Off Duty Officer Hit Trying to Stop Armed Robbery

Shootout Between Officers and Armed Robber Caught from Multiple Angles | Active Self Protection
Shootout Between Officers and Armed Robber Caught from Multiple Angles | Active Self Protection

This shootout between Dundalk, Maryland officers and a known armed robber is one of the craziest that I have ever seen. SO much to learn here that it’s the l...


Even as a bystander in an armed robbery you can become a target, so you better have the attitude, skills, and plan to get yourself to safety. This officer did a pretty good job!

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News stories on the officer and the armed robbery: and

What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against an armed robbery?

  1. 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. Here the cop didn’t see the armed robbery before it started (not blaming him; that’d be a tough call) and that meant he was definitely at a disadvantage.
  2. Real life self-defense encounters are chaotic and there is seldom ability to focus solely on one threat. When there are multiple attackers (or potential attackers) present especially, focusing too much on one threat could be a deadly mistake. We must maintain awareness in a fight for our life not only of the immediate threat but threats all around us, and that takes great training not to get tunnel vision. The officer here did a great job of making sure that the multiple threats didn’t get ignored.
  3. One of your biggest priorities in a deadly force encounter must be mobility. When you’re stuck somewhere, it makes you much easier to target and take out of the fight! We see this happen when people are at a desk and sitting. If you see a threat approaching, maximize your mobility to maximize your options!
  4. It’s a morally acceptable choice in an armed robbery to simply give the armed robber what they want. Only you can decide in the moment if the attacker is using their force multiplier as an intimidation tool or if they really intend to do you harm, and giving up your phone or wallet to escape the danger zone can be an acceptable choice. Either way, you must count the potential cost of your life vs. your possessions and take the best action that protects your life, which is infinitely more valuable than your things.
  5. Do not stay in the danger zone if you can possibly help it. So many times people get decision paralysis and freeze, but you cannot stay in a place where a deadly threat exists! Either act to leave the area, or act to protect yourself. Every second you give an attacker is another opportunity they have to do you and yours harm, so don’t allow that. If you can, get out of there immediately. If you can’t, then look for your opportunity to ensure your own safety by whatever means necessary. Before your Kung Fu, and before your Gun Fu, you should consider whether your best defense is Run Fu!

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Attitude. Skills. Plan.

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Music in the outro used with permission from Bensound at