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Open Carrier Killed With (likely) Own Gun


Tyler, a customer at the BP station, was killed about 8:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 25, inside the store. According to court papers, Smith and Hamiel arrived at the BP together on a single scooter and followed Tyler into the store.

Tyler, 48, had a concealed-carry permit, but his handgun was plainly visible that night in his holster, Johnson said.

“The suspects walk in and one immediately reached for Mr. Tyler’s gun,” Johnson said. Tyler did not draw his weapon.

After his gun was taken, he decided to chase them.

44 Responses to “Open Carrier Killed With (likely) Own Gun”

  1. Alan Says:

    Maybe killed with own gun. They don’t know for sure.

  2. Lazy Bike Commuter Says:

    I don’t criticize people for open carry, but this is one reason that I don’t do it. I think I’ve got much less chance of having it taken if they don’t know I have it.

    Very sad story.

  3. A Critic Says:

    This is why I concealed carry when I open carry.

  4. Jerry Says:

    And THAT is my whole argument against open carry. You can do what you want, and by you, I meant anyone who isn’t me. I’ll keep my covered.

  5. Paul B Says:

    What about retention. Any holster that is meant to be open carried has some kind of retention system. If your open carry and don’t have some kind of system to keep the gun in the holster your are bound to have issues.

    Too bad about the citizen. Situational awareness.

  6. That Guy Says:

    Retention won’t mean much if the guys knows how to operate it- like if there is a big, obvious button or thumbstrap on the holster.

    I fully support the freedom to open carry. But I would never do it myself.

  7. SayUncle Says:

    Alan, true. But I’d bet on it.

  8. Bryan S. Says:

    Snaps, switches and the like are not retention devices. Why? because bad guys have fingers and thumbs. Very, very few holsters actually work in retention mode.

    Very, very few open carriers take a retention class. Its well worth the time. I learned more about carrying in one afternoon than I did reading for days on the intertubes.

  9. chris Says:

    First documented example I have heard of someone being attacked and/or targeted because they OC. One example is not going to make me stop open carrying.

  10. Robb Allen Says:

    FINALLY!!!! A SINGLE story for the open-carry haters to latch onto like Jerry Sandusky grabs a Boy’s Life magazine with a centerfold!!!!

    It’s about time we heard of one story of this happening. It now contradicts millions of non-events to prove that OC is dangerous and that you will have your gun taken from you.

    Man, using the ‘single instance proves the whole thing’ mindset, I might just have to join the Brady’s since there have been CCW holders who committed crimes so that PROVES CCW holders are all criminals.

    Or, maybe I’ll just use logic, think it through and realize an anecdote or two per decade doesn’t really point to anything.

  11. SayUncle Says:

    Robb, happened before. Robbery. As more OC occurs, more OCers will likely be targeted. I don’t oppose OC but I don’t recommend it either.

  12. Robb Allen Says:

    Uncle, hence the “an anecdote or two” line.

    Sure it happens every here and there. You’re more likely to get carjacked with your fancy car than you are to get your gun taken while / attacked for openly carrying yet you didn’t let that stop you from buying it over, say a rusty 81 Pinto, right?

    The ‘added danger’ for being attacked for OC’ing is infinitesimally small and is lower than the added benefits.

    Just because you’re not comfortable with it or do not like it does not mean it’s unsafe or a bad idea. The social stigma behind OC is generally enough reason to not do it for most people. But for safety and avoiding ‘being attacked first’, I’ll believe that when there are dozens upon dozens of stories a month of OCers losing their heaters or lives.

  13. Bob Owens Says:

    Bad situation awareness, worse judgement on the part of the victim. If you want to open carry that is certainly your right, but until I develop eye stalks with 360-degree vision, I’ll opt to keep mine concealed.

  14. Pakkinpoppa Says:

    I think about the only time I’ve ever Open Carried is at a “private” rifle range. And then, it was due to being up there by myself.

    I was:
    Open Carry (at the time, a SIG 228)
    Concealed Carry (at the time… Ruger SP or Speed Six, I forget which)
    Open Carry one of the rifles downrange when checking targets. Which, as there were a few vehicles that drove in while I was checking targets and quickly left, a good thing I’m imagining.

