Miracle said she was leaving the Circle K near 59th Avenue and Camelback Road with her family early Monday morning when the suspect, Frank Taylor , tried to bum a cigarette. She told him that she didn’t have one, and then seconds later, Miracle said, she could feel the barrel of the gun against her skin.
“He put the gun up to my neck and said, ‘It’s loaded, don’t move,’” Miracle said. ”I think he thought, ‘She’s a little girl. Maybe she doesn’t know how to use her weapon.’”
Miracle said, “I dropped my soda, released my gun from my holster and cocked it. I shot him and ran in the opposite direction.”
Carolann’s father was a Marine. He taught her well. The pistol appears to be a Glock model 17 or 22, with night sights.
There are several things to note about this encounter. Many elements of the story are items often found in armed robberies/muggings.
First is the approach. It is common for robbers/muggers to use a pretext to close the distance and distract the victim. Asking for a cigarette is a common pretext. So is asking for the time.
Second is picking what appeared to be weak prey. Carolann is a small woman, 4’11, 85 pounds. It is common for human predators to pick on weaker prey. Maybe he did not see the Glock on her hip. It was dark. She was holding a drink from the gas station, probably in her right hand. If she was wearing a dark top, as she was in the video, the Glock would not have presented much contrast. While open carriers tend to be very aware of their defensive firearm, many people never notice it.
Carolann did many things right. The first was to instantly recognize the threat. Many become mired in the thought that “this cannot be happening”; “this is not real”. People who carry are much less likely to do that because they have considered the possibility of attack and prepared for it.
She did the right thing when she dropped her drink. Dropping things to access your weapon or to fight better is not an instinctive reaction. Many people instinctively hang on to useless things that impede their ability to fight. I taught my students to practice dropping things at the beginning of a fight so that they could draw their firearm, and fight more effectively.
She did the right thing when she fled the area in the opposite direction from the way the attacker was going. Many attacks, perhaps 50%, involve an accomplice. She purposefully made the decision, moved to safety, then called the police.
Carolann’s response is common. She did not want to kill her attacker. It was a consequence of what he forced her to do. She would have preferred that it never happened.
There were witnesses and surveillance video, both of which backed up her story.
Carolann says she “cocked it”. I suspect she was carrying Israeli style, in condition 3, with an empty chamber. If you practice pulling and releasing the slide as you draw, it can be fairly fast.
What did not happen.
Carolann was openly carrying. She was accosted by a violent, armed felon. He did not simply “shoot her first” as many who oppose open carry claim will happen. Even though he “had the drop” on her, she won the gun fight.
Action beats reaction. Dropping the drink likely gave her another second, as the felon probably thought “dropping drink” not “drawing gun”.
It is a known gunfighter tactic that Louis L’Amore wrote about in one of his novels. In that case, the fictional character let a match burn down to his fingers from lighting a cigarette, thus conditioning his opponents to expect him to flick his hand away from the burn. Expecting that, they were surprised by the draw.
Maybe Carolann did not consciously make that decision; but the effect was similar.
Carolann Miracle; small woman, Marine’s daughter, open carrier, mother, now, undesired, gunfighter. She survived and lived to see her daughter’s third birthday.
©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.
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