Doofus Of The Day #911

Today’s award goes to two dumb armed robbers in France.

Around 40 customers were chomping on their burgers on Sunday evening in [a McDonalds restaurant] in a shopping centre in Besancon when two men burst in, fired in the air with a shotgun, threatened the guests and ordered staff to open the till, which contained €2,000 [about US $2,270] in cash.

However, unbeknownst to the robbers, among the terrified customers were 11 off-duty members of the French paramilitary special forces, Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale, or GIGN – the Gallic equivalent of the SAS – who were not amused at having their meal of Big Macs and French fries disturbed by the low-level criminals.

Along with the French counter-terror police unit, le RAID, the GIGN are highly admired by peers in Britain and beyond. One former SAS officer, Col Tim Collins, recently described them as “among the most effective anti-terror forces in Europe, if not the world” in an assessment in the Telegraph.

Keeping their cool during the hold-up, the GIGN officers only leaped into action as it ended to avoid any collateral bloodshed.

Edwige Roux-Morizot, the local prosecutor, said: “During the hold-up, the gendarmes didn’t do anything. It was out of the question to use their weapons, as this would have created difficulties and could have placed many people’s lives in danger.”

The highly trained and battle-hardened officers were able to pounce on the first of the two robbers when he tripped on his way of the outlet without firing a shot.

However, they were forced to shoot the other in the abdomen when he pointed a gun at them as he sought to make his getaway with the cash, ignoring their orders to drop his weapon.

There’s more at the link.

Massad Ayoob would call that “a sudden and acute failure of the victim selection process”.  Hard to disagree . . .



  1. I read an article a long time ago about the graduation exercise for the GIGN hostage rescue team. During a simulated hijacked jetliner scenario an instructor would shoot the trainee once in the center of his bullet proof vest with a 357Magnum. The trainee had to continue clearing the plane in order to pass, broken ribs were not an acceptable excuse.

    Here's a subtitled video…
    The revolver is most likely a ManuRhin.


  2. Hmm, I know nothing of the situation but if the attackers had fired in the air weren't the "difficulties" already "placing lives in danger"? I assume if there had been a safe field of fire they would have acted (or, I want to assume that).

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