Blog Entry: Parking Lot Problems

A few days ago the Toronto police release a video showing a man getting shot multiple times by
multiple attackers. The video is below, but fair warning before you watch it, it is a video of
someone getting murdered in cold blood.

To provide a little context – this is coming from the police: Det. Sgt. Gary Giroux said that at about 9 p.m. Sunday, Jackson was preparing to leave a private party hosted
at the restaurant, located at Yonge and Wellington streets.
“He (the victim, after eating dinner in a restaurant) left in the company of a woman and they began to walk on Wellington Street West, west of Yonge Street, when three suspects in a Honda Civic sped from Melinda Street, south on Yonge Street, turning the wrong-way onto Wellington Street West, before pulling a U-turn and spotting Jackson.

“They pull up to the deceased and soon as the deceased sees them he begins to run, and two
suspects get out of the car and begin to shoot,” Giroux said.

Giroux said Jackson ran down a parking garage ramp at 18 Wellington Street West, while two men
armed with handguns got out of the Civic and pursued him, in concert with the driver of the Civic who followed them.”

Ok, now watch the video again, and ask yourself “what would I have done?”. . .

Well, they should have had someone in the restaurant or outside of the restaurant to ID the
target before or as he left the restaurant, thereby negating the need to drive the wrong way
down a one way street to ID the guy (and make a U-turn which should have been an obvious
clue to the target that something was wrong). Additionally They should have set an ambush
along a point of canalization to limit the possibility of a foot chase.

Surprised that I looked at it from the perspective of the attacker and not the victim? You
shouldn’t be. Here at H.A.S. we are all about defense – defending your life, defending your
colleagues, defending your organizations and its mission – but to truly understand defense you
need to understand offence.

It was clear that two out of the three attackers were amateur at best. Watching the video, you can
see that the attacker on the right, kept both hands on his pistol and was consistently squared up
on his target, while the guy on the left was running wildly, shooting southpaw and nearly got hit
by the driver. Once the attack was complete the guy on the right attempted to first flee – but then realizing the car was right behind him attempted to enter. While doing that, the guy on the left, comes around the car – clearly flagging his accomplice – and attempts to shoot the target some more while the guy on the right is stopping him and trying to get them away from the scene. The driver, for his part, was too busy shooting to unlock the doors – forcing the primary attackers to go around, and is so flushed with adrenaline that he hits the windshield wipers, while trying to reverse the car.

To their credit, they did manage to have 3 vectors of attack on the target, and they knew to come
prepared to unleash overwhelming force - making a kill virtually inevitable, they were still quite
lucky the victim was so unprepared.

Now that we understand the attack (feel free to exhale all of that negative energy) we can think
about the defense.

1. Keep situational awareness. When the target saw that vehicle driving down the wrong
way on a one way street and then make a U-turn, he should have gone from yellow to
orange (if not red, since this was a guy who potentially had plenty of enemies)

2. Understand what are viable exits. Running down that ramp into a garage was a shitty,
shitty move. Firstly he’s giving his attackers the high ground; secondly with normal shoes
and the discharge from car exhausts, that ramp was likely quite slippery and when
combined with an adrenaline dump it’s no wonder he fell; thirdly he doesn’t know for
sure if there are cars down there or places for concealment, let alone cover. Were there
other more populated areas he could have run to?

3. Understand when to fight. I don’t know exactly how the original confrontation went
down but that may have been a time where a bit of aggression was warranted. Could he
have gotten into a better position for fighting during the initial contact? Could he have
lined them up somehow to prevent them from getting three angles of attack on him? I
don’t know but there is a chance that there was. Furthermore, running triggers the
predator/prey instinct in peoples mind and whenever possible, you don’t want to make
yourself feel like the prey and your attackers feel like predators.

We live in a complicated world, where answers can often be found in unexpected places.
Through understanding violence we can find security, through understanding attacks we can find
defense, and through understand war we can find peace. As Sun Tzu teaches “Know your enemy
and know yourself, find naught in fear for 100 battles. Know yourself but not your enemy, find level of loss andvictory. Know thy enemy but not yourself, wallow in defeat every time.”

Continue to dare,