This is a first-hand account of a self-defense liability insurance incident experienced by a Second Call Defense member. The names have been changed to preserve anonymity.
It was a chilly January evening when I finished work around 8:00 PM. I promised my girlfriend Julie that I would bring dinner home, so I stopped at a convenience store where a food truck was parked in the lot. As I sat in my car, counting the money I had for dinner, I noticed two men, clad in jeans and hoodies, approaching my SUV through the windshield.
I had driven through this neighborhood often and was well aware of its reputation for being less than safe. At that moment, my instincts switched to high alert, and I reached down at my side to ensure my 9mm semiautomatic pistol, safely holstered inside my waistband, was within reach if needed.
The larger of the two men approached my SUV and rapped on the window. I cracked it open, and he asked with a smile, “Hey buddy, can you give me a jump? My battery is dead.“
Initially relieved that he hadn’t asked for my dinner money, it looked like he just needed some assistance on this cold winter night. I decided to offer a helping hand, driven by my desire to perform a good deed. Everyone can use some help every now and then.
“Sure, no problem,” I replied. “Where’s your car?”
He motioned for me to follow him around the corner to the side of the store, where I saw an older sedan parked with the hood up. I pulled my SUV into the adjacent parking space and stepped out. The side lot was dimly lit, far from the main store lights and the bustling food truck.
As I stepped out of my SUV, I asked, “Do you have jumper cables?“
“No, uh, I don’t.“
“No problem,” I replied as I opened the rear lift gate of my SUV to retrieve my own jumper cables from the back. It was then that the larger man struck me forcefully on the back of the head. In that instant, I realized I had fallen into a trap, and a robbery or something worse was unfolding before me.
I quickly turned around and found myself looking down the barrel of a pistol. I saw multiple flashes from the muzzle and my brain immediately flashed – this guy is shooting at me! At that point, I instinctively drew my pistol, aimed it at the armed man, who stood only a few feet away, and pulled the trigger twice. I didn’t even think about it, I acted out of pure fear and muscle memory.
Both shots hit my assailant squarely in the torso, and he immediately fell to the ground. I don’t’ think he expected it. His buddy took one look at me with eyes the size of dish plates, another at my pistol, and raced off.
With adrenaline coursing through me, I dialed 911 on my cell phone to report the incident. However, the operator’s questions seemed endless, and my wounded assailant was still on the ground. I hesitated to provide more details, mindful that 911 operators are trained to keep callers on the line. With sirens approaching in the distance, I hung up and awaited the arrival of law enforcement inside the store.
I couldn’t remember clearly what happened after that. I guess I was in shock. The police arrived and I directed them to the downed attacker. Then, the police handcuffed me and had me sit in the back of a police van. The isolation left me feeling helpless and isolated, with a flood of anxious thoughts about my future. I’m not the bad guy here, why did they handcuff me? Will I see Julie again? Did I do something wrong? Will I have an arrest record now? Will Julie still want a relationship with me if I am charged with a crime and end up in jail? Am I going to lose my job?
I jumped a bit when the back of the van opened suddenly, bathing the interior with intermittent flashes of red and blue light from the police cars and ambulance. “We need to take you to the station for questioning,” one of the officers informed me.
At the police station, I found myself in a room reminiscent of a TV crime drama, complete with a chair, desk, and phone. Two detectives introduced themselves and began asking questions. My response was clear: “I need to talk to my lawyer.“
I retrieved my Second Call Defense membership card from my wallet and handed it to the detective. He called the emergency hotline phone number. Sean Maloney, an attorney with Second Call Defense said, “The hotline Operator called me directly and told me she had a Homicide Detective on the line. I knew one of our members needed immediate help. I took the call and spoke with the detective who confirmed my credentials.”
The detective activated the speakerphone and put it face up on the table. My lawyer requested that the detectives step out of the room so he and I could confer privately.
Once the detective left the room, I explained what happened. “Let’s bring in the detective right now, if you’re okay with that,” suggested my attorney. I said that I was, and I called the detective back into the room. With the phone speaker on and my lawyer listening in, I recounted the events, guided by my attorney’s counsel.
The detective asked me more questions. My lawyer stayed on the phone the entire time and made several legal points, things I didn’t know anything about. It was a huge relief to have my attorney on the line. This was the first time I had ever been in a police station, let alone being questioned by law enforcement, and he made me feel confident talking with the detectives.
Once he had no further questions, the lead detective explained that I was free to go and that he would have an officer give me a ride home. I credit the Second Call Defense attorney and his expertise for resolving the issue then and there.
Even though I live in a Constitutional Carry where citizens don’t need a permit to carry a concealed weapon, I am glad I decided to get training anyway. My firearms instructor recommended that I join Second Call Defense, and I am eternally grateful to him that I did.
Reflecting on that fateful night, it all happened in a split second, leaving no time for hesitation. It was nothing like what you see in movies or TV shows.
On a side note, Julie and I are now happily married. My heartfelt thanks go to Second Call Defense for their unwavering support in my time of need.
*Second Call Defense is not insurance and does not sell or promote insurance products. Second Call Defense is a membership organization that provides its members access to the “Second Amendment Support Foundation, Inc.,” which provides the means necessary to protect Second Call Defense members from the legal aftermath of exercising their right to self-defense. For an overview of the differences between Second Call Defense Member Benefits and traditional insurance, click here.