3 Lessons to Learn From the Death of an Armed Good Samaritan

No one likes a Monday morning quarterback (Gen Z folks, ask your dads). That being said, when the FAA investigates a fatal airplane crash, they aren’t doing so to be Monday morning quarterbacks or smartasses. No, the FAA investigates in order to determine what went wrong in the hopes that we can prevent that kind of crash from happening again. 

We all like to cheer for good guys with guns when they successfully stop bad guys, but what happens when being a good guy with a gun goes bad? Other than “thoughts and prayers,” what can we do when a good guy with a gun demonstrably loses the fight?

If we do nothing but shake our heads and make a sad post on Facebook, then the good guy who gave their life did so for nothing. If we’re not willing to learn from the incident, their sacrifice was wasted.

Good Samaritan Run Down and Killed by Carjacker

At press time this story is actually a month old, but it wasn’t until the grizzly video of a good Samaritan being run over and killed by a carjacker surfaced that the internet and then the media took notice. Sadly, nearly one hundred percent of the comments being offered by pundits and random internet geniuses are based upon the 60-second video. As always, there is much more to the story than that.

The incident started when RAD (we don’t believe in giving a-holes undue notoriety) was involved in a hit-and-run at a gas station at 10:30 am. RAD then attempted to carjack a vehicle from an adjacent Burger King parking lot. Keep in mind, carjacking isn’t just stealing a car, it is a forcible, violent felony committed against a person. American citizens have an absolute right to intervene to protect others who have a violent felony being committed against them. 

Numerous good Samaritans intervened when they witnessed RAD attempting to commit the carjacking, including Jonathan Lecompte. The police had been called but had yet to arrive. Having crashed at least one vehicle and unsuccessfully attempted another carjacking, RAD then moved to Lecompte’s work truck to take it. Lecompte, witnessing the previous attempted felony had stopped his truck and jumped out to render assistance to the victims. 

In the now famous video, Lecompte can be heard ordering RAD not to get into the truck. An armed citizen, Lecompte produced a concealed handgun and pointed it at RAD who was unimpressed and kept doing what he intended to do.

A forcible felony in progress, Lecompte fired his pistol several times (4 or 5), unfortunately with little to no effect. RAD put the truck in reverse, backed up some distance and then put it in drive in an obvious attempt to run down Lecompte and anyone else in the street.

Lecompte was struck at high speed and killed. RAD was later arrested, jailed, and charged with first degree murder among other things.

You can see the disturbing video here . . .

Lessons We Can Learn

Before we begin, I will preface once more that failing to learn lessons from this incident will A) assure that the same mistakes are made again and B) will render the sacrifice of this good Samaritan moot. Don’t let this man have died in vain. Learn from the mistakes that were made. 

Lesson 1: Having a Gun is Not Enough

One of the most blatant takeaways from the video is the fact that the good Samaritan (GS) had a gun, but the fact that GS had a gun and even that he fired the gun didn’t stop this killer from doing what he intended to do. Far too many Americans are walking around carrying guns operating under the illusion that a criminal — a felon, or a killer — will see that they have a gun and/or hear gunshots and surrender.

Yes, that’s possible, but we can’t base our game plan on the felon willingly cooperating.

GS fired several shots at extremely close range. None of those pistol shots affected the killer enough to stop his actions. Although a full medical report on RD wasn’t available at press time, we do know that the suspect was transported to jail and incarcerated, not put into intensive care at a local hospital.

In the suspect’s booking photo he is wearing an arm sling and it is bare chested. No visible injuries to the face or upper body can be seen. If he was struck by any of the bullets fired by GS, the injuries were relatively minor.   

Lesson 2: You Aren’t ‘Good Enough’

For my entire adult life I have been a party to conversations where gun owners stated that, when it came to using a handgun, they believe they are “pretty good” or “good enough.” The “good enough” people will often regurgitate statistics that say something along the lines of “the average distance of a gunfight is (fill in the blank). I figure I can hit a bad guy at that distance.” They will be satisfied and believe that they’ve closed the matter.

