Episode 289 with Amanda Suffecool
Welcome to episode 289 of Self-Defense Gun Stories. We’re glad you found us if you’re well trained.. and if you’re still learning about armed defense. I’m Rob Morse and we’re joined this week by firearms instructor Amanda Suffecool. What has been keeping you so busy?
Amanda- Hi, Rob. I’ve been busy – planning speeches, appearances, rallys, training, 2 fashion shows and escorted the governor around our county this week.
How about you?
Rob- We received a new rating, but no new comments on iTunes this week. (is 300×167) We post additional defense stories on Facebook. One was about a witness who followed a murderer. The murderer turned on the witness and attacked him with a knife. That was when the witness defended himself and shot the murderer.
Our friend Sean Sorrentino commented on that post. He said, “It all turns on the individual facts of the case. Despite what people will tell you, it’s perfectly legal to follow armed killers down the street. It’s also perfectly legal to tell killers to wait for the police. It is not, however, legal to attempt to stab a person following you down the street and telling you to wait for the police.”
Amanda- Rob – a listener reached out to me on Twitter after hearing one of our episodes. Pretty cool. So spread the information – Please go to the iTunes store where you subscribe to podcasts and tell new gun owners why you listen.
Here in the US, we defend ourselves with a firearm thousands of times a day. We look at a few recent examples to see what we can learn. The links back to the original news articles are on our podcast webpage.
Our first story took place last week in Middletown, Ohio.
Rob- First story- Are you armed as you drive?
You are putting in the extra hours. It is early Sunday morning and you are delivering Amazon priority packages. A man walking down the street runs up to you. He has a knife in his hands. He is yelling “Knife fight. Knife fight. Knife fight.” You’re armed. You present your concealed firearm and shoot your attacker. Your attacker runs away so you stop shooting. You back away and call 911 for help. Police arrive and you put your gun away. You give the officers a brief statement. The police find your attacker a few blocks away. EMS and officers take your attacker to the hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound to the leg.
EMS says your attacker is high on drugs. He walks out of the hospital before he is treated. Witnesses again report your attacker to police as he tries to crawl into the storm drains on the street. Police arrest him again and this time take him to a different hospital where he is restrained and treated. Your attacker is charged with aggravated assault. You are not charged with a crime.
What did our defender do correctly, Amanda?
Amanda- I like that our defender recognized a crazy man with a knife as a lethal threat. He defended himself until the threat was over as the crazy man ran away. The defender immediately called for help. He stayed at the scene and put his gun away when he felt he was safe. He gave a brief statement to the police.
Rob- What else would you like us to do?
Amanda- I want you to be brief with the 911 call. They need to know to send the police, but they don’t need the facts of the case. A man tried to stab me and I shot at him. He ran away.
Rob- What do you say to the people who say this young man over-reacted to the threat of a knife?
Amanda- Four times more people are killed with knives than with rifles for goodness sake. A knife does not run out of bullets. A knife does not jam. The more you are stabbed the harder it is to defend yourself. You have to not only shoot your attacker but stop him before he reaches you. That is why we teach our students to move, to move backwards and to the side as they present their gun and defend themselves. Training yourself to move takes time. This is a big step from traditional range training. And Ideally, we want to move so that we have an obstacle between us and our attacker. Knives are scary.
Rob- When do new students learn about attackers with knives and clubs. I’m asking when they learn what constitutes a lethal threat.
Amanda- We talk about that a lot. I try to include this in different classes that I teach. It does not have to be ‘like meets like’ on the reason you are in fear for your life. Just that the other person has the ability to create great bodily harm or death. And anyone who has worked in their kitchen with a knife, knows what it can do and is rightfully respectful of the damage it can cause.
Rob- What else do you see here?
Amanda- One other note on this story. The dude walked out of the hospital after attacking you, after getting arrested. This is why you are your own first responder. Be prepared.
We’re going to talk about attackers with knives in another story so let’s move on. Our second story happened in San Antonio, Texas.
Rob- Second Story- Do you have a firearm when you arrive home?
You’re returning home at 3:30 on Friday morning. You park your car and start walking to your apartment. You notice three men in a silver car driving around the parking lot. When you get to the apartment door, they stop their car and jump out with guns drawn. They tell you to hand everything over.
