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Tactical Scenario: Armed Robbery

by George Wehby   |  July 21st, 2011 38

Below is an older armed robbery  video showing four individuals returning home from an evening out on the town. They are hanging out in an apartment complex entrance area.  Everything looks fine until they let an individual in the secured building and he pulls a revolver out of his waist band to rob them.  Now in the video, all four of the victims attempt to disarm the robber, which ends with one being seriously injured and another dead.  The robber gets away.


My Monday morning quarterbacking of the video is as follows:

  1. They should not have let him in.
  2. Since they did let him in, they should have been more aware of his demeanor and noticed the gun printing under his t-shirt (you can see it on the film).  They should have treated him as an unknown and a potential threat, instead of letting him get the weapon into action.
  3. Since he got the drop on them, they should have complied until he was more vulnerable and/or he upped the ante beyond money and wallets.
  4. If they were going to take his gun away, they should have had that as their singular focus, instead of trying to beat the guy up at the same time.  They should of focused on keeping the muzzle pointed away from themselves and/or directly at him until it was secured. It is horrible that this happened to these guys, but we can definitely train from it.

Here is the scenario, you and 3 friends are hanging out in a public area and an individual walks by only to turn and produce a gun demanding all your money.  The guy is no farther than 3 yards with a gun shifting from one person to the next.  What do you do?  What do you do if you are CCW?  What if you are not carrying? Enjoy.

  • Michael Thompson

    Costly mistake, complacency by numbers. But reverse the situation, four unarmed or under armed (brandishing a knife or??) punks and you are armed; they demanded whatever, look at what can be accomplished by one determined man and a five or six shot revolver.


    1. Know where you are and pay attention to those around you

    2. Know your escape routes

    3. Be aware of and understand cover and concealment

    4. Control your adversaries weapon if contact is made

    5. If your hurt, keep fighting, never give up

    6. Be polite, trust no one

    7. Always have a plan

    8. Train Train Train

    9. Attack with a warriors mindset, attack to win

    10. Always be armed

  • Troy II

    Never, ever trust police. They are always armed, they stick together, and their conduct is sanctioned by the State. They're a much greater threat than thiefs.

    • Firedog

      Really? Are you serious? Armed guy wants to take your money and you are unarmed. The first thing you say is never trust the police, who are always armed? They are a greater threat than the thieves? You must be a criminal with a pretty bad record to say that, or just a hater. The police are no threat to anyone who is not a threat to others. Live on the right side of the law and things will change.

      • SuperTee

        Oh yeah, and here's another for you:

        You know, I've met some really good guys who are cops.. but you just never know which end of the spectrum you're going to end up with when you deal with them. It's cops like these that screw it up for all of them. These incidents are not unusual, these are simply where they got sloppy and got caught.

        • Curtis

          I watched your video and wile being a dog lover i find it heart breaking that they had to shoot the dogs, it was the suspects fault. The police had to defend themselves from the possible threat from the dogs. If he had not been breaking the law his dogs would be just fine. The police are there for our protection and have very hard jobs. A threat can come from nowhere and they have to react with a moments time then we have forever to pick apart their every action.

      • Eli

        you are sadly and grossly mistaken, that cops are bad, I know all good cops, maybe you know of a bad cop…so dont let that incident group ALL the cops together. I woder who YOU will call after a robbery or murder? Oh, ok no one.

        • Diamondback

          Key word in there was "after". See, when seconds matter the police are only minutes away (in the recent case in Norway, only 90 minutes away. That factors about one death per minute of police delay in arrival. At least they were there in time to draw chalk lines around the bodies and immediately start an investigation.

          You call the police "after" the incident so they can clean up the mess you made defending yourself, loved ones and property and in order to be allowed to file an insurance claim.

