Police Arriving On Scene Caught On Camera

Ok, stick with me this is going to be a bit of a story but it's worth reading through this…

Concealed Carry Holder Florida Church Burglar

In early April of 2016 a NBC news team was driving down the road when they stumbled upon a man who had a firearm pointed at another man outside a church. They pulled over and started filming. This created a unique video because we got to see the arrival of police on the scene and the man taken into custody. Most of the time news teams only get a few witness reports and maybe a statement from the police.

What Happened?

A man was called and asked to head over to his church to board up the doors which had been broken into earlier that evening. He took his concealed carry pistol with him just in case.

When he arrived he found the burglar on the scene attempting to break in again. He drew his firearm and “held” the suspect at gun point until the police arrived.

The news team started filming only a few minutes before the police arrived on scene.

When the police arrive them come on scene firearms drawn on the burglar and they successfully arrest him and submit him to custody.

As far as one can tell from the video the police wholly ignore the concealed carry Good Samaritan.

The Video:

I Have to Say A Few Things?

A lot of things about this surprised me. While I'm super glad to see another instance of justified concealed carry in action I also can't help as an instructor address a few of the greatest “learnings” from this incident.

We don't know what dispatch was told or what dispatch told the officers. Do NOT expect that your experience is going to be as positive or as good as it was for this gun owner.

The gun owner has one of the worst handgun grips and stances I've seen. Perhaps he started with a flawless grip and after waiting 10 minutes for cops his arms got tired? Either way please don't show this to people without pointing out how poor the gun grip is (Proper Handgun Grip).

The gun owner says repeatedly (at least I think it is what I hear) “Don't move.” These words are submitting the burglar to custody or preventing their escape with the threat of deadly force. Depending on the local laws and the feelings of the DA, the gun owner could be charged with aggravated assault or menacing. In most states gun owners don't have the right to prevent escape with the threat or use of deadly force. More on that with this article (When Does Citizens Arrest Become Assault) or this Podcast Episode (Why Gun Owners Are Getting Charged With Felonies).

There is also a point when the gun owner says “Drop your hands and I'll drop you.” Making threats like that may or may not be crossing a line, HOWEVER, there is something to be said for ensuring you can see the attacker's hands at any given point. What looks to be a very simple standoff could turn deadly when their hands drop down and retrieve a gun from their waistline or jacket.

When the cops arrive the gun owner doesn't seem too concerned with his own safety. I was shocked to see how readily the law enforcement  officers ignore the guy holding the gun. It worked out in this instance, but we teach students to work at making sure law enforcement sees them right away as the victim and to re-holster or set the gun down on the ground once its clear the officers are in control of the situation.

In this case we didn't see law enforcement make any requests of the gun owner but always be prepared to comply quickly with any instructions given by law enforcement when they arrive on the scene.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of ConcealedCarry.com. ConcealedCarry.com provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. Dynamicdave on April 7, 2016 at 10:02 am

    Leave it to the writer to point out things to land the CC man in jail. Look, you pull a gun, you tell him not to move. He says, “F*** you, you ain’t shooting nobody” and walks away. There is a major flaw there. Especially if you feel the man could be a threat to others. Who is to say? Point is, I would have held him, as well. Did the man have a tool (something to use for breathing and entering)? Probably. Hence, a potential weapon. I will not allow him to dictate the situation.

    • Michael on April 7, 2016 at 10:31 am

      DD, that’s your decision on what you’d like to do. Jacob was simply pointing out the fine line that is very important to understand: in most states, you do not have the right to hold someone against their will with deadly force. Once you order someone not to move, you’re holding them against their will. That part is usually legal: i.e. citizen’s arrest. However, making that citizen’s arrest with the threat of deadly force is when the line is crossed and could end with you being arrested as well.

      If you were to tell him to “stop” because of immediate danger to yourself or property while threatening deadly force, that is also ok. Once the immediate danger is no longer there, you are no longer allowed to threaten deadly force.

      I’m not saying the law is right and neither is Jacob. Honestly, the law is most likely flawed: The perp may have had his own concealed firearm. After the immediate threat is no longer apparent and the defender holsters his firearm, the perp could try to run or draw his own firearm…or a combination of both: he runs around the corner, draws his firearm, and retaliates from a better vantage point.

