Shooter Rughi: The Right Guy, The Right Place & the Glock 19

This is an English sheepdog. The animal is bred to protect sheep from predators. Though disarming at first glance, the breed is fiercely protective.

The sheep generally do not like the sheepdog. He looks a lot like the wolf. He has fangs and the capacity for violence. The difference, though, is that the sheepdog must not, can not and will not ever harm the sheep…

Sheep are great for making wool, mutton, and little sheep. However, they are otherwise a fairly passive lot.

Still, the sheepdog disturbs the sheep. He is a constant reminder that there are wolves in the land. They would prefer that he didn’t tell them where to go, or give them traffic tickets, or stand at the ready in our airports in camouflage fatigues holding an M-16. The sheep would much rather have the sheepdog cash in his fangs, spray paint himself white, and go, “Baa.”

The wolf is the reason there is a sheepdog.

Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.

-LTC Dave Grossman On Killing

What was this idiot thinking? The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin precipitated a planetary conflagration.

May 30, 2020, was a Saturday, and downtown Seattle was a war zone. Mobs of protesters incensed over the murder of George Floyd while in police custody had metastasized into rioters burning vehicles, attacking cops, and looting buildings. Such chaos was undeniably newsworthy.

Brandi Kruse was an aggressive reporter with a history of heading toward the action.

Brandi Kruse, a television reporter for Fox News affiliate Q13, was heading into the war zone with her cameraman in tow. Knowing that it would be dangerous, they had contracted with a former Marine Infantryman to provide security. At 1600 hours local time things got real.

This guy is one seriously great American.

The security contractor did what we all hope we would do. He ran to the sound of gunfire, took charge of the chaos, and risked his own life to save others. His story is fraught with life lessons for armed Americans.

So much for anonymity. John has his own popular Instagram page.

In the immediate aftermath the man requested anonymity. In the Information Age, however, anonymity is a fleeting target. His name is John Carughi. That’s no great revelation. He’s all over the Internet now.

Practical Tactical

John Carughi became famous literally overnight. A former US Marine with extensive experience working as a security contractor overseas, he was the right guy at the right place at the right time.

The Internet is awash with fascinating interviews with John. Today’s intent is not a rehash. To understand the philosophy of the thing, however, you do need to know the story.

John’s original intent for the evening’s work was that he not be noticed by anybody. He’s in the middle.

Tasked with protecting Brandi and her cameraman, John therefore dressed like a protester in a hoodie and surgical mask. He carried a nondescript Vertx daypack. He shouted the same vapid slogans as the protesters to maintain his cover.

This had been a Seattle Police Department precinct station before it was abandoned to the rioters.

That the Seattle cops ultimately surrendered a precinct station to the rioters was a tactical decision that somebody will have to live with. Along the way, however, they also lost several police vehicles along with a pair of AR15 patrol rifles.

Without hesitation, John Carughi saw that things were getting out of control, presented his weapon, and took action to stabilize the situation.

The rioters discovered the two guns as they dismembered the police SUVs. One anarchist retrieved a weapon and began firing. John directed his charges to a safe position behind a heavy planter, drew his Glock 19 9mm pistol, and purposefully moved toward the shooter.

By projecting a commanding presence, exhibiting singularity of purpose, and demonstrating assertive violence of action, John Carughi disarmed two dangerous anarchists without firing a round or injuring anybody.

John approached the first armed rioter from behind. He snatched the weapon free from the criminal and demanded he leave at gunpoint. He immediately dropped the magazine from the rifle and cleared the chamber. John then removed the charging handle and bolt carrier group. He slung the weapon before dropping these components into his pocket for safekeeping. Then another thug retrieved the second rifle.

Here John stomps on the empty rifle bag to ensure there were no other weapons remaining inside.

Starkly illuminated by flames, John pushed across the street toward the rioter, his G19 at the ready. There was a pregnant moment when their eyes met, and the situation really could have gone either way. Had the rioter raised the stolen weapon John would have undoubtedly killed him. As it was, however, he snatched the second rifle, directed the thug to beat feet, and similarly disabled it. Here’s the clip:

The Rifles

This is a closeup of one of the two SPD rifles that John Carughi recovered during the Seattle rioting. Note his G19 chilling in his right front pocket.

