View Full Version : Anti-Ambush Car Tactics

01-22-2005, 10:43 AM

Sadly every day that I read the news paper here in PR I read of another murder that took place in a car. As I have seen the new tactic that the BG are using here is to drive up to the side and fire a mix of Handgun and rifle fire at the intended victim with out regard for by standers and in some cases the target was a mistake of identity hitting an innocent, they also tend to hit when one is stopped at a red light hitting from the drivers side. What would be the best tactics to counter one of these types of attack? I know that awareness in the main tool, seeing the attack before it can materialize. The main tools used by the BG are AK47, 9mm HG and .40 HG. The tactics I think I would use in case Iím on the move and see one would be to hit the breaks and stopped in a positing in witch I can use my SUV as cover or move in to a near exit and get to a position of advantage again using my SUV as cover. Your ideas and suggestion are greatly appreciated.



Sam Spade
01-22-2005, 11:05 AM
Your car/SUV is not cover from AK rounds. Stopping makes you an easier target.

If in motion, go fast, drive evasively. If stopped with a clear path, go fast, drive evasively. If boxed in, find cover, shoot as appropriate.

Cold War Scout
01-22-2005, 11:25 AM
The number one rule of vehicle ambushes is to not stop the vehicle unless you absolutely must. Movement is a tactic in and of itself.

I get the impression that you are describing "hits" as opposed to carjackings. Essentially targeted victims through and through as opposed to random attacks on civlians.

The reality is PR is a violent place. Its' the most dangerous place in the USA to be a cop.

01-22-2005, 11:44 AM
So the best approach would be to keep driving aggressively and not stop. I believed that when they started shooting was to stop so that they keep moving forward and make it difficult for the to keep shooting, turn around and head the other way or thru an exit, if movement is impossible by traffic I would get out, get behind the front part of the vehicle where the motor is and engage them when they came after. What other tactics one can use in a situation like this?

Cold War Scout

Your are right on al count these are mostly hits but many time the wrong person in shot and also bystanders are also hit. I hope to never have to engage an AK wilding opponent but one has to train and be prepared for the worst. Sadly cops are getting less and less training lately here in PR. I hope that new Chief of police will change this.



Cold War Scout
01-22-2005, 12:53 PM
My belief is to always be thinking "get off the X" (to use a popular phrase these days). The "X" being the place where incoming fire is heading. If you are being ambushed in a kill zone, then you MUST keep driving. If your body is the X and the bad guys are chasing after you with AK-47s firing, then you are in a mobile kill zone (one that is wherever you are). Still then, I think there is a lot to be said for staying fast and mobile. Once you get out of your car and take cover behind it, I think you are starting the process of pinning yourself down for your adversary, and if there are multiple adversaries, you leave yourself open to being successfully flanked. And to avoid being flanked you would possibly have to leave your cover even if only for a moment to move to more cover (if there even is any at that point).

I am sure there are times when abandoning your vehicle could be the best thing to do (for example maybe the perfect cover appears that your opponents would have to be funneled through single file in order to get to you, and you have 4 magazines of ammo).

Never say never.

01-22-2005, 02:10 PM
CWS offers good advice. Taking cover behind your vehicle against AK rounds is not a good idea--they will zip through vehicles like a knife through butter. You must always maintain a way out if you are stopped in traffic. Allow enough room between you and the vehicle in front of you that you can cut the wheel and floor the gas without having to manuever. Speed is your friend. Drive up, over or around whatever you have to in order to exit the kll zone. If the attacker is close to you and you can run over him without backing up, duck down in the seat and run over him--quickly. As you've already said, awareness is your best tool, and always think about how you would escape from where you are if an attack suddenly happened. Make your escpae route in the shortest distance to exit the kill zone, turning at angles that will angle the drivers side of the vehicle away from the shooter if possible, driving behind buildings or other obstacles to give you cover as you escape. The big thing is to have a plan beforehand and respond instantly if attacked. Again, speed is your friend. If you don't get away quickly, you may not get away at all.

01-22-2005, 05:20 PM
so it is like this:

1. Awarnes of the enviroment and other cars around me is the best tool, see the attack before it is materialise.
2. As when I drive or stop be sure to position my self in a position from wich I can scape.
3. My car is a weapon by it self.
4. Do not let them get on any of my sides.
5. When engaged drive agresively and fast (Withing the limits of my skills).
6. Only exit the car in case it is disbled or evasion is no longer possible. Exit, move to cover and engage. Be carefull not be flanked.
7. Drive or shoot but not both at the same time.
8. Never give up!!.

Is there anything I might be missing?

I found this page and I'm reading the articles and they are really good!! I just thought you guys might like it.



