Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Discuss those "what if" or "what would you do" scenarios you've been wondering about.

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Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by Phoenix David » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:15 pm

While this does not happen often it is not terribly unusual
State agents are looking for a gunman who left an elderly veteran for dead but he survived.

Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert says Kenneth W. Payne, 73, of Wagoner was shot Thanksgiving morning at the Ft. Gibson Wildlife Management Area shooting range just a mile east of Wagoner.
http://newsok.com/73-year-old-man-shot- ... line_crime" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I do shoot at a public range but it has on duty RSO's and I know them well, but still I always have a CC weapon on me and stay aware of what everyone around me is doing.

The other range I use is private and you have to have a gate code for the main gate and then the actual range I use you have to have another key. Easy enough I suppose to climb the fences but on this range I always make sure I have a full magazine available.

So what precautions do you take, or has the concept of getting robbed at a shooting range not occurred to you?
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by jor-el » Fri Nov 25, 2011 9:28 pm

I usually use the department range that's guarded, but back before that me and my partner used to use a private range with a key lock on the east side of MacArthur Airport.

ETA: I never went alone to a range. Always had a buddy along.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by RoneKiln » Sat Nov 26, 2011 4:27 am

When I was a kid I saw a Western in which the goodguy gets ambushed by the badguys when he's target practicing. They waited till his gun was empty before riding out from concealment. Have no clue what it was called or even what the rest of the movie was about, but that scene made an impression on me.

As such I have ALWAYS kept at least one magazine loaded and available for my handgun even when at the range. I never go home completely out of ammo.

Of course, at a range I would also take no notice of a stranger pulling out a gun. They're supposed to be pulling out guns at a range. So I guess I'd still be easy to ambush. Especially since my first thought if I saw it getting pointed at me wouldn't be "I'm getting mugged," but would be to yell "HEY! Watch your muzzle control!"
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by BattleVersion » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:25 am

Since I most often shoot out in the desert, I continue to CC with the pistol I'm not currently practicing with.
Also anyone showing up within 500yrds is going to recieve scrutiny from me.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by countybob » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:34 pm

I do use a public range where i have seen my share of unsavory characters! everything from idiots hip shooting an ak to a guy that was trying to figure out why his .45 emptied the mag by itself by putting in a fresh mag and dropping the slide, while the muzzle was pointed down the firing line. I have 2 iron clad rules for shooting there #1 never go alone, #2 make sure something is ALWAYS loaded and accessable!

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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by DarkAxel » Sat Nov 26, 2011 6:13 pm

Two words: Buddy system.

I've got this really weird dislike of not being able to hear my surroundings, and shooting with ear-pro always makes me uneasy. Having a buddy watching my back makes it a lot easier for me to relax enough to shoot, and an extra set of trusted eyes can prevent a lot of issues from turning into incidents.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by wamba » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:48 pm

Even when shooting on private property I make it a point to keep one gun loaded & prefer to keep a side arm on my person & ready. Ronekiln I believe you're talking about "Silverado", that scene has stuck with me too over the years.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by squinty » Sun Nov 27, 2011 12:42 am

Target practice = weirdly condition white. You can't hear and much of the time your attention is focused on a target in front of you, esp. sighting in.

Don't shoot alone.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by Jeriah » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:14 am

There was a thread a while back where people were talking about the possibility of this happening, sad to see it has actually occurred. I don't worry about it much myself, since, well frankly I almost never shoot alone (wife is almost always with me, and if not, then some other friends are), and anyway there are usually a LOT of people around at any range where I'm shooting. So, just circumstantially, I don't see this as a major risk in my life, but with this story in mind I'll certainly stay on extra alert if I'm at a range alone.

BTW, those of you who feel comforted by the fact that you CCW at the range...I think that's far LESS important than situational awareness. In a situation like this, the MO seems to be, "Walk up behind old dude, shoot in back of head, woo hoo free stuff!" Having a CCW wouldn't have helped him even one little bit. Having a grandson who'd go shooting with him on Thanksgiving would have saved him from going through this.