      • Diamondback

        You're quite naive it appears if you trust LE in this day and age Firedog. My experience with most of them is they are bullies in uniforms. I quit supporting them approx. ten years ago. LE today is NOT the peace officers of yesteryear. They're a clear, present and continuing threat to all Americans and our liberties. And, if they're unionized, they're even worse.

        I have as much contempt for them almost as I have for our corrupt courts and judges – most of whom should be hung.

        No, I'm not a criminal YET but won't let that hold me back when the SHTF. Only convictions I've had, thus far, were traffic tickets – most of which were BS revenue raising operations by city/county commmissioners/criminals.

        I have had the opportunity to observe both the courts and LE in action the last several years due to a non-conformist son and it has done nothing but confirm to me that a War on LE is justified and, hopefully, forthcoming soon in America.

      • Frank

        The police are there to help and protect. You may have to make an effort to protect yourself or others until they arrive, but it is the police who have to maintain law and order. That is their job, sometimes with your help. Without them we would be living in constant fear from those who do not respect other peoples lives or property.

    • austin

      you are passing by and see the fight throught the door, you do nothing?

      troy, what do i do if i see you getting robbed?

      • Diamondback

        NOTHING! DUH!

  • Bud

    Troy sounds like a mane who has contact with the LAW and lost!!!!

    They might not always be the best but I would hate to see what would happen without them

    • Diamondback

      I'd be thrilled to do without about 80% of them.

  • denner

    Well, I see a pattern in the last two robbery clips posted. Keep keen awareness of who's around you at all times and be thinking of what if before it happens.

  • Antonio

    I want to say "kudos" to the four men for not willing to be passive victims but, in distant retrospect, the fact that one was killed doesn't make me feel like cheering. In all, who knows, the criminal might have shot them even if they hadn't resisted. Err on the side of aggression, I say.

    • james

      Actually, you are wrong. It was rational for the robber to shot when attacked. It would have been irrational for him to shoot without being attacked. Most robbers are not mindless, crazy people – they are thugs looking to make a quick buck. Thugs won't kill you for fun – that's psychopaths. Fact is – it is much more wise to just give up the $200, there's much, much less likely chance that he'll shoot you.

      • Diamondback

        And much, much more chances that he'll continue his wrong ways in the future by terrorizing and victimizing more citizens. Yea, just let them go on about conducting their "business" unfettered.

        Great idea!

      • keith

        Any one with a loaded gun has the intent to use it. Yes even the law abiding ccw holder. This "Thug" broke one of the first rules of gun handling "Do not point you gun at anything you don't intend to destroy". So his intentions were to kill someone the moment he pointed that weapon. So the 4 others had every right to beat the hell out of or even kill that man! Too bad that didn't happen. Now tax payers have to support that pathetic scum in prison.

      • Curtis

        In theory that sounds good. The problem is you are applying rational thought to irrational people. If he were rational he would understand that the risk of being shot or cot is not worth the small amount of money he could possibly take from them. He was probably trying to get drug money so all rationality is out the window. I personally think it is always better to air on the side of aggression. Better to be shot fighting than laying down.

  • ntrudr800

    The safest thing to do was just follow the gunman's orders unless it became obvious that he was going to shoot. I mean, none of the 4 friends talking to each other apparently had a gun or knew how to disarm the guy safely… Think about it, if just ONE of the 4 friends had a CCW permit and decent pistol they could have stopped the robber. Robbers cannot tell the future. They do not know when they will die, when they will mess with the wrong person.