Here is the cold, hard truth. Unless you have numerous training certificates on your wall from academies that taught fighting not marksmanship AND unless you regularly engage in dedicated skill maintenance practice, you are NOT good enough. You can and you will completely miss your target, even at close ranges.

If you’re carrying a gun, or even have one for home defense, you have to approach the subject with the idea that the day will come where you will be required to save a life — your own or a loved one’s — with that gun. You will not be magically blessed with expert level skill on that day.

Quite the opposite will happen. During a fight for your life, you will default to whatever level of skill you have mastered. If your skill level stops at knowing how to load the gun and put it in a holster, then that’s the skill level you will have during the moment of truth. 

Lesson 3: Stay in the Fight 

When we watch that gruesome video, we see that after firing a few rounds, GS stops and seems to relax as though he felt that was all there was to it. GS had quit the fight, but the killer had not. The fight wasn’t over yet. 

Staying in the fight is a result of having the correct mindset. A fighting mindset isn’t something you get from a “firearms safety class” or even competition level marksmanship training. Most every adult American is capable of developing a fighting mindset, but few ever put themselves into a situation where it’s practiced and learned. Marksmanship skills are perishable if not practiced, so is mindset. 

We can safely assume that GS still had ammunition left in his pistol. Would launching rounds at the driver of the stolen truck as it approached have forced him to turn the wheel and not hit him? We will never know.

Did GS possess the skill to hit the windshield of the truck as the killer switched from reverse to drive? Again, we cannot know that.

What we do know based upon the evidence available was that the killer wasn’t going to stop until he had been physically disabled. He wasn’t going to voluntarily surrender because that was the nice thing to do. He was what we call a Type 3 attacker.

Professor Paul breaks it down in the video

Please take the time to walk through what happened with me.

Mindset Uber Alles

If you carry a gun — and I believe every responsible American adult should — your mindset has got to be such that you understand that the day you’ll be called on to use that gun to save a life might be today. People will frequently say, “Yeah, I know, I need to get some training and someday I will.” 

You don’t get to decide the day, the hour, or the minute that you find yourself in a life-or-death struggle.That day may never come or it could be tomorrow morning. GS wasn’t in a bar, in a bad neighborhood, or out in the middle of the night. It was 10:30 am on a sunny day in Lumberton, North Carolina. 

No, you don’t get to decide when you’re going to need your gun. However, you absolutely do get to decide on how well prepared or underprepared you are. The choice is yours. As my good friend James Yeager said a thousand times, your responsibility to be ready for the fight never ends.

Paul G. Markel is a combat decorated United States Marine veteran. He is also the founder of Student the Gun University and has been teaching Small Arms & Tactics to military personnel, police officers, and citizens for over three decades.  

14 Responses

  1. I admit I don’t practice nearly enough however I’m a pretty good shot. I need to practice while not wearing glasses. The fight mindset? I don’t know how to train for that.

    1. Then get that training from someone that can teach it before you find yourself in a world of hurt.

    2. “The fight mindset? I don’t know how to train for that.”

      Might start by fully integrating, “Be polite to everyone, and have a plan to kill them.” If one has any hesitation about neutralizing another human being, maybe track shoes and an awareness of all possible exits would serve better as self-defense.

      On a related note, there is a high likelihood the attacker already has experience in gunfights, and does not care you are a human.

    3. Training with people who do know and who can train you is one way. I wouldn’t just stick with one trainer, try at least one. Maybe you got a good one right off the bat, maybe not but after a couple you’ll have a better idea of which ones know what they’re talking about and why.

