So, a man walked into a Marathon Convenience Store this morning. All he wanted was what any man of his caliber wants at 6 A on a Thursday morning.
Instead, he went out on his back, bleeding from a gunshot wound in the thigh as he was rushed to the hospital.
The cause of this nearly-fatal injury? A fellow customer who decided to whip his phallic symbol out and just squeeze off a few.
So, what happened?
Michael Lilly, 31, needed money. He needed it badly.
He was an odd-job man, having worked for people in the area off and on, but the jobs had dried up.
He needed money. So, Michael Lilly conceived of a plan. It was a smooth, meticulously planned caper where nobody would get hurt but Mikey would have enough money to last the month:
Using a disguise and the elements of speed, surprise, and threatened violence of action, Mikey, 31, would overwhelm the staff and customers, empty the till, and make off with the money without firing a shot or harming a single customer.
Murphy’s a right bastard, though, and those laws of his are killers.
Luckily for Michael Lilly, 31, the armed bystander who shot him was NOT a killer.
The unnamed bystander, who was just minding his own business while waiting to buy his coffee or snacks or what-have-you, saw the master criminal pointing a gun at the clerk and took immediate action. He drew his lawfully concealed handgun and fired at Lilly, striking him in the thigh.
The hero of the day was a cool customer, indeed. He ensured that the attacker was no longer a threat and then did something you rarely see in a civilian self-defense shooting: He unloaded the attacker’s firearm while waiting for the police and EMS to arrive.
Then things got weird.
When they did the big unveiling of the masked man who had just threatened violence upon everyone, Lilly was recognized.
He used to work for the defender.
There’s not much of a lesson here in the relationship between the attacker and the defender. The lesson is in the defender’s actions.
He observed the threat, oriented on it, decided on a course, and took action to neutralize the threat.
He maintained his presence of mind throughout the encounter.
This is difficult to do. Governments spend hundreds of hours and millions of dollars in attempts to instill these traits into their soldiers.
You can do this, too. But it takes training. LOTS of training, force-on-force, visualization exercises, scenarios, you name it, all great methods.
But the point is that you need to train and train like your life depends on it.