Erickson Dumaual was ambushed last Friday when two home invaders broke into his Santa Ana home at 4 a.m. and held a gun to his head.
While one of the men held Dumaual, a Krav Maga student, at gunpoint, the other started feeling about his room for valuables.
“The guy had a gun right at my head,” said Dumaual, in an interview with KTLA. When the man with the gun turned to look at his partner in crime, Dumaual decided to make a move.
“At that point I went for the gun,” said Dumaual, who took the intruder to the ground. “It was tough because he tried to pin me. It’s a battle, 50-50, who’s going to die here?”
Dumaual managed to wrestle the gun away from the intruder, who was later identified as 19-year-old Bryan Bravo, a documented gang member.
Bravo’s partner-in-crime fled the scene and it was now just the home owner and the one assailant.
“All I want to do is make sure this guy doesn’t hurt me, my family or anybody else,” said Dumaual. Yet even though Dumaual had disarmed Bravo, he kept coming at him.
“I tried to tell him to, ‘stop, stop, stop,’ and he comes at me … I had to pull the trigger. I didn’t want to kill him,” Dumaual said.
Dumaual shot Bravo in the leg. But Bravo was still determined to come after the homeowner. Dumaual began pistol whipping Bravo and then threw him into the backyard swimming pool.
Bravo was subsequently arrested and is recovering from non-life-threatening injuries. Police are still looking for his partner who was described as a “Hispanic man with a shaved head.”
As for Dumaual, he is doing okay after the harrowing incident. “I’m doing fine, just glass in my feet,” he said.
What Can We Learn from this DGU Story? I jotted down five quick points that I think are important.
1. Get an Alarm System
How do you avoid getting ambushed at 4 a.m. while sleeping in your own bed? Get an alarm system or a dog or motion sensors or something to alert you that there is an intruder on your property. It goes without saying but the element of surprise is critical in any fight or combat situation. It gives one the upper hand. Don’t be caught with your pants down. Take the proper steps so that you are the one surprising the home invader.
2. Bedside Defense
Examining your home defense posture, what do you have at the ready? What’s at your bedside that you can not only access but deploy within a matter of seconds to confront a threat?
Everyone’s home situations is different. By that I mean some people have young children at home so there are limitations as to what weapon they can put where and how secured or unsecured they can situate it within a bedroom. I’m not going to delve into the specifics of that topic here, but what I will say is try to have some type of self-defense implement close by to where you sleep.
3. Can You Fight?
Admittedly, I’m not much of a fighter. But I know some self-defense basics that would help me if I were to ever get involved in an altercation.
Is it enough? Hell no! It’s never enough. The reality is that I’m not even close to being in the physical condition or the fighting form I think I should be in. The only question is what I’m I doing right now to remedy this deficiency? I’ll pose that question to you as well, what are you doing to improve your overall physical condition and your hand-to-hand combat skills?
I think this DGU story is a reminder that I need to get my butt in gear and start training again.
4. Killed or Be Killed
“It was tough because he tried to pin me. It’s a battle, 50-50, who’s going to die here?”
Having the right mindset is probably the most underrated aspect to training for a self-defense situation. Sure, you can have all the right tools and be physically fit, but if you’re not in the right place mentally you’re in trouble.
At some point you have to accept the fact that in a life or death situation it’s killed or be killed. That means it’s either you or him. To quote Dumaual, “It was tough because he tried to pin me. It’s a battle, 50-50, who’s going to die here?”
Are you mentally prepared to take a life to save your own? Have you thought seriously about this question?
5. Don’t Shoot to Wound
It’s not in our nature to kill other people. As Dumaual said, “I tried to tell him to, ‘stop, stop, stop,’ and he comes at me … I had to pull the trigger. I didn’t want to kill him.”
Dumaual shot the suspect in the leg. But that did not stop the suspect from coming at Dumaual. As any self-defense expert worth his salt will instruct you, “You shoot until the threat is eliminated.”
The reality is you are gambling with your life if you don’t shoot until the threat is eliminated. How do you know he doesn’t have another gun or that he won’t pick up a heavy object and attempt to bludgeon you with it? You don’t know.
Now, that doesn’t apply if you have the situation under control, e.g. the suspect gives up his pursuit or starts to run away, but as long as the suspect is coming at you, thus jeopardizing your personal safety, you shoot until he stops. Period. To circle back to number four, it takes a certain mindset to think this way. So do some soul searching and get your head in the right space.