    4. Mindset is practiced and developed by doing hard things. Training in jiuJitsu, wrestling or boxing is one of the best ways. Furthermore, classes like Shivworks ECQC or EWO put you in realistic fights with simunitions marking cartridges and training blades that give you mental maps of having “been there before.” Even placing yourself in regular harder physical training like weightlifting or endurance challenges are also great. A combination of all the above is proven, and it’s a lot better than getting it through the real thing if you can avoid it. Shameless plug, go to your favorite podcast platform and find our podcast, EvoSec or Evolution Security, we have some awesome guest where a lot of this and more are discussed. Take care and stay safe

  2. 2A defender here but not a gun owner.(complicated, dont ask) Take the following for what its worth. (dont hammer me too hard!)

    Even without training, hard to believe the GS missed several ‘stopping shots’ from such close range. A moral and descent human being always harbors a small voice not to kill his own kind, especially if his own physical safety is not at risk, which was case for the GS- just let the thug take the utility truck.

    Plenty of articles of studies (debated) of soldiers from earlier years “aiming high” to miss, being reluctant to kill.

    Accuracy training is one thing. Overcoming the inhibition to kill is a mindset. If you haven’t developed the mindset ‘willing to kill’ when you draw a weapon, might be best if you take you’re chances unarmed. (Opinion: accuracy training should include imagining a dire threat)

    As for the GS letting his guard down as the thug drove away in reverse- inexplicable unless he thought shooting around the thug in the driver seat was sufficient deterrent. Again, seems like he missed on purpose. Fatal error in judgement and/or never really trained at all.

  3. 1) Only hits count and they have to be GOOD hits.
    2) GOOD hits require training and practice meaning LOTS OF BOTH. You will NOT “rise to the occasion” you will “fall to your lowest level of competence” under stress.
    3) Mouse guns – .380 Auto is a prime example – are small, light and easy to carry. They are NOT man stoppers. Carry enough gun.
    4) The fight is not over until it is completely over and that means physical incapacitation of the threat to the point they are no longer a threat. That may require more ammunition than is in the gun so carry reloads.
    5) There is no way to predict when The Fight will start so stay alert and have a plan to deal with it all the way to the end.
    6) If you are not willing to carry enough gun, not willing to become effective with it, not willing to stay alert enough to be able to use it, then “Run and Hide” is your only option so you need to practice Running and Hiding.
    7) Cell phone cameras are not defensive weapons.

  4. Don’t stand in front of the vehicle that is being jacked.. this isn’t a Starsky and Huch thing one is involved in… it’s for real.

  5. This wasn’t primarily a marksmanship issue. He didn’t think the guy would run him down and was standing around after the guy stole the truck.

    And to Paul’s comment in the video – YES, I absolutely turn my car off if I get out for even a few seconds. Started doing this when I had a kid and he was in the carseat in back. If I get out to throw something in the trash 10ft from my car I turn it off, it’s become habit. Killing the ignition absolutely would have stopped this. I’ve seen videos where police have had their cars taken because they don’t kill the ignition as well.

  6. Why did none of those shots have any effect on the carjacker, or even the truck door? You might say that the window was rolled down, but if you slow the video down and enlarge it you can see the glare on the driver side truck door as it is being closed. The window is up and not shattered after being shot at. What gives? A lot of crime video is put on the internet. It makes everyone fearful of every stranger they meet. This is a form of social engineering, the nadir of which was when you were told to cover your face and not get within 6 feet of anyone else. If you think that some or all aspects of a pandemic could be faked, don’t you think a video could be? Doesn’t Hollywood do this day in and day out? I realize that the truck impact on the road worker looks completely real, but it is not up to me to explain the discrepancies. It’s up to the reporters of this event to explain it.

    1. Hah, crazy conspiracy theorist! Yes, if you watch the moment of impact very closely and repeatedly you can see that the “victim” has a strange glitch in his movement, right around the :34 second mark on the X (twitter) video. It’s subtle, but he falls down and then goes up just a hair too quickly. A glitch. But what did it for me was the spook (intel) marker they put on the sign. They mark their work with certain numbers so that other spooks get the message. Eleven is one of those numbers, I won’t bore you with the explanation. Just note that it says “Interviews Thursdays at 5:15”. 5+1+5= 11.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *