Man Disarmed And Shot With Own Handgun in Parking Lot

According to WSB 2 News, a man lost his life last week, when he chased after the person who disarmed him inside a Dunkin' Donuts store. I think we can learn something from this tragic story.

Photo: WSB 2 News

DeKalb County, GA Shooting—

Witnesses said that around 9 AM, inside a Dunkin' Donuts, the suspect noticed the victim, called Brian Dykes, carrying a firearm on his waistline. The suspect “grabbed it [the gun] from his [Dykes] pants.” The suspect ran out of the store, and Dykes chased after him.

Dykes caught the suspect outside the store in the parking lot and the two men wrestled over control of the gun. According to news reports, the suspect shot Dykes with his own gun, and then fled to a nearby hotel where he was staying.

After obtaining surveillance videos, police identified the 17-year-old suspect, and arrested him for the murder of Dykes.

A witness inside the Dunkin' Donuts store when the incident took place told WSB 2 News:

I feel like we’re living in our last days. It’s just crazy, you can’t even get coffee. You can’t even get a sub sandwich. You can’t go to the mall.

Photo: Google

Why I don't Care For Open Carry—

It's not my intention to blame the victim of this tragedy. However, this isn't the first time we've seen a criminal take a gun from an unsuspecting carrier. Consider the following:

  • First, open carry is not the ultimate crime deterrent many think it is. It CAN dissuade SOME criminals. However, for other it may actually make you a target. And it's these criminals that are often more violent and determined.


  • Second, ineffective concealed carry may not really different greatly from open carry, practically speaking. In this story, like others, it's not always clear if the person was purposefully carrying the gun openly, or the gun just wasn't concealed well. Again, the intention of the carrier doesn't really matter in these types of incidents.


  • Third, fighting over a gun is an incredibly dangerous thing to do. While I understand the instinct to chase down the person who just took your gun, it might not be the wisest action in every situation. I hear the arguments that ‘you don't know, the suspect could come back and shoot everyone.” Yeah, that is true, but it's also a possibility that the suspect just wants the gun and want's to get away. Ideally, you don't want to be forced into making these split-second decisions, and properly concealing your gun helps you avoid it.

Besides the idea that an openly carried gun deters criminals, each time I talk about the downside of open carry, without fail, those who open carry site their right to do so as a reason. Okay, we all understand in many locations, open carrying a firearm is a right. I don't much care for that argument.

Because in almost every context, concealed carry is the better option. If you simply must open carry, I implore you to use a holster that has retention and attaches securely to the belt. And even with this, a suspect could easily break a holster containing the gun off of a belt.


What do you guys think about this story? Do you open carry? If so, have you thought about these types of incidents? Let us know in the comments below. Also, if you want to leave a comment accusing me of blaming the victim and giving the suspect a pass, go ahead. However, that isn't even close to what I've presented in this post.

If you have difficulty concealing your gun, I highly recommend checking out this online course called Holsters, Concealment and Carry Positions. This course is the most thorough walkthrough of how to select the most comfortable holster and carry postion.

About Matthew Maruster

I follow my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ who is the eternal co-equal Son of God. I currently live in Columbus, Ohio with my wife and daughter. I served in the Marine Corps Infantry. I was a Staff Sergeant and served as a Platoon Sergeant during combat in Iraq. After I was a police officer at a municipal agency in San Diego County. I have a Bachelors's Degree in Criminal Justice from National University. MJ Maruster Defense.


  1. Robert Mangum on February 23, 2023 at 12:49 pm

    No I conceal carry on my right side but when I do go into a place of business I usually slide my pistol to the front of me just for that reason I’ve seen to many videos of people taking people’s firearms just saying if yall open carry move your pistol to the front of you !!!!!

    • Dale Harding on March 1, 2023 at 6:49 pm

      I hope if i ever have to use my gun people will say “I didnt know he had a gun”.

  2. jays133 on February 24, 2023 at 1:30 am

    Although it’s your right to open cary, I am not a fan. If you open cary the criminal has the element of surprise. If you cary concealed you have the element of surprise. I’d much rather travel through life quietly carrying with no one knowing that I am armed until I need it.

