Category Archives: Incident Analysis

RIP Sheriff Gene Matthews

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Charlotte Bus Shootout

On May 18, 2023, an altercation occurred between a bus driver and a young criminal riding the bus in Charlotte NC. As the altercation escalated, the young criminal produced a pistol from his pocket and approached the driver. Upon seeing the young criminal’s weapon, the driver produced his own pistol and opened fire on the young criminal. The young criminal fired back. Multiple rounds were subsequently exchanged.

ABC News link

Both shooters were wounded in the engagement. The young criminal was hit once in the abdomen and required six days of hospitalization with life threatening injuries. The bus driver was wounded in the arm, treated, and released. The young criminal was arrested and charged with Assault With A Deadly Weapon Inflicting Serious Injuries, Communicating Threats, and Carrying A Concealed Firearm. The bus driver was fired from his job but has not been charged, at least yet.


There are numerous issues that can be discussed regarding the incident.

  • De-escalation
    • The driver was fired for not using de-escalation techniques as taught by his employer. At this point, there is no way of knowing whether de-escalation would have been possible.
  • Preparation for combat
    • Although the young criminal was carrying a weapon and ‘communicated a threat,’ he had to consider the situation after he pulled his pistol out.
    • The bus driver was clearly prepared for the incident because his draw was a one second draw any firearm instructor would be happy with.
  • Situational Awareness
    • The bus driver, despite having to drive the bus, was immediately aware of the young criminal’s approach after he armed himself.
  • Point Shooting
    • Distances
      • The initial exchange of gunfire took place at about 4 feet, the boundary between Personal Space and Social Space in Proxemics.
      • As the shootout continued, the distances increased dramatically with the final shot taking place at seven to 10 yards.
      • Both shooters fired one handed. Neither used a Gangsta style shooting stance. The young criminal’s initial stance was a classic point shooting Square stance with weapon just below the eye-target line as described by Fairbairn and Sykes in Shooting to Live.
      • As the young criminal retreated, the bus driver employed a ‘tactical blind fire’ method of continuing his barrage.
    • Hits
      • The results were that out of a magazine fired by each shooter, one hit was made by each. The young criminal was hit in the abdomen and the bus driver was hit in the arm. The hit ratio was less than 10 percent. Although the young criminal was seriously wounded, he was still mobile and unneutralized, as is often the case with abdominal wounds.
  • Weapons used
    • Glock 19
    • SCCY
    • Neither weapon appears to have malfunctioned.
    • Both were equipped with iron sights.
  • Anger management
    • In Principles of Personal Defense, Jeff Cooper said “Now how do we cultivate an aggressive response? I think the answer is indignation. … Your response, if attacked, must not be fear, it must be anger. The two emotions are very close and you can quite easily turn one into the other. … Anger lets you do this.“ Although it is unlikely that the bus driver has ever read Cooper’s book, it’s very clear that he used Cooper’s philosophy.
  • Actions after the initial exchange
    • The bus driver fired three volleys.
      • The initial exchange at the front of the bus, including the tactical blind fire.
      • After the initial exchange of gunfire, the bus driver got up from his seat, opened the partition, had a verbal exchange with the young criminal, and then began shooting again.
      • Finally, after the young criminal had exited the bus through the rear door, the bus driver debussed through the front door and fired one more round at the young criminal, who was now in the open seven to 10 yards away. This shot is problematic.
  • Endangering innocent bystanders
    • There were two bystanders on the bus. Both were endangered by the tactical blind fire of Volley 1 and the bus driver’s second volley.
    • The second volley was unnecessary and irresponsible. The underlying motive for these shots was vengeance “You shot me!” not self-defense.
    • The final round fired in the open as a parting shot menaced the entire area. Cooper’s anger principle is entirely inappropriate at this point.
  • Gunhandling
    • The bus driver had to switch hands twice. To undo his seat belt and open his partition, he had to switch his pistol to his left hand. After stepping past the partition, he transitioned back to his right hand. He was able to do this without having an Unintentional Discharge.
  • Verbal commands
    • The bus driver commanded the young criminal to “Get your a** back!” when the young criminal was at the back door. The young criminal refused, fearing he would be shot again.
  • Self-aid for wounds
    • Both the young criminal and the bus driver were wounded. Neither had any first aid equipment. Note in the video that the bus driver is holding his arm where he was wounded.
  • Chasing fleeing criminals
    • Getting out of his seat to maintain visual on the young criminal was entirely appropriate. Following the criminal out of the bus was not. We see time and again the chase instinct that occurs when the predator-prey relationship reverses. It’s an instinct that we need to be aware of and not give in to.