Lesson learned: friends don't let friends shoot alone?
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by squinty » Sun Nov 27, 2011 2:36 am

Jeriah wrote:There was a thread a while back where people were talking about the possibility of this happening, sad to see it has actually occurred. I don't worry about it much myself, since, well frankly I almost never shoot alone (wife is almost always with me, and if not, then some other friends are), and anyway there are usually a LOT of people around at any range where I'm shooting. So, just circumstantially, I don't see this as a major risk in my life, but with this story in mind I'll certainly stay on extra alert if I'm at a range alone.

BTW, those of you who feel comforted by the fact that you CCW at the range...I think that's far LESS important than situational awareness. In a situation like this, the MO seems to be, "Walk up behind old dude, shoot in back of head, woo hoo free stuff!" Having a CCW wouldn't have helped him even one little bit. Having a grandson who'd go shooting with him on Thanksgiving would have saved him from going through this.

Lesson learned: friends don't let friends shoot alone?
Well, it's especially true at the range, but the part I colored above is probably true generally. Good situational awareness might still save you even in some circumstances where you don't have access to a firearm. Whereas poor situational awareness can render your firearm useless, or even make it a liability. I'm not saying don't carry-PLEASE carry if you can - just that situational awareness > firearms in the self defense hierarchy.

A year or so back, a couple guys got mugged in the parking lot of a local indoor range. Someone got the drop on them as they walked out to their car, and stole the cased pistols they were carrying. I don't know if they had concealed weapons on them or not, but if they did have they still might not have risked drawing them. The BGs already had weapons out, pointed at them, before the victims knew what was up.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by ThePhuckStopsHere » Mon Nov 28, 2011 6:00 pm

The Buddy system is highly applicable here . I never go alone , generally we arrange a big outing several times a year and have 20 or more close friends show up . Last summer on one of these such outings 2 car loads of Russians showed up all with pretty exotic gear and high powered rifles . Once they showed up and they did ask if they could join in things got a bit tenuous . There was a lot of them staring at gear of ours and pointing and speaking only in their language . I stayed back eating a Sammy and I caught one looking into the back seat of my friends truck . So I loaded my Saiga and glock and just waited until the rest of the group had enough . Toward the end Two of the Russians had " dissappeared " by my count I saw one head to take a piss and that must have been the visual distraction for the other one to ditch and go do whatever he was deciding to do . We were gone within 10 minutes . It was a tense situation , you never know what's in store for you out there .

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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by BigBossMan » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:13 pm

RoneKiln wrote:When I was a kid I saw a Western in which the goodguy gets ambushed by the badguys when he's target practicing. They waited till his gun was empty before riding out from concealment. Have no clue what it was called or even what the rest of the movie was about, but that scene made an impression on me.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by OhioKaos » Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:24 pm

This is fucked up, right here. A senior? A VETERAN? "Jacked" and left for dead at the range?

I am NOT a "trusting" person by any stretch but I would never have thought this could occur. It never even crossed my over-paranoid/prepper mind!

So here's the upgrade to my personal operating system (thanks to you kind people and, apparently, Silverado...)

1) Range buddy who you have discussed this kind of situation with.
2) Side arm or conceal loaded, chambered, safety'd.

Again, this is just FUCKED! :x
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by squinty » Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:37 pm

Fucked up indeed. Esp. because I've had some really great experiences with total strangers at shooting ranges. I've met people, learned about weapons, and struck up friendships with like minded people. It's a place I don't associate with risk of violence or conflict.

But just think about all the other places where you are likely to go "condition white." The shooting range certainly is such a place - sighting in a rifle, you are artificially deaf to your surroundings and fixing your attention at an object in the far distance, for long periods of time. You also have at least one gun with you, an eminently resellable and sought after commodity among lowlifes, felons and others who ne'er or seldom do well.

