Confident Member Stops a Criminal Without a Shot

“This event occurred in Texas. The laws vary from state to state so please check with your independent program attorney or attend a gun law seminar in your state on the use of deadly force in similar situations.”

Sherry Hale, Member Ambassador:

Welcome Members and fellow gun owners. Picture this with me:

The grocery store you visit down the street from your house.

The park where you take your kids to play.

The gas station you always fill up with because they have the best prices.

We all have our normal routines, but all it takes is one criminal to disrupt that routine and take us out of our comfort zone. Are you prepared? Our member Tyler was and I got to personally interview him and get a first-hand experience of what happened.

Tyler: It was definitely extremely random to happen, but it did happen.

Sherry: Our member Tyler showed me exactly where he was forced to draw his firearm when he saw someone trying to steal his car. Tyler was at a gas station and paying for his water when he noticed the light to his car was on.

Tyler: So, at that point I unholstered my gun, I told the clerk to call the police and I stormed outside.

Sherry: The criminal would not listen to Tyler with a gun pointed at him so Tyler thought what any of us would.

Tyler: I was drawn on him the whole time, ya know. He wouldn’t listen. I just told him to keep your hands still. He wouldn’t listen. I really sincerely thought I was going to have to shoot him.

Sherry: Did you ever think about being a Texas Lawshield member whenever all this was unfolding?

Tyler: Absolutely, being a Texas Lawshield member that was going to be my next call after the police after I actually shot this guy if I had to.

Sherry: Tyler didn’t think this would happen to him but it did. The truth is this could happen to any one of us. Tyler told me that even in this frightening situation he remained calm and confident, that he knew what to do, and more importantly that Texas and US Lawshield would have his back.

Tyler gained his confidence by being armed with knowledge by reading our member exclusive newsletters. Follow us on Facebook to ensure that you are up to date on the latest laws. Remember, criminals never take a vacation. Be armed. Stay educated. And get protected with U.S. Law Shield.


102 comments on “Confident Member Stops a Criminal Without a Shot

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  • I agree with most of the comments here. Since there was no threat of death or serious injury, I do not see a justification for pulling a weapon. While it may be defended in court, there is no guarantee a jury will rule in your favor. It’s not worth taking a life or going to prison over a car!

  • Texas is one state with arguably the most friendly firearms laws in the country. I live in Missouri, which is very firearm friendly (which is great), but TX is much more firearms friendly. This is a bad example for other states. Glad the car owner is o.k.! He’s lucky after he put himself in danger, he could very easily have come out of this dead himself by taking the actions he did – for a piece of property.

    I read the statute and attorney’s comments included in the one lengthy comment. I do public policy for a living and follow the firearms statutes and proposed legislation in various states. This makes zero sense to me even if Texas law allows this. It is property – is not your life. In Missouri, you can’t shoot someone to stop a theft – you may only shoot if you fear your life is in danger and you have to defend your life. His wasn’t, he was in the gas station, safe and sound.

    Setting TX law aside for a moment, there was no stand your ground here – the car owner ran outside after the bad guy. The car owner ran outside to confront and stop the bad guy, thus putting himself in danger. By his own actions, the car owner put himself at risk of either being shot himself should the bad guy have a gun, or at risk of being forced to use his firearm if the bad guy was on drugs and attacked the car owner anyway despite his firearm being drawn – and most importantly at risk of being dead himself. All of that would have been the car owner’s fault because the car owner sought out the bad guy when otherwise he was perfectly safe within the gas station. The car owner created the threat to his life, not the thief, by leaving safety to go confront the bad guy.

    I’ve been through an attempted car jacking. This was not a car jacking (a word some others mentioned in comments). It was attempted theft of an automobile while the owner was not around, the owner was inside a building. It sucks to have your car stolen, but this was all kinds of poor judgment.

