This is a first-hand account of a self-defense incident experienced by a Second Call Defense member. The names have been changed to preserve anonymity.
It was closing time at the pizzeria. At 11:00 PM, things had finally slowed down on a busy Sunday evening, made even more hectic than usual by the Father’s Day holiday. Eager to head home and unwind, I was determined to get the closing checklist tasks done quickly.
Inside the pizzeria, it was just me, my coworker Jimmy, and our supervisor, Ted. I had just finished sweeping the floor, so I returned to the kitchen to fill a water bucket and perform a final pass with a wet mop. Meanwhile, Ted was in the back office, wrapping up the day’s receipts for the night deposit.
A gentle chime from the front door caught my attention, signaling the arrival of someone. It wasn’t unusual for us to leave the door unlocked, allowing friends or family members who were giving employees a ride home to enter the store without slowing us down.
Peering over the counter and sales register toward the entrance, I saw two men briskly enter the pizzeria. I didn’t recognize them, but my internal alarm bells went off when I saw the lead individual was wearing a ski mask. No one wears a ski mask indoors, let alone in May. I was momentarily paralyzed by shock and then it hit me. We are being robbed! Jimmy and Ted were still in the back, unaware we were about to be robbed, or worse.
The intruders exchanged indecipherable words, but their intentions were clear as the ski-masked man advanced purposefully towards me. He was larger and more imposing than me, and I realized that I stood as the last line of defense between them and Jimmy and Ted in the back. Avoiding a confrontation was the first thing on my mind.
Instinctively, I darted around the corner toward the rear, with the ski-masked man hot on my heels. There was no escape; I found myself with my back against the wall outside the office where Ted was handling the cash. As the attacker rounded the corner, he shouted unintelligibly and approached me, brandishing a metal pipe.
At that moment, I faced a pivotal choice: to be a victim or to fight back. The sight of the metal pipe in the assailant’s hand made it clear he probably wouldn’t be content with just stealing a few hundred dollars; my life was at stake. I deliver pizzas to a lot of less than secure neighborhoods, so I acquired a concealed carry permit and began carrying a .380 semiautomatic pistol for self-defense. I had never imagined needing it in the pizzeria because I always felt safe there.
As the intruder closed in, the space between us quickly evaporated and it was then my training and muscle memory took over. Without hesitation, I raised my pistol and fired three shots at the attacker, with two of them finding their mark—one in the abdomen and another in the chest.
The ski-masked man stumbled, leaned against the wall, and gradually collapsed to the floor. His accomplice witnessed the whole thing, exchanged a brief, fearful glance with me, and hastily fled through the front door. In the meantime, Jimmy made a frantic exit out the back.
I kept my gaze on the incapacitated assailant for a few tense moments before checking on Ted and locating Jimmy, who, although emotionally shaken, did not exhibit any apparent physical injuries. With my cell phone, I promptly dialed 911, following the guidance on my Second Call Defense membership card. I explained the situation, reporting a robbery with an injured assailant in need of medical attention before ending the call.
Still in shock, I awaited the arrival of the police, which felt like an eternity. Surprisingly, the first responders to arrive were from the Highway Patrol rather than an ambulance or the local police.
The officers inquired about the shooter. I admitted to using my pistol in self-defense, and they led me to the back of a squad car and put me in the back seat. Through the window I saw them conferred among themselves. Sitting in the back of that police car, I felt completely alone and helpless, very unfamiliar feelings. I looked down and realized that actual criminals had probably sat in this very seat, and it made me wonder if the police thought I was the bad guy. I kept thinking – Was defending myself, and by virtue preventing harm to Jimmy and Ted, going to put me in jail?
I still had my cell phone, so I called Second Call Defense. Within a few rings I was speaking with an attorney. Thank goodness.
One of the officers saw me on the phone through the rear window of the car and opened the door.
“You shouldn’t be on the phone. Who are you talking to?” asked the officer.
“I’m speaking with my attorney.”
“Okay,” he replied. “But I will need to hold onto your phone once you’re done.”
The lawyer guided me on what to say and what to avoid. His support helped me regain my composure, assuring me of Second Call’s commitment to safeguarding my rights and guiding me through the process.
I spent an agonizing hour and a half in the back of the squad car until my dad arrived to pick me up. The officers released me and my dad drove us home. My attorney requested law enforcement park a unit outside my house and increase patrols in our neighborhood, since there was still an accomplice roaming about. I never would have thought to ask for that, and I felt better with the knowledge that the police were there if we needed them.
The next day, my Second Call Defense attorney joined me at the police station for an interview with detectives. Under the guidance of my attorney, I cooperated during the interview with the detective, providing a truthful account of the incident. They left the room and returned approximately 15 minutes later.
“You’re free to go,” said one of the detectives. I was released. No charges were brought.
I had purchased a Second Call Defense membership about a year prior to the incident, and looking back it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. While I felt remorse for the assailant’s fate, I recognized that my actions were a result of necessity, having only mere seconds to react.
My attorney from Second Call Defense was an unwavering source of support throughout the ordeal. He guided me from the squad car to the interview room, ensuring I avoided self-incrimination and that my rights were upheld. Also, Second Call Defense assisted me replace my pistol (I’m still delivering pizzas) and got me some psychological counseling. I am forever a loyal Second Call Defense member.
I sincerely hope that no one has to endure what I experienced that night, but if you do find yourself in a similar situation, having Second Call Defense (self-defense insurance) by your side is invaluable.
We Got Your Back! Join Second Call Defense today and get our rapid response team with 24-hour emergency legal hotline on your side. Upon receiving your membership, you have access to immediate financial support, immediate bond to get you out of jail as quickly as possible, immediate attorney retainer, so you have your attorney working by your side when you need it most, psychological support and so much more.
Second Call Defense provides immediate up-front self-defense legal protection with nothing out of pocket, nothing to repay ever. The most comprehensive Self-Defense Protection available. You are not alone!
*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.