See how fast your life can be endangered?

Here’s a video of a (very) recent car chase and shooting in Seattle.  The (late) felon in question had carjacked no less than three vehicles and engaged in a running shootout with police before the crash that brought his adventures to a sudden stop.  He then tried to get away again, still shooting.  The resultant firefight was brief, loud and decisive.

However, watch closely at the two-minute mark.  He rams into a small SUV, with the driver still behind the wheel.  Watch as the SUV rolls slightly forward, clearly not under control, then the driver jumps from the vehicle and runs like hell.

What if that driver had been you?

That sort of danger can arrive without any warning, and can affect each and every one of us.  We can’t plan ahead to avoid it, because it will come to us.  However, we can think ahead of time about how we’ll respond to such threats.  We can play the “what if?” game.  What if an armed, violent felon suddenly rams my car?  What if an armed, violent felon tries to carjack my vehicle?  What will I do?  If my children are with me, how will I get them out of danger?  What options are available to me?

Sometimes there’s not much you can do;  but if you’ve thought about alternatives, you’ve already made a start.  The poor driver of that SUV almost certainly didn’t have a clue, and simply jumped out and ran.  That may have worked – I don’t know if she made it out of there – but it might also have got her killed if the firefight had erupted even a couple of seconds earlier.  She might have been better advised to duck down on the floor, curl into a ball and make herself as small a target as possible.  (Not having been there, obviously, I can’t say whether that would have been the best option or not.)

Danger can arrive without any warning.  If it catches us off guard and off balance, the odds of our being injured or killed go up exponentially.  If, on the other hand, we follow a civilian-legal version of the Marines’ fabled motto, we’ll probably stand a better chance.



  1. If that SUV had 3 carseats full of toddlers those cops would still have opened fire. They were in no danger but they would have killed anybody down range because they opened fire when they were not threatened.

    Admittedly, I watched with the sound off. Perhaps the driver was shooting at them….but i doubt it.

    That was not very worthy policing. Protect themselves and serve who?

  2. The bad guy shot at both the first car (or it was hailing on them) as well as the..3d car? The one after the crash that disabled one cruiser.

  3. It looked like the woman who abandoned ship was directly in the line of fire- she is very lucky she was not shot by the cop. Could not make it out exactly but it looked as if the cop who got out of his car was shooting at the perp, before she exited.

  4. Isn't Seattle a "whitopia" where the worst thing that can happen is you get a chocolate-marzipan latte when you ordered a walnut-coconut frapuccino?

  5. Thanks for pointing out the different scenario and considerations if your kids are in the back. This is something I run into all the time with defense training… Most of the tactics and advice are for single males in relatively good shape. I can't 'run away' with 2 young kids in tow. This woman couldn't "don't go where bad things happen." Or "just don't be there." Which is smarmy and absolutely useless advice.

    I notice that not just the woman's SUV but all the other cops were down range as well. Nice circular firing squad set up there. A little sympathetic fire, and you've got a bloodbath. They got lucky this time.


    BTW notice that you can't see into the vehicle when the side curtain airbags deploy. That must be frustrating for the cops, and it could be deadly if YOU were in a car with the airbags deployed and couldn't see out.

  6. The woman can be seen in the last video getting out of her truck, crossing in front of it, and running away down the sidewalk.

  7. @ nick-

    It is not smarmy or absolutely useless to tell people to "not go where bad things happen" or 'don't be there" because the majority of bad things happen in places people know (or should know) to avoid. There are areas in your town/city/area that you know are less than perfect, areas where crime routinely happens (or happens more than it should), yes? Even when I lived in a rural setting, there were troublemakers and people knew where they hung out.

    I don't know where you live, but I know where I live. I know that north of my area, crime (of all sorts) starts to be more prevalent. I know that there's an area where drunk idiots leaving the bar often (and I mean very often) get into fights. It's not a place to hang out, unless you are looking for a fight, IMO. Even further north, and well to the west is an area to go to for more than fist fights. You can witness (or be involved in) actual shootings if you hang around long enough. Definitely a "don't go there" place.

    That's not to say, however, that such advice is a perfect catch-all and sums up how to avoid crime or trouble. Obviously, it can and does fall into peoples' laps. The poor lady in this video had it fall into her lap, and you are correct that no amount of "don't go there" would have been any use at that moment. But just because it doesn't apply here doesn't mean it isn't sound advice in general.

    Peter's whole point was to prepare yourself as much as possible for various eventualities, precisely because even when you do everything right, trouble can still find you.

  8. Is this guy trying to get killed by cops? Because he fire quit a few shot, and must've reloaded while driving in excess of 70MPH on city street. At the end of the video when the cop did their first volley of shots at the vehicle, the cautiously approach the car and it starts again, that's when all trigger discipline went out of the window and they just unloaded on the car, background damage be damned.

  9. The last few seconds of the video points out the need for situational awareness and learning "offensively defensive driving." As the old saying goes, "some days you eat the bear and some days the bear eats you," and we find ourselves in situations that for a variety of reasons, or even simple happenstance, we cannot avoid, but one can increase the possibility, if not the probability, of success through laying the groundwork for succesful action.

    The video doesn't provide enough information to determine it, but it's possible the woman may have been able to leave enough space around herself to allow driving between other vehicles to escape the conflict point. That would have required her adopt a different philosophy toward managing her vehicle, one that assumes bad crap can happen at any time in any place. Were I to find myself between two factions of any type exchanging projectiles I would immediately attempt to extricate myself from the zone, damage to vehicles or property be damned.

    My biggest worry then would to be shot by the cops because: 1) that's what cops do, and; 2) the cops assume I'm somehow associated with whomever they have gotten the opportunity to shoot at, and; 3) cops have a poor record of hitting what they're supposed to be aiming at. Still, escape would be worth the risk.

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