Why “we” should care about “non” good shooting incidences

We have an idea of what was a good shoot. When they occur, it’s usually police involved. And even then, there are sometimes questions and investigations into the actual events to determine if it was justified.

With civilian on civilian shootings, that hits home, and can also be complicated, dare I say even more complicated?

How do we determine if a shoot was righteous or improper? I found more literature and training vids on when you can ethically shoot. But how about when it’s not appropriate to shoot? I don’t see as much discussion on that.

I realize in the aftermath, we are “Monday Morning Quarterbacks”, as we were not there. Without knowing all of the facts. We can’t decide punishment, but a court judge and jury will. There may be criminal charges. Then possibly civil charges from the person who was shot, or his/her family.

I don’t know if the person Y was a legal firearm owner. If he was not, then this post does address illegal carry. But if he were a legal carrier, this message might apply.

I bring this up because I recently witnessed a shooting, live and in person, from a few yards away in broad daylight:

I’m deliberately changing the information to protect the identities, and privacy. Foremost, when actually in an event, it can be difficult to be a good witness when amidst chaos and trying to stay safe oneself. Things can happen so fast.

It was sunny, in a small city, at a large outdoor parking lot, on a businesses and restaurant strip. There were family homes all around each side of each street, no matter which way you looked (across the streets).

I had exited my car, began walking to a café for a rest, food and beverage. When suddenly I heard small caliber firearms shots. I can’t know if man “Y” experienced life/limb threat during the first round of fire.

I noticed a man running (man X), and a second man (man Y) followed him, pointed his arm toward man X (in the classic aim posture), and I heard more shots (a second round of shots).

I worried for my own safety, heard some people screaming, saw a mother holding her small childrens’ hands, running away, in the opposite direction. I scanned all around me for safety, taking my eyes off X and Y, by the time I looked toward them again, I could not see them.

I called 911, it felt like forever before I could even find the numbers 911 (hard to see the screen in the sun reflecting), only later on realizing there is a way to reach them by pressing a certain button on the phone’s side - a number of times. Talking to the operator, I walked to the café, the police soon arrived. Ended up talking with a Dad who said his wife and children were cowering inside their car while he went to get them lunch.

Later I approached the officers, mainly wondering if anyone was hurt. One officer spoke with me but I’ll withhold what officer said out of respect to his/her privacy.

The incident was about three blocks from where some of my family reside.

Lotta takes, but what stood out to me were:

  • Not knowing the “Why’s, and details of its start”?
  • What did man X do or not do beforehand?
  • Why did man Y shoot?

For me, the most curious question was:

If man X was moving away, running, had his back turned, around 10 yards away, why follow and why shoot, and shoot at least 2 rounds?

Was that particular shoot not a good shoot, but unjustified?

Further, do such unjustified shoots give us legal CCW holders a bad name/rep? What would all the people who experienced it and reside across the street or work on those cafes “think”? Are their views and rights just as important as ours? Despite my supporting our carry rights proudly, It irks me that man Y shot the way he did, at least in the second set of rounds I heard. To me, that threatens our rights.

What can we do to help legal CCW holders to “not make unjustified shoots”, and if in such an emergency - know when to shoot?

I don’t know the exact legal penalties.

  • Is it already a felony?
  • What if no one person was struck, except a brick wall, aluminum siding, window, refrigerator, or car seat?
  • Lose their rights to own any firearm?
  • Prison?
  • Mandatory training?
  • Fine?
  • What if one admits a mistake and sorrow?
  • Legal form of penance, forgiveness to re-gain rights?

Glad to hear you were not hurt.

Thanks for sharing a first hand account of how confusing a situation like you encountered can be and how challenging it must be to make the right decisions under duress and without all the facts. How easy it must be to make the wrong choices.

The right training, discussions like the ones on this forum, and first hand stories like yours will hopefully help us learn and to have the best judgment possible if we ever have an experience like yours.


The laws apply differently in different states. I have been in construction almost my whole life. The important thing to me is safety. Making sure other are safe also. The only reason I would shoot someone is if I was certain it was the only way to insure my safety or someone else’s.


To answer your titled question, yes, to an extent, in that we care about public safety and do not want to have crime occurring in our communities.

You are making a huge jump to assume the shooter was a law-abiding citizen and a lawful CC holder. You describe the incident as criminal act, not a self-defense situation gone bad. That in and of itself does not reflect upon lawful CC holders, as that was not the factor based on your retelling of the incident.

The best take away from this is being situationally aware and reacting properly to that. My question to you is how quickly did you notice before the shooting and what steps did you actually take to enhance your safety and/or given the same scenario next time, what would you do differently?


Hi Robert1246. I appreciate everyone’s insight, as they mention, we also learn from one another.

