Woman uses deterrence to stop man from killing her

Man attacks women with a hammer and is stopped by a pistol-packing woman.

A man in Jackson attacked two women with a hammer but left when one of the women who had a Concealed Pistol License pulled her gun.

Jonathan Mcpherson was tailgating the women before pulling up beside them and yelling for them to pull over. Mcpherson sped up and got in front of them and hit the brakes forcing the women to stop.

He exited his car armed with a claw hammer and yelled: “ You’re dead bitch, I’m going to kill you.”

The driver, who had a valid concealed pistol license, stepped out of the car with her gun and yelled at Mcpherson to “ Get Back,” Mcpherson got back into his car and drove away.

Before driving away, Mcpherson put his car in reverse and hit the women’s vehicle. Knocking the driver to the ground and causing severe injuries. Mcpherson was arrested and charged with two felony counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. He was convicted at the Jackson County Courthouse and is not eligible for parole until 2023.

Let’s look at 3 Threat Indicators:

  • An Interception is a reliable threat indicator: When Jonathan Mcpherson put his car directly in front of them and slammed on the brakes.

  • Claw Hammer in his hand: He was brandishing a weapon while approaching.

  • Verbal Threats: He yelled, “ You’re dead bitch, I’m going to kill you.”

The driver observed these threat indicators, and presented her pistol; she yelled, “ Get Back,”

The man fled like the coward he was. Predators want easy victims, not a fight.

When you take a Situational Awareness and Deterrence Class, everyone practices yelling “ Get Back ” while pointing a gun at the bad guy. Sometimes this is all it takes to stop a deadly threat.

Do you practice verbal deterrence?

Do you practice drawing your gun and not shooting?


YES and YES.

My Advanced Handgun Classes Instructor uses moving target and students have to draw and decide what to do. Target may move towards you, back or stay in place. Great practice. I love it.

Thank you @Jonathan4 to bringing this case. This is a great example how to properly handle such situation.
However I read about this case and found info that the lady driver actually took a single shot at McPherson. (which is still OK)



I am glad your getting practice on shooting a moving target since not a lot of people do. Today when I went to the range I was practicing yelling " Get Back-I am Armed the police are on the way" This is the verbal phrase I was taught.

I did this with my left hand extended out in a clear stop gesture and my right hand on my gun with the gun still holstered. When the shot timer went off I drew and fired three shots in 3 secants. All three shots hit but only 2 were critical.

Next time I am going to practice using verbal commands once the gun is out.

This story highlights sometimes presenting your gun and using a verbal command is enough.

Yes she fired one shot.


@Jonathan4 - good drill. It is also good idea to use verbal commands with hand on holstered firearm. I need to try it. :+1:
I think the proper order (first draw, then verbal command; or vice versa) depends on attacker’s behavior - but great to keep in mind we have options here.


Escape and avoid, in her situation she did. then came the threat and she reprieved with " GET BACK!" Text book perfection. My girlfriend was at home when a man came into the house with a knife. She jumped up and yelled,“Get the F out of my house!” When police arrived he had someone two houses down and had them by knife and he ran off and tried to car jack someone and the police had to stop the threat and he did not make it. I feel so proud of her on her reaction upon that situation. I was at work at the time so, I was not around at the time. She does carry and we train once a week and she is fun to go shooting with. Vocal deterrents do work but, you have to be ready for that one who wants to push his luck. Practice, practice, practice.


Instructor Zero, at 2.28 I made his target from an extendable pole saw. When you get comfortable with it you can have your buddy crowd you a bit to add another dimension to the training. :+1:


From the information provided, I’m wondering if it would have been better to not get out of the vehicle, tried to backup and drive away, and call the police. I hope she recovers quickly.


I train using verbal warnings. Be careful on the “police are on their way” if they’re not. The attacker might call you on that.

If you’ve got your support hand out and are issuing verbal commands, be sure you train to draw your firearm and get your support hand out of the way.