  15. MSJ Says:

    OC + the Buddy System.

  16. rightisright Says:

    “After his gun was taken, he decided to chase them.”

    Not smart.

  17. ATLien Says:

    Anything I’m thinking right now is horrible and not fit to post. Thanks for posting the article, tho, Unc.

  18. Matthew Carberry Says:


    I don’t disagree with you on the likelihood of this being overblown but don’t elide the simple truth that what someone doesn’t know you have they cannot specifically target you for. Using your car example, its the difference between driving your Taurus SHO all pimped out or with the badges removed. Sure you may be carjacked in either vehicle, but in the vanilla-looking Taurus it won’t be because someone wanted an SHO.

    A person with a properly concealed firearm will never be specifically targeted to have that firearm stolen; an OC-er may be, however unlikely an event that may be.

    It is a very real potential downside to OC that simply doesn’t exist with CC and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand out of defensiveness over less justifiable criticisms of OC.

    Much like the probability of actually needing to use a defensive firearm at all is very small but that small probability justifies looking into regularly carrying a firearm “just in case”; it is equally worth thinking hard about OC vs. CC based on the very small chance one could be targeted for gun theft due to having a valuable firearm exposed for the miniscule amount of bad guys willing to go for it to see.

  19. Laughingdog Says:


    Uncle never made a comment either way on OC here, and no one here suggested anything more than a personal preference to not carry that way. No need to get that fired up to counter a point that was never made in the first place here.

    I think you’ve been put on the defensive on this topic enough that it’s turning into a reflex.

  20. Ghostcat Says:

    The cold hard facts just don’t support the contention of any significantly greater risk for the open carrier. 100’s of thousands of guns are open carried safely everyday by Police officers, Security personnel, and private Citizens. Of the small number of incidents where there have been incidents of targeting by criminals the vast majority could have been prevented or mitigated by greater situational awareness of the victim.

  21. NavyDoc Says:

    As far as the retention issue goes, a button or strap actually does slow the bad guys draw enough for you to put a hand down and prevent it from coming out. I tried this with a dummy gun on a buddy’s SERPA. It was surprisingly difficult due to the angle of the holster/button (designed to be pulled from a specific direction) and I myself use a SERPA for my M9, so I’m very familiar with it. Think about how much a person has to practice to smoothly and quickly draw from such holsters; and that’s assuming they’re familiar with their operation.

    While I do agree that OC could make you a target, some situational awareness and technique would have prevented this. Ever notice how cops will casually “rest” the heel of their hand on the butt of their service weapon if someone gets too close? The technique they use doesn’t look intentional or threatening, but guarantees control of the weapon.

    Finally the obvious… If somebody has just taken your gun don’t chase them. This would be nothing but a police report if hadn’t run after them.

  22. wizardpc Says:

    Ever notice how cops will casually “rest” the heel of their hand on the butt of their service weapon if someone gets too close?

    That works for cops, because people aren’t going to flip out and think “Oh my gawd! He thinks he’s Wyatt Earp!”

  23. John Smith. Says:

    This is why I carry more than 1 pistol… Pay attention to your surroundings. Carrying is just one part of OC. Not becoming complacent is the other.

  24. Gunnutmegger Says:

    Since so few people OC, these “few” examples of OC practitioners being targeted is a higher incidence than it would appear at first glance.

    If you were to count the incidents of police being the victims of gun-grabs, the numbers look much worse.

  25. Rabbit Says:

    Yeah, it’s a sad situation. It’s also unfortunate that the State didn’t pick up and do its preventive maintenance on these kids in 2007 and 2010 (or most likely earlier) when they were before the court at those times.

  26. jeffersonian Says:

    Finally! Thank you Rabbit for pointinig out the obvious problem. Serious. These punks should have never been on the street.

    Good God that took a long time.

  27. Brad Says:

    How sad. Bad tactics to chase the bad guys. Good argument for a retention holster and/or carrying with an empty chamber though.

  28. Gunnutmegger Says:

    Retention holster = good.

    Empty chamber = bad. If you are holding an attacker at bay with your weak hand, you won’t be able to chamber a round.

    A gun that cannot be safely carried with a round in the chamber isn’t a viable choice for self-defense.

