Intervene and die

Concealed carry gun-wielder intervenes in domestic dispute and shot dead in Texas

The concealed carry permit holder was trying to intervene in a domestic dispute, trying to disarm the fleeing shooter, trying to do [t]he job ordinarily reserved for police.

The man leaves behind a wife and three now fatherless children.

“Getting shot while intervening in affairs that are not yours” is an item I will now have to add to my list of Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make. Having your wife widowed and your children orphaned for someone else’s issues definitely qualifies as a “Negative Outcome.” So many things can go wrong in an intervention that it’s almost never a good decision, regardless of what ‘sheepdogs‘ might think. Sheep dip is probably a better general analogy.


The Charge of the Light Brigade

‘He went into protective mode. He’s a father, he’s protective by nature,’ [the deceased man]’s pastor, Marc Lowrance, told reporters Monday. ‘And he thought he could help everyone involved, and tragically it went a different way.’

[He], Lowrance said, ‘sacrificed himself for this family, much the way he sacrificed himself for strangers today.’

The above comment accentuates why we need to think about and plan for events in advance. Think about what’s most important to you, your family or a stranger? Make your decisions in advance accordingly.”In every encounter, there is an element of chance.”

I often say “The conscious mind has a lifespan of one shot.” That’s not only the shot you fire but it can be the round fired by someone else. A common saying in the training industry is “You won’t rise to the occasion but will rather default to the level of your training.” While this is almost always used in the context of skills, it is equally applicable to decision-making. In that sense, this man’s death has similarities to the man killed trying to stop two active shooters in the Las Vegas Walmart in 2014. In the absence of decisions proactively made in our best interests and the best interests of our families, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment.

The worst part of the whole situation is that he sacrificed himself for nothing in the situation. The shooter had finished his violent act, which inflicted a non-life threatening wound, and was trying to leave when Mr. Antell intervened and was killed trying to stop him. The best way we can honor his sacrifice is to make sure it doesn’t happen to us.

13 responses

  1. You’re a great writer and a wise man, and I really appreciate what you’re doing and how you do it. Thank you.

    Jim 404.889.2845

  2. Jonathan Halek

    It is a very sad story and definitely a negative outcome.

    Boundaries and thresholds for involvement are individual and *must* be made well in advance.

    I would lean towards intervention in a situation like this (from what I got from the article). The article is vague on how he was “trying to leave” but able to have the victim retreat for a gun and come back. If he was literally leaving, of course let him go.

    My training has been that verbals are not required if violence is already occurring, or if a gun is already in play.

    Too many people mistake movies for training. The bad guy doesn’t always fold just because you yell at him. If you give someone the advantage, they’ll take it. Falling into the verbal-loop of yelling the same thing over and over, hoping it works is a bad idea.

    Not only does FoF help, but being the bad guy as much you can does too. I ran that way every chance I got in a class. I was non-compliant, evasive, and even out-drew a drawn (sims) gun because the other guy was in verbal vapor lock.

    At the end of the day, having the gun doesn’t help if you can’t or don’t pull the trigger when the time comes. I feel horrible for his family.

  3. There’s a lot in this we could learn from, I think.

  4. If the situation doesn’t directly affect you and/or yours, stay the hell out of it!

  5. Again, The First Rule Of Gun Fighting emerges. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

  6. Jack Feldman

    Claude, A few things about this sad and avoidable death, and the story itself. Personal: I learned this lesson at NTI in 2001. I owe you for that, incidentally. I wish there were more venues where people could have those experiences. I lived in Arlington for a year and probably shopped at that store. General: The name of the guy’s gym is terribly ironic. The story has several irrelevant references to other events, all with anti-gun implications. One quibble: The Light Brigade wasn’t victimized by their own bad judgements, but their commander’s. Anyway, thanks for this. Jack

  7. I see a disconnect these days in the training industry. On one hand, multiple instructors talking about the legal pitfalls of being armed and a growing number of organizations intended to provide some type of legal coverage. On the other hand, some of the same instructors and organizations are pushing the “sheepdog” mentality. We are setting people up for failure on several levels.

  8. […] Claude Werner has a fine take on the whole incident. […]

  9. […] Ralph Mroz and Claude Werner are esteemed Elders of the Warrior Tribe. They both recently posted their thoughts on intervention by armed civilians. Ralph here: Claude here: […]

  10. Reblogged this on RealDefense and commented:
    Sometimes the best weapon to use is your smartphone.

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