But it's no more or less dangerous than a lot of public places. For instance, similar circumstances apply at ATMs - you're facing the screen not your surroundings, in possession of a commodity, etc. Where else? What other locales or activities have a tendency to place us in condition white, when we'd prefer not to be? I went condition white loading the trunk of my car outside a department store. Big box + compact car trunk = lot's of attention paid to the Tetris-like rotations necessary to get the box inserted, little attention paid to my surroundings. Got mugged by a guy I'd sort of glimpsed out of the corner of my eye, but chose to ignore.

Also, civility and politeness sometimes lead us to ignore intuitive "bad" feelings about people. It's natural to want to play fair and not presume or prejudge people, but sometimes the Spidey - sense is right. I bet the Russians that TPSH was shooting with weren't a threat at all, and listening to his account I was tempted to dismiss his misgivings about them as paranoia or prejudice. But there are similar stories I could tell about spooky encounters, that anyone hearing second hand - anyone who hadn't lived through the encounter - would have dismissed as paranoid. And I have dismissed my own misgivings, more than once, as mere paranoia, and regretted it. SO politely and discreetly withdrawing from a situation where his Spidey sense tingled was probably the best course of action for th'phuck.

I wonder what actually did transpire at that shooting range. Did the old vet never even see it coming - did he think he was alone as someone crept up behind him? Or was he with a friend or relative or someone else he trusted, who betrayed him? Or was he shooting alongside some stranger, or someone he'd just met, about whom he had an uneasy feeling but which feeling he ignored or discounted?
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by DarkAxel » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:20 pm

I think this should be a very important lesson to those who think that just because they have a firearm in their hands that no one will try to victimize them. I honestly think that this is one of the biggest hangups for gun owners.

I'd ask each of you to honestly think about the number of times you've thought "I have a gun out and I'm shooting. Who wants to fuck with me? They'd have to be crazy!"

I think it is important to stress that guns aren't talismans against violence, and the incident in the OP bears this out. You can be outflanked. You can be ambushed. You can be surprised. You can find yourself in a situation that renders your gun useless.

Chew on that.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by squinty » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:24 pm

DarkAxel wrote: "They'd have to be crazy!"
Yep. And just enough of them are.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by Kutter_0311 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:49 am

This is not a new idea, sadly...

The 1986 FBI Miami shootout involved two criminals who repeatedly "shopped" for arms and vehicles for their crimes at a local shooting spot. They would kill a shooter with the gear they wanted for their next crime, taking the guns and using the vehicle as a get-away car.

I've always felt a bit edgy at the range. I'm not sure if I like being nearly alone there any less than being surrounded by idiots on a crowded range, both have their hazards. Rarely do I shoot alone, never am I unarmed(gun not in use is holstered on hip, Condition 1, rifle goes downrange with me, also Condition 1), and I always have a trauma kit close by. Situational awareness is aided by the elecrtonic ear-pro I purchased for MilCopp, that stuff is great! All in all, I feel confident my countermeasures make an attack on my person very likely to go very badly for my attacker 8-) Alternately, the couple idiots that have opened fire while I was down range seamed to get the idea that I was unhappy, even if they didn't habla my stern warning to "CEASE FUCKING FIRE" shouted at the top of my lungs. Maybe they saw me flop into the prone, and thought I was hit. I could clearly see them drop all weapons on the bench and back off the firing line through my rifle scope. They even kept their their hands where I could clearly see them until I was back by the benches. Thank God for universal body language...
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by jdavidboyd » Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:42 am

BigBossMan wrote:
RoneKiln wrote:When I was a kid I saw a Western in which the goodguy gets ambushed by the badguys when he's target practicing. They waited till his gun was empty before riding out from concealment. Have no clue what it was called or even what the rest of the movie was about, but that scene made an impression on me.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by the_alias » Tue Nov 29, 2011 7:54 am

DarkAxel wrote:"

I think it is important to stress that guns aren't talismans against violence, and the incident in the OP bears this out. You can be outflanked. You can be ambushed. You can be surprised. You can find yourself in a situation that renders your gun useless.
Good point - I want to twist it another way - if I may.

