An unidentified Spokane man may face charges after opening fire in the middle of a bank robbery in Spokane.
One man was injured, nobody was killed. The injured man did not seek treatment at a hospital.
No matter who you are, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office went on record to say that [shooters] need to evaluate their surroundings, know how the weapon works, know their ability to hit a target, and must take into account the risk to other people near you.
Of course, that’s not the whole story.
The shooter in question was a bank customer and a veritable hero who shot an armed robber who was menacing bank customers and employees.
We’re not experts on Washington State law. But it is our considered non-lawyer opinion that this man should be given a parade, not a criminal record for saving lives. The robbery was foiled.
The suspect, though shot, has not yet turned up at a hospital for treatment, so it is likely that he was not severely injured.
However, we can also agree with the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office. In a situation such as this, you need to think long and hard about your decision to use force.
If you take that shot, will you hit your target? What’s the likelihood that your bullet will over-penetrate?
What’s your backstop; objects or people? If people, does the threat outweigh the consequences of hitting one of them?
If the backstop is an object, is it shootable if you miss? Will it absorb the shot or will the round pass through it?
If the backstop is penetrable, what’s behind it? Is it people? If it’s people, you need to reassess the consequences of missing the shot.
Some of you may be wondering what the big deal regarding whether or not you can shoot an inanimate backstop. If it’s not a person, what’s the worst that could happen?
Luckily for you, knowing that some of the patients seen at your hospital are potentially violent psych patients, so you decided to flout Pennsylvania’s laws which require that you disarm in the hospital and you have your sidearm at your desk. You draw, fire, and drop your attacker. Textbook. The only thing that would have happened if you had missed would be that you would have hit the wall behind your attacker.
Well, this is where you really need to know your hospital architecture. Modern hospitals have more things in their wall than plumbing and wires.
They also run their oxygen lines through the walls.
100% pure O2 and sparks from a gunfight do not mix.
You MUST be aware of your bullet, your backstop, and what’s beyond it.
You MUST be accept the consequences of firing that shot, especially in locations where the sin of using a gun to defend life is greater than any mere crime of violence.