Larry Wilson arrived at his friend’s house in Tampa, Florida, and knocked. No one came to the door, so Larry knocked again and waited. There was still no answer.
He went around back thinking his friend might be on the patio but, as Larry came around the corner of the house, he heard sounds and strange voices in his friend’s shed and immediately suspected something was up. The shed was where his friend used to store tools and supplies for construction work.
Larry made a point to say the time from his first inkling of trouble to the second he had to fire a shot in self-defense passed very quickly.
He walked toward the shed and, as he listened, knew the dialect of the voices was not that of his friend. That basically confirmed his initial suspicion that someone was robbing the shed.
Larry pulled his Sig Sauer P226 9mm and held it against the side of his leg where it was at the ready as he got closer to the door. He said, “I wasn’t being a cowboy or nothing, I just figured something wasn’t right and I wanted to be prepared.”
He was reaching up to grab the latch and open the door when the door suddenly flew open. He said, “The guys were sitting there and had stuff in their hands but one guy, he raised a gun and pointed it at me and I had my gun pointed at him. But he shot first and his round literally came directly toward my handgun, striking the side of my slide and continuing forward so that it struck me in the thumb.”
Larry said the bullet went into his thumb and came out the back of his hand. He shot back and struck the suspect in abdomen.
He said the suspect retreated into the shed, closed the door but kept shooting. He said bullets were flying out of the shed in every direction (including the direction in which Larry was standing).
Larry said pieces of the shed were flying around striking him in the face, then a bullet hit him on the side of his ribcage. He said he is not sure if the bullet that went through his hand hit his ribcage, or if it was a second bullet that found its mark. He stressed again that the speed at which everything occurred made it all surreal.
He said he fired a couple of rounds then spun around and ran toward the alley.
Upon reaching safety, he called police and officers arrived to arrest the suspects.
When asked what lessons he learned from the incident, Larry said, “For the longest time I told myself I’m going to stand my ground and methodically take aim and fire. But that’s a recipe for disaster.”
He made clear that he was not criticizing being careful in aiming. Rather, he was criticizing the habit of redundantly practicing to draw one’s gun and shoot from a fixed position.
Larry believes that anyone serious about carrying a gun for self-defense needs to mix in shooting from multiple positions and postures, along with shooting from a traditional fixed position. He said that the shootout he experienced taught him that “movement is life.”
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