The two Seattle Police Department patrol rifles were fairly typical nicely accessorized AR15’s. The furniture was from Magpul, the optic appeared to be an Aimpoint Micro T2, and the magazines were P-Mags. Both guns had mounted forearm lights.

This is a typical cop circa 1958. My! hasn’t our world changed?
Today’s Law Enforcement is an undeniably scarier thing. The demarcation between cop and soldier has indeed become blurred.

The militarization of police that has the protesters so agitated is undeniably a real thing. Typical American police officers once wore ties and funny hats while packing a revolver along with a speedloader or two. Nowadays many to most Law Enforcement Officers dress more like Delta Force operators. However, threats have evolved considerably of late.

Patrol rifles are de rigueur among Law Enforcement Officers in many parts of the country today.

Long guns in police cruisers were once a source of tremendous controversy. Civilian leadership strived to keep the image of the neighborhood cop low key and non-threatening. We’re pretty much past that now. Patrol rifles now provide the individual officer on the beat an advantage against heavily armed threats or multiple attackers.

Rughi’s Pistol

This is a photo of Rughi’s G19 frame taken from his Instagram page. Aside from a nice stippling job it was otherwise fairly pedestrian.

John Carughi’s handgun was an unremarkable Gen 5 Glock 19. His Glock had a stippling job undertaken by Red Bear Stippling but was otherwise stock. It carried a Surefire weaponlight.

John Carughi served downrange as a security contractor. You can find his thoughts about a proper loadout for a crisis situation online. Here is some of his gear.

John packed his pistol off-body in his Vertx daypack. This gave him quick access to the gun without the danger of printing among the crowd. Amidst hundreds of violent anarchists anonymity was clearly his most powerful tool.

The Glock 19 is one of the most popular handguns in the world. Everybody from local beat cops to Tier 1 Delta operators use the gun.

Gaston Glock debuted the original Glock 17 handgun in 1982 as a replacement for the Walther P38 in Austrian Army service. Despite extensive experience in industrial manufacturing and engineering, Glock had never before built a firearm. This left him with few preconceptions.

The controls on a Glock handgun are both Spartan and effective.

Glock’s revolutionary striker-fired action offers a consistent crisp trigger pull from the first round to the last. The indestructible polymer frame also helps mitigate recoil. The Glock’s only external safety is a blade located in the trigger face.

The Glock is the classic ballistic point and click interface. There’s not a great deal to think about to make it run.

The Glock is not the most accurate handgun in the world, but it is quite likely the most reliable. You can limp wrist a Glock to failure, but it takes effort. Some 65% of American cops pack Glock pistols.


This isn’t me. It’s just some actor who works for a chair company. However, my life is pretty sweet these days. My days of robust action and adventure are behind me. I am therefore in no position to second guess guys in the suck.

As I type these words I am kicked back in my favorite chair. I slept well last night and recently shared a great meal with my bride. I am currently content, comfortable, happy, and safe. I am therefore in no position to second guess any of the players in this sordid little drama. However, there are definitely some lessons to be learned.

Weapons left unsupervised in police vehicles were liberated by anarchists as the violence spread.

It’s tough to justify leaving weapons unsecured in a vehicle, particularly in that environment. When I was on active duty this was the unpardonable sin. I have seen an entire Infantry Battalion spend three days in the field searching for an M16 that fell out of the bottom of a CH47D helicopter while returning from a grueling month-long field problem.

This used to be my office back in the day. I once saw a poor grunt drop his weapon out the cargo hatch (that square hole in the bottom). Life essentially ended for that unfortunate slob, but they did eventually miraculously find the rifle.

The kid who dropped that weapon fell asleep on the ride home. He had to be placed in protective custody. In the Seattle case, somebody obviously should have either taken the weapons along initially or formed a group and pushed back to the truck to retrieve them. However, I acknowledge that it is easy for me to say that. I wasn’t there.

I really cannot think of much I have in common with these communist Antifa losers. However, like the crazy uncle who embarrasses you at family gatherings, you don’t pick your countrymen. John Carughi showed great restraint in not shooting these people. 

