For those of you who have already taken your Illinois concealed carry classes (and those who haven’t), we’ve got a video for you.

It’s hard to watch.  A young mother is attacked by another person (turns out it was another woman) who pummels her viciously, and then threatens to beat down the two-year-old toddler who tries to come to his mother’s aid.

Assuming this took place where you’re licensed to carry and are packing your personal safety tool, at what point in this video would you employ deadly force and why?  Consider this an exercise in articulating the threat.

The use of force spectrum can go from “Do nothing, walk away” to “Light that attacker up”.

Where would you intervene and why – in the comments section please.  You don’t have to use your real name and we won’t post your email address.

Here’s the story:

WARNING: The video included in this story is “not safe for work”.  Turn up the volume as their are clues in the audio track…

Salem, NJ (— Police are searching for a woman seen on an amateur video savagely beating another woman as the victim’s 2-year-old son watched and pleaded for the violence to stop.

The suspect, LaTia Harris, 25, of Salem, NJ.

“Police in this county deal with this type of violence everyday. Yet, this video is physically sickening to watch,” Salem Chief of Police John J. Pelura III said Wednesday.

The suspect in the case has been identified as Latia Harris, 25, of Salem, who is facing charges of aggravated assault and two counts of making terroristic threats, Pelura said. She has not yet been apprehended.

A video showing the violent attack had been posted for a brief time Tuesday night on Facebook before it was taken down. Law enforcement and others were able to obtain a copy of the video.



23 thoughts on “SHOOT OR NO SHOOT: Would you employ deadly force and at what point?”
  1. I’ll use my real name.

    I believe the white woman was in physical danger, especially when the black woman – who I didn’t even think was a woman early on – mounts her and begins pummeling the white woman.

    There’s a disparity of force there, even more so when the attacker gets up and begins kicking the white woman on the ground. What was it, a “shod foot” is a deadly weapon from Frank Wright’s lecture?

    I would not have walked away. Early on I would have called 911.

    If I had happened upon them as in this video, I would have tried voice commands to the attacker to cease the attack. I would not have intervened physically as I’m in my 60s and my grappling with violent assholes days are over. Besides, I’m not going to let the aggressor get within my personal space.

    When the black chick threatens to kick the child in the face I probably would have drawn and fired. She made a threat after savagely beating the mother and a kick to the head of a two-year-old would be a great risk of death or great bodily injury, even for the most ignorant, gun-hating members of our society.

    Even more, the mom appears unable to come to the aid of the child and none of the idiots recording the scene did either.

    If I fired, I’d be ready to shoot more people who might think they were going to teach the old white guy a lesson or two.

    So, how did I do? Within the bounds of reasonable? Or not?


  2. Not sure how I would have responded.

    Unless the attacker went after the baby, I’m not sure it would be worth getting involved.

    Hope that doesn’t make me a bad person.

  3. I might as well get in on this.

    When would I shoot?

    Given the others around, I probably wouldn’t have engaged unless the attacker struck the child. My fear would have been some of the others might have been close friends with the attacker and suddenly it’s five or six on one (me).

    Most of the time groups won’t press an attack, however if they would do so, I suppose I’d have plenty of ammo.

    Carrying extra ammo is a good thing.

    Ammo to a gunfight is like bubblegum to a classroom. If you don’t have enough to go around, you’re gonna be in trouble.


  4. Easy! I would shoot or could not live with myself. There are times when you must intervene in a dangerous situation or we are all lost.

  5. Looked like a pretty nasty “beat down” by a Sasquatch … but I didn’t see anything that crossed the line into “that degree of force that a reasonable and prudent person would believe to lead to death or grave bodily harm.” She kicked her once in the back – not a downward stomp. Certainly an ugly beating – but didn’t look like getting beaten to death.

    While the victim was clearly not able to fight back, the beast stopped. Had she continued to stomp the downed attacker, then you bet things are different. Same with a strike to the kid. The key here is how would YOU justify shooting the beast? Is there a disparity of force situation with regards to YOU fighting this woman? For the older guys, or the infirm, okay. But absent a weapon, if you’re a reasonably fit adult male under 50, I don’t see anything that would justify lethal force.

    I’d say that until
    1) you end up getting Zimmerman’ed into the dirt by her
    2) she pulls a weapon
    3) her posse jumps in and now you have multiple attackers
    … we wouldn’t have justifiable cause to employ lethal force.

  6. I’m a white 62 year old male, ex-office worker who could not fight my way out of a wet a paper sack, and certainly could not run if I had to exit, stage left. It I came upon this situation, I would have called 911 and let the cops handle it WHEN they showed up. If I intervened, the tide would most certainly have turned against me and then I would have had to draw my weapon. I think a jury would have ruled against me, because my life was not initially threatened until I intervened. In addition, if I intervened and someone was hurt/killed, I would have been charged with a hate crime. The cost of my legal fees would have bankrupted me and I would have had to spend time in prison. I had no way of telling if the victim’s life was in jeopardy and no harm was done to her child. Common sense says to intervene, but victims, prosecutors, law enforcement, and juries do not always side with common sense. Now if the aggressor had a deadly weapon (other than fists and feet) and was actually using it on the white gal, that is another story. This scenario is good. You better think through situations like this before you are called upon to engage.

  7. Sam says it best. I think. Of course, you never know until the jury’s spoken. Which is why there’s profound logic in the ol’ saw, “shoot, shovel (bury it) AND shut up!”

    in SUCH circumstances, where a woman’s life clear was in danger, and the child’s, I’d strongly suggest pulling one’s shirt over one’s face, shooting the she’boon in the back of the head, and then after all the other she-boons disperse, as they are wont to do, get the feck out of there.

    If no one’s there to ask questions, no one gets arrested.