As I don’t have all the facts, I’m left to wonder could person X have done something so heinous, that person Y was overcome by “anger”, for Y to take such risks himself. I should emphasize I was assuming person Y was a legal carrier, but he might not have been, I need to admit I really don’t know.

I’m saddened as my family member sought a better life and settled his growing family there. It was awkward for me, being a permit holder/carrier myself.

As many have posted on the importance of trying to be a good witness, there’s at least one area where I felt I could have done better. In retrospect, the entire scene was about half the size of a football field, people running, and as I didn’t know good guy from bad guy, my own scanning was 360 degrees, head on a swivel, which took my eyes off of the center of activity.

The officers had arrived amazingly fast, and even sent me text messages, they were quite professional.

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When it comes to mistakes it is how we learn and become better. To learn from someone else’s mistakes will hopefully prevent you from doing the same mistake. Making a mistake with a gun could be the last mistake you make besides dropping the soap in the shower room in prison.
Pulling the trigger is something you cannot take back or change your mind after you do so. There should be a clear and present danger of your life before you take any actions. Being sure of yourself to take the proper steps to avoid doing it if possible.
I have in the pass posted problems I have ran into and things I did wrong so hopefully no one else will make the mistakes I have done.
Lock your doors when you get into your car. It will prevent uninvited guests.
Keep your magazines clean so that they will work when you need them.
Do not point a gun, even in a safe direction with your finger on the trigger. New tv did not survive.
(Long Story)
Do not be confrontational with people you do not know; they might be looking for a fight.
Do not go shooting with “friends.” you do not know well.
Know your limits! Know what you are capable of and do not try to go beyond what you know because you do not know. Murphy has a way to show you the reality of life.

We should care about bad shooting incidents as well as bad mistakes that have been made.



Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding! On the mark Sir.
I wanna hear 'bout the New TV R.I.P. story some day…
wasn’t here for the first telling.
But pulling the trigger when you don’t know all the facts
(and if YOUR life isn’t in direct peril is like the 5th (unwritten) rule
for me. Just because we have a gun doesn’t mean we have to/should engage.
Not every fight is OUR fight! We can’t take back those rounds once fired down range).


I basically agree with @Don102 and @Todd30. We are in agreement but we are all different and could all do something different if we were in your situation. I thank and praise you for bringing this to our attention. You were aware enough that if you would have had to act differently you could have. You were looking out for your own safety and the safety of others.


Excellent points from all.

In Burdo’s story, he asked: If man X was moving away, running, had his back turned, around 10 yards away, why follow and why shoot, and shoot at least 2 rounds?

To this question I can only answer with what Texas has to say. If man X is running away, back turned and fleeing from man Y, man Y DOES NOT HAVE JUSTIFICATION TO SHOOT. The factors involved in the original shooting (man X shooting at man Y?) no longer apply. Even if someone breaks into my home and assassinates my entire family and decides to leave, if he is running away from me, I cannot legally shoot him in the back. I would do it anyway, on principle, and face the justice system, but that is just me. Even that comment can be used as a good example of what not to do.

As to the question of What can we do, Crocket says it best: “The right training, discussions like the ones on this forum, and first hand stories like yours will hopefully help us learn and to have the best judgment possible if we ever have an experience like yours.” We hear the stories, and we take away bits and pieces that affect us the most. I read through it and asked myself what would I do?

I would:

  1. Make sure I was safe behind cover or concealment, not within the shooters line of sight.
  2. Make sure everyone else in the area is safe behind cover or concealment, out of the shooters line of sight.
  3. OBSERVE. What are they wearing? Which direction are they going? Street signs? Be a good witness for when law enforcement arrives.
  4. After everything stops moving, pat myself down to make sure I didn’t take any damage.
  5. Stay in the area and available for law enforcement.

In the world we live in today, ANY incident involving a shooting is going to garner negative press and in the eyes of the Left, no shooting, even good guy with a gun saving a bus full of Nuns (hypothetically) would be spun to paint us, the legal gun owners, as the bad guys. It just doesn’t make sense sometimes.


I had just purchased a 44 magnum. I held it with it empty and realized how heavy it was and wondered how much heavier it would be with rounds in it. I loaded it up and held it up and had my finger in the trigger well then when I pointed it at the TV I touched the trigger to find out it had a hair trigger, The TV was an older TV with the big and deep screen in a console. The bulb exploded and my ears rung. All I felt was how stupid I felt, I knew better but yet there I was. This is how many people get hurt or dead. This was a lesson that has taught me very well and is super imbedded into my scull to keep your nose picker off of the trigger until you are ready to fire a round off. No exceptions on the finger on the trigger. Be safe, practice, and train.