John has served as a security contractor downrange in Iraq and did pretty much everything right. During his drive into the city that afternoon he used the time to get acquainted with the situation on the ground via news reports. Despite their broad gulf in ideologies, John acknowledged in interviews that the anarchists were still Americans. He went to great lengths to avoid hurting any of his countrymen, despite their stupidity, irresponsibility, violent proclivities, and misguided ideals.

Off-body carry potentially allows better concealment and the capacity to pack more ammo.

Carrying off body was obviously a good call, but John had to stick his Glock into his pants pocket to clear the rifles. Shoving a hot striker-fired pistol into your crotch in the midst of a riot was a necessary though suboptimal solution. However, given the circumstances, he did a simply fantastic job.

The Rest of the Story

Sadly there’s apparently not the grand gulf between Mogadishu and Seattle that perhaps we initially thought. In both cities, large numbers of disaffected people get angry and set fire to things.

John got his team to safety and returned the weapons to the cops. He made cool, logical decisions with untold hundreds of enraged Mogadishu-grade rioters hot of his heels. In the end, he prevailed throughout some unimaginably difficult circumstances. I’d give you the details, but somebody will undoubtedly make a movie about it. Just keep an eye on Netflix.

John Carughi kept his head and made the world a better place. His military background served to shape his actions in a crisis.

John Carughi is the classic reluctant hero. His interviews illustrate a well-grounded professional who is a product of his background and training. The Marine ethos obviously drives his worldview, and his skills as an Infantryman, security contractor, and firearms instructor are what got him through that chaotic night in Seattle.

We all hope we’d be the sheepdog. John Carughi most definitely was.

So what would any of us do in similar circumstances? I would hope to make the same solid choices and remain just as cool. However, I honestly have no idea. You can’t know until you’re there.

Behold the Iranian Morality Police. That’s really what they’re called. They get paid by their government to harass women who venture out in public with their heads uncovered. If some Iranian took a knee in front of their national flag they’d likely be shot.

There are still places in the world where women can be beaten for walking around with their heads uncovered and homosexuals are executed. However, here Americans are venting their hatred against America. While we certainly have our warts, our nation is a reliable beacon of freedom around the world. That’s why most everybody on the planet wants to come here. 

In other parts of the world fun loving gents like this throw people off of tall buildings for being gay. Seems to me we Americans could use a little perspective.

Derek Chauvin, the loser police officer who killed George Floyd, will rightfully never again breathe free air. In the aftermath of this senseless murder, however, we seem to have lost our collective minds. I suspect most who are kneeling, protesting, and rioting have not actually seen a great deal of the rest of the world.

This morale patch will set you back $8.99 at I hope he makes a fortune off of such stuff.

The former Marine Corporal John Carughi has since monetized his experience into a tidy business. Good for him. I might even buy a t-shirt myself.

Be the sheepdog.

Buy and Sell on GunsAmerica! All Local Sales are FREE!

About the author: Will Dabbs A native of the Mississippi Delta, Will is a mechanical engineer who flew UH1H, OH58A/C, CH47D, and AH1S aircraft as an Army Aviator. He has parachuted out of perfectly good airplanes at 3 o’clock in the morning and summited Mount McKinley, Alaska, six times…always at the controls of an Army helicopter, which is the only way sensible folk climb mountains. Major Dabbs eventually resigned his commission in favor of medical school where he delivered 60 babies and occasionally wrung human blood out of his socks. Will works in his own urgent care clinic, shares a business build-ing precision rifles and sound suppressors, and has written for the gun press since 1989. He is married to his high school sweetheart, has three awesome adult children, and teaches Sunday School. Turn-ons include vintage German machineguns, flying his sexy-cool RV6A airplane, Count Chocula cereal, and the movie “Aliens.”

{ 27 comments… add one }
  • PhxCop August 10, 2020, 3:18 pm

    Well written article, Mr. Dabbs. Sadly, you feel you have enough information to try, convict, and sentence Ofc. Chauvin. I’ve learned to wait until all of the evidence is presented to a jury and they deliberate before I make up my mind. I don’t deny it looks bad, but I have read the ME’s report detailing cause of death. Those findings include advanced heart disease, the presence of large amounts of Fentanyl, the presence of meth, and resisting arrest. The ME ruled it as a homicide, yet the cause of death is listed as cardiac arrest.

    Justice turns slowly, sometimes for a good reason.

