Las Vegas, NV — A man who successfully defended himself with his handgun against an attacker in April said that ‘years of practice’ helped him triumph in a life or death situation.
B.J. Baldwin is a well known champion off-road racer. His racing handle is ‘Ballistic Baldwin’ because of his affinity for guns and shooting sports. But even with years of training, Baldwin wasn’t expecting anything eventful on a late night meal out with his girlfriend.
Not How The Night Was Supposed To End
The two were standing in the parking lot of an N-Out burger around 1:30 in the morning. They were just catching up on their phones after leaving the restaurant, about to get in their vehicle and drive away.
That’s when his girlfriend looked up to see two hooded men pointing a gun and running towards her. She shouted for B.J, who looked up to see the two men charging across the parking lot, guns drawn and grinning. It was clear they thought they had the upper hand on the unsuspecting couple.
B.J. pulled out his concealed handgun and started shooting. The two attackers shot two times at Baldwin’s girlfriend and six shots at him.
“I knew there was a high probability that he would miss because I was returning fire and getting hits on him,” Baldwin said. “I wish I wasn’t at the wrong place at the wrong time, but I’m glad it was me instead of a less-skilled defensive pistol practitioner.”
When the shots ended, the attacker was on the ground. He died after getting hit by 10 rounds from Baldwin’s gun. Baldwin estimated that the entire shootout only lasted four seconds.
Of the 10 shots Baldwin fired, nine hit the attacker in the chest and the tenth hit him in “the central nervous system.”
Needless to say, the the second suspect fled on foot as fast as they could.
Self Defense Done Right
Baldwin didn’t pull out his gun until there was no other option. He later said that his only goal was “to return home safely that night.”
In early May, the Clark County district attorney ruled that the April shooting to be a “clear case of self-defense.”
As details came out, the attacker was identified as Joseph Smith, 43. The man was upset about something that had happened earlier at a gun store, but no details were given.
The tag-along who ran off was later rounded up and identified as Smith’s brother. He reported to police that he had gone along hoping to stop his brother because he had a feeling Smith was “going to do something stupid.”
The brother even went so far as to ask the police and prosecutor not to charge Baldwin in the incident.
Hours Of Training Paid Off In One Second
Baldwin calls himself a ‘defensive pistol practitioner.’ He takes his training seriously. After all, his girlfriend is professional sports shooter Tori Nonaka. And while he admits that he trains a lot more than the average concealed carry holder — occasionally even with tier one military shooters –he stressed that all gun owners should make the time to practice for real-life scenarios.
Baldwin estimated that it took him about one second to see the threat, draw his gun, and land the first shot.
Most of us aren’t going to have the kind of training that Baldwin has, but we can use his story as inspiration to improve.