Swift, Short, Violent. Realities of CCW

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Something that I think many who carry for self-defense have in mind, is that there is a perceived lack of reality when it comes down to what actually happens in violent encounters. Myself included, I think alot of us sometimes have the idea that any violent self-defense encounter that we could be involved in, will play out like a chess game, with us of course having the upper-hand, due to our knowledge, choice of firearm, holster, etc… etc… However the reality of the matter is that most civilian self defense encounters are over in a matter of seconds. There are all sorts of drills out there trying to get this point across. One of my favorite is the 6 second drill, with 6 rounds at 6 feet, drawing and firing within 6 seconds. In addition, to paraphrase the vast majority of self defense instructors/philosophies, when the time to act defensively has been decided upon, it has to be as violently and as swiftly as possible, until the threat is no longer present (not dead). There is no half way mark when defending your life.

The video has appeared all over Facebook, but I couldn’t find it on Youtube, and thus uploaded it there-

This video originates from Brazil, and according to a description going around, it is of a Brazilian off-duty detective coming to the backdoor of a Jewelry Store (he is probably associated with). At first, a guy passes him and takes up a position behind him at the top of the stairwell. This is probably the first mistake that the detective made, a situational awareness one that almost costed him his life.

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A man in a red shirt rounds the corner from the left part of the screen, and appears to make demands with a revolver in his right hand. At this moment the first guy, now his accomplice, appears to draw a handgun, and begins to point it at our good guy, the detective.

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At this point, the detective does two very strategic actions. The first one is that he moves the woman he is with behind him, out of the line of fire with the second bad guy, but unfortunately still in line with the first bad guy. Luckily this makes no difference in the end though. Then he blades his body to the second bad guy, and draws his firearm from concealment, in what appears to be an IWB on his right hip.

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Now, he proceeds to unload every round in his magazine at the second bad guy, at a point blank range. The first bad guy, fearing more for his own life than the life of his friend, runs away like the coward most criminals are.

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The detective proceeds to follow the second bad guy, all the way down the stairs as he runs away. Here is where the second bad guy succumbs to his wounds, having been shot in the wrist, chest, arm, and head, numerous times. I would say that this is second point in the action where our good guy makes a mistake. For CCW holders in the United States, following someone and continuing to fire at them is possibly considered murder in many states, as it is an offensive action. The second point is that he peers around the stairway, with his slide locked to the rear. If the first bad guy had somehow built up some courage and came back to help his friend, he could have easily been around the corner, waiting to ambush our good guy.

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I’ve censored out pictures from the crime scene, but the second bad guy has an entry wound through his face,entry through his upper left arm, a large exit wound through his wrist, and multiple entry wounds throughout his chest.

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Items that I believe are to be taken away from this are that a self defense encounter will never be on your own terms. It will not play out remotely like you think it might play out. In fact, this is exactly what criminals are betting on, your vulnerability. But what you can prepare for is the constant situational awareness and vigilance on your part. In addition, having the a solid mindset, like this detective had. Not only does this serve well for self defense, but really during any chaotic event, natural disaster, injury, etc… Above all else, you need to remain calm, and make calculated, decisive decisions. Sometimes it is better to just let a situation develop instead of acting rashly.

But the most important bit to take away from this, is will this encounter change the way you shoot at the range, or act in public? If we aren’t constantly updating what is working and what is happening in the world when it comes to self defense, then we are automatically putting ourselves at a severe loss. If we aren’t basing our training on reality, then reality will smack us in the face with a very heavy shovel.

Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


  • it’s just Boris

    Perhaps it is indeed not a chess game. Perhaps the encounter cannot be planned in advance.

    Regardless, I believe there is use in careful selection of one’s gear, and in making the all-important decision ahead of time that one is willing to use it should the need arrive. The time of need is not the time to be making such an existential decision in a thoughtful way.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Concur. If you haven’t already decided “today, I may have to take a life to save my own or my loved ones”, you need to put the weapon back in the safe.