    • Shan August 11, 2020, 1:32 pm

      Seriously. Everybody needs to wait and see justice play out. A couple days ago I saw leaked footage of Floyd resisting arrest quite vigorously. Not saying he deserved what he got but dude had multiple chances to get into cop car. Looked like multiple officers were not able to restrain him. Just waiting to see how it all plays out. Wouldn’t want to be law enforcement in this type of hysteria.

  • Grant Stevens August 10, 2020, 11:49 am

    Truly a great American. Too bad those throwing tantrums in the streets of America show no such restraint or sense of responsibility. But, then again, after decades of Marxist brainwashing in public schools and universities, they are oblivious to the rights of others and have no respect for the hard-won freedoms that have been given to them. Combine this with a race-baiting, leftist mainstream media (aka Ministry of Propaganda) and you have a toxic recipe for civil disobedience and anarchy. Stalin called these people “useful idiots.” Sadly, they are living up to his description. If they do not see the error of their ways and refuse to become responsible, respectful citizens, then these lost souls will continue to sow the wind with violent protests until they reap the inevitable whirlwind.

  • First Light August 10, 2020, 10:47 am

    Well done Dr Dabbs. Your article was balanced, entertaining and informative. I scanned all the replies prior to posting mine.

    Your appeal for Americans to develop Perspective and guarded understanding to preserve Freedom cannot be overstated. Living in the moment nor getting your values from “sound bites” does not develop perspective. Mistakes, errors in judgement take place on both sides of the dispute. . . Perhaps Additional Reflection is in order.

    More Government, more Taxes, fewer freedoms and blind expectation of entitlements is a path to paralysis and anti-Democracy. Let’s work together to earn and preserve our Constitutional Freedoms. God Bless these United States.

  • Don MNgrunt August 10, 2020, 10:28 am

    Nice story, have to insist that the authors who write for this awesome website do better; the is no such thing as a “former” Marine. Thanks, for your service, God bless the fallen. SGT JOHANSEN USMC 0311

  • Mike in a Truck August 10, 2020, 9:40 am

    I’m not a sheepdog. But some ladies have called me a dirty dog. It’s not my job to protect the sheep.Im a warrior- that’s the mindset I’ve had since leaving the Army. The sheep can learn to protect themselves or perish for all I care. ( excluding children). Floyd and that dimbulb cop worked togather at some stupid nightclub.The owners were/ are involved in counterfeiting and no doubt other unsavory things. Floyd crossed them in some way and a hit was put out on him. Chauvin found the opportune situation to carry it out. Of course this is speculation on my part- let’s call it Occams Razor. Who kills a fellow employee they’ve worked with for years?Both Floyd and Chauvin are lousy human beings. Neither will be missed by me.

    • Don August 10, 2020, 12:13 pm

      That is an outrageous claim. I should be removed from the comments section.

    • Slim August 15, 2020, 12:19 am

      Your a SORRY EXCUSE for the Army! Didn’t you take an oath to protect BOTH FORIEGN AND DOMESTIC?! Fact is YOU KNOW NOTHING AND NOBODY involved in the George Floyd case which is PROVEN by the FACT(UNKIKE YOUR HEAR SAY!!!!)that your not ALL over the news telling this LIE of a story who’s PAY YOUR POOR self VEERRRYY WELL for simply telling the story in front of cameras, yet NOBODY’S EVER even mentioned this because YOUR A LIAR! REMIVE THIS GUY AS THERE IS ZEERRRROOOOOOOOOO PROOF OR even a HINT of truth OR LOGIC based in his FICTION! Let’s say a COP IS A PAIE KILLER…. SO YOU REALLY THINK THE COP WOULD KILL THE GUY IN FRONT OF SOOOO MANY PEOPLE MOST OF WHICH HAD CAMERAS IN HIS FACE THWT HE KNEW ABOUT SINCE HE SAW THEM?! REEEEAALLY?!!??!! Why woudnt the cop simply jam him up on the street and put some ripening him for his reason for arresting him and then on the way to the jail pull over and do a simple choke good till he was dead and then drive him in like nothing happened and sure he’d say he didn’t even notice something had happened since he was SO doped up he thought he passed out which is why he didn’t try first aid or call an ambulance. YOU ARE A TRUE MORON!!!!