01-23-2005, 05:07 AM
What parts of the vehicle actually would work as cover? I'm thinking engine and wheels. Also, what are your thoughts about lowering the windows, if possible, to increase the mass of the door and to reduce th hazard from glass?

01-23-2005, 06:23 AM
Sounds like a good time for the rest of y'all to buy a typical North Idaho rig; big 4 WD SUV or PU truck with sandbags in the bed, 17" or at a minimum 16" wheels, all weather tires, skid plate, push bars in front of the radiator. (Coop, if you retire here you can own one like that with lights all over the hood and a gun rack over the rear window! Whoopee! :D )

Some folks have difficulty driving through or over stuff. Years of safe driving habits condition them to be reluctant to take their rig where it wasn't meant to go. It's not the sort of thing you can practice, at least not after you have survived your teens and seriously drunken driving escapades, (Not that I ever did any of that, but I've read about it. :o )

I guess the next best thing is to visualize yourself doing it. Modern trannys, engines and 4WD LO can push over the most amazing obstacles, and drive right through stuff like hedges and brush. Think urban tank. :eek:

God bless and y'all be mindful out there.

01-23-2005, 08:09 AM
Exactly Geezer. NEVER be afraid to dent sheet metal. Bumpers are there for a reason--use them! Don't be afraid of hitting anything unless it is so substantial that it will stop your vehicle from moving. Limit damage to the engine compartment as much as possible, but getting away is the main thing. Other vehicles can easily be pushed out of the way, curbs can be jumped, fences mowed down, etc. Be realistic about what you can go through/around, but don't be afraid of denting your car.

I think you've got the major points down. SecurityDriver is an excellent site, and there is a lot of good info there.

Cold War Scout
01-24-2005, 02:30 PM
Jan 24, 2005

Police Search for Body of Kidnapped Dallas Restaurateur
By Lisa Falkenberg
Associated Press Writer

DALLAS (AP) - Police using helicopters and horses searched for the body of a kidnapped Dallas restaurateur Monday after a suspect reported that the businessman was killed hours after he was snatched from his car a week ago.
Officers combed the woods south of city for Oscar J. Sanchez, 30, who disappeared Jan. 18 after his car was rammed from behind in a staged accident not far from two restaurants his family owns. His family said the kidnappers had demanded as much as $3 million.

01-30-2005, 04:35 PM
I drive through a high crime area every day. The old advice used to be to stay away from the curb lane, take the middle or left lane if there are mutiple lanes. I think about all of that every day while driving in this area, but I think staying in the curb lane or the outside lane is best. This gives you a place to go, over the curb. Or it keeps the drivers side away from other cars going in the same direction. Keeping plenty of room between you and the car in front is essential. Remember your vehicle is a weapon, but not very adequate cover. Get out of the area, your vehicle is faster than you are on foot. Drive through any ambush, this is old stuff, but still as important today. If you have to drive like a pitbull on crack to get out of the kill zone, so be it. AK rounds are especially tough to find sufficient cover from. Dumpsters, cars, these types of things won't get the job done, better than nothing but they are better concealment than cover. Single block walls are not sufficient cover after a few rounds. As others have said, think about escape routes and avoidance techniques all the time. If you think you might be at risk, you probably are. Going over scenarios in your head will help you react in times of trouble. Talk about these issues with others of like mind. Know your limitations and adjust fire to help compensate for them.

02-02-2005, 11:04 PM
Could you add some armor to your body panels? It might not be practical to stop an AK-47 but it should be easy to stop a pistol cartridge. You did mention both pistols and AK as favorites.

While hopefully you will not be the main target, you could still find yourself down range from a hit. It would be nice to have somewhere to duck while you also drive out. By the time the AK-47 rounds get to you through the other cars maybe your armor will be able to stop it.

You might want to consider buying a FOX armored car if its that bad down there! Tell HP that you need a fully armored Suburban.

02-03-2005, 05:54 AM
It isnít Iraq or Bogota over here to justify an armor car, crime is bad and like anywhere in the world there is always the possibility of being at the wrong place at the wrong time. It isnít a bad idea about seeing way to improve ones changes is case your number comes up. I'm buying form 1 Source a blowout pack and I will also put 2 17rnds magazines and spare batteries for my flashlight and cell phone and put the bag in the compartment between the 2 front seats so as to have medical supplies, ammo and some backup stuff in case I have to get out of the vehicle. I'm also thinking on buying a big can of Fox OC spray and have it in the car door in case I need something less than lethal or in the case i'm being foloowed I can place out thru the window a stream of OC spray on the guys behing me.