  • Tassiebush

    It really looked like Red Dead beyond Redemption guy wasn’t actually processing it that he was being drawn on and didn’t decide to shoot. It could have ended very differently for the Victims if he had but then again even being shot the defender might have still prevailed due to his decisive action. I did shudder at the time he turned his back on the stairs after. I’ve no experience of any fighting really but have certainly noticed in my fairly limited martial arts experience that motivation and decisiveness can be a big factor in the outcome before skills come into it.

    • Tim

      I agree. Loser bad guy (in red) looked like he was *completely* unprepared for his victim to fight back. Once the guns were out, it was too late for him to extricate himself.

      • Tassiebush

        Yeah it’s like he just wanted it to stop! He was sending mixed messages too. I’m pointing a gun at you but my hand is up please stop! don’t shoot me! He ran but did still swing his gun at them again as he did so. It’d be interesting to know if he fired any shots?

        • Marcus D.

          He fires one round that shatters the window on the door. By then, he’d been shot several times.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Red Dead?
      More like he encountered Max Payne..

    • Vhyrus

      If you look, right before the shots the perp holds his off hand up like “wait, timeout!”

      • Tassiebush

        Yeah I noticed that. It’s like he’s probably going “No no man, don’t! I didn’t mean it! stop! I can’t remember the safe word!”

  • USMC03Vet

    I love happy endings.

  • AtomicYeti

    I guess by chess the op means the physical and mental preparation necessary for ccw to yield results. My only objection with this premise is that even though training will make use of weapons a second skin, nothing can prepare you or provide you with a method to deal with the burden of homicide other than the act of self defense itself. There is no mastery to that, since you may NOT practice it, a stable mentality and discipline is the only compass you can possess. The ability to act and not react in such short time is a privilege of a select few, not the many, and it takes time to acquire it, usually by exposing oneself to such dangers. it would be interesting if you could expand this article on the mentality side of carrying a weapon, and how civilians without experience can maintain cohesion in such situations.

    • Billy Jack

      I’m a civilian and I’ve had gunmen pursue me multiple times while I was disarmed. I was able to evade and get behind all of them without their knowledge. Unfortunately for me I was living in criminal sanctuary cities where law abiding civilians like myself aren’t easily able to access our Constitutional rights. Even if armed, had I stood my ground I would have been killed. Needless to say, I no longer reside in such institutionally lawless areas.

      I also have had close calls in traffic with people driving the wrong way on crowded highways at high speed. That and various medical emergencies I’ve been around let me know how I think and act under pressure with time constraints. I think civilians and professionals who have seen more training than action in battlefields or drug busts can look to those type of events to analyze how they respond to fast occurring high stress situations. That will allow some who’ve been unfortunate enough to have those experiences to see what they have to work on to a certain degree. There are debates on how much you can train out instinctual chemically based responses but I don’t think anyone can argue against trying effectively.

  • Brazilian here. A lot of those cheap robbers use fake guns, Probably the watcher was packing plastic, not iron, hence the fast exit. There are no honour among thieves but they always shoot cops when they have the opportunity.

    Also by detective it means off-duty cop, not a private investigator.

    • MrBrassporkchop

      That’s not a nice thing to say about Taurus guns. I got one and it indeed does shoot most the time.

      • For Heaven’s sake, stop shaking it then!

        • Billy Jack

          That’s how it works. It’s rattle can technology.

  • balla

    Seems to me he did two things, which were enough.
    – Deep concealment of pistol (very crucial here, since the bad guys did not know he had a gun)
    – Had a fast draw (I also suspect he had the chamber empty, did he wrack the slide?)
    Otherwise he got lucky.
    – bad guy probably had a plastic gun.
    – He got lucky he was able to conceal his draw by having the right side of his body to the wall.
    – Guy that was supposed to back up the bad guy didn’t.
    – White woman there to distract bad guy.
    – Also I wager he had no extra magazine and was walking around with an empty gun. Didn’t even have a knife.

