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  • Writer's pictureBrad Parker

Video: Self-Defense Handgun Draw While Seated

This employee at a cell phone store reacts quickly to an armed robber and effectively responds from a seated position.
Employee Shoots Robber from Seated Position

CCTV footage of the incident shows the suspect walking inside, flashing a weapon and throwing a bag at the employee. The employee, who authorities say has a permit to carry, quickly pulled out his own gun and opened fire, shooting the suspect multiple times. The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.

Some observations on armed self-defense from this incident:

  • Self-defense from a seated position usually presents a number of problems in accessing your handgun because the chair or booth hinders your elbow to move back enough to get a grip. In this case, the employee's chair is open on the side.

  • In addition, he will make the draw from the left side and you'll notice he is mousing with his right hand. Whether he has trained himself to keep his gun hand clear and mouse right handed or it's a happy coincidence, it certainly works in his favor.

  • He is obviously very aware of his surroundings and notices the criminal's demeanor, the criminal's gun, and can perceive the criminal's intent quickly. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume this is not the first time something like his has happened and he has taken steps to enhance his self-defense.

  • He begins his draw as the robber looks away and is walking to the left side of the desk.

  • He decisively begins to engage the criminal at 12 seconds into the video with a practiced looking two-handed isosceles hold. His first shot might have gone high right, but the criminal begins to react to the shot by ducking down and covering his head with his left arm.

  • His second shot at 13 seconds appears to be a hit and the robber begins to fold forward and will start to fall backwards.

  • The third shot from our defender goes low into the printer on the desk.

  • His fourth and fifth shots look to be wide left -- still within the 13 second marker on the video -- as he continues to pull the trigger while trying to move the sights back onto the criminal who is now fallen back and presumably obscured by the desk.

  • The sixth shot seems to be made at the 15-second mark as he comes around the left side of the desk, clearing the printer and gaining sight of the robber on the floor.

  • Shots 7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14, and 15 are made in rapid fire with slide-lock reached at the 17-second mark.

  • It's difficult to see which of these nine shots are hits or misses. The criminal does have some reaction during this string of fire and it does not appear that any damage is being done to the cabinets or flooring around the bad guy.

  • The employee either does not notice his handgun is empty or he does not have another magazine to make it operable again. He is essentially out of gas at this point.

  • He begins to leave the office walking right past the assailant's feet while holding an empty gun. As he heads to the door he remembers to retrieve his cell phone off of the desk.

  • An observation on dominant hands...both the good and bad guy appear to be so one-handed dominant that they both transfer their handguns during the incident to manipulate other objects. The criminal opens the door with his right hand and throws the bag onto the employee's desk right handed before transferring the handgun from his left to his right as he moves to the desk's left side. After going to slide-lock and when leaving the store. the good guy transfers his now empty Glock to his right hand and picks up the phone with his left.

  • Two comments from this observation above: 1. you should try to keep your dominant hand on the fire controls of your gun at all times. 2. become so proficient in shooting with either hand (we call that 'bi-lateral' shooting) that you are comfortable and effective either way you choose to hold your firearm.

  • Going to slide-lock. This is a such common occurrence in real shootings that some trainers emphasize emergency or stress reloads over tactical reloads. It seems during a shooting your brain is screaming EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! EMERGENCY! so loud that your inner caveman says "must pull trigger as fast as possible until danger is past". You saw on the video that the good guy even continued to fire as he tried to reacquire the target in his sights (if, in fact, he was actually seeing his sights vs. looking over the top of them -- sometimes called 'target focus'). This is also a reason why it's difficult to count your shots during or after the incident.

  • In this case, the entire incident from when the door opened to when the good guy left was about 20 seconds. The total time of the shooting spanned about five seconds. Five seconds.

  • This is not Hollywood. It's reportedly difficult to see any hits during a real encounter. Generally shots to clothed parts of the body don't show anything dramatic like the squib loads and blood packets we see in the movies. The only feedback you might get is when the assailant changes his behavior. In this case, the robber dropped to the floor. In many other cases, it's reported the bad guys simply ran away after the shooting. You might not have any feedback regarding the effectiveness of your fire until the bad guys are found expired a couple of blocks away or after they are dropped off at a nearby hospital by their confederates.

Take note of these observations from real life. Train accordingly to increase your effectiveness in self-defense situations.

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