This is what a gunfight looks like....

This is what a real gunfight looks like…

This is what a real gunfight looks like…

It’s not the movies…. people don’t just fall down when they get shot and they sure as heck don’t stop fighting.

There are NO guarantees in any of this (self defense) stuff, so you better have a back up plan.

This video has been going around,  it’s a mother and daughter rightfully defending their store, property and lives.

They shoot the subject at least 5 times and he still keeps coming.

I would say that these women’s effort to defend themselves was a complete success. The only way I judge success in self defense is survival. It doesn’t have to be pretty, it just has to work. So kudos to them.

I’m not going to get caught up in the “what ifs”. I think what if’s are bullshit. I only want to focus on what happened and the effectiveness of the firearm versus popular perception. 

A quick rundown of what you see in the video…

2 shots fired at point blank range at 0:34 (hit)

1 shot fired at 0:35 (possible miss)

1 shot 0:38 (possible miss)

1 shot point blank range at 0:58 (hit)

1 shot from daughter at 1:14 (hit)

Now subject is fighting with mom over gun – daughter does not have a clear shot.

1 shot at 1:28 (hit)

Now subject is trying to shoot daughter with mom’s gun which appears to be empty.

Women escape. 

Now for your reality check. 

  • Subject is shot at least 5 times.
  • Subject is not dead (or even down) though he definitely slowed a bit.
  • Subject manages to fight back.
  • Subject took the gun away from the mother.

What you should take away from this…

  • The gun didn’t magically end the attack.
  • 5 shots didn’t stop the attacker.
  • The women STILL had to engage in other means of self defense.
  • The use of the gun was RESTRICTED when a clear shot didn’t present itself.

A gun is a very useful self defense tool, but it is just a tool and not the be all, end all method of self defense you have been lead to believe.

As I said before, I think this was a success but you need to understand the limitations and accept the fact that you still need to add other means of self defense to your toolbox.

Comments always appreciated.



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Published by Damian (Instructor)

Founder, The Self Defense Company

Join the Conversation


    1. 1. Snubby .38? 5rds? In a STORE?? great for CC but in the store.. More like a 20″ autoloading 20gauge with #4 buck?? under the counter. With the snubby as backup?
      2. NEVER, NEVER NEVER get close enough to get your gun took!! WEAPON RETENTION!!! Nothing more embarrassing than getting shot with your own gun! (Imagine the epitaph)
      3. 2x tap center mass with shotgun from under the counter
      4. Otherwise – good job ladies – you survived!

      1. I meant KEPT under the counter – not shooting from there okay? Imagine the whole scenario with Mom taking careful aim with her snubby – but 20 gauge instead.

    2. Thank you for this, Damian. You are right on target (no pun intended) with your analysis Of this situation. Yes, as some have advocated here, better placed shots would have dropped him, but most people I would speculate are not expert marksmen – especially under this kind of pressure.

  1. Thanks for posting Nathan, that’s kind of a “what if” comment.

    Look, under stress of a real attack, it’s most likely you will aim and got the body.

    People get shot in the body a lot more than they do in the head.

    The main reason is what happens to you when your SNS kicks in. Even adjusting your aim and trying to focus on the head is damn near impossible.

    You’re not going to be able to take aim.. NO WAY. Not at close range in a real fight.

    This is why you train to shoot center mass. Point and squeeze.

  2. They did a great job. Moved from behind counter maybe a little too soon. Didn’t seem to just fire shots seemed composed enough to not shoot when robber was wrestling. Overall the bad get kept falling towards the end and they seemed to get away so isn’t that the whole point. Staying alive.

  3. Practice, practice, practice. It’s like any other tool. If you never use a hammer you will miss the nail more often than not.

  4. Just looking quickly the firearms they were using seemed to be possibly a low caliber also.. I know this isn’t always the game ending rule to a gunfight either but I’d be surprised if they were 9mm most likely .380. but was that known ?

  5. Daughter is really lucky it was a small caliber handgun. When she shot the perp at close distance, the mother is directly behind the bad guy. A large caliber or higher velocity round would have possibly hit them both. Damian – absolutely agree, this is why you need defense in depth – gun, hand to hand, run, etc.

  6. That’s why I prefer a caliber with stopping power, like a .45. Frequently people tout the 9mm, and salesman on Saturday told me ballistic test indicate knock down force of 9mm is close to .45. I’ve seen those charts too. I still prefer a greater caliber like .45.