    • datimes

      Do plastic revolvers have brass colored cartridge rims visible from the rear of the cylinder when viewed from the side?

      • Parashooter

        That’s the dead guy’s gun… the other guy, the one that ran away as soon as things turned against them – HE probably had a plastic gun is what was being said.

        • Marcus D.

          Then why did he rack the slide at 0:17? With a fake gun, such action is either impossible and/or pointless.

          • Parashooter

            I don’t see him racking the slide…not sure what he’s doing, but I don’t think he’s running a slide. (you go to a robbery unloaded?) Besides… if you spend some time in Brazil, you’d see that 99% are revolvers…. since most semiautos are illegal for civilians, the criminals have to steal revolvers. I’m not saying you’re wrong, could be the guy was just a typical coward.

          • Marcus D.

            watch from 0:15 to 0:18 and you can see it. He draws with his right and then racks with his left. You’d think he’d have done that already, but I’ve seen any number of tapes of convenience store robberies where the perp draws and racks. I don’t know why they do it, but it is what it is.

  • Pete Sheppard

    Yes, scary how fast that went down. He seemed to do a decent job of slicing the pie around that corner, though.

  • Bradley

    You made it sound like he chased the guy down the stares, but it looked to me more like he was checking to make sure he wasn’t coming back.

  • Slim934

    “The detective proceeds to follow the second bad guy, all the way down the stairs as he runs away. Here is where the second bad guy succumbs to his wounds, having been shot in the wrist, chest, arm, and head, numerous times. I would say that this is second point in the action where our good guy makes a mistake. For CCW holders in the United States, following someone and continuing to fire at them is possibly considered murder in many states, as it is an offensive action.”

    Well that’s kinda context specific. If you shoot them in the back while they are escaping then yeah you’re more or less boned there. If they flee around a corner and you pursue them around the corner you can argue that the PURSUIT part is still defensive, because you are just trying to make sure the bad guy is actually fleeing and not just trying to regroup to try and counter attack.

    It’s kinda hard to make out in the video between the low quality sound recording and the retarded brazilian rap music that was overlayed on top of it. Did he shoot red shirt in the back as he was going down the staircase? Or was he just making sure he was actually running away?

    • Risky

      Everything with self defense legality is context and situational. It’s really hard to advise someone on it as every little detail matters in the context of the event as to what a reasonable person would do or think, “reasonable person” being the key phrase.

      If you just ask, is it reasonable to shoot a person in the back as they are running away, of course the general answer is going to be no. If you give more detail, say the person still had the gun up visibly in their hand as they retreated, and give the context that this was an armed robbery with 2 shooters, then a reasonable person might believe that the retreating person is still a threat to them, not retreating but just trying to get to cover and their accomplice to return fire. You don’t just get to yell olly olly oxen free and turn your back after trying to hold someone up and expect self defense not to apply.

      • Slim934

        While I would agree in principle, have fun arguing that in court if the video makes it look like he is retreating and you’re putting more entry wounds into his back while he’s doing so. A jury might buy that or it might not. All I know is that a prosecutor would have no problem with hammering home the point that you shot him in the back if it means it might give him another notch in his belt by convicting you.

        Which gets back to my main question: did he shoot red shirt while he was fleeing down the stairs. I legitimately can’t tell between the poor quality sound and the retarded brazilian rap that they recorded over it.

    • Paul White

      screw the legal issues, I’m not chasing an armed suspect once he’s decided to leave. I’m not inviting more chances to get myself killed.

    • tt_ttf

      I suspect that following the attempted robbery, he would not be classed as “off-duty” so normal CCW rules don’t apply since he is a LEO

      His duty goes beyond just self defense and into apprehension of the other offender at that point

  • 22winmag

    The dead dude had his chance and boy did that window of opportunity slam shut. The past tense of cost is cost.

  • Tim

    That was awesome. Thank you.