    We must also consider that the 4 friends were intoxicated. A night out often involves drinking. The 4 friends may have not been thinking wisely when they attacked the gunman

  • ntrudr_800

    I read up on this on a news site. The bad guy, Malcom, said he never intended to kill anyone that night. OK, well then why did he have a loaded gun? Why did he shoot that guy in the head? I SAW HIM CHOOSE TO SHOOT THAT GUY IN THE HEAD ON CAMERA, THAT LIAR. This infuriates me…

    He only got 26 years in prison. For killing a man and severely injuring another that was in the hospital for weeks. Do you know how much it costs to be in the hospital for weeks? And guess what? Malcom had money & food at home left for him by his mom! This is disgusting. Every good & decent man should carry a pistol on him nowadays… ready for the greedy fool who think he can just aim his gun at anyone he wants…

    • Mike

      Regarding your comment about every good & decent man carrying a pistol, I couldn't agree more. A potential robber would have to think twice about robbing a bank, convenience store, etc. if there was a good possibility that a patron inside was armed. I have my license to carry, and I do, even in my own home. Home invasions are on the rise and seem to be particularly violent. I owe it to my family to be prepared and to protect them at all cost.

    • Eli


  • Gabriel

    Sorry if this isn't the place for this… but…you are armed, and you drive by this:… what do you do?

    • joe

      Sorry if this sounds cold but I would call the police. Having a CCW does not turn you into LE. The license is for the protection of my family and loved ones. Trying to play hero is not part of the requirement. Assuming the guy was unarmed I would do my best to physically restrain him from further harming the child but I would not use deadly force to stop an attack against someone I do not know. While this factual situation seems like a clear cut case of justifiable use of deadly force there are too many possible situations when interceding on behalf of someone you don't know can make things worse. As a result, my hard and fast rule is that Ill take action(deadly force) to protect friends and family but for everyone else I call the cops and try to be a good witness.

      Again, I apologize if this sounds cold but I think many that lawfully carry have to realize their limitations.

      • Mike

        Not interceding is YOUR prerogative as you have no legal requirement to assist. The same holds true if you (as a non-medical professional) happen to hold certification in first aid and CPR, you are not under legal obligation to assist someone in medical distress. That said, I can't think of any situation, whereby, the actions of someone beating the life out of a toddler could be misinterpreted or somehow taken out of context. I may not pull my gun, but I damn sure wouldn't sit around waiting for help to come while the child was beaten to death. I couldn't live in my own skin if I did. That's not playing hero or assuming the role of law enforcement; it's just being human. And that's MY prerogative.

      • Diamondback

        You would NOT try to protect an innocent child!?


        "Home of the brave" – not so much apparently.

      • JP

        I have to say that if I saw a man beating a toddler to death on the side of an interstate then I could stand to preserve the child's life. In my state if you are protecting yourself, or anyone else that is in in risk of grave bodily injury or death then you are in the right. A grown man beating a toddler is definitely a case of protecting someone else's life. Especially if it is the incredibly young, or old. If you could do nothing but stand and witness the event, then you might as well have been the one to kill him yourself through inaction.

      • Curtis

        Really, what is wrong with you? I cant believe you would really stand by and watch a child being killed. If i were driving down the road with my wife and I saw you, Joe being stomped out on the ground, I would have my wife call 911 and I would help you. I don't think that is "playing cop" I think that it is the responsibility of every able bodied american to help when someone is in need.

  • Josh M.

    Police and politicians regularly say, just give the crook what he wants, don't resist and let him walk away so no one is hurt. Well, what if you're the guy who didn't make the move on the bad guy but got shot in the head because your buddy did? You can't control the people around you, someone else turned it into a fight and he wound up dead. Had he been armed, he might have been able to stop the perpetrator from killing him. Explain that to his family, his wife, his kids, his mother, his father…

    We ought to send this clip with that explanation around to as many people behind desks who say we can be safe if we just comply as possible.

  • ntrudr_800

    Josh M., this is a special situation. Basically, ALL the 4 friends should have just given the robber what he wanted. That did not happen. One of them decided to fight him. Bad move since he was ill prepared. We are looking at this from a wise point of view. This will happen again, people get robbed all the time! We want to minimize the risk involved in such an incident. YES the robber can still shoot them after they give him their money, but this is the safest choice you got!