    1. Think it was Jeff Cooper that opined that ANY caliber is fine, as long as the first number is a 4! ‘Course, bak in ole Jeff’s day BIGGER was always better, because the bullets were marginal.

    2. Elwood, “Knockdown power” or “Stopping power” is a myth. There’s no such thing. The MOST important aspect is 1) Bullet placement 2) What can you shoot with to maximize bullet placement? 3) Tissue damage and 4) Bullet placement. There’s a good reason why the FBI AND the U.S. Army now use the 9mm vs. the .45. More people can be trained to shoot considerably more accurately with the 9mm vs. the .45 and, the 9mm round used today is much more advanced than the 9mm round of a few years ago. There is much more tissue destruction caused by the newer round.

      There are numerous articles out there dispelling the myth of “Knockdown/Stopping Power”. Here is just one of them:

      1. Well said. I like a 9mm. If you can’t hit your target properly with the right kind of bullet, having a bigger gun ain’t going to solve the problem for you. Properly done, the attacker would have been shot center body mass and the head then use a knife to sever the carotid artery. By the time the cops get there, he’d be field dressed. And for those who take everything literal, the part after the use of the gun is just for fun thinking how things would be in a more advanced society.

    3. A 45 may work for you Elwood , but a 9mm may be easer for the girls to handle the recoil and reinguage for another shot. Often women need to not over power themselves, that is almost as bad as not having any protection at all.

  7. Thank you for this commentary. In all my classes I STRESS that a gun does not drop an assailant, as you point out here in this video. And thank you again for making the connection that YOU are the weapon. The gun is a tool that may or may not be available and for many different reasons as shown in this video, in the same event! I was very concerned about one shot the daughter made that seemed ill advised when Mom was in the firing area, but we are not to judge after the fact. These ladies kept their wits about them and worked together to fend off an attacker. Well done.

  8. the same goes for a punch how many punches does it take to knock someone out? Whether the shots were close range or from 10 yards the impact is basically the same, it did not stop the attack and it ended up in a wrestling match. this attacker may even of had some drugs in his system that would not allow him to feel any pain, i agree what ifs. Bottom line the gun did not achieve the immediate affect everyone thinks it has, and you better have more things to fall back on and that is the only time i want to see what ifs. What if it doesn’t work, what do you do next and what if that doesn’t work and so on. Damian as always another great opportunity for people to understand life doesn’t always have clean edges, fights are messy no one wins, we just try to survive.

  9. It also depends on the perpetrator some have more fight in them some get shot and stop some especially if he’s trained he’s taught that bullets aren’t deathrays so other bad guys just keep fighting until a central nervous system shot is delivered I think back to infamous gunfight in1986 in miami where 2 heavily armed bank robbers went up against the F.b.i. and half of the agents were swat trained it turned out that the 2 bad guys were ex army rangers

  10. It also depends on the perpetrator some have more fight in them some get shot and stop some especially if he’s trained he’s taught that bullets aren’t deathrays so other bad guys just keep fighting until a central nervous system shot is delivered I think back to infamous gunfight in1986 in miami where 2 heavily armed bank robbers went up against the F.b.i. and half of the agents were swat trained it turned out that the 2 bad guys were ex army rangers Anthony Clark founder strykeforce close quarters combat systems.

    1. Yesser, most interesting stat coming out of that was, one of the very FIRST shots fired from the FBI was a 9mm round. It went through the driver’s left arm, entered his chest cavity and stopped just short of his heart! Since his partner was all but out of the fight already, that one round could have prevented the FBI deaths, with just another inch of penetration! The driver, Platt, was the primary executioner after being shot, not just the first time (that cudda ended the shootout), but several times thereafter. He killed both Grogan and Dove of the FBI. These two “killers” were not drugged up at the time, just “dedicated.”

      One of my Marine Master Sergeants, when asked what his hardest task was in getting Marines ready for combat, said it was getting them to understand how surprised/concerned they would be, after having shot some enemy with their rifle, and not only seeing them NOT fall, but continue advancing and SHOOTING at them.

      1. People who don’t really know, don’t believe it. This was my first biggest issue with martial arts…every time you were hit, shot or stabbed once the fight was presumed over.

        Then you see guys working the door SHOCKED when the guy keeps rolling.

        They all want a magic button – sure, there is…sometimes you just need to press it a shitload of times.