Most criminals engaged in this sort violence aren't scared of your gun. Or your knife, or your mace etc.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by Gingerbread Man » Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:02 am

the_alias wrote:
DarkAxel wrote:"

I think it is important to stress that guns aren't talismans against violence, and the incident in the OP bears this out. You can be outflanked. You can be ambushed. You can be surprised. You can find yourself in a situation that renders your gun useless.
Good point - I want to twist it another way - if I may.

Most criminals engaged in this sort violence aren't scared of your gun. Or your knife, or your mace etc.
Very true, there are people who do not experience fear the way others do.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by Kutter_0311 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:18 pm

Regular Guy wrote:
the_alias wrote:
DarkAxel wrote:"
I think it is important to stress that guns aren't talismans against violence, and the incident in the OP bears this out. You can be outflanked. You can be ambushed. You can be surprised. You can find yourself in a situation that renders your gun useless.
Good point - I want to twist it another way - if I may.
Most criminals engaged in this sort violence aren't scared of your gun. Or your knife, or your mace etc.
Very true, there are people who do not experience fear the way others do.
I think it's more likely that they don't respond to fear the way most people do. Like seasoned combat vets, merely seeing an armed opponent doesn't trip a fear response that causes them to pause, like a deer in the headlights, looking for a response reflex that hasn't been trained, or even considered. As Turkish pointed out, that Pikey's got plans to run to run over the truck. They know what to do(violence), at least roughly, and it's worked out to their benefit enough that they are still alive, giving them confidence in this fear response. Having the response right at hand, they do it, without pause, and may be victorious. I think this may be where the old strategy of facing your fears came from. Once you decide to face it, you start mentally prepping, running contingencies, and so, have some kind of canned response que'd up for the situation. Then, upon confronting it, you find out if that response worked or not, and collect other data, allowing you to better plan for the next go-round.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by alptraum » Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:32 pm

I've only heard of this happening a few times. However I've heard of theft/robbery happening at ranges much more frequently. All the ones I've heard of were at unstaffed ranges. Personally there are a few ranges I go to and many of them are quite different. Some are well staffed with RO's and I'm really not worried about any sort of theft/attack happening at them. At those I'm more concerned about safety violations and some of the idiots I've seen at them negligently shooting themselves or somebody else. While the RO's tend to be all over any safety violation it only takes a second for somebody to screw up. I don't mind going alone to those type of ranges, and frequently do.

On the other hand I do occasionally shoot at unstaffed Department of Conservation ranges. They are typically isolated and rarely have many if any other people there. That's a large part of the reason that I like them and I tend to go to them at times that minimize the amount of people there (during the morning on weekdays for instance). In addition to watching out for safety issues at these ranges I definitely take into account the much greater threat of robbery/assault. Some of the thefts I've heard of were as simple as somebody just taking gear off the line and driving off when the owner was down range.I never go to this type of range alone. Only one person will go down range to change targets/etc and one of us is always near the firing line with our gear keeping an eye on on things.

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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by RickOShea » Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:48 pm

Luckily, we have enough land to have our own range.

But when I do feel like being around other folks, I go to the local FOP range. Members only, key code gate lock, and usually a bunch of active or retired LEO and MIL types around.
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Re: Vet shot and left for dead at public range

Post by squinty » Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:57 pm

the_alias wrote:
DarkAxel wrote:"

I think it is important to stress that guns aren't talismans against violence, and the incident in the OP bears this out. You can be outflanked. You can be ambushed. You can be surprised. You can find yourself in a situation that renders your gun useless.
Good point - I want to twist it another way - if I may.

Most criminals engaged in this sort violence aren't scared of your gun. Or your knife, or your mace etc.

Which is why you never think of your weapons as tools to "scare away" assailants. (The "rack the pumpgun for effect" fallacy.)
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