Caught on camera: Firefighter draws gun on driver at highway scene in North Carolina

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,777
1,772
113

Not something I would recommend anyone doing; the only thing I can think of is she tried to hit him with her car, or started driving towards him when they had the road shut down after he told her multiple times to stop. I don't see this ending well for the FF, but I would like to hear his side of the story, before he gets convicted in the court of social media and public opinion​

and for a legal opinion on this topic:
https://www.firehouse.com/operations-training/article/21112973/fire-law-should-firefighters-be-armed
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
10,477
1,166
113
Yeah, I'd say there is more to this story than we've been told so far.
 
OP
DrParasite

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,777
1,772
113
as per https://www.wral.com/woman-says-nc-firefighter-pulled-gun-on-her-at-crash-site/19725931/
Brianna Grotzinger, who witnessed the encounter, said DeLeon drove full-speed at the crash site and tried to get around the firetruck by driving onto the highway median. She said she then saw the firefighter with gun drawn.

"He came around the firetruck, [and] he then pointed his gun out because he thought he was about to get hit by this car," Grotzinger said Monday. "He told her to turn her vehicle off and stay put until the state trooper got there."
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
10,477
1,166
113
Who could have guessed there was more to the story than the "victim" claimed?

Then again, I'd like to see the full dashcam video of her driving up to the scene, because people's definition of "full speed" varies widely. The still frame does appear to show her driving on the median to get around the crash site, lending credence to the witness narrative.
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
10,477
1,166
113
He came around the fire truck then drew? As in, he put himself into danger?

I’d say any discussion of FF/emt on duty concealed carry just got taken back about 5 years..
Wouldn't that depend on if he came around the corner of the truck specifically to intervene with his firearm as opposed to walking around the corner of the truck, and drawing as he sees a car heading for him?

Edit: haven't watched the video yet
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
857
441
63
Wouldn't that depend on if he came around the corner of the truck specifically to intervene with his firearm as opposed to walking around the corner of the truck, and drawing as he sees a car heading for him?

Edit: haven't watched the video yet
IMHO - the car is already moving in that direction, you coming around the corner of the fire truck to intervene makes you just as responsible for putting yourself in danger as her. Let her hit the truck, median, or even nothing, and deal with it later.

Respectfully, you can’t make a conscious decision to intentionally place yourself in a “deadly force” scenario and then utilize deadly force to mitigate it.

edited to add - I’m happy to consider new information as it becomes available on this case..
 

ffemt8978

Forum Vice-Principal
Community Leader
10,477
1,166
113
IMHO - the car is already moving in that direction, you coming around the corner of the fire truck to intervene makes you just as responsible for putting yourself in danger as her. Let her hit the truck, median, or even nothing, and deal with it later.

Respectfully, you can’t make a conscious decision to intentionally place yourself in a “deadly force” scenario and then utilize deadly force to mitigate it.

edited to add - I’m happy to consider new information as it becomes available on this case..
Not disagreeing with you...just wondering if he knew the car was there when going around the truck. If he intentionally put himself in that situation, that's different then walking around the truck unaware to find a car heading for you.
 

FiremanMike

EMS Coordinator
857
441
63
Not disagreeing with you...just wondering if he knew the car was there when going around the truck. If he intentionally put himself in that situation, that's different then walking around the truck unaware to find a car heading for you.
I’m fine going down that rabbit hole, but I’ll off this in a counter - you’re coming around the fire truck and see la car is barreling towards you, do you:

A. Pull a gun and draw down on the driver
B. Step back behind the fire truck
 

chrls

Forum Crew Member
56
49
18
Looks like an over zealous volunteer. Guns like his don’t stop cars like hers with any resemblance of reliability.
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,549
2,503
113
Let the driver make a dumb choice and drive through the median. Was he really planning to shoot her over this?
 