P.S. where can one check prices for partial armor? one can never be to ready:D

John Kuhlman
02-03-2005, 08:46 AM
Here's one that happened a few nights ago in Las Vegas...and the guy had a concealed weapon with him:

Police: Suspects 'looking for someone to shoot'

Sheriff says 60-year-old heading home after work became random target of pair


Late Monday evening, while John A. McCoy was winding down his shift at the Rainbow Club & Casino, Jamar Green and Terrence Bowser planned the rest of their night.

Police said the duo had been drinking Hennessy cognac and eating at the home of Green's mother.

The longtime friends then "decided that they should go and kill some people," according to an arrest report.

Bowser, 19, got behind the wheel of a 1988 Lincoln Town Car. Green, 20, was in the passenger seat, a 12-gauge shotgun on his lap.

They "took off in the Lincoln looking for someone to shoot," according to the report, which cites a taped Las Vegas police interview of Green.

McCoy's shift often ended at 11:45 p.m. or later, according to Wally Malmgren, the casino's assistant general manager.

On Monday, however, another supervisor arrived early to relieve him.

McCoy, 60, grabbed a bottle of water and his briefcase, called his wife, Dawn, and said goodbye to co-workers, Malmgren said. By about 11:30 p.m., he was headed home to North Las Vegas.

Just before midnight, McCoy's 1997 Chevy Lumina reached an intersection on Lone Mountain Road near Decatur Boulevard, where police said Green and Bowser spotted him and pulled alongside his vehicle.

"Green said they sized up McCoy and decided on him for a target," the report states.

As McCoy continued west on Lone Mountain, Bowser pulled alongside him as if to pass.

"It was at that time Green leveled the shotgun at McCoy and fired," the report states. Green fired three to four times at McCoy and his vehicle, police said.

The rounds ripped through the Lumina's driver's side door, hitting McCoy in the arm, hip and shoulder, police said. McCoy's car hopped a curb and crashed through a brick wall less than a mile from home.

McCoy told a woman who came to his aid that he had been shot twice by individuals driving a Lincoln Continental, according to the report.

McCoy died Tuesday morning at University Medical Center.

A North Las Vegas police officer arrested Green and Bowser not far from the scene, confiscating an empty shotgun, three spent shotgun shells from the car's passenger floor, a ski mask and black gloves as evidence.

Police charged Bowser and Green with the slaying. Green was also charged with shooting into an occupied vehicle.

Sheriff Bill Young on Wednesday characterized the crime as a gang-related act of random violence, carried out for thrills. At least one of the suspects is a member of the Rolling 60s Crips gang, police said Wednesday.

"It's purely a thrill kill from our perspective," Young said.

Some Las Vegas police officers on Wednesday embarked on an hours-long door-to-door mission to meet with Rolling 60s gang members, police said. Over the past year, some of the gang's hierarchy have been indicted or sentenced on federal charges, and others are still awaiting their day in court.

"I've had it with the Rolling 60s, and so has this community," Young said. "So if I was a Rolling 60s member, I'd vacate Las Vegas. Execution and assassinations will not be tolerated."

There are 5,900 known gang members in Las Vegas, compared to about 2,200 sworn police officers. The Rolling 60s have hundreds of members in the valley, and rely on violence to attract young members, police said.

"If you're in a culture of violence, how do you get recognized? By being violent," said Capt. Gary Schofield of the Metropolitan Police Department's Gang Unit. "You don't get recognized by being a peacemaker."

There were 225 gang-related shootings in Las Vegas' police jurisdiction in 2004. Sixteen of the shootings were homicides. That was down from 34 gang homicides the previous year.

McCoy, who served in the U.S. Navy, kept a concealed weapon in his car. He had it with him at the time of the shooting, family said.

"Obviously, he never had any chance to do anything about it (the shooting)," said McCoy's grieving cousin, Rene Lehtinen.

02-03-2005, 08:56 AM
Being alert is the main tool one has at ones disposal. The problem is that it is had to stay in yellow all the time, but if one follows good habits the chances of something like this are reduced. As for example:

1. When stopping position the car in a lane where one can maneuver to exit the area fast.

2. When stopping do a scan of the area and the passengers in the cars around you.

3. Use concave small mirrors attached to your side mirrors so as to have a degree of visibility in your blind spot while driving.

4. any car that you see before hand that wants to pass you do a quick scan of the windows that will be facing your side.

This might reduce the risk but the risk will always be present. Some time Murphy is on the BG's side.



Don Robison
02-11-2005, 11:38 AM
Remember get off the X, keep moving, don't be afraid to bend sheet metal it's alot cheaper to replace an expensive car than at best pay the hospital bills after an encouter, and don't forget that new cars have fuel pump shutoffs to kill the electric fuel pump during a collision so be aware of how fast and hard you're hitting seamingly imovable objects to get off the X

02-11-2005, 12:25 PM
Nice point on the fuel shutoff system!

