Suspect Held at Gunpoint (temporarily)

Sequence of events

  • Perp establishes Line of Business consisting of checking car door handles for unlocked cars to burglarize
  • Perp finds gun in unlocked car and steals it
    • “The firearm used by the suspect in this murder was found to be stolen from an unlocked vehicle in the same neighborhood just eleven days prior.” –JSO
  • Eleven days later, perp is carrying said stolen pistol while burglarizing the car of a USCG Servicemember
  • Servicemember detects the burglary in progress
  • SM calls 911
  • SM gets own pistol and confronts would-be burglar, ordering him to remain in place until POlice arrive
  • Perp refuses to comply and instead draws stolen pistol
  • Perp fires several shots and hits SM at least once, incapacitating her
  • Perp departs
  • POlice arrive and ‘attend’ to SM
  • SM dies from wounds
  • POlice identify perp
  • Perp turns himself in
  • Family, friends, and fellow SM are heartbroken
  • Perp is charged with murder in the second degree
  • Family, friends, and fellow SM are still heartbroken

Negative Outcome for everyone involved

“Don’t go looking for trouble not expecting to find it.” –John Farnam https://defense-training.

Possible tactical alternatives

  • If you feel compelled to challenge a criminal, do so from a position of cover (concealment does not count as cover). If no cover is available, do not challenge.
  • Use a high intensity flashlight to illuminate and blind the perp before issuing the challenge.
  • If your car door is locked, illuminate the perp with your flashlight from a considerable distance without issuing a challenge.
  • At your own residence, have a large bear-spray type canister of OC close at hand. Spray the perp, without warning, at the maximum range of the container. Be sure to saturate him from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. Then immediately seek cover if you’re not already behind it.
    • “Begin to attrit the enemy at the maximum effective range of your weapons.” –Infantry maxim

Facebook link to Sheriff’s Office Press Conference

We strongly recommend citizens lock their vehicles and absolutely remove their firearms when exiting. Please do not provide criminals with easy access to a gun that will only be used in more criminal, and as in this case, violent acts.

Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

Very sad. RIP Airman Schollaert

12 responses

  1. I’ve asked others and we got nothing, so I am gonna ask you about your coding. Take this sentence:

    “POlice arrive and ‘attend’ to SM”

    Why do you always spell police with capital P and O?

    What are the quotes around “attend” in this case supposed to mean?

    1. POlice is Chicargo written wordplay, nothing more and nothing less.

      I don’t know what ‘attend’ meant in the context of the incident, so chose to emphasize it. I suspect it meant ‘couldn’t do anything to help her.’

      1. Got it now!

  2. For the bear-spray alternative, identify the cover you are going to move to BEFORE initiating the spray.

  3. Another lesson – if you’re going to leave a firearm in a vehicle – SECURE IT. It’s way to easy not to do. Firearms stolen from/with vehicles is not the rare occurrence it should be!

  4. Steven M. Harris

    Some thoughts on the legality of what she did:

    Holding a criminal actor with gun displayed or at gunpoint to await police may be considered the threatening of deadly force. In some states, statute or case law (both in Florida) suggests or holds that one may not threaten deadly force except when the USE of deadly force would be lawful. That presents another legal question (whether deadly force is lawful to prevent the commission of a vehicle burglary). Finally, if detention at gunpoint awaiting police can constitutes a proper “citizen’s arrest,” a different justified use of force statute may apply. The magic words “you’re under arrest” should always be said. Not “don’t move or I will shoot.”

  5. Can’t say I’d hold anyone at gunpoint as a civilian. Even cops like to do it in crowds. The first time a bad actor should know you have eyes on him with a gun is when the bullet goes into them. If that’s not justified (YMMV), be a good witness. Even going out to bear spray someone is risky business.

    If you call 911 about an active burglary in progress, there will be more assets coming your way than you imagine. Cops, K9, Other Cities Cops, Air. They will set a perimeter, and, especially if the chopper has FLIR, catch the actor. I’ve heard it on the radio, like ‘the bad guy is 30 degrees to your left at 50 feet behind that tree.’ And he was.

    1. I think maybe in 2018 the police would respond to an active burglary, but not so much nowadays. Police generally do not respond to theft in my neck of the woods unless they are in your house. I’m guessing if you mention that you “think” you saw a gun or that “I have a gun and am going to make a citizen’s arrest” then hang up, you might get them there a little quicker.

  6. I’m fine with the recommendations about challenging from behind actual cover and using a high output flashlight.
    I’m much less ok with the recommendation about closing with the suspect in order to use O/C or similar. It’s a property crime, albeit your property, closing with the suspect while alone, without restraints, without the other tools that cops aren’t always successful with – it’s my thought that far too much is being risked for likely outcome.
    I recall that GA recently changed their laws, or are at least trying to, such that citizen arrests are no longer legal at all. With the trends against L/E use of force, I fear we will see similar issues with currently justified uses of force by law-abiding citizens, residents.
    Respectfully, leaving cover to close with the suspect, from my perspective, has too great a risk of a negative outcome.

    1. I agree that it’s not the best course of action. However, some people feel compelled to close with criminals. For them, I offer the alternative.

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