OP
DrParasite

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,777
1,772
113
Good thing all those FF are packing. Obviously better trained than the police…
well, it is rural NC, and there were no cops at the scene of the crash when this interaction occurred (which is more common than you would probably believe)
Respectfully, you can’t make a conscious decision to intentionally place yourself in a “deadly force” scenario and then utilize deadly force to mitigate it.
Not disagreeing with you...just wondering if he knew the car was there when going around the truck. If he intentionally put himself in that situation, that's different then walking around the truck unaware to find a car heading for you.
I'm pretty sure he didn't know the driver was going to go on the median, go around the fire trucks that had completely shut down the road, and he felt that his life was in danger due to her actions. no saying he was right to draw down on her. And the video only starts after he has the gun aimed at her, we don't know what she or he did beforehand.
Let the driver make a dumb choice and drive through the median. Was he really planning to shoot her over this?
I mean, if she drives on the median to get around the truck, gets back on the road and runs over 3 firefighters, killing them.... are you still ok with her "dumb choice"? And I don't think he was planning to shoot her, only to detain her until highway patrol arrived (as per his words on the video, and I am not saying he was right to do that either)
 

Tigger

Dodges Pucks
Community Leader
7,549
2,503
113
well, it is rural NC, and there were no cops at the scene of the crash when this interaction occurred (which is more common than you would probably believe)


I'm pretty sure he didn't know the driver was going to go on the median, go around the fire trucks that had completely shut down the road, and he felt that his life was in danger due to her actions. no saying he was right to draw down on her. And the video only starts after he has the gun aimed at her, we don't know what she or he did beforehand.

I mean, if she drives on the median to get around the truck, gets back on the road and runs over 3 firefighters, killing them.... are you still ok with her "dumb choice"? And I don't think he was planning to shoot her, only to detain her until highway patrol arrived (as per his words on the video, and I am not saying he was right to do that either)
I don’t think you get to point a gun at someone to detain them as a firefighter but what do I know. This person is not in the right, but the situation was not handled appropriately, and it wouldn’t have been appropriate for a cop to have done the same thing either.
 
Last edited:
OP
DrParasite

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,777
1,772
113
I don’t think you get to point a gun at someone to detain them as a firefighter but what do I know.
I'm inclined to agree with you and stated as such.
This person is not in the right, but the situation was not ha died appropriately,
I'm inclined to agree with you
and it wouldn’t have been appropriate for a cop to have done the same thing either.
I don't know about that... I know quite a few youtube videos that show cops drawing firearms at people who drive towards them and refuse to stop. as well as draw firearms during felony traffic stops. and am pretty sure a cop can draw a firearm during an attempt to detain someone, especially when that person is armed with a deadly weapon (in this case a car), but I could be wrong and will differ to those with law enforcement experience.
 

CCCSD

Forum Deputy Chief
1,206
747
113
well, it is rural NC, and there were no cops at the scene of the crash when this interaction occurred (which is more common than you would probably believe)


I'm pretty sure he didn't know the driver was going to go on the median, go around the fire trucks that had completely shut down the road, and he felt that his life was in danger due to her actions. no saying he was right to draw down on her. And the video only starts after he has the gun aimed at her, we don't know what she or he did beforehand.

I mean, if she drives on the median to get around the truck, gets back on the road and runs over 3 firefighters, killing them.... are you still ok with her "dumb choice"? And I don't think he was planning to shoot her, only to detain her until highway patrol arrived (as per his words on the video, and I am not saying he was right to do that either)
No. There is no justification for Lethal Force. Even if she did run over someone, UNLESS it was a deliberate act of murder. It’s just a traffic issue. I hope NC law allows her to press charges and/or sue the department.
 

chrls

Forum Crew Member
56
49
18
Policy for my department is similar to what @Tigger mentioned. We can't put ourselves in harms way in an attempt to justify deadly force. There's more to it than one line but that's the main idea. Overall our policy is usually pretty restrictive and based on relevant case law.

I have only worked for one LE agency so I can't definitively speak for others. As a guess though I can't see many departments giving their officers the ability to get into more shootings if they wanted to.
 
OP
DrParasite

DrParasite

The fire extinguisher is not just for show
5,777
1,772
113
No. There is no justification for Lethal Force. Even if she did run over someone, UNLESS it was a deliberate act of murder. It’s just a traffic issue. I hope NC law allows her to press charges and/or sue the department.
based on what happened in https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/crime/article252028573.html it would appear that you would be incorrect, at least as per the district attorney in this county in NC.

And I agree, it's better to get out of the way vs threatening lethal force. I don't agree with what was done in this situation.
 

Top