  3. Henry on February 24, 2023 at 8:50 am

    I always conceal carry, not a fan of open carry!

  4. phil on February 24, 2023 at 11:09 am

    I almost always OC. This article doesn’t specifically state he was OC. There have also been reports of people CC and having their firearms removed. When I do OC, it’s in a retention holster, and I always strongly recommend people do the same.

    • Deputy Dad on February 27, 2023 at 5:02 am

      Dekalb County, GA. GA is Georgia.

      • Karen hulsey on March 1, 2023 at 7:06 pm

        I’m a woman , I train on regular basis . I shoot in two different womens leagues & in past yr have started shooting GSSF matches . I try to be as proficient as possible for a 67 yr old . As a woman you are he first choice for a target over a man, as an old woman , that up’s my chances . There is someone alway bigger , younger, & faster than you! I prefer the element of surprise , older u get u can’t run as fast so u dang sure better shoot well & take advantage of every element of surprise . Practicing from concealment , yeah it’s a pain ! But it does get better , I prefer not to showboat the fact that I carry . I don’t even do any stops after I leave the range just for the fact someone could be watching & following people who leave ranges .. just my opinion , but open carry is just asking for attention , GOOD OR BAD .. Kh

      • Ted Hatfield on March 2, 2023 at 7:37 am

        Yep. And GA is now a Constitutional Carry state as far as license requirements are concerned but carrying openly requires a Carry License. Our “Republican” legislature and governor are a bit ‘squishy’ as this summary shows:

        My family has been licensed for years and almost always carry concealed, for all the reasons stated above.

  5. Mordecai on February 26, 2023 at 10:42 pm

    I open carry because it’s convenient and comfortable. It rides in a Blackhawk serpa 2 attached to a nexbelt EDC belt. I also practice good SA as much as possible; condition yellow when out of the house. I live in the Free State of Idaho, in a small rural town, where most folks are of the same mind. If I lived in a city I’d carry concealed. Context is important.

  6. R. Ragel Sr on February 27, 2023 at 1:16 am

    I prefer CC, person going by the OC way is truly inviting the public to come and get. If you OC, it’s best get a good holster with good retention at all times. that way it can prevent this type of situation when not expected. My condolences to the victim and I hope all people that CC is always with the intent of be safe and covered at all times..God bless all my fellow CCW guys and gals out there be safe, prepared and aware at all times. Aloha

  7. gary on February 27, 2023 at 6:18 am

    CC is best! A person doesn’t go around flashing a huge wad of money for good reason. It draws extra attention to themselves and makes them a more likely target. So why draw attention to yourself by open carrying. Avoidance of trouble is always the best defense. Stay aware of your surroundings always and if it doesn’t look or feel right, it probably isn’t.

  8. Dennis Sumner on March 1, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Yeah, he did a lot of things wrong, but when you can’t leave the house without worrying about some miscreant taking your life we’re kinda phuked!

  9. GeneO on March 1, 2023 at 5:49 pm

    I am a retired LEO. I call open carry the “shoot me first” tactic. Not a fan.

  10. Damon Wallace on March 1, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    I open carry in some places (our church is one) but I usually take it off when I go into a public place. As I read about this incident and know of others it makes me think there is a better way. I like open-carry because I believe it helps to alleviate the anxiety surrounding someone carrying a gun. Concealed carry is safer for the carrier. Maybe, just thinking out loud, open-carry unloaded (even minus the magazine) with a concealed on your person. If the open gun is snatched you will still have the upper hand.

    • David Ramsey on March 3, 2023 at 8:22 am

      “open carry unloaded”? Why not just strap a rock to your side. Same thing. It sounds like you are “inviting” a confrontation that way. Not everybody wins in a gun fight. I feel you are asking for trouble that way. My thought is CC is the best. I have carried for over 30 years without any confrontation from anyone as most around me don’t even know about it. Carry safe.