    As an aside, even though I carry every day, if I had another car jacking attempt, I would still first try to get away in the car (as I did the first time it happened due to my situational awareness) and then I would give up the car as my second choice. I would pull my firearm in that situation only when I had to use it in order to defend my life and get out of the car. That is why I train every week on my draw from concealment and shooting speed. Yet I would never draw my firearm even in that situation to try to “hold” a criminal or stop them from stealing my car. They can have the car – it’s property. It is not worth putting my life in danger.

    I’m actually rather shocked that US Law Shield would hold this out as a “good” example of something to do as it was in the video. To me the video came across as promoting being a “hero” and running down a bad guy trying to steal your stuff, and putting your life in danger for no reason other than a piece of property. Being a “hero” can get you dead. I don’t need to know that US Law Shield “has my back” in some scenario like this where I intentionally put myself in danger that I would never consider doing. I need to know they’re there in case my life is in danger and I have to use my firearm to defend my life. That is the only reason I purchased this insurance. I carry your card and my CCW permit with me every day, at all times.

    This video to me is an example of why firearms get a bad public relations rap, and I wouldn’t promote it anywhere. It was incredibly gracious of the man to share his story, I’m sure it was a very difficult experience for him, and I do not intend any disrespect to him. I feel it was a poor choice by US Law Shield. If U.S. Law Shield had instead sent it out as an example of what not to do, then I would have thought it was sound advice for your members. Not, “go ahead, do something to put your life in danger and we’ll still “have your back”.”

    Thank you for your time.

    • I’m also a Missouri resident and these were my exact thoughts. No self-defense involved. So, if you shoot the would-be car thief, you are probably screwed.

  • Gene Moore says:

    I’ve often thought what I would do in a similar scernio. Though we have a stand your ground law in Florida granting one the right to protect life, limb and property I would risk shooting an individual unless my wife’s or mine were in imment danger. In a similar situation where property is being taken against one’s will in a public venue I would have drawn my pistol with a threat to shoot. However, the individual started to drive away I would have shot the tires out. When the individual was caught I would have sued for all damages sustained. Having been in a war there is nothing worse than having to take another person’s life! I disagree with police officers’ position of killing people without first attempting to shot to disable the offender. I’m not a liberal by any means but when the law permits an individual to take the life of another unless in imment danger then that law applies to all and not just criiminals, law abiding citizens and the police against the citizenry!

    • I also am in Fl I have been a lic concealed carrier approx. 14 years. I had an issue where without going thru the whole long drawn out chain of events leading up to the actual incident. I was basically left stuck with trimming an oak tree owned by the neighbor because he butchered off way too much of his side of his own side . He had a bucket truck but told me what is over my property is my responsibility. Long story short part of a limb I was cutting was over his property so it landed in his yard. When he saw limb he picked it up in front of me and threw it in my yard . I went to throw it back so he attacked me with a timber. I moved out of the way went in and retrieved my .45. put in pocket concealed. Went back out to see limb in my yard and threw it back upon which time he ran grabbed the bigger than bat size timber with both hands like a bat and started charging and beginning to swing so I pulled handgun and stuck it in his face. All this on my property. He basically stopped before getting to 90 degrees. Dropped weopen crapped pants ran around front yard had his son get on phone as I went inside my house and also call 911. I was told by dispatch police were on way but much time went by as the assailant had run down and intercepted sheriffs who geared up with vests and AR’s and proceeded to sneak up on me. Lots of drama as soon as I saw them I waved at them but was screamed at that I will be shot over and over I was caught totally off guard my firearm was in my pocket I had phone in hand still talking with dispatch. Was ordered to “drop it ” or I will be shot 2 or more times before I threw down phone. I only saw the one yelling that he would shoot me as we were both wiith eyes locked on each other me looking at the barrel and really not knowing if this was it. Finally after much abuse and having to argue my case for 30-45 min and they asked for my ccw lic and ID was told I could retrieve my .45 from back of my van and magazine from another spot and wait till they drove off. LOng story long I saw a US Law Shield Seminar advertised on FB few days after incident and joined. Very traumatic experience. Not a shot fired.