  • AC97

    Where can I find the uncensored pictures?

    • Rick O’Shay

      I’m gonna guess, Facebook. Especially considering that’s where this thing is making its rounds. Not sure why you’d want to willingly and knowingly subject yourself to that.

    • Frank Grimes

      Probably Best Gore.

    • codfilet

      Maybe Liveleak?

  • One of the easiest forms of self-defense training is to run through mental scenarios on a frequent basis. Our brains work much faster and much more clearly when they can recall same or similar circumstances with an understanding of what went good or bad in those previous scenarios.

    When you walk through a store think about what you would do, how you would move, and where you would go if an armed robbery or active shooter situation unfolded right in front of you.

    While driving around in traffic imagine your reactions if the occupants of a nearby car suddenly approached your car.

    This type of exercise helps you stay aware and creates mental answers and immediate options to choose from if you should ever find yourself confronted with a deadly force situation.

    Of course familiarity with your firearm, CCW rig, and legal requirements is also critical!

    • Chris

      Be polite ,be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet !

      • Wow Chris, have you sat in one of my police shift briefings?! That is literally almost word for word what I tell my officers. And very true!

      • Cruiserdude

        Gen. Mattis said it best!

        • Chris

          Make a darn good sec. of Defense…I’m feeling defended already!

  • gordon

    If I had a dime for every time I read a gun writer say “It will not play out remotely like you think it might play out.” I’d have tens of dollars. How do you know what the reader thinks? I suspect it is projection. You once thought that way and now assume that most of your readers are oblivious same evidence you have digested. Well, Yoda, it ain’t so, but thanks for writing a very predictable commentary anyway.

    • Bierstadt54

      Unfortunately, the bulk of ignorant CCW users are probably not daily TFB readers, but if a few of them are reached with these articles it is worth it. For the rest of us, it just reinforces what we already know. There is a reason there are so many of these articles.

  • Preacher

    The “good guy” got more than luck: If my observasion is correct, the revolver shot the door in the moment of escalation, just missing our men, but shattering the glass at the door?
    See at 0:17 to 0:18 min.

    • Chris

      Good call, he does get a shot off while attempting to flee.

    • Marcus D.

      And contrary to an earlier comment that maybe robber two had a fake gun, you can see him rack the slide of his pistol at 0:17 as well, but once the shooting starts, he is off like a rabbit.

  • Frank Grimes

    Damn homie, that won’t buff out.

  • Arandor Thinnorion

    The first thing I noticed is that the cop didn’t seem to be aware that someone was lingering behind him. My Spidey-Sense would have been going berserk–not because I’m some kind of tactical superstar, but because I have a healthy dose of fear and prefer flight to fight.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    The real crime are those acid washed jeans.

    • Tassiebush

      Man I can’t judge him for that! I had some back in primary school.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Imagine having to wear them for the rest of eternity….
        I hear the devil is a real fashion snob.

        • Tassiebush

          I can only think of one cultural reference to what the devil wears and if it’s true he’s screwed because that doesn’t look like prada

        • Billy Jack

          He’ll be cool in hell every twenty five years!

    • Billy Jack

      Blue jeans matter!

    • n0truscotsman

      the NOSTALGIA….

  • Ark

    I’d hesitate to treat Brazil like a representation of reality. That country is a bizarre, Mad Max-esque parallel universe where the leading causes of death are knife fights and 13-year-old hitmen on dirt bikes. The country produces 90% of the world’s supply of internet videos of people getting murdered.

    But, yeah, the point is valid. “Gunfights” in the real world are a sudden, clumsy, brutal affairs where sheer luck determines the outcome as much as anything else. Stuff like this is tough to watch, but it’s important for anyone who is entertaining delusions of stopping the next Pulse massacre with their LCP.

  • 22winmag

    At least the girl has the sense to straighten her hair around the 23 second mark.

  • Dibbled


  • alksjdflaksdlajshdlfhhja

    Jesus Christ. If you live in a country where there’s a reasonable chance of that happening, and you own a passport, LEAVE!