My analysis of the Point Shooting aspects are on my Patreon page. I will be going over other aspects of the shootout in more detail in my next few posts there. Click the image below to follow.

Lucky Penny Saves the Day

Another motorized maniac tried to nail me on my walk today. Fortunately, I had found a Lucky Penny earlier during the walk. It was heads-up on the ground and Abe Lincoln told me to keep my head up and eyes on the horizon while I was walking.

As I entered a crosswalk, a motor assassin in a two ton Armored Pedestrian Killer (Dodge Ram pick-‘em-up truck) blew through a left turn at high speed. Because Abe had told me to keep my head up, I had my eye on the maniac as I entered the intersection. Sure enough, he roared through with pedal to the metal. I jumped back out of his path and away he went. As I jumped back, I almost fell but didn’t quite. Hopefully, if I had fallen I could have made a good Parachute Landing Fall when I made contact with the ground.

I’m very grateful to Abe for telling me to keep my head up and eyes on the horizon while I was out. The last assassin didn’t get me because I was aware of my surroundings and this one didn’t either. Another thing I’m grateful for is that I studied how to make contact with the ground without becoming a casualty. That was the single most important thing I learned from various martial arts.

If you are interested in more in-depth writing about Point Shooting or Personal Defense Incidents and Analysis, please subscribe to my Patreon page by clicking on the image below.

Preventing Negligent Discharges While Eating at a Restaurant


OMG – Another Tactical Professor rant

Simple TTP to Prevent Negligent Discharges While Eating at a Restaurant

1) Have a decent holster that keeps your pistol from falling out of your pants and use it any time you carry your pistol. Even if you’re just getting out of your vehicle to eat something or put gas in the tank, don’t just stick your gun in your waistband.

2) Let falling guns fall and then pick them up deliberately and without haste. Keep your finger out of the trigger guard as you do so.

If you do have a Negligent Discharge in a public place, don’t try to run out the door immediately. Check to see if anyone has become a casualty.

Note that I generally agree with my colleague Marty Hayes’ comment that most Unintentional Discharges don’t fit the legal definition of ‘Negligent.’ However, someone who is walking around with a pistol stuck in their waistband in such a low level of security that it easily falls out and causes someone else to get injured is being Negligent. That activity can be foreseeable as reckless and likely to cause someone else to become wounded.


Normal day at Cracker Barrel’ ends with shrapnel stuck forever in Charlotte man’s leg [when someone else has a Negligent Discharge and injures an innocent bystander]


A traveling man eating at Cracker Barrel in North Carolina dropped his pistol. According to the police report, the pistol was a .45 1911 Colt. He tried to catch the gun from falling and it discharged. The bullet hit the wall, broke into pieces, and several pieces embedded in another man’s leg.

Image courtesy of Charlotte Observer

The shooter then tried to run out of the restaurant but was stopped by a customer at the cashier’s stand.

A Social Security eligible out of state man from Ohio was the shooter. He was cited and released by local POlice for violating North Carolina concealed weapons law. Whether he had a permit for concealed carry is unclear.

Upon being taken to hospital, doctors recommended the victim leave the pieces of metal in his leg. He said they told him it would be riskier to take them out.


Because he was traveling across several States with a large heavy pistol, the gun was placed somewhere off-body in his vehicle. Serious Mistake. As my colleague Karl Rehn has noted, most people who obtain concealed carry licenses/permits do so in order to keep a gun in their vehicles and off-body in the console or door pocket. Or even worse, if that’s possible, on the floor underneath the floor mat or stuck between the seat and the console.

Upon stopping at the Cracker Barrel, he didn’t holster the pistol but rather just stuck it in his waistband without a holster. It is possible he wasn’t even wearing a belt but that’s conjecture on my part. Then because autoloaders are butt heavy, when the gun came out of his waistband because he was shifting around in the unpadded chair, it fell outside of his pants toward the floor. A point in favor of revolvers in such a situation is that they will slide down the inside of the pant leg like an Unintentional Turd Discharge (UTD) rather than falling rapidly to the floor. Ask me how I know this.

The no longer concealed carrier tried to grab the gun as it fell. His finger got into the trigger guard, as will usually happen when trying to grab a falling pistol, and the pistol discharged. Whether the thumb safety was even engaged when he tried to grab the pistol will never be known.