        1. Exactly so. Was not that much of a fan of “Iron Mike” Tyson; however, he did say one intelligent thing: “Everyone has a plan, right up until you get punched in the mouth.”

  11. Another clear example of no-rules reality. Guns, cars, missiles, bare hands – there are NO magic solutions in a real fight. None. What this video teaches me is (1) run away FAST, or (2) destroy the villain FAST. Too much time in the middle of a fight, watching and waiting for results, is deadly. SDTS nails it – again. Thanks, Damian.

  12. Nothing less than a 357 mag. fir a revolver or a 40 cal, and 45 cal for pers. defense. Just my opinion of course.

  13. Damian is right. You need lots of tools in your tool bag. Guns won’t always do it, nor will a knife, or even a blunt instrument. Use the weapons first if you have one, but you got to know how to use your body as a weapon. It’s always with you. From all I’ve seen his self-defense system is the best. No bullshit, just git ‘er done.

  14. I agree with the need for additional self-defense training. However, the mother acted naively letting the assailant walk in front of her unchallenged (when she could’ve shot him) allowing him to get ahold of her.

  15. Thank Goodness these ladies survived the attack, it looked like it could have gone the other way.. Biggest problem to me: Both shooters when given opportunity should have emptied guns into assailant. Might have been a legal problem later… but assailant incapacitated or dead. No further threat to ladies.


    1. Technicality, you shoot to stop the attack. If he dies, so be it. The law does not give us the right to take the life.

  16. Thank Goodness these ladies survived the attack, it looked like it could have gone the other way.. Biggest problem to me: Both shooters when given opportunity should have emptied guns into assailant. Might have been a legal problem later… but assailant incapacitated or dead. No further threat to ladies.


    1. Shoot until you the threat is down & out of the fight. You say in court I pulled my gun out to shoot to kill….you probably will go to jail….You will for sure here in Commiefornia!

  17. I looked for an update on what happened afterwards. The attacker drove himself to a hospital, was put in a medically induced coma and is expected to survive. Police believe he is the perpetrator in numerous armed robberies. He was shot numerous times and was still able to drive?! The mother suffered a gash to her head which required numerous staples. Could have been worse but the mother had somehow emptied the gun when she and the attacker were fighting over it. GREAT GOING LADIES, YOU ARE HEROES TO STOP THAT ATTACKER.

  18. Always use hollowpoints. Especially with smaller caliber firearms like .380 or 9mm. The expansion of the bullet would have caused more damage to this creep and he probably would have gone down faster. Shot placement is a big factor and the hollowpoints help compensate for poor shot placement.

  19. Honestly, I am amazed at the amount of times the ladies turned their backs on the assailant. Yes, ‘shot-placement’ is a huge factor in dropping an attacker, and under the stress of trying to protect yourself and others, it’s doubtful that good aiming factors in. In my county, if a deputy has the need to draw and shoot, and actually drops the attacker, a review had BETTER find two rounds minimum were fired. One round, even from a Glock 45 is not a guarantee, nor is actually hitting the target with only one round. My (civilian) training calls for 2 to the body and one to the head.. in that order…. if you are shooting, your intentions are to kill.

    1. “My (civilian) training calls for 2 to the body and one to the head.. in that order…. if you are shooting, your intentions are to kill.”

      Please do not say my intentions were to KILL. It might be the deciding factor that places your case before a grand jury rather than dismissed.

      And get some training that includes how to practice and what to say so witnesses can hear it.

  20. The bottles on the counter could have been used as blunt instruments after the revolver was empty. Glad he didn’t think of it either.

  21. Lot of good discussion, two observations: 1.) the mother and daughter both had weapons, so both should have been ready to fire on the assailant as soon as he came back the second time, and 2.) the mother and daughter should have continued to fire until the threat was ended.

    Competency with the weapon and shot placement are extremely important, shots to the body may not immediately stop the assailant, but ten rounds of .38 Special would definitely slow him down!

    Finally little doubt that 2 – 3 rounds from a 10mm or 44 mag. would have been more effective, but you must ask yourself, “Could I get 10 rounds from my .44 mag. into the fight as quickly as I could get 10 rounds of .38 or 9mm. I think I would be safe to say most of us could not accurately get 5 rounds of a heavy caliber off as quickly as I could get 10 rounds of from a pistol I can shoot competently.

  22. Yes bigger gun would done the trick but most of what we do is what if’s. What Combative’s moves or move would you have used to stop this guy? Always look for alternative weapons within the store as someone point out. What if you didn’t have a gun? We have to be the weapon!!!

