• Brad Parker

UPDATED: B.J. Baldwin Dominates Parking Lot Shootout

Updated: Dec 23, 2021


Photo of B.J. Baldwin with handgun
B.J. Baldwin recounts his deadly parking lot shooting in Las Vegas

[UPDATED: We've been hearing some destructive gossip in some gun circles surrounding the veracity of the accounts published of the B.J. Baldwin self-defense parking lot shooting in April 2021. There are some people who are asserting that this is not Baldwin's "first shooting" and others who are questioning the innocence of Baldwin's presence at the fast-food restaurant. The insinuation is that the shooting was the result of a drug deal gone wrong. Knowledgable sources in Las Vegas tell me the basics of incident are consistent with the published reports. No, he has not been in another shooting. No, he was not there for a drug deal. There are apparently some small discrepancies in the official reports vs. Baldwin's public assertions like round count and hits. My comments on these elements are noted below toward the bottom of the post].


A champion off-road racer and firearms #competitor can credit his #training and attitude for saving two lives from two armed attackers.


B.J. Baldwin and his girlfriend were in a parking lot after eating at In-N-Out Burger when they were approached by two men wearing hoodies pulled tight around their faces.


The news story here gives a good overview of the shooting incident which happened in Las Vegas on April 22.


He said his girlfriend noticed two hooded men pointing a gun at her and charging in her direction from across the parking lot. Once she was able to alert him, the men were 15 yards away with the gun pointed at her and smiling, he said. He said they appeared intent on doing harm.


Upon sensing the danger, Baldwin said he pulled his licensed concealed #firearm and the #shooting broke out. The #gunman fired two shots at his girlfriend and six shots at Baldwin, he said.


"I knew there was a high probability that he would miss because I was returning fire and getting hits on him," Baldwin said. "I wish I wasn't at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I'm glad it was me instead of a less-skilled #defensive pistol practitioner."


Another news story from KTNV:


A more detailed and powerful version is a video posted on Twitter and YouTube with B.J. Baldwin personally describing the incident and shooting:



Some points to highlight:


  • The parking lot was dark. He says in the video that "the lights had just gone off". Being in a commercial space, there is sure to be some ambient light, but let's consider this a 'low-light' environment.

  • It's 1:46 AM. Two men wearing hoodies with the hoods drawn tight around their faces, "charging" towards his girlfriend, pointing a gun at her. Baldwin says one gunman momentarily pointed his gun at him, said "What's good?" then pointed his gun back at Tori, Baldwin's girlfriend. Any reasonable person would conclude they are under a deadly force attack.

  • When the gunman points his gun back at Tori, Baldwin realizes he will not get another opportunity to draw.

  • The gunman takes two shots at Tori and six shots at Baldwin who is now engaging the adversary. During this time Baldwin is thinking the bad guy probably has a low probability of making any hits because Baldwin is pummeling him with rounds -- nine rounds to the chest and one to the central nervous system. Let's assume "central nervous system" is a euphemism for a head shot. [UPDATE: These hit counts might not be correct].

  • 15 yards. 10 shots, 10 hits. [UPDATE: sources tell me this is actually 13 shots and 8 hits]. He estimates his draw and first shot was about one second. Baldwin believes the entire firefight lasted about four seconds. Ordinarily, time estimates are typically skewed when you are under duress. [UPDATE: This is supported in the updated brackets above, stress in critical incidents has a way of altering our reality and our memories. We will have to take any of self-reported estimates, counts, passage of time, etc. with a grain of salt].

Some personal observations about Baldwin. We've shot with him and been coached with him by J.J. Racaza in an advanced class. Here's what we've seen:


  • He is very fast on the draw with a fluid and consistent #drawstroke.

  • He carries #appendix.

  • His handgun has a #reddot sight.

  • His handgun has a #weapon-mounted white light.

  • [UPDATED: His background is competition shooting, not tactical shooting.]


Related: Speed Marksmanship with J.J. Racaza


As you can also see in the NRA Twitter video, he has a well thought out and articulated attitude about survival and protecting his family.


You might be wondering about his level of proficiency. Considering there is a good chance that the video will not survive on Twitter/YouTube for long, here is a quick edited version of the video that captures the scenes of Baldwin shooting.



Yes, he is proficient. Is he infallible? No, he's human. But his commitment to #training and his indomitable attitude has proven to be up to snuff when it comes to saving innocent lives from armed and dangerous criminals.


Use this incident as part of your education. Be inspired by B.J.'s commitment and response.


It's safe to say that B.J. Baldwin trains like his life depends on it.


[UPDATE: Use of Force instructors have commented to me that Baldwin's very public and very detailed statements are probably ill advised. As noted above, our initial recall of the incident might not be consistent with the forensic evidence which opens us up for scrutiny by prosecutors in both our criminal and civil trials. It's generally advisable to refrain from public comments which can be used against us later -- no matter how strongly we feel about defending our actions in the court of public opinion.


However, the apparent first move by Baldwin to drive to a hospital for medical treatment for he and Tori was a good move and is instructional for us as well. The adrenaline coursing through our bodies during and after the deadly force incident can hide physical injuries. Get medical attention immediately -- even if there doesn't seem to be an obvious injury.]


Related: Is Competition Good for Self-Defense Handgun Skills?

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