You’re carrying concealed tonight. You shoot the closest robber. The other robbers run before you can shoot them. One runs to the car and drives away. The second robber runs through the parking lot. You stay at the scene and call 911. When the police arrive, you give them a brief statement.
The news account says that the wounded robber was rushed to the hospital, but they don’t mention if his friends took him or if it was Emergency Medical Services who transported him. The news stories don’t mention if the police find your attacker’s gun at the scene. Your attacker dies at the hospital from a gunshot wound to the neck.
Police are looking for the two other robbers. You are not charged with a crime.
Amanda- You know why attackers wait for us at night, because we’re tired. We’ve had a long day. Maybe we stopped for a drink that slows down our reactions so we’re easier victims. It could also be that the intended victim worked second shift and this was his regular time to come home.
I’m glad the defender was armed. He recognized unusual behavior. He didn’t depend on mercy from merciless robbers. He recognized that three armed men were a lethal, immediate and unavoidable threat. He saw an opening and he defended himself. He stopped shooting when they ran away. He stayed at the scene and called for help. He gave a brief statement to the police.
Rob- Why was it important to talk to the police? Some people say you should never talk to the police.
Amanda- Because the police also collect evidence, and evidence that they don’t collect can often become inadmissible due to something called the chain of custody.
You don’t say anything so the cops don’t find the attacker’s gun. Maybe they find a gun later, but now they can’t prove that it was the attacker’s gun and not someone else’s gun. Then, the three robbers say that you attacked them and it is their word against yours.
It is best practice to give the police an outline of what happened so they know where to look. Criminals lie to the police every day. The cops expect it, and that is why it helps if you have your carry permit so they know you have a clean criminal record. You are a card carrying good guy and not a practiced lier.
What you don’t want to do is recount what happened. Leave out details like exactly what time it was, where you were standing, or how many times you shot your gun. Let your lawyer put that down in the official report. There are important things you’ll leave out if you try to retell the story when you’re still high on adrenaline.
Rob- When do you teach your students about telling their brief story to the arriving officers and their full story to their lawyer?
Amanda- Just the facts, man, just the facts. Then let your lawyer create a single complete concise statement that does not need amended. Amendments to the original statement have the potential to carry less weight- because it creates the perception that you are telling them what they want to hear and not the story as it unfolded.
Rob- Texas doesn’t require permits, but their carry class is four to six hours of classroom work, and then they go to the range. How hard is it to get a carry permit in Ohio?
Amanda- Ohio is a shall issue state, but no matter the length of the course required for carrying- It’s not enough. If you are involved in a gunfight, you would wish for ALL the training you could get. So why not plan for that now. I attend at least one training class a year – many times 2 or more – teaching me additional skills that I can add to my range practice. I then practice them a couple times a month.
Rob- How would your students get a chance to move, present a concealed firearm, and engage multiple targets?
Amanda- The hardest part for students to continue their training is that some ranges do not allow you to move and shoot, do not allow drawing from holsters and a variety of other skills that I consider critical. I suggest they ask around, and include a dry fire tool like MantisX into their training so that they can round things out.
Rob- Is there more you want to add or should we go on?
Amanda- Our third story happened in Winnemucca, Nevada.
Rob- First this message from the Second Amendment Foundation.
Rob- Third story- Are you armed in public?
You’re at a large gas station/convenience store. It is 12:30 in the morning when a teenager threatens you. He has a knife and moves toward you. You’re carrying concealed. You present your firearm and shoot your attacker. Your attacker drops his knife so you stop shooting. You call 911 and ask for help.
When they arrive, you give a statement to the police. EMS takes your attacker to the hospital in critical condition. The police interview you and other witnesses who saw the attack. The police recover your attacker’s knife.
You are not charged with a crime. Your attacker died at the hospital. He was 16 years old.
Amanda- I like that our defender was armed. I like that he recognized a knife as a lethal weapon. I like that the defender shot while there was an immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat, and then stopped when the threat stopped. He called for help, stayed at the scene, and gave a brief statement to the police.
Rob- What else do you see here?
