If you “help” to stop a gun crime, the police may shoot you

An Amarillo man found that out the hard way recently.

When a man with a handgun walked into a church service at the Faith City Mission in Amarillo, Texas, most of the crowd of about 100 started to run.

But Tony Garces, an ex-con, took his shirt off and confronted the gunman, according to a news release from Amarillo police.

. . .

“I said: ‘Hey, hey, I got the gun. I took the gun away from him,’” Garces told KVII. “[The police] said throw it down. I wasn’t going to throw it down because it could have fired. It had bullets in it, you know. I didn’t want anyone else getting hurt. … Then pop, pop, they shot me. … I went down, then a puddle of blood. … I thought I was a goner.”

There’s more at the link;  also in this report.

One can’t blame the police, of course.  Put yourself in their shoes.  They’ve just been sent to the scene of a reported “gunman in church”.  They’re racing to prevent a tragedy.  They charge in, see a man with a gun, and demand that he drop it.  He’s trying to tell them that he’s disarmed the “real” gunman, but they dare not wait – they want instant obedience, to remove the perceived threat.  Any delay may mean the “gunman” might fire . . . so they fire first, to be on the safe side.  In their shoes, most of us would probably have done likewise.

I’m very glad that the student who was shot is apparently going to make it, with no permanent consequences to his injuries.  He’s extremely lucky – and a brave man, to intervene like that.  I hope he’s rewarded for his courage.

However, his experience should also be a lesson to the rest of us, particularly those of us who choose to carry a gun.  If we have to use it to defend ourselves or others, we’d better have it either out of sight in its holster, or safely set down in plain view – i.e. not in our hands – when responding officers arrive.  They won’t know we’re the “good guy(s)” until they’ve taken control of the scene and everyone involved.  Until that’s done, they’re going to be hyper-vigilant, and prepared to defend themselves and others.  Let’s not give them a reason to suspect us of being the bad guys!



  1. In circumstances like that, a cop is not a person. He's a loaded weapon with a very nervous trigger. Do not startle the weapon. Do what the weapon says. Make the weapon happy or it will shout at you with fire and brimstone.

  2. It is apparently the job of police to shoot things: dogs, pickup trucks with Asian women in them delivering newspapers, innocent bystanders (often indirectly with ricochets), and citizens who act in their, or others' defense.

    And, they seem to be very, very good at it.

  3. What about Missouri where according to reports-It happened in Independence, Missouri when a man saved his wife, daughter and thirty other people from a potential shooting, "where the hero dropped his weapon, raised his hands, and the police promptly shot him after saving those people." Now it’s happened with another potential mass shooting in Texas.
    I tend to agree with Alphonse they seem to be very good at shooting people, animals,and things, but, not too good at target selection.

  4. I recommend all people in presence of ill-trained police running around with guns looking for targets should just lay on the ground far from any weapon and pretend to be unconscious.

    Maybe, just maybe, you'll survive the experience.

  5. Not good enough.

    This thing you yanks have for allowing so much leeway to trigger-happy cops has got to stop.

    The cops do, in my opinion, have a responsibility to find out what's happening before they start shooting. If this puts them at an increased risk (and I assume that in many (most?) cases it does), that is a risk that the cop assumed when they took the job.
    If they can't or won't do the job properly, they should find another one.


  6. The rationale behind qualified immunity is to let the government attract the best and brightest as employees.

    So just think about the dolts we'd be getting if we could hold them responsible for their deeds!

  7. Another example on the long list of why we need to disarm cops. Citizens should be armed, not government employees.

    George Mason on who should be armed:
    "Who are the militia? They consist of the whole people, except a few public officers."

    Since we now have hordes of public officers, most of them should not be armed.

  8. Don't move means don't move.
    Drop the weapon means drop the weapon.

    It's not difficult people. Felons have been doing it for years.


  9. Many police departments seem to have a large problem with their training. They are much too trigger happy with people who have just complied with their orders. I know my grandfather nor my father-in-law would accept their officers shooting people after complying. Too many officers are acting like thugs running around shooting people and things, while not enough of them are actually assisting the people in their community. Pete Nielsen should be the standard, not the exception. http://www.wday.com/news/4389027-west-fargo-sergeant-snow-blows-driveway-elderly-couple

  10. And sometimes the police can't even hit the criminals when they try. Recent news from San Francisco described cops attempting to shoot a murder suspect. They fired 65 rounds in 15 seconds and scored zero hits, a worse record than NYPD manages.

  11. Something that any teacher who chooses to be armed should keep in mind. You have a chance of stopping the attacker but you'll be the target of every other armed party involved while trying to do so…

  12. Gerry:

    if there are two or more cops involved, it is pretty much a given that they will shout contradictory orders. Cops have no discipline, and lousy training. The concept that there will be ONE voice authorized to make demands/orders at a scene seems to not ever occur to them. I've seen this with more than one ranking officer on the scene!


    Typical performance for SF area. Guns are icky, and their police touch them as little as possible. Some years ago, they fired twice as many at a bank robber, and managed to hit him in the foot. Toe hit, I think.

    Two factors in play:
    In the 90's, the police groups decided to be PC, and not hire applicants that had experience with guns.
    They also got court approval to bar applicants with higher than average IQ. (they'll get bored and leave, was the reasoning)

  13. I suspect the gent's lawyer is already planning how to sue the APD (again). At the Day Job we're been told over and over that if the police respond to an active shooter, anything we have in our hands will be assumed to be a gun and we will probably be shot.

    It's a mell of a hess. Apparently the perp got the firearm around security, then left, came back through security, and then retrieved the pistol and tried to take the staff at the mission hostage. That's per the info on the local news, YMMV.


  14. Ok. I've been a police officer and we had benefit of an excellent training officer. When a drunk slurred that he was taking someone with him and stuck his hand in his jacket, three pointed our pistols at the man and instructed him to "Don't move!"; in harmony. He stopped and we stopped. That's how it's supposed to work.The mistakes I've seen supposedly veteran officers commit would be laughable were it not for the deadly results.

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