      At the end of the day, we should make a decision beforehand about how we will/would handle such a situation and understand the possible consequences of our decisions.

      • Jacob Paulsen on April 7, 2016 at 10:35 am

        Michael, thank you. You said it better than I could have.

        • Jay on May 29, 2016 at 7:23 am

          As a firearm instructor I Monday quarterback these types of incidents, pick them apart and use them as a tool. With that said let me put my helmet on and pick this one apart for a learning experience.

          (The following statement is of my opinion. I am not a licensed attorney and am not a current local or federal law enforcement officer.)

          If I had been the responding private citizen to the church and came upon a suspect attempting to break in: I would of backed away from the situation, looked around me (situation awareness), taken cover and or concealment (probably would of got back into my car) and called 911. Breaking into a unoccupied building (I’m assuming no one was inside the church at the time) in some states my not be a felony. In the state of Florida a private citizen can only use deadly force or threaten to use deadly force to stop a forcible felony (also to stop the imminent threat of great bodily hard or death) and breaking into a building clearly is not a forcible felony.

          So the question is did this private person follow the letter of the law, did he know the law (I’m not sure what state this occurred in nor do I know that states laws) and was he correct in his actions. That’s up to law enforcement to answer.

          I am always on the side of always deescalating a situation and this private citizen escalated it. What was so important in the church that insurance couldn’t of taken care of. On a side note if this private citizen had used deadly force the suspect my of been able to sue (if he had lived after being shot) the church but that would depend on the state. In Florida if a private citizen uses deadly force legally and under the color of the law than they can’t be sued civilly.

          Helmet now off.

          Excuse any typos due to me using a smart phone to reply.

          Overall I think this was a dumb decision of this guy but this is just my opinion and we all have one.

      • Dynamicdave on April 7, 2016 at 2:47 pm

        I have pulled my weapon 3 ones. Once to stop a man from charging my car to attack a woman who ran behind me for protection. I ordered him to stop, he didn’t until he made his way around the back of my car to where I had to click back my hammer and warned him he was going to get shot. He finally did stop and run away, hence, he never got shot. Another time was to stop a man from beating his 8 month old gf to death. I got subpoenaed to court to testify against him on that one. The 3rd time was a man and woman getting out of their car and approaching my car. They had hit their brakes in front of me to force me to stop I got out of my car from behind my door, pulled my gun and ordered them to get back in their car. They did and drove off. Point to all that, I never ordered them to not move, only to leave or get shot.

      • steve on April 7, 2016 at 5:19 pm

        every citizen has the RIGHT to perform a “CITIZENS ARREST” on a criminal who is committing a crime…once they are under arrest, THEY CAN NOT LEAVE…PERIOD…and like a cop, you can do whatever is necessary to effect the arrest…

        • Jacob Paulsen on April 7, 2016 at 5:27 pm

          Steve, I’m not saying I disagree that it should be the way you describe but as far as the law goes it isn’t the case in most states. In most states Citizens Arrest cannot be performed with the threat of or use of deadly force.

          • Dynamicdave on April 7, 2016 at 7:26 pm

            Jacob, Nevada is a bit different. As I mentioned earlier, the clown who was charging me put me in imminent danger. He was ordered to stop when he was about 20 yards away. He didn’t. When he reached the back side of my car and was coming around it, I clicked the hammer back and told him he was going to get shot. I was pointing my gun at him for a cavity shot. Only then, did he stop. When the police arrived, I explained what happened, they arrested him and told me to have a good night and I was free to go home. But, for the record, I never told him not to move. If I had, it STILL would not have been considered kidnapping. Now, I will agree that the guy on the video was holding his weapon improperly. I just don’t agree with your take on how he could have been charged for kidnapping, etc.. Neither, apparently, did the police. Did the guy have any tools? Screwdriver, etc.? If a man has knife, puts it down, turns to walk away, can we stop him? Yes, we can. Citizens arrest. Yes, it’s unfortunate that liberals try to protect the guilty, but I will not let this criminal escape to possibly commit a crime somewhere else. Possibly injuring or killing someone because I was scared of possible ramifications. I have been carrying, as a civilian, for 20 years. 3 instances in that time. All within the last 3 years. Lad Vegas is not a nice place. Too many transients, Meth heads, crack dealers/users. Many, many home invasions. You try to do it the liberals way, and you or someone else will end up a victim. I do not plan on leaving Las Vegas. It’s my home. I will continue handling trouble as I have. Maybe other states have different laws. Maybe that’s why I choose to live here. Familiarity is a great thing.