Amanda- The defender was 19 years old, so he may have been carrying in his car, or he worked at the gas station, or he was ex-military had had his carry permit. We’ve seen young people targeted for attacks on the assumption that they can’t be armed so they are easy victims for someone with a knife. Well, sometimes they can carry.
I like that there were witnesses and probably security video. We want to yell for help so that everyone calls 911. That gives the police a list of witnesses and their cell phone numbers. You want to give a brief statement and then give your lawyer a call.
Rob- When do you tell your students to shout for help and ask witnesses to call 911?
Amanda- we talk about the reason that Officers yell “stop – Police” when they don’t fully expect the bad guy to stop. But it does give the suspect notice, AND it attracts the attention of potential witnesses. As to calling 911, many times if you don’t ask someone to do it, the crowd thinks someone else is calling and so no one does. When its everyone’s job, no one does it. Picking someone out breaks that logjam. Have you not heard this explanation in your first aid refresher course? YOU- call 911
Our fourth story took place in Bullhead City, Arizona.
Rob- Fourth story- Are you armed at home?
You hear shouting outside. It is 4:30 in the morning and you go see what is happening. One of your neighbors has a baseball bat in his hand. A stranger wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with a mask over his face and a knife in his hand attacks your neighbor. Your neighbor hits him with the baseball bat. Your neighbor backs away. The attacker moves forward again. This time you shoot the attacker. Now the attacker stops. He jumps over the security wall around your apartment complex and runs away. You and your neighbor call 911 and ask for help. The police are already on their way. You put your gun away and give a statement to the police when they arrive.
Your attacker was going from car to car inside the gated condominiums. Your neighbor asked him what he was doing and the intruder said he was looking for cigarettes. Police find your attacker at the nearby hospital with a gunshot wound in his leg. He is arrested and charged with aggravated assault and criminal trespass.
You are not charged with a crime.
Amanda- Our defender knew what was normal activity around his home and he recognized that his neighbors’ shouts were not normal behavior. He went to investigate a problem and he was prepared with his firearm to find one. He recognized that a man with a knife was a lethal threat. He saw his neighbor being attacked. He waited until there was a clear, immediate, lethal and unavoidable threat and then he shot the attacker. He stopped shooting when the attacker ran away. He stayed at the scene and called 911. I assume that both he and his neighbor with the baseball bat gave a statement to the police.
Rob- Why was the defender justified to use lethal force when he wasn’t being attacked?
Amanda- In my state you are permitted to defend someone else as long as you know that they are the victim, not the aggressor and if they could, would be able to defend themselves. So knowing the neighbor helped.
Rob- That is important. When will your students learn that?
Amanda- In class – we try to dump as much knowledge as we can. But remember, your head can only absorb so much. Take notes, review your notes later. That causes your mind to ‘replay the internal video’ of the class again.
Rob- When do your students get to practice their statements to the police?
Amanda- We don’t do that, but perhaps we should. I get them to start to practice a statement to stop the bad guy – and cause them to think about it and be comfortable with it. I will have to think about this Rob, and add it. I think this is a good point, as an instructor you should alway be thinking, learning, absorbing and tweaking your classes.
Rob- Is there more that you’d like your students to do in a situation like this one?
Amanda- The attacker was a homeless druggie who was stealing from people’s cars. That escalates to robbing people. Addicts are dangerous, so call the police early. Unfortunately, many police departments let the addict’s behavior become more and more dangerous before they intervene. Remember Crime is a problem that society is comfortable with blaming on guns.
Rob- Amanda, that wraps up this episode. Thank you for helping us again. Where can we learn more about you?
Amanda- My eye on the target radio show is syndicated coast to coast on Sunday nights from 5 to 7 eastern time. I instruct on the weekends in Northeastern Ohio. I’m part of the DCProject that you can find at DCProject.info, and I’m now on TV on the OpsLens channel with both Eye on the Target on Sundays and Women for Gun Rights on Fridays at 7 pm eastern.
Rob- After you listen to Amanda podcasts and watch her TV shows, then please leave her a message on our podcast episode webpage.
Amanda- We share this podcast with you for free.
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Rob- This show is part of the Self-defense radio network. Find more pro-freedom podcasts at sdrn.us
I’m Rob Morse. We’ll be back in a few weeks with more Self-Defense Gun Stories.