    So if your friends starts to fight the guy with the gun, what do you do? Well, your choice has been chosen. You fight. Or run. But if you run there's a better chance your friends die. So you fight. Let's hope the friends choose to comply in the beginning unless it looks like the robber is going to shoot anyways…

    When it all comes down to it, the robber must be blamed for what happened. It was the robber who pointed a firearm at others in the first place. He is the criminal and killer by choice, not the 4 friends.

    "Had one of the guys been [legally] armed they might have been able to stop the criminal," about that. I stand firm in my decision to state this as earlier. It is for the whole world to see. It's the truth. With proper training & practice, it's as true as the robber who aimed a firearm at the 4 friends & pulled the trigger. The more murders I hear like this, the more I wanna carry a gun (legally) myself. I as well as others do not want to have their friends held up and shot in front of their eyes, fight or no fight.

    I'm not going to just blurt all of this out at a funeral, or in front of family members, of course. That's insensitive! But on a Guns & Ammo web page which discusses the situation & possible choices & outcomes? Hell yeah! We want to prevent others from being murdered or seriously injured. I am not trying to offend families or hurt others by stating what I have typed. I am trying to help others make a logical choice based on the situation.

    I never said that if you comply then you are 100% safe. Nope. Didn't say that. I think we are much safer if we comply, and if things go bad quick–and it looks like for sure the guy is going to shoot you or friends, then FIGHT

    You're right. We can't always control the people around us. Let's be careful out there :) Be kind and slow to anger. If you love your neighbor as yourself you'll have many more friends than enemies

  • james

    You people are fools. Try living in Europe where nobody – good or bad – carries guns. Yes, there's a few crazies here and there (mostly law abiding white crazies), but by enlarge it's 100x safer.

    I've lived in EU for 5 years, I've never seen a gun other than police. Also for you fools about to point to Switzerland, it's not part of the EU, moreover, they don't carry guns, they have them at home for militia – not for self devence. The idea that you would need to carry a gun for self-defence in Switzerland is crazy – just like you people.

    • George Wehby

      Apparently some have guns. Oslo, Norway is a good example of a bad person having guns and the good guys with guns not being able to respond for 90 minutes. Your benevolent government cannot protect you. You may have to step up and do it yourself. Good Luck. I would rather be lucky and armed, instead of just lucky. Thanks for taking the time to respond.

      • George Wehby

        Also, I know Norway is not in the EU, but it does share borders and there are definitely Black Market guns in Europe. Keep in mind as well, that defending ones self from those with guns is just a piece of the pie. It is my understanding knife attacks are very poplular in European Countries.

    • austin

      james, everyone in the usa should go live in europe? who is the fool for saying that?

      bad people here carry guns, illegally, what should the good people do james?

    • Diamondback

      Norway too! Obviously it'd be CRAZY to even think about carrying for self-protection in such a "safe" european-like environment.

      Oh, wait … nevermind.

  • Stuart

    As retired police officer, I was fascinated by the comments about cops. In my opinion:

    1. No cops are perfect human beings (neither perfectly good nor bad).

    2. Different departments have very different cultures, for better or worse.

    3. If your department's culture is rotten, try to CAREFULLY attempt to change it (or move).

    4, Absent corruption, cops don't usually hurt citizens w/o some (not necessarily sufficient) cause.

    5.Many of the foregoing points mean less when you are a minority.

    6. Always remember that police departments are bureaucracies and, as such, tend to prioritize the success of the organization over all other goals.

    7. All of the above have thousands, or millions of exceptions.

  • Bob

    What makes this a very difficult situation is that if I were one of the four I may not be able to predict how the other three individuals would react. Let's say I was CCW and wasn't the one to let the criminal in the building. I would watch the suspect but I wouldn't draw mostly because my friends may get hit. Instead, I would give up my wallet and encourage the others to do the same.

    If one of my friends decided to attack the suspect I would grab and secure the suspects gun first and foremost especially controlling the direction of the barrel. If I could get control of the direction of the barrel I may draw at point blank range, if I needed to.

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