    Life saved, she-boon terminated. Another good deed done.

    1. Ken, you are too old fashioned! If you would have shot the attacker, especially in the back of the head, you would spend time in prison and your legal defense would empty your bank account. Plus, the others standing around may have administered their own justice on you thereby sparing you of any legal proceedings (i.e. – you’d be dead). Today’s legal system does not always favor the good guy.

  8. I think it would depend on the physical ability of the person helping. I am 6′ 4″ and 285 lbs. I worked as a bouncer at strip joints, biker hangouts, dumps and for security at heavy metal concerts including mosh pits. I have seen tons of stupid stuff. I would have yanked the hood rat off the victim by her hair, lifted her till her feet left the ground ( by the hair ) and then threw her towards the hardest surface available.

    I would be sure I was ready to draw and fire if anyone in the posse pulled a weapon, if they wanted to go with fists I would stay holstered but ready and start breaking bones ( eye sockets, sternums, multiple tooth removal, wrists , etc.). sadly in the commie state of NJ carrying is impossible. I would also be the first to call 911 and report the attack and mention a child was threatened.

    1. Bill, I’d just hope that while you are distracted administering justice on the attacker, one of her posse with a concealed carry permit did not shoot you with his legally obtained firearm. You are a big guy and may be able to draw fast, but you cannot control the whole situation if it escalates. Too many people involved. But I appreciate your approach – use your size and strength to your advantage and make your concealed weapon a tool of last resort.

    2. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say I doubt little miss McDonalds’ friends have a CCW.

    3. I was being sarcastic. If the bystanders had weapons, I doubt they were legally obtained or that they had FOID cards and CCW permits. Idea for future articles – more real life scenarios and seek input as to how they should be handled, maybe after a few days of comments.

  9. Actually, the whole situation is over and done with before most people would react. The entire video is only one minute, and maybe half of that is the actual beating. So, by the time you analyze the situation, determine what, if anything, you might do, it’s probably over and you no longer have justification for use of force.
    If one were to act, there was at least one point where the attacker was bent down over the victim. That would have been a perfect opportunity for one to use a swift kick and apply a boot to the head and disable her at least temporarily. Then a CC weapon could have been used for self protection if she or any of the others would have come after you.

  10. While I can see that shooting may not be the best choice, this racist attack (yes it was) should shooting be warranted, the crowd around is NOT gonna stay and fight. (See the cook co jail guard who shot dead his 16 yr old assailant, and watch his buddies flee.)
    Crowd dynamics will cause these mutts to run, and fast. If they were really tough they would not be filming this.
    They WILL regroup a few minutes later, but by then you will have time to move, or find a safer position than flat on the ground.

    And while this was a hate crime, I can promise nothing will happen other than maybe a battery case.

  11. 911 first, warning Command, warning shot (in the ground), hard to justify deadly force with no weapon present.

  12. I followed the instructions and left the volume up. I watched the beat-down from beginning to end. And I watched with an open mind and an eye toward “shoot/don’t shoot.” Nowhere – but NOWHERE – did I ever feel a compulsion to draw and fire. There was never the appearance of a threat to life. It was, purely and simply, a beat-down: one step up the Scale of Force from a screaming match. From an emotional standpoint, I would imagine a lot of folks wanted to blow Red Shirt away: after all, she (as it turns out) was kicking someone when they were down. Unfortunately, Wolves have to put aside their emotions and react only to the threats presented.

  13. I’d have, time allowing, intervened with a foot to her face, just to stop the beating. At that point I’d have drawn my weapon, stood between the attacker and her friends, and the victim and her child. If possible, I’d try to keep the attacker on the scene until the police arrived. I don’t believe that lethal force would be justified, just to stop a quick beating. You would be the one heading to prison. That is the answer that my MIND goes with. My HEART on the other hand, says walk over, pull my weapon, and splatter her noggin, then turn and ask if her friends would like a dose as well. Unfortunately, as a society, we can no longer dish out that brand of justice.

  14. Watching this I would have tried to remove the woman with physical force first. I wouldn’t immediately shoot only because there is no clear shot due to the child continually walking up and kicking the woman, and the way the woman was hunched over the other while the attack was happening. The gunshot, and having the attacker’s blood splatter over a woman and her child, would probably cause much more damage than the very horrible beating that took place.

    The absolute easiest thing to do would have been get involved by offering audible commands and then escalating to physical removal. Once 1 person steps in to help in front of a crown that large, it gives the rest of the crowd permission to intervene.

    With all that being said… if she would have touched a hair on that child’s head.. I would have shot her in the face and accepted any legal consequence happily.

  15. I certainly would have had to intervene, there is no way I could have slept that night without doing something, And yes I would have had to draw my weapon, Her friends would have jumped in like a pack of dogs, But most thugs only think for themselves and are usually cowards, that’s why the bully jumped in when she thought she had back up. Ugh..this video makes me sick.

  16. As a spectator. No shoot. As the victim if I have a gun here the assailant wouldn’t have gotten close enough to need to be shot.

  17. I would have inserted myself at least to the verbal threat of violence. Now, I think shooting would have been justified after the kick on the ground. I was a disparity of force case between the victim and the aggressor from the start. The kick shown could very likely lead to permanent spinal cord damage. For me, I would have considered a disparity of force based on my size and age.
    I also think that where you are would make a world of difference on the likelihood of being charged if you used your gun to stop this threat.

  18. Let me ask the question… What if the victim were your wife and child were your son? Today’s society is a coward society. To say the assault didn’t constitute lethal is ones opinion. You can just as likely die from ones hands and feet as you could a crow bar and hammer. I would have drawn my weapon and expect the attacker would stop but if not, im not going to wait until the victim has permanent brain damage before I engage

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