The shooter’s court date is June 9 for the citation. If he doesn’t return from Ohio to face the charge, a bench warrant will probably be issued for his arrest since it is a criminal charge. Whether the injured man will press charges further has not yet been decided.


1) If your gun is too big and heavy to carry in a holster when it’s not in your safe or arms room, then you need a smaller lighter gun. The 1911 pistol was designed to be carried in a sturdy flap holster on a cavalry trooper’s 2 ½ inch pistol belt or kept in the unit’s arms room. One or the other, no in-between. That’s the other part of “the 1911 was designed to ….” people don’t much talk about.

Image courtesy of FrankD on the CMP Forum

2) If your holster isn’t comfortable for all day carry, including while you are seated for long periods, then you need to get a more suitable holster and/or pistol. Although the platitude “A pistol should be comforting [to carry] not comfortable” is heard periodically, it is in severe conflict with the reality of most peoples’ lives.

3) Practice letting a fallen gun fall to the ground before trying to pick it up. Brian Hill of The Complete Combatant calls this “Rule 5” and I agree with him completely. If you don’t want to practice with your $1000 cool breeze carry pistol, then get some kind of inert dummy gun and practice with it. If you don’t want to spend the money on a Blue Gun , serviceable training aids are available on Amazon. There are training aids available even in the toy section of Walmart, assuming you don’t live in Chicargo where Walmart has decided to close.

This kind of incident makes those of us who are responsible gun carriers look bad. There’s more involved in Every Day Carry of a Deadly Weapon than just buying a gun and sticking it in your pants or purse. Consider the number of incompetent drivers you see who you know should only be riding the bus; not operating a two-ton murder machine.

1) Learn what you need to be able to do, 2) get the proper equipment, 3) practice the skills you need, and then 4) live the lifestyle.

That’s the proper sequence. Don’t be deliberately ignorant and irresponsible.

If you are interested in more in-depth writing about Point Shooting or Personal Defense Incidents and Analysis, please subscribe to my Patreon page by clicking on the image below.

Unsighted Pistol Shooting

“You have a large target in front of you and the natural qualification of being able to point your finger at a certain object; by handling your revolver a short time you will be able to point the barrel of the revolver as you would your finger, pulling the trigger double action as the barrel swings into line with the target. When you have accomplished this you have the principle of quick shooting at short range and quick draw will be taken up later.” —

One of the early pioneers of defensive pistol shooting, J. Henry FitzGerald, wrote that in his book Shooting in 1930. Beginning in May, I will begin a four month series on my Patreon page about Unsighted Pistol Shooting.

The concept is variously described as ‘point shooting,’ ‘reflexive shooting,’ ‘instinctive shooting,’ and several other terms. They all refer to the concept of firing a pistol without reference to the sights. Some systems call for the pistol to be brought into the eye-target line and others do not.

Although the historical documents are readily available, much Internet commentary about unsighted firing is not well researched or documented. The standards of what the founders of the various systems said could be accomplished, marksmanship-wise, are almost always ignored.

To shed more light on the subject, my Patreon series will be a survey of the actual historical literature with regard to technique, training methods, and standards. There are four distinct periods that the literature can be divided into. They are the Great War and Interwar Period, World War II and its Post War Period, the Vietnam War Era, and the Post Vietnam Era. Delph (Jelly) Bryce and other famous point shooters who didn’t write about training will not be included because they produced no literature.

The cost of the Unsighted Fire Tier will be three dollars ($3) monthly. You can unsubscribe at any time and not be charged for future months.

Most widely known of the unsighted systems is Fairbairn and Sykes Shooting to Live along with US Army doctrine developed during WWII. Those will be the topic for May’s Unsighted Tier.

The second component of the series will be a separate Tier concentrating on current incidents and how unsighted fire would or would not help solve the occurrence. Integrating actual incidents into training and practice has been something I’ve focused on since the early days of IDPA, when I was a Match Director.

Each week the Incident Analysis Tier will feature an incident from the current Armed Citizen column of the NRA Journals. Many people are not familiar with The Armed Citizen column, which is a very useful start point for doing Incident Analysis pertaining to Private Citizens instead of the POlice. Part of my Analysis will be the marksmanship problem posed and what was needed to solve it.

The cost of the Incident Analysis Tier will be Five dollars ($5) monthly. It will also include all the posts of the Unsighted Fire Tier. You can unsubscribe at any time and not be charged for future months.

This will be a new type of education and instruction available to my readers. I am excited about the series and I hope you will join me for it.