          • Jacob Paulsen on April 8, 2016 at 10:12 am

            Good input Dave. Thank you!

        • Matthew on April 8, 2016 at 10:05 am

          Steve, I would double check with the law regarding to citizens arrest and confirm it allows for a citizens arrest for any ‘crime’. Most states only allow citizens arrests for felonies, and in fact don’t even allow officers to make arrests for misdemeanors not committed in their presence. So there is a legal distinction between a felony crime and a misdemeanor crime. And you said ‘whatever is necessary to effect the arrest’. You need to be careful not to leave out reasonably necessary based on the specific crime the person is being detained for. Not saying you are wrong about your state laws, but the broad statement you made would worry me that you may open yourself up to some unnecessary liability.

      • coyotehunter on April 9, 2016 at 7:33 am

        Really?…You sit around the fireplace and run all kinds of scenarios through your head and solve how you would handle each…Every situation is different, there is no way you can make a “decision” on every possible scenario until it happens, thats why ccw is such a heavy responsibility….thats why we train hard and hope we never have an encounter…

    • Chuck on April 7, 2016 at 12:54 pm

      Perhaps you meant to say b-r-e-a-k-i-n-g and entering. Breathing is only a crime if you’ve been executed and yet remain alive. Then the punishment for breathing is death.

      • Dynamicdave on April 7, 2016 at 2:48 pm

        Spell check. Sorry.

    • Gary M on April 7, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      What you say may seem logical, but depending upon the State you re in, you could actually be charged with a crime yourself. Funny how some state laws seem to protect the criminal. Just because you have a CC permit, does not make you a law enforcement officer. Here, IN NYS, you had better be in imminent danger, life threatening, before you pull your gun, much less use it. It would have been better if this person had the “suspect” lie prone on the ground with his hands over his head. In a standing position the guy could make a sudden move to get away, try to draw a hidden weapon, or otherwise spook the person holding the gun. Fi he were flat on theground, withhadns over his head, it woul dbe much harder to get up or try to draw a weapon much less aim it. Finally, as the article apptly points out, the posture of the gun holder , his arm and feet position would just about guarantee an errant shot, perhaps hitting an unsuspecting bystander. Finally and this seems like the complete irony, even if he is found to be 100% within his rights, in many cases a civil suit is almost certain to follow. The good samaritan may have won the day from a criminal standpoint, yet suffer extreme financial hardshp in both defending himself in a civil suit and possibly losing and having to pay a ridiculous sum to this guy or his family. To that end, anyone who has a permit to carry should also carry at least 1 million dollars in insurance.

      • Dynamicdave on April 7, 2016 at 7:35 pm

        That’s why I like NV. Imminent danger is the rule. I use common sense. I have been fortunant not to have shot anyone, as a civilian. Judges out here have zero tolerance with families and criminals making frivolous lawsuits. Cops back us legal gun owners. I have never had a police officer in Las Vegas give me a hard time over me and my weapon. For one thing, I usually open carry. Two, I’m am well groomed, dressed. I look more like a cop than I do a shady individual. I carry myself with confidence and don’t smoke or even drink. Police are good at spotting bad individuals, suspicious individuals. I just don’t fit that mold.

  2. Matthew on April 7, 2016 at 10:42 am

    Great Article pointing out the real life considerations to be assessed by anyone choosing to use their firearm. Civilians are not law enforcement and are not protected in the same ways against liability, and not given the same powers of arrest and detention. Most states allow citizens to use deadly force only if there is reasonable and honest belief of death or serious bodily injury to themselves or others. You may have a tough time in court selling the idea that a burglar with a screwdriver walking away from you after you interrupted them trying to break into your building is creating a situation causing immediate death or serious bodily injury to you or anyone else. So this is where the civilian detention with threat of deadly force can sometimes create an issue. Thankfully in this incident, detaining the burglar with deadly force did not result in any issues for the concealed carrier, but the same incident in different states or jurisdictions could result in a different outcome.

