Carjacking Victim Retaliates Against Carjacker


Even in parts of the US, carjacking is incredibly common! (Detroit, for instance, has 2 a day) Knowing effective carjacking defense is a useful skill for self-defenders to have, and knowing the limits of that defense is important too.

UPDATE: According to this news story, the PM says that the guy made a furtive gesture while he was trying to arrest him, and that’s why he shot him. my guess is that it’ll hold up for him as the video doesn’t disprove that, and he should get the benefit of the doubt. Note, though, that part of this is him claiming that he’s apprehending the guy as a LEO, so that kind of thing is only going to go so far.

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News story on this carjacking: Notice in this story (Google Translate required from Spanish) the PM said that the guy threatened to kill him, though the video seems to show that he was out of the danger zone. Also, the perp’s gun was fake. Nothing the PM could do about that in the moment, though.

What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against a carjacking?

  1. Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. The stupid teens used the cover of the door and the transitional space to launch their robbery from obscurity, which made the clerk react quickly and before he could process the information. Cars become transitional spaces when they’re stopped. If you’re in a stopped vehicle, you’re in a transitional space.
  2. Perhaps the biggest benefit of situational awareness is that it buys you time and space to respond to a threat, and time and space buy you options when considering how to protect yourself and your loved ones from a threat. Time and space give you the chance to escape and evade, or time and space to get your force multiplier in the fight, and time and space to better your defensive position and give you a better chance to be victorious. The news story says that the victim here was distracted by texting with friends on his phone. Doing that on a public road takes your awareness away and makes you a more likely target of attack!
  3. If the attacker has a gun drawn on you, there is nothing you’re going to do in that moment to get your gun into the fight. It’s just not going to happen, and this video shows that well. You cannot draw from the drop! When someone has the drop on you, with a gun out and attention on you, it’s suicide to go for your gun. You have to earn your draw against the drop, and you earn that draw by either waiting for a moment of distraction for the armed robber (like if he looks away to check for people coming) or by closing the gap and using empty-handed skills to take his opportunity to use his gun away. If you don’t do either of those, you will likely be shot before your gun is in the fight.
  4. In almost all instances and jurisdictions you cannot use deadly physical force to defend property. (Texas is the rare exception to this, but recognize that TPC 9.42 has some significant limitations) Even in cases where you COULD use deadly physical force to defend property, it’s worth considering whether it is WISE to use deadly physical force because of the risk to yourself and to any bystanders that could come because you choose to continue to engage the criminal(s). That doesn’t usually apply to occupied buildings and cars because of the inherent value of the people inside of them, and the defense of property does vary considerably from state to state as to what’s acceptable. Please consult with a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction to be sure that you understand the laws of your area!
  5. One of the five pillars of lawful, moral self-defense is “imminence,” (get a nutshell here: or the whole concept here: ). Imminence means the threat is happening RIGHT NOW, that it’s neither too late nor too early for you to defend yourself! The standard of imminence is seen as a triad of ability, opportunity, and jeopardy (also known as the AOJ triad, which is explained here: in some detail). In this carjacking, imminence means that unless someone was in the car, and THEIR life is still

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Music in the outro used with permission from Bensound at


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