A Good, Very Cool-Under-Pressure Guy With A Gun

In the past couple weeks, we discussed the shooting at the Verizon store in Inver Grove Heights, where a good guy with a gun took a scumbag off the streets (for a couple years, anyway.

We’ve talked in this blog a zillion times about the four criteria one needs to satisfy to use lethal force in self-defense.  This may be the best definition of “reasonable, immediate fear of death or great bodily harm” I’ve seen:

The moment of truth inside the store for the employee, according to charges against Mays, came when the “defendant pointed a gun at [the victim’s] head and told [the clerk], ‘Make it easy on me.’ ”

With the gun still trained on his head and believing he was about to be shot, the clerk “pulled his gun from his waistband and fired what he believed to be three shots.” Mays was hit twice by gunfire and survived.

No doubt to continue the process of turning his life around that he was on and that we’d most assuredly have been hearing about had he died.

The shots sent the accomplice fleeing in a minivan, which was recovered Monday by police in St. Paul and will be searched for evidence later this week.

Police Lt. Joshua Otis said authorities are not disclosing the identity of the clerk for his safety because the other suspect remains a fugitive.

Anyway – salute, Mr. Anonymous Good Guy With A Gun!

7 thoughts on “A Good, Very Cool-Under-Pressure Guy With A Gun

  1. In the updated version of the article on the Strib I read yesterday, the police spokesman also described how the clerk had done everything right from the time of the shooting until the police arrived, and giving a shout-out to proper training.

    Otis said that the armed clerk “acted as we would expect any crime victim to act,” including when he put his gun and the suspect’s weapon on a window ledge.

    “He followed his training that he received from his classes,” Otis said. Classes are required when applying for a permit to carry in Minnesota.

  2. Well, I would never pick up a perp’s gun. I might use my foot to push it out of reach, but never use my hands and introduce my fingerprints and DNA to the attacker’s weapon.

    I don’t know that I would put my weapon away from me, until the police arrived. The perp may recover enough to attack again.

    But I do like a good ending.

  3. Everything especially right, since unless the perp decided to surrender quickly, I’d have guessed the clerk would have put a few more rounds into him. Kudos to the clerk for stopping firing even when he probably could have gotten away with a few more shots.

  4. I’d have guessed the clerk would have put a few more rounds into him

    Legally very dangerous. One of the key factors of a self-defense claim is that one “only use the force necessary to end the threat”. What does that mean? Whatever the county attorney wants it to mean.

    “Finishing off” a perp who a reasonable person (aka cop, prosecutor or jury) doesn’t think is a threat is problematic.

  5. Reading between the lines since the shooting took place – which is chancy – I gather that the robber has suffered a pretty grievous and incapacitating wound. The police pulled officers away from the hospital room the day after, saying essentially, “We know he’s not going anywhere.” The threat may well have clearly neutralized even at the scene.

    All that said, once you’ve successfully defended yourself you want to avoid any, “You don’t look so bad, have another” statements or scenarios.

  6. Exactly.

    Even under New York’s absurd (and worse in 1984) self-defense laws, Bernard Goetz’s big mistake (other than living in a place that legally foreclosed his right to keep and bear arms) was the whole coup de grace thing.

    Makes for good movies, and lousy self-defense cases.

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