My Uncle John (now passed) came home from shooting one day and was carrying a 10-22 into the house and his GF said “don’t you bring that gun in the house if it’s loaded” he said it’s not" and pointed the muzzle at the ceiling and pulled the trigger and discharged a .22 round into the said ceiling. :man_facepalming:
He took the mag out but forgot the chamber. :roll_eyes:


Three words: Stop the threat

Not sure shooting someone in the back would qualify but I wasn’t there and more importantly, I wasn’t on the receiving end of shots fired.


Yet, your first assumption is someone legally carrying got angry? That is a possibility, but far less likely than a criminal act by a criminal. The KISS principle is a better method for evaluating a situation, until more facts present themselves.

Are you one prone to rage and assume others are just like you? I guess my easy-going demeanor makes me assume most people are like me, until my “spidey sense” is tingling or I observe something that tells me otherwise.

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There are very rare situations in which a person can lawfully shoot a fleeing felon. Very rare. Masad Ayoob goes over it in MAG40. I can’t imagine a scenario in which I would do it unless a family member was just killed by the perp and I witnessed it (which checks several of the criteria at least off the top of my head).

At the end of the day, you didn’t get hurt and you didn’t unnecessarily hurt anyone else. I call that success.


Thank you Todd30 for sharing such a riveting lesson for us all. I imagine some of us have has similar experiences of which wer’e too afraid to share, but might have shaped us into who we are today.

Brother, since that, do you ever find yourself to be a firearms safety preacher? If so, Amen to you, hallelujah.


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Yup, and Tod learned to clean his mags to. :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi BruceE.

After talking about it with friends today, I realized I probably should have ducked and made myself small towards the ground. I was in between cars but I probably should have ducked down.

In that heat of the moment, I couldn’t think as fast as I should have. I hear a lot about training as a defendant. But as a bystander, I need to educate myself on how to remain safe.

On a different note;

I sure wish I knew more information, so far not much in the media, as I don’t wanna be judgmental. The person doing the second round of shooting which I saw - displayed what I thought appeared to be a trained stance and aiming posture. I later heard that someone was struck by gunfire but doing ok at the hospital. So, I’m not sure if it could have been two “bad guys”, or just one.


Burdo: If man X was moving away, running, had his back turned, around 10 yards away, why follow and why shoot, and shoot at least 2 rounds?

I can’t answer most of your questions you seek answers to. But I can say (from experience) that you were
caught in the middle of stupid people, in stupid places doing stupid things ! Unfortunately, now-a-day’s those stupid places are our neighborhoods, play grounds, Parks and work places. The probable reason why stupid A-- #1 continued to shoot @ stupid A-- #2 is because of some real or imagined effrontery to his manhood. It just doesn’t matter Brother. And looking for ‘ANSWERS’ from the (barf) media is a wasted effort in futility! As I said many times, 'If it bleeds it reads! No one got dead…the media has moved on. It truly sucks what you experienced. I’m sorry you had to relive that over and over, but the real deal is you SURVIVED! It is now part of your story and training. Second guessing what you coulda, shoulda woulda is a waste of your energies. Learn from it, use it when you train further but don’t dwell on it. Don’t let it rent space in your head! Guy’s I knew who experienced their first firefight (and survived!) Got DEAD! in the next because they couldn’t let it go and get passed it. Answers as to why, how come, etc may never be answered.
That’s why we train. That’s why we practice, that’s why we take courses. We build Muscle memory, We can ‘Act’ in a situation (hopefully) faster because we shoot our weapons (a lot). I would not have gotten shot (the 1st. time) had I not stood there MARVELING (like an idiot) @ the first bad guy I killed!) DUH! what was wrong w/ me? SH-- Happens brother! I had to get past it ! We do what we do and hopefully learn from our mistakes. We are all alive here so that in itself is a Victory! Could we have done better? sure! Probably who knows? So I Train. I practice, I get familiar w/ my hardware, I clean them to death, I rack them often, I carry them as much as possible. They are a part of me now. My wallet, phone, GUN, knuckles, knife, keys, holster, dbl mag pouch, flashlight etc. everything’s cleaned, in good working order, in the same place ‘on the clock’ around my body. Muscle Memory. Practice changing out mags, practices clearing a jam in your mind, keep your mags really clean. It will all come down to your Situational Awareness to get the jump on the next time you may be involved in a shoot. Hopefully it never happens. But having you mind focusing on the past is a good way to get surprised in the next instance. Oops ! How did that happen again to me? You don’t get a lot of Oop’s I mentally dropped the ball again chances.
I’ve said too much. Listen to these people here, they are the REAL DEAL. Soak up their knowledge, ask questions just like you did. We are proud of you. YOU SURVIVED!
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