    • A whooooole lot of people would do so in a heartbeat if they could. I have a friend who lived in a nice neighborhood in São Paulo and got the hell out as soon as she was able to afford a plane ticket and a passport.

  • A Fascist Corgi

    I’m subscribed to a ton of military combat channels and a few Brazilian crime channels on YouTube because I’m interested in learning lessons from real world combat for my own self-defense.

    Brazil is like the Wild West. So much crazy crap happens there. That country consistently produces the most interesting crime videos that you can take all kinds of lessons from. I’ve seen dozens of videos of off-duty and on-duty police officers in Brazil having insane shootouts with Brazil’s seemingly endless hordes of brazen criminals.

    The police there are extremely brutal because they have to be. They see so much crime that they’ve had to fight fire with fire.

    Some of the conclusions that I’ve personally come to are that magazine capacity matters, the human body is surprisingly resilient to being shot with handguns (which is why you should aim for the head whenever possible), the people you shoot often recover and shoot back at you, training is almost pointless because real life gun fights are pretty much impossible to train for, rely on your instincts and move and shoot like a wild man.

    I know most people will disagree with me about training being pointless, but I’ve never seen a single video of a civilian using anything that would resemble the types of training that you’d see at a shooting range or in a tactical firearm class. It’s always very instinctual movements in all of the gun fights that I’ve ever personally watched.

    • Marcus D.

      Training to have a fast draw is one thing that is beneficial, as clearing clothing before clearing leather can be a complicated affair.

  • Thanks for sharing this – I struggle all the time with how to improve my situational awareness. I am the first to admit I’m not frequently in condition yellow and I really need to work on that. I can practice at the range and dry-fire at home all the time but all that does is improve your gun handling muscle memory. It doesn’t help getting past that first “this can’t be happening” kind of mindset.

    • Marcus D.

      Panic is the mind killer. I was lucky–my mother taught me by example at an early age to never panic. It has served me well over the years.


    I’m surprised nobody has commented yet on his use of point blank range. Seriously, can anyone recommend a book that might be a collection of real life self defense stories?

    • Most of the major firearm periodicals on the newsstand have some kind of Letters To Penthouse “real life stories of self defense” section with two or three brief stories about armed citizens protecting themselves from criminals; their online versions probably have archives of those.

  • MOUE


  • missourisam

    Having survived two shootouts I can tell you that Murphy’s law prevails in that kind of situation. If it can go wrong it will. In both instances everything seemed in slow motion, and the main objective was to survive or at least take the guy with you. Even when the criminal started his draw first, it seemed that I had all the time in the world in my recall. Witnesses claimed I was exceptionally fast. It did not seem that way to me at the time. My thought was that I may get hit, but I will take him with me. The first time I let an accomplice get behind me. I never made that mistake again. If I am walking across a parking lot and there is someone behind me, I stop and face them until they pass. I get some strange looks, but the time I spend letting them pass me may mean that I live a lot longer. Every time I walk into a bank or a convenience store I am looking for a robbery. So far I’ve never encountered this scenario but I don’t want to get shot out of stupidity.

    • Marcus D.

      I’d suspect that the three most dangerous places in America are convenience stores (and/or convenience store gas stations), outside of bars right after closing (or a fight), and street corners in any bad neighborhood after 10 o’clock at night.

  • AD

    Very thought-provoking story. Thank you for posting it.

    I apologize for nit-picking, but you are using “point blank” in the common but (as I understand it) completely incorrect way.

  • Rick James

    Said the CCW shooter to the robber, “Happy Thanksgiving Mother F#@%er”.

  • Edeco

    It doesn’t come up much anymore but I avoid opening the door to the crib, when entering, with any unfamiliars behind me. Did it once and, in accordance with probability, nothing happened, but I realized it was a tactical blunder, the person could have run up, pushed me through and basically controlled the situation.