LAPD Shooting Re-enactment

An LAPD officer, using a Red Dot Sighted pistol, was forced to shoot a hostage taker at a range of five feet in July of 2021. The Board of Police Commissioners number for the incident is Categorical Use Of Force number 041-21. Tactics, Drawing and Exhibiting, and Use of Deadly Force by Officer A in the incident were all adjudicated as In Policy by the BOPC.

This video re-creates the marksmanship problem faced by the officer. The target was moving for the officer, which this video does not re-create. The pistol used in the video is a Glock 42 supplied by Glock for my Subcompact Pistol Training Tier on Patreon.

In keeping with the LAPD theme of the video, the second part of the video contains a demonstration of a permissible variation of the LAPD Retired Officer Qualification Course, also shot with the Glock 42. This Course has value to the Armed Private Citizen as a self-evaluation of some good to have marksmanship skills for concealed carry.

Can-May-Must-Should in One Incident

In a road rage incident on Sunday February 26, 2023, a gunowner who was driving erratically and then threatened another driver was subsequently shot and killed by yet a third party who intervened on behalf of the driver who threatened.

All of the elements of Can-May-Must-Should are readily apparent in this one interesting incident. It also involves Serious Mistakes Gunowners Make. I may have to add a chapter about Bluffing with Guns or “Don’t write checks with your mouth that your ass can’t cash.”

I’ll be writing more about this in my Patreon Personal Defense Incidents and Analysis Tier but the essential elements are as follows.

  • A 71 year old man, Alden Jones, was driving erratically and cutting off other cars.
  • At a stop light, he got out of his car with a pistol, went back to the car stopped behind him, and banged on the window with his pistol.
  • The driver of the third car in the incident, who was stopped behind the second car, got out of his car and attempted to verbally intervene on behalf of the second car’s driver.
  • The initial aggressor, Jones, then turned his attention to the third driver and began to walk toward him, pistol in hand.
  • The third driver warned Jones that he was also armed.
  • Jones continued to approach the third driver.
  • At “a very close distance,” the third driver opened fire, killing Jones on the spot.
  • The third driver remained on scene and waited for the authorities.
  • Upon the arrival of the POlice, the third driver stated he had shot in defense of himself and his wife, who was also in the car.
  • Witnessed corroborated the third driver’s account of the incident.
  • He was not charged by the POlice with any wrongdoing. The District Attorney’s Office will make the final decision.

The incident plays out almost in complete reverse of the paradigm’s order. Decisions always precede the technical aspects of shooting.

Should he have intervened? That’s a Moral choice; some people may have chosen to, others may not have. Must he have shot? When an angry person, whom you have witnessed threaten a third party, approaches you with a pistol in hand, your options are limited. As M5 said in Star Trek: The Original Series, “Consideration of all programming is that we must survive.” May he have shot? The POlice seem to think so. “The investigation thus far is indicative of self-defense.” Could {Can) he shoot adequately to solve the problem? Jones is dead and the third man and his wife are unharmed. The Can aspect was satisfied.

The proxemics aspects of the situation are also interesting. Since the cars were stopped in line at a traffic signal, the verbal warning was most likely door to door distance, making it less than 21 feet. A Toyota Camry is 16 feet long as a distance reference. The POlice media release indicates that the shots were fired at “a very close distance.” The distance from the driver door frame of a Camry to the front bumper is 7 feet. So the shooting most likely took place around the boundary between the Near and Far Phases of Social Space in proxemics.

The report doesn’t indicate that the shooter had his gun drawn prior to the actual shooting. If this is true, then this incident demonstrates that you Can, in fact, draw against an already drawn gun. So much for the popular belief that it isn’t possible. That belief is usually based on scenarios where the person with the drawn gun knows you’re armed and are going to draw, is just waiting for your move, and has pre‑determined to counter your draw. The “real world” is often much different.

The incident also contradicts the popular slogan “Don’t talk to the POlice.” Better advice might be “Don’t get arrested,” coupled with “Don’t talk your way into Jail.”

Guns stolen from cars

In other relevant gunowner news, 217 guns have been stolen from cars in Nashville so far this year. That is 76% of the guns stolen in Davidson County, the county Nashville is located in.

If this rate continues, more than 1,000 guns will be stolen from cars in Nashville alone in 2023. Some of them will end up involved in criminals activities. This one is a no-brainer; don’t leave unsecured guns in your car. If you have to leave a gun in your car when you go to work or other prohibited places, get a car safe and use it. And certainly, don’t leave your gun in your car outside your home at night.

