Scott T. and his girlfriend live in Haines City, Florida.
One evening, the couple went out for the night, returning home around 1 a.m.
When the couple entered their home, they found two intruders in their kitchen.
Scott has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and he immediately drew his firearm. He fired five rounds at the intruders in the kitchen.
After firing the shoots, Scott and his girlfriend ran out of the home and called police.
Police met Scott as he was driving to the station. He immediately surrendered his weapon to the police and cooperated with the investigation.
When police responded to the crime scene, they collected five shell casings and discovered a trail of blood.
A police K9 was able to track the blood to a nearby park. One of the suspects was found sitting in the park suffering from four gunshot wounds.
According to a police investigator, “Even though this was a felon who had been illegally inside someone’s house, [police] immediately changed focus, changed gears, and went from a search and locate and apprehend, to saving this individual’s life.”
One officer applied direct pressure to the suspect’s wounds and three others performed living-saving measures.
A police statement said, “These four officers were able to save this individual’s life. They were able to stop the bleeding enough so that when he was finally airlifted to a trauma center—Osceola Regional Medical Center— that at this moment he’s still alive.”
Now, the police officers involved in this case went from searching for a criminal to saving his life.
A cop’s job is to save a life, no matter who the person is.
But, if you are involved in a gunfight, should you provide first aid before police arrive?
Here are a few things to consider in the aftermath of a gunfight. (Remember, this is not medical or legal advice.)
Secure the scene?:
A police officer’s first job when arriving at a crime is to secure the scene. They need to ensure it’s safe for firefighters, medical personnel, and investigators.
Your job is to stay alive and safe. So, before you let your guard down after a gunfight, there are questions you have to ask yourself:
Is there another threat than the one who has been shot? Maybe there are two or three intruders.
Could the attacker have another weapon that you can’t see?
Could they be playing at being injured or dead to lure you out so they can attack you?
These are real considerations, and if there is any chance the person you shot can still pose a threat, you should keep yourself safe.
Keep a safe distance:
Most of us are not trained medical professionals, so it can be difficult to tell whether the bad guys’ injuries are incapacitating or minor.
If you are involved in a gunfight and the person is injured but still able to communicate you should keep your weapon on them and help verbally.
For instance, you can instruct them to apply pressure to their wound.
If possible, you can assess the number of times they have been shot from a safe distance.
You can throw them a towel or other medical gear to try to stop the bleeding.
The key is to do all this from a safe distance.
Is anyone else there to help?:
You can’t render aid and protect yourself at the same time.
If you have another person with you there is the option that one of you render aid while the other keeps the scene secure.
The issue with this is that it could put you or the other person in danger.
If the attacker regains strength and grabs you then you might not be able to fight them off again.
I wouldn’t provide first aid or let another person do it unless it was clear that the threat was incapacitated.
When police show up, they will likely not move up to the suspect until there are three or four of them.
You should take the same precautions.
If you are ever involved in a shooting keep your weapon on the threat and call the police.
Again, I’m not giving legal or medical advice but simply sharing some thoughts.
If I’m not clear that the threat is over, I wouldn’t move closer. The last thing I want to do is put myself in more danger.
In most states, you have no legal obligation to provide first aid if you were justified in using deadly force, but you should familiarize yourself with your state’s laws.
Now, if you want to ensure YOU stay safe in a gunfight, or (heaven forbid) an active shooter situation where you may or may not be armed…
Where knowledge, training, and tactics could easily make the difference between surviving a gunfight or ending up on a cold stainless-steel table with a toe-tag.