    • If you Shoot at the Tires you will Most Definitely end up in Jail. Because when the Bullets exit the Tire or skip off of the Gas Station Driveway an Innocent Person could Easily get hit by a Ricochet.

  • John Uhas says:

    Weston Ray, Walker & Taylor did a good job of using lawyer talk to explain things. I for one am walking away from this confused. The only thing I can glean from what I read was that they would defend me and I would go to jail.

    • Texas & U.S. Law Shield Staff says:

      Please call us at the non-emergency number on the front of your membership card and we’ll try to resolve any other questions you may have.

      Weston Prescott Ray
      Walker & Taylor, PLLC
      Independent Program Attorney for Texas Law Shield

  • John Uhas says:

    The case above in Texas with someone stealing a car doesn’t make sense to me. I feel if he had shot the guy he would have been breaking the law since his life was not in danger…

    • Texas & U.S. Law Shield Staff says:

      To first answer the question about whether or not you may draw your firearm in a situation like this, where you are not necessarily faced with unlawful deadly force. We will need to look at Texas Penal Code Section 9.04.

      Sec. 9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE. The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.

      If you display your firearm solely to create apprehension in another person, this will be considered a use of force rather than deadly force, however it still must be justified. Texas Penal Code section 9.31 states, “a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.” Penal Code Section 9.41 states, “A person in lawful possession of land or tangible, movable property is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent or terminate the other’s trespass on the land or unlawful interference with the property. If you do not have a justification to respond with force, then your actions will be a crime.

      To sum up, the display of a firearm solely to create apprehension in a situation like should be justified, but to make the matter worse, courts in Texas have disagreed on how Section 9.04 should be interpreted.

      As to the question of whether deadly force could be used in this situation, we have to look at Texas Penal Code Section 9.42

      Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:
      (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and
      (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:
      (A) to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
      (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and
      (3) he reasonably believes that:
      (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or
      (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

      Part of the reason this is so complicated is because we are dealing with defense of property instead of acting in self-defense. When we look at property you must remember that there are no presumptions of reasonableness and therefore the question of whether or not you reasonably believed it was immediately necessary to use deadly force will be determined by a jury. That is a scary situation.

      The next problem is that it when the statute above lists “burglary” as a crime in which you can possibly respond with deadly force, we don’t know if the statute is only referring to the crime of “burglary” (specifically of a habitation or building) or if it includes “burglary of a motor vehicle.”

      The courts have not given us a clear answer and so this would be argued by both sides at trial. If it does not include the motor vehicle, then we are dealing with a theft, and deadly force is only potentially an option if the theft occurs during the nighttime. If the theft was occurring during the day, then deadly force cannot be used.

      Assuming both of these hurdles are crossed, a jury must still determine that you reasonably believed that the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

      If you have additional questions regarding more specific facts, I encourage Members to call us on the non-emergency line on the front of your membership card, and we will work with you to get all your questions answered.

      Best regards,

      Weston Prescott Ray
      Walker & Taylor, PLLC
      Independent Program Attorney for Texas Law Shield

  • Frank Thompson says:

    We here in St. Louis, MO had a situation very similar to Tyler’s. A man in Lake St.Louis saw his truck being stolen from his driveway. As the thief drove off the man fire at him, killing him. He was charged with second degree murder.

  • There was zero threat to life or limb here and thus absolutely no reason to pull a gun.
    Sorry but this Tyler fellow probably shouldn’t be carrying a gun. What if he had just left the lights on? What if it was a friend or family pulling a prank?
    I don’t care if the law allows you to shoot sooner or not, without that threat to life or limb, or felony against a person as my state puts it, the gun ought never to have come out. There’s no place for it. Yes Tyler was entitled to a defense, yours since he paid for it, but he was 100% wrong here.


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