Don’t Play with Guns in Vehicles

“A student is dead after a firearm was accidentally discharged in a vehicle in the parking lot of Dalhart High School.

According to [Superintendent] Byrd, a student not enrolled in the district went to the high school at lunch and picked up three students when the firearm went off in the parking lot.”

Just don’t do it. Fooling around with guns in cars is a Serious Mistake that can easily lead to a tragedy.

If you have to put it in a lockbox, have a lockbox that’s big enough for the holstered gun and put the gun in the box without removing it from the holster.

Duel at the Dumbster (Part VII)

“Hey Claude what are your thoughts on the dad getting convicted and the son getting acquitted in the ‘Duel at the Dumpster’ Trial?”

The “Duel at the Dumbster” saga has finally concluded after almost five years. For those unfamiliar with the incident, it started as the 2018 killing of a man in an Abilene, Texas alley over the disposal of a mattress. The elder shooter will now spend the rest of his life in prison but his son will go free, except for the debts he owes to his lawyers.

As a friend of mine commented:

“We aren’t supposed to kill each other over who is king of the landfill until *after* society collapses.”

My thoughts about it are remembrances of what other knowledgeable people have said about personal protection in general. This incident shows the wisdom of their words.

“Any time you go into court, there is a greater than zero chance you will be convicted.”

–Andrew Branca Law of Self Defense

“Stupid people, stupid places, doing stupid things. Avoid them and you’ll probably be alright.” and “The best way to win a gunfight is to not be there.”

–John Farnam

“Forget Stand Your Ground.” and “Don’t Go Outside.”

–Steve Harris

“The process is the punishment.”

–John Murphy

Note that their combined bond was $500,000, which means they had to give a bondsman at least $50,000 to get out of jail. They don’t get that back, it’s the bondsman’s fee for posting their bail.

Also, assume that in any confrontation you will be on video, most likely from the perspective least favorable to you. The framing of the story in the media will also be as unfavorable to you as can possibly be made. The picture of the participants in the Buzzfeed story is a good example. Both the shooters are portrayed as shirtless toothless gun-armed rednecks. The shootee is portrayed as a happy smiling person, not the hulking angry foul-mouthed behemoth with “Intermittent Explosive Disorder” holding a baseball bat that the video shows.

There are so many lessons to be drawn from the incident that I wrote a series of articles about it.

The year after the Duel, I made a visit to the site as part of my trip to the SHOT Show.

Visit to the Site of the Duel (Part IV of the series)

Visit (continued) to the Site of the Duel (Part V of the series)

This is a quote from The Godfather that is worth repeating.

“There are men in this world,” [Don Corleone] said, “who go about demanding to be killed. You must have noticed them. They quarrel in gambling games, they jump out of their automobiles in a rage if someone so much as scratches their fender, they humiliate and bully people whose capabilities they do not know. I have seen a man, a fool, deliberately infuriate a group of dangerous men, and he himself without any resources. These are people who wander through the world shouting, ‘Kill me. Kill me.’ And there is always somebody ready to oblige them.”

That doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for such a killing, as the Duel at the Dumbster demonstrates. In The Godfather Sollozzo noted:

“Blood is a big expense.”

How to Make a Bad Decision

A woman in Chattanooga detected a bum aka ‘homeless person’ in her backyard Monday morning (2/6/23). After verbally warning him to leave, she decided to fire a ‘warning shot’ at him. However, the shot hit the man in the ankle. When the POlice arrived, the man was taken to hospital in an ambulance, the woman made a statement to the POlice about the incident, and she was arrested for Aggravated Assault. As in every other State, Aggravated Assault is a felony in the State of Tennessee.

All three of the inputs to Bad Decision-Making were part of this incident.

She didn’t Know the Rules – In most places, you can’t shoot at people who are trespassing without having some consequences. The consequences may only be getting arrested but the bail bondsman’s fee (10-15%) comes out of your own pocket. Fortunately for her, Affordabail Bail bonds is nearby. $50,000 bail means that decision costs at least $5,000 just to not spend a night in jail surrounded by ne’er-do-wells.

Her Skills were Inadequate – She didn’t intend to shoot the bum but managed to hit him anyway. A ‘warning shot,’ by definition, is intended to miss.

She didn’t Understand the Situation – at 4:30 am in your backyard where there is no lighting, you can’t tell what’s going on 20 yards away without a flashlight.

“the distance between Teem’s back porch and the place where the victim was shot was about 60 feet.”

Bottom Line: Don’t go outside.

My thanks to Reed Martz of Freeland Martz PLLC for the heads up about the incident.