If you’re a concealed carrier, you really need the attitude, skills, and plan exhibited by this off duty Brazilian officer! This is Active Self Protection at its very best.
How do I protect myself against an armed robber?
1. Realize that the robbery starts from an ambush and you will be at an initiative deficit. The officer did a fantastic job of waiting for his opportunity and staying aware of where the armed robbers were so that he could tell when he had a moment to get in the fight, and patiently waited his turn. If you’re outdrawn and outmaneuvered, wait if possible for your opportunity.
2. If you watch the longest version of this video, the officer has excellent situational awareness even before the armed robbery starts. He is looking outside the store, looking around occasionally, and is very aware of what is happening. That kind of awareness gives advanced notice of problems and is good to practice!
3. The entrance of the pharmacy is definitely a transitional space, so be careful at registers and entrances because they are more likely places for problems. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. This definitely qualifies!
4. The officer had to chamber his firearm, and it’s not uncommon for off-duty cops to carry a firearm without a round in the chamber. In this case it worked out for him, but if you’re paying close attention the sound of the gun chambering drew the attention of the gunman and made it a closer contest than it needed to be. I strongly suggest you carry with a round in the chamber to give yourself every advantage possible in the moment of need.
5. Marksmanship matters! The officer put his first shots on target, and that accuracy won the day. You can’t miss fast enough to win a gunfight, so in your training work on those first shots from the holster being on target quickly. In your dry fire and airsoft and force on force training, work on a smooth, fast draw that quickly finds the front sight and puts shots on target. It was the difference between life and death here.
6. Multiple attackers are the norm in most armed robberies. In this case there was a gunman and a grab man, and that pattern is fairly common. (the grab man might well be armed as well…I see that regularly) The officer rightly concluded that the gunman was the biggest threat to him rather than the grab man, even though the grab man was closer, and because of his decision he shot the gunman. That was wise thinking. Deal with the biggest threat first, realizing that the biggest threat might not be the closest threat.
7. The officer did a fantastic job of continuing to be aware of his surroundings, even after he had to use his firearm. He dealt with the immediate threat and then made sure that any additional threats were dealt with as well. Tunnel vision can often lead to being ambushed a second time by an accomplice, but this officer did wonderfully at staying aware of the world around him. Train this in your training by breathing and verbalizing when you have to shoot, and rather than doing a robotic scan and assess, actually look around for threats that might emerge.
8. Shoot until the threat stops. The officer did a phenomenal job of stopping the threat, and also did a fantastic job of stopping when the correct amount of force was applied to the situation to end the threat. The officer had an additional potential threat come his way but dealt with it appropriately as well. Stop the threat!