  29. Brad Says:

    #24 good point

    You have to wonder at the mentality though of a bad-guy who goes for a gun grab. Awfully reckless and I imagine ends up with a lot more dead bad-guys than good-guys.

    Against the threat of attracting the attention of reckless bad-guys must be balanced the more difficult to quantify benefit of scaring off the bad-guys who are looking for an easy target.

  30. Brad Says:

    #28 off topic

    I won’t go into details since it is off topic, but there are some pretty good reasons put forth for empty chamber carry. Of course that doesn’t mean that I would choose an empty chamber.

  31. Robert Says:

    Anyone know what type of handgun? Glock (where pull trigger = bang) or some other type (that has a separate safety that has to be deactivated)?

  32. MSJ Says:

    Ghostcat- Back in the day it was common the hear the stat throw around that most Police officers where killed with their own gun. As far as I know (haven’t seen new data) better training and better gear have greatly reduced those deaths.

    Also this is one reason I am a fan of carrying a knife on the weak hand side.

  33. Jerry Says:

    K, then. If someone knows what your a’toten, they might try to steal it.

  34. TIM Says:

    I don’t know what to say about this one.I guess one could argue that if he hadn’t been open carrying this probably wouldn’t have happened.But I defiantly don’t think after they got the gun from him he should have chased them after all according to the story that is when they shot him.Of course without some formal police or military training in a situation similar to this who knows what a person should or would do.

  35. Critter Says:

    i’ll just keep on carrying concealed, kthxbi.

  36. pdb Says:

    This sad story isn’t a warning to carry open or concealed, but to keep aware of the risks of both methods.

  37. Steve Torelli Says:

    Personally, the first time I want the bad guy to know I have a gun is when I show it to him.
    Chasing the guy that took his gun was not a good idea. A backup gun is. In some locales OC is the only option, barring that IMHO, it’s far better to carry concealed.
    Someone mentioned retention holsters. I’ve seen them fail too often and under stress, it puts another obstacle between your finger and the trigger. Of course you can’t account for every possibility, this one being an example. But this brings us back to OC where it’s not necessary. The Popo use retention because they carry open and the bad guys know it.

  38. Robb Allen Says:

    Cops getting killed by their own guns != thugs attacking them for their heaters. Cops *grapple* with people all the time. During that time, guns tend to get jostled around and end up occasionally in the hands of those not particularly wanting to be arrested.

    Laughingdog – as someone who has actively pressed for OC to be legalized here in the Gunshine state, I can tell you the most vicious opposition I faced was from ‘gunnies’. Gunnies who are against OC are more rabid than Japete and crew could *ever* amount to. I’m not attacking Uncle, I’m attacking the mindset that somehow, very, very, very rare occurrences are somehow statistically relevant in claiming a particular methodology is unsafe.

    That mindset ends with people fighting against the legalization of OC because they just *KNOW* it’s so dangerous that they need to ensure that they protect dumb people from themselves and not let them do something that is just so darned obvious that it’s dangerous!

  39. Robb Allen Says:

    HOWEVER… I agree that I tend to have a Pavlovian response to negative OC stories, and for that, I apologize if I came off all rabid and dicky.

  40. John Smith. Says:

    Amazing what a trip to Pittsburgh did to fix anti OCer’s

  41. Paul Says:

    Yes he was killed with his own gun. But the gun may have been used to kill ANOTHER person blocks away. That is what the forensics are checking.

    Keep it concealed folks. The life you save may be your own.

  42. Jennifer Says:

    We can discuss the tactical advantages/disadvantages all we want, but can we all at least agree that it should be legal to choose your method of carry?

  43. SteveA Says:

    I absolutely despise people who CC & look down on those who OC. People like that are worse than the anti-gunners & I personally wish they would all eat a bullet.
    Fuck you elitist bastards.
    Rant over

  44. Matt Says:

    I tend to OC at least weekly here in the Volunteer State, and see more people doing so regularly, even older folks. Never had any problems except the occasional surprised comment.

    That said, rather than the police trick of putting the palm of the hand on top of the weapon, I have another method. My right arm will drop and block access to my weapon by anyone but myself. An arm or elbow on top of it is a non-chalant method of improved retention, IMHO.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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