

Hello and welcome @Alan125 @Raymond63