    Many people don’t understand the nuances of the law and how their actions and words can affect things. Many people have never spent any time in a courtroom or time understanding how an investigation is conducted, and therefor are under the misconception that they can utter the words ‘I felt threatened’ and anything they do is somehow justified. Most don’t even consider the civil case that will often times be worse than a criminal investigation. Thanks for presenting useful information for everyone to at least take into consideration. Great incident to spawn discussion.

  3. jim- on April 7, 2016 at 10:52 am

    If he was called to board up the church he is probably on the board of trustees and also might be an off duty leo and known to the local police. Just my take.

  4. Jeffrey on April 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    These are all good points that I did not know and never even considered as I own my weapon for personal defense only and never considered using it in a case such as this. I know now that I have even more to study for where I live and even more to consider on what or what not to do if I encounter such situations.

    • coyotehunter on April 9, 2016 at 7:45 am

      Look up your states laws of what you can do and cannot do, or shouldn’t do…also check out what opinion your county/city prosecutor has towards ccw, or firearms in general, and also get the name of a good defense attorney….train often and hope you never have to use it…

  5. Donald Schultz on April 7, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    Good read.

    I was surprised the first officer on the scene seemed to walk straight into the CCP guy’s potential line of fire. I can only assume she saw the CCP guy drop his gun hand which the video didn’t show. Yes the CCP guy needs some marksmanship training

    I saw the CCP guy at the end of this video with his gun at a low ready walk off to the right toward the direction where the group of officers came from. I like to think I would have hit the decocker and holstered by that point. Might be hard to do between the Adrenalin
    and all the other guns being out, even in police hands. I would guess he had a fair amount of talking and paper work to do by the night’s end.

    To DynamicDave’s point. I don’t see what CCP people do about that. My training here in Illinois the training made it a strong point that if some one turns and runs away, they are not a threat to the CCP person and there is no justification to firing at them. Kinda tough if they have a gun in hand and were a threat a second before. I don’t see a big difference between a runner and an F*** You walker before the law. I also don’t see threatening a threat as assault.

    Lastly, I found the look on the burglar’s face, including what I think was a sore typical of meth users heartbreaking. I pray that somehow this event lead to him getting effective rehab and back on a track that will give him some worthwhile life.

  6. Colt45 on April 7, 2016 at 2:35 pm

    The important thing here is the thug was caught and arrested and no one was hurt.

  7. Les Johnson on April 7, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    This puts me in the position of thinking about political correctness which has gotten WAY out of hand. So what do we do … hollar at perp, tell him to get his a– outta there and walk on down the road OR stop and call 911 and walk away OR be a good citizen and protect the Church? I guess we could piss the perp off, have him come at us THEN pull our permitted concealed carry weapon. And if he pulls his gun? Now somebody gets hurt or worse. I would think the leo’s would be grateful for the assist

  8. Judy on April 7, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    Maybe the cops knew this guy and knew what he was about to do. Therefore, concentrating on the criminal instead of the good Samaritan. At least, I know how to hold a gun…..

  9. Tionico on April 7, 2016 at 3:59 pm

    no mention of which state. Some states allow the use of deadly force to hold a person caught in committing a frlony, some to stop a crime in progress, some to protect property. Being, as it would seem, an official of the church he has an abiding interest in protecting the properrty. We also don’t know if the hero encountered the perp inside the building or whether he was inside when the perp entered. Castle would clearly permit use of lethal force if an occupied building was breached by the perp.

    And last, I imagine the hero had been on the phone with LE and had carefully described himself and the perp. Dispatch had done their job well and conveyed this info to LE enroute so they seamlessly performed the appropriate action.

    • Jacob Paulsen on April 7, 2016 at 4:08 pm


  10. Bill on April 7, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    What’s wrong with the first cop on the scene? TURN YOUR DAMN SIREN OFF! How is the Officer or ANYbody supposed to hear his/her commands?

  11. Wayne on April 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm

    I think the article said he walked up on the guy trying to break back into the church. That would have been a felony in progress & could be why he got by with holding him at gunpoint. Just my thought.
    Anyway, glad nobody got hurt & the bad guy got caught.

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