02-11-2005, 12:39 PM
Be multidirectional in your thinking, do not only think of forward. If stopped, there is traffic in front of you and a threat comes alongside and there is no traffic behind you, use reverse into a J-turn. If your driving skills are above that of the perp driver you may buy yourself a significant lead.

02-11-2005, 01:19 PM
You need to harden your vehicle a bit. Look for some armored plates to add to the side of your vehicle. I'm not speaking of fully armoring the vehicle, but something big enough to give you *some* protection.

One thing a lot of people forget is the narrow streets in ahem, 3rd world environments. You don't always get a 4 lane, paved highway to do your E&E. In fact, if the attackers did their homework, you would most certainly NOT be in a good place when the attack is on.

Look into runflat tires, armor the vehicle to keep the driver in the game, and always make sure you have enough fuel for high G manuvers.

Remember, when the fight is on, you better be ready with what you have accessable.

Lou Costello
02-11-2005, 01:42 PM
Somewhat related .......

A few years ago, a co-workers son was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking on McCarter Highway in Newark. The victim also had his young son in the front seat with him. The wound was not immediately fatal and the victim took off for his home in the Ironbound Section. He drove thru lights and focused on one thing - to survive long enough to get his young son home to his wife. HE DID NOT GIVE UP!

On arriving home, his son went inside and the family called for help. The Newark Police quickly responded and were absolutely fantastic in their care for the victim and his family. He survived the shooting with no major consequences.

The one lesson I learned from this - DON'T GIVE UP THE FIGHT! Even if severely wounded, do what it takes to get home to your family.

02-11-2005, 02:01 PM
I do have taken what you mention in to consideration when I travel to Central and South America on bossiness. I get nervous every time I see a motorcycle approach the taxi or rented car as well I stay extra alert when stopping at lights, sings and when I have to take a steep corner. One important thing is to learn how to ambush, that way you can see the area thru the BG eyes and see the potential spots of danger.

Armoring my car is a bit to extreme for me, I'm only analyzing a small possibility and preparing my mind for worst case scenario.


good story the right mindset makes a big difference.


Don Robison
02-13-2005, 12:09 AM
Some of the best money you can spend is to attend a FOF driving course. I've been to a couple over the past few years and feel it's better prepared my skills, attitude, and most of all mindset. Most people only think about training with pistols. A pistol is not a death ray and is truly a last ditch weapon. Not to say I don't carry one or don't have the skill to use a pistol I carry or have immediate access to a pistol, surefire and cell 24/7. It's just not my first solution to a problem.

Spreadfire Arms
02-23-2005, 04:59 PM
kind of an aside, but my buddy went through an EP school put on by TCLEOSE (Texas Peace Officers Licensing Board). he was amazed at how much damage the rear trunk area can sustain when the car is moving in reverse. It takes a little practice to go fast in reverse, but if you can't go forward, and you have to keep moving, remember you can throw it in reverse and step on it.

the trunk, since it is empty and usually sits far back from the rear axle, can be totally crushed and still allow for wheel clearance in the wheel wells.

as everyone here has stated, the key to get out of the Kill Zone is to keep moving. It is much harder to engage a moving target, especially when the moving target is a 2 ton machine moving fast.

also, if you high-center the car or it otherwise becomes immobilized, yes, exit the car and move to cover. Dead cars are bullet magnets.

stay safe.

steve ou
spreadfire arms
austin, tx

pete f
02-24-2005, 10:48 AM
It is not that expensive nor difficult to up armor a vehicle to at least give the passsenger compartment a decent level of protection. Some inproved side glass and loss of window venting will keep the head shots down. a layer of 3/16 hard plate, shaped to fit the door panel and then a few layers of kevlar matting for spall protection work amazingly well.
and are cheap. we installed some of these mats in an industrial setting where pieces being tested occaisonally fail in a dramtic fashion.


this place shows the mats but they are expensive. Our source was less than half this price but they do not post material on the net.

One other thing that I have seen happen is loss of control because of flying glass and or debris causing loss of vision.
I always wear safety glasses at work, and I have gotten into the habit that the sun glasses in the car are safety glass rated and the glasses I have to wear at night are safety glass rated.
I started doing this after one day while driving home and still wearing my safety glasses a large chuck of scrap iron fell of a truck bounced once and came right thru my windshield. I was covered with glass with a big piece of iron now sitting where my wife had sat minutes before and my windshield in my lap and i was still doing seventy on the highway,