  23. Some people are so high on drugs that they’re pain resistant. I heard of cases of people who have been shot, stabbed, hit by a car, and they just keep coming. That is why it’s so important to keep attacking until the threat is neutralized or you can escape.

  24. I agree Jeff. It is good that they knew some self-defense. The threat has to be non-existent to be able to escape. It is like using mace on a drugged up or drunk person it’s non-effective but Pepper spray is a lot different.

  25. You know I have no business having a “gun” beause, unlike most, I got out ofprison in 2016 after 6 calendars behind bars. All I have is my body to stop an attacker, and I am pretty crippled due to osteoporosis. I have been able to get really angry at times and have found many of these comments comical (read unrealistic). These ladies did what they thought was right and I applaud them for that.weneed more people like them in the public. I remember seeing a couple at Home Depot with “guns” holstered at their sides, and they were aware of every movement around them. Congratulations to them for being prepared!

  26. When it comes to life and death self defense with a handgun, if you are going to shoot someone, I’m assuming you intent to take their life, so stop with this double tap center mass shit, if you have time to aim and shoot, headshot will likely stop anyone, including a drug crazed adrenaline jacked attacker. Laws have zero to do with natural self preservation, “Laws” will get you killed.

  27. What might have helped is when he came back in & looks like was arguing with them the daughter had clear shot to empty her gun. Training Training Training

  28. First, I’ll agree with Damian Ross: Monday quarterbacking is an effort to examine the situation from an after the fact perspective. It is easy to criticize the actions of the panic moment. And, it is useful to examine a situation for the learning factors. So, I appreciate all the comments. Next, did the perp wear a bulletproof vest? That may have decreased the effectiveness of the small caliber handguns. I don’t think he had a vest: the shots took their toll, and slowed him down. One important take away: the bullets did not stop him – the idiot came back into the store! And, what was the level of training for the ladies? If you own a weapon, any weapon, you need to practice. If your body is your weapon, you need to practice regularly. Bernie McPherson.

  29. Oftentimes people feel that having a gun is enough of a deterrent, and actually discharging it adds to that deterrent. From my perspective it seems that they were actually taken aback that he came back and even more surprised when he began to fight the mother for the gun. As many have said on here practice would have probably ended this a lot sooner. You can see that there was brain overload on behalf of the daughter when the fight with mom ensued. Practice not only enhances the precision but it brings an element of calmness and clear thought adversity. There was an adrenaline surge for all involved and the ladies found themselves in the fog of a personal war.

  30. Unless I’m mistaken, The assailant was unarmed and it was 2 against one. That could have resulted in a legal problem that could have been in court for the next nine months. He looked like he was high on drugs which means he was pain resistant. The daughter obviously had no training to fire the weapon under duress. It looked like she missed three out of the the five shots. She let the assailant get close enough to wrestle and take the gun away. That could have resulted in her death or her daughter could have inadvertently shot her. I knew someone who worked at a convenience store who kept a boiling pot of hot coffee on the counter within an arms reach. That way pain resistant or not a pot or cup of boiling hot water dumped or thrown in his face would have blinded or disoriented him long enough to get out and get help. The mother and daughter were lucky they didn’t get hurt. I only saw the video once so I’m only commenting what I saw. If you going to have a gun, learn to use it under duress and also for legal purposes know when it’s justified to use it. The bad guys don’t fall dead in their tracks like they do on TV or in a martial arts school exhibition. You have to have a plan and you have to expect the unexpected. And you also have to have a plan B and a Plan C. The Self Defense Company covers all the bases in these types of situations. I recommend the Self Defense Company to anyone who wants to learn real life self defense.

  31. The video is good for thought provocation..
    Things to think about.
    The gun is a tool, am I proficient with it?
    Am I capable of using it against another person?
    Is there a plan in place?
    Am I able to adapt as things progress?
    Are we ready to act as a team?


    No one’s capabilities improve in battle!

  32. Actually they did pretty good especially considering the circumstances. As armchair warriors we can always say what if and if we were there we would do. But when the adrenaline starts going many of your mental faculty shut down.

    That said, when Mama bears daughter is in trouble watch out. ;)

  33. “What if?” That is the question. It looks like those ladies had asked themselves that question, and probably talked to each other about that question. It just goes to show that even when you prepare and are proficient there can be many unforeseen variables. Train and Fight like… choose

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