  11. J M Bland on March 1, 2023 at 6:19 pm

    I believe that open carry has it’s place but just as conceal carry each present similar problems. I’ve carried most of my adult life. I move my pistol around my belt to different positions depending on the circumstances. One has a responsibility to everyone round them if they carry. In 30 years I drew my weapon twice. I have never discharged my weapon in the midst of a crowd. I had to take down the perp physcally. I’ve held a thief t gunpoint until police arrived. Human life is something I can’t bring back. I had to take life in war to protect myself but even then I didn’t like the feeling I got from shooting someone. You have to be so very responsible every second while carrying. If you can’t, don’t carry.

  12. Joseph L Sexton on March 1, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    I don’t & won’t, most New Yorkers are ignorant about guns. I’ve had them since 14 & as a Civilian never harmed anyone. I will continue to legally carry even though our Governor prefers Criminals over Law Abiding CITIZENS

  13. Lyn on March 1, 2023 at 6:45 pm

    Gary that was a great reply I am also a concealed carry person when my wife buys clothes for me I ask her make one size bigger so I can conceal my weapon and I do carry more to the front or you call close to appendix carry if you carry to the side I believe it is easier to see and grab the gun because your arm rest on the gun I have seen many times so please to this article that every one that is a law abiding citizen that carry thank twice how to carry and come back home to your family and even if you carry cross draw be careful you can be hit in the face and than grab the gun

  14. Jeff82 on March 1, 2023 at 6:58 pm

    I cc because I can. For some oc is the only option. For them a retention holster, high sa and repetitive hands-on training is a must. These items work well for cc too.

  15. Dwayne Hershiser on March 1, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    I always make the comment , if you are in a business and someone is going to rob the business and they see you with open carry , YOU are going to be the first one they come to and if you make the wrong move , it could be your last move…I always stay concealed…Out of sight , out of mind…

  16. Kevin U on March 1, 2023 at 9:33 pm

    I cc for just that reason. Flaunting your weapon is just foolish in my opinion.

  17. Tony on March 1, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    I think open carry is one of the stupidest things anyone with a weapon in a major (or minor) metropolitan area (or in certain “high-crime” neighborhoods) can do. First, it neutralizes any advantage you may have if a potential threat knows you are armed (and it won’t deter a focused threat). Second, as has been repeated above. it makes you a target the same way that flashing a big wad of cash makes you a target. I agree with the author that “open carry is my right” is not an argument. It’s a political statement that has nothing to do with self-defense. In a self-defense situation I want every odd possible stacked in my favor. That means concealed carry of more than one weapon (as back-up, and not necessarily a firearm), constant training and realistic practice with all carried weapons (skill deteriorate at an alarming rate without practice), and consistent situational awareness. Anything less is asking to be killed or wounded.

  18. ROBERT MOOREFIELD on March 2, 2023 at 11:09 am

    This incident is exactly the reason why, especially with open carry, a better retention system is needed. They are available, but I hardly ever see one used.
    Friction retention may or may not be sufficient when concealed [and the gun is not printing under your clothes], but open carry is literally an invitation to the bad guys that says “take me!”

    The gun must be secured, though quickly accessible if needed.
    While we are at it, how well was the gun retained by that break-dancing FBI idiot a couple of years ago?

  19. Clark Kent on March 2, 2023 at 9:14 pm

    I call open carry the ‘free gun zone’. Anybody can knock you out from behind and take your firearm. And no, you don’t have eyes in the back of your head.

  20. David on March 3, 2023 at 11:47 am

    I only carry concealed. But I appreciate those willing to legally and safely open carry because it helps the general population to be reminded of the second amendment. But I emphasize “legally and safely open carry.” Open carry isn’t legal in a lot of places. And doing it safely requires extra equipment and extra vigilance.

  21. Jack on March 4, 2023 at 3:44 pm

    Carrying a weapon openly, whether you mean to use force or not, *is*, by its very nature a use of force. I was always trained that a uniform, badge or weapon is at least a minimal use of force simply by the fact of the display.

    Now, if you want to go around putting everyone around you on edge, by all means, carry a firearm openly. You will get that “side look” from me and anyone else who has any common sense. You will not see my weapon or know that I have it on me, simply because I don’t want to draw attention to myself.

    The same thing can be accomplished by dying your hair pink or purple and getting half a dozen piercings and a neck tattoo, but don’t be surprised if the rest of us chuckle under our breath at your apparent need for attention.

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