A feel-good story with lessons for all of us.
“I took the weapon away from him, and put him on the ground…”– SSgt Eddie Peoples
Sgt. Peoples was not deterred."I've been through five deployments. I've fought the Muqtada militia, everybody you can think of, so weapons getting pointed at me, it doesn't really bother me anymore," he said. "I took the weapon away from him and put him on the ground and the rest was history."Deputies arrested 34-year-old Matthew Rogers. He is charged with armed robbery."Every time I get deployed, I always tell my children I'm going to fight the bad men. When I walked back in the bank, my oldest boy said 'did you get the bad men?' and I said 'yep, I got the bad men' and everyone applauded," Peoples said.Rogers has a long criminal history, including arrests for burglary, auto theft and reckless driving.
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What can we learn from this?
There are a lot of details missing from this story, and I would love to read the narrative in the police incident report, but I picked up the following lessons from the story:
- Not a good idea to piss of a 5-times deployed US Army Staff Sergeant by pointing a gun at his kids.
- His cool under pressure is a result of combat experience – he’s been there before, and a bank robber didn’t scare him.
- Due to that cool, he is able to improvise, plan, and act without panic or hesitation. There is no doubt in my mind that his behavior was not rehearsed, but his combat experience gives him the tactical advantage of knowing the line of fire, where cover is, and how to move quickly and suddenly.
- The Tueller Drill, as recently posted here by several authors, shows that a determined attacker with the initiative (attacking or acting first), can cover a decent distance and make physical contact with someone who’s got a handgun that’s not drawn or being brandished, or if there’s hesitation. The point is that, if you decide to go, GO! If not, stay put. But hesitation in a risky situation like this is very likely to result in death. Don’t hesitate!
- This is an extraordinary situation – obviously the training experience, and personal attributes of SSgt Peoples allowed him to make this a great story, but it could have turned out very differently. No one should be encouraged to intervene in a situation like this without the appropriate training, and I will not do so here. However, this just shows the capabilities of that type of training, especially when carried out by someone like this man.
- This is only tangentially related, but we should all be grateful to our returning veterans who’ve laid their lives on the line daily for us, and help them whenever we can to show that gratitude. Not all come back in one piece, and many don’t make it back.
- Military veterans are frequently attracted to law enforcement, and can make excellent officers. At my former employer, there were many military veterans, but only now are we getting so many with combat experience, and it’s going to benefit us all over the next few decades.
Well done, SSgt Eddie Peoples, we salute you,and thank you for this selfless act of heroism!
More posts and information about this hero:
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