  • FAL Phil August 10, 2020, 9:28 am

    Lose the sheepdog garbage. It is so cliche. Not only that, it is not even a truism. American history is replete with instances of ordinary citizens, without formal training but adequately equipped, stepping up to save the day.

    • Don August 10, 2020, 4:30 pm

      Sheepdogs mentality exists. It is quite real. Yes, ordinary low-skilled people can have the sheepdog gene.

    • Allen August 10, 2020, 7:36 pm

      No one said sheepdogs are cops, or military in fact most are folks who just do the right thing when the right thing needs doing. Some get killed like the teachers who shield their children from a killer because thats all that they could do or jumps into an icy river when a car goes off the road and the occupants are trapped. Not even
      all police, fire and military have the mentality sadly. Its not about carrying a gun and using it to save the day. Its about caring enough about your fellow man, not just children as someone said, to risk your life for others. My 2 cents.

  • Kaniksu Kidd August 10, 2020, 8:30 am

    I enjoy all of Will’s articles. He has fallen into a common trap with this article and as a medical doctor, he should know better. A careful reading of George Floyd’s autopsy report shows that there was no damage to the decedents neck that would have indicated asphyxiation as the cause of death. Derek Chauvin’s department-approved neck restraint did not kill Mr. Floyd – the high levels of fentanyl and other drugs in his system caused cardiac and respiratory arrest. Mr Floyd died while in police custody but it was his own actions and personal choices that killed him. His death has been used by the Marxists and the media – but then I repeat myself – to raise Hell around the USA. The Muslin-Marxist AG of MN, Keith Ellison, overcharged the police officers involved in this incident for political purposes. If they receive a fair trial this will all come out, they will be found not guilty or plead to lesser charges, and this whole mess of riots and arson will start again.

    • Tac-Medic 1987 August 10, 2020, 10:37 am

      Speaking of being uninformed, Kidd, pot meet kettle. I’m about to break down the science of Floyd’s death for you because apparently you don’t understand it. For the TL:DR, the science supports that Floyd died from asphyxiation.

      The fact that Floyd had the presence of narcotics onboard was NOT the cause of his death. If it was, he would have died from merely just sitting or standing or walking around with them in his system.

      There is a condition called positional asphyxia. It is a form of asphyxiation caused by the physical positioning of the body. Mr Floyd was in a prone position with the weight on an officer on his pelvic and lower back region, limiting full expansion/contraction of his diaphragm (the primary muscle that controls the ability for the lungs to expand and contract). Based upon the position of Chauvin’s knee on the side of Floyd’s neck, the weight also limited Floyd from being able to fully expand and contract his chest.

      And let’s talk about the crowning touch: carotid compression. Chauvin’s knee was causing compression of the carotid arteries, both between his knee and Floyd’s neck, as well as between Floyd’s neck and the ground. Not enough to cause complete occlusion (which would have resulted in unconsciousness in 6-10 seconds and full cardiac arrest within several minutes), but enough to cause a reduced blood flow. That, along with the cumulative decrease in oxygenation of the brain, the increased cardiac demand based on the brain, heart and body not getting enough O2, etc. is what put Floyd into Unrecoverable cardiac arrest.

      Two separate autopsies independent of each other returned a determination of homicide. 32 years of being a Paramedic and medic instructor; I’m not just pulling this out of my ass.

      But go ahead, believe in your conspiracy theories. Blame the marxists and Floyd himself and whoever. Your post is another classic example of someone who derides and chooses not to believe in science because it doesn’t fit your agenda. Science doesn’t care what you believe.

    • Slim August 10, 2020, 10:58 am

      You have to be a complete moron if you truly believe the B.S. that he overdosed on drugs when prior to having multiple fools\police with most if not all their weight on his back was more than done and not at all clearly suffering from over dose affects which I’m highly knowledgeable about and if he was so doped up that he’d OD in minutes then he would NOT OF BEEN STANDING OR RESISTING A THING! TALK TO ANY REAL ADDICTION SPECIALIST on that and ALL will say the same thing! Now if he was a needle addict and some how shot up a drug that can’t be shot up hed of overdosed where he shot up and again would of been dead or unconscious and again would of not been able to walk or move since hed be out! George WAS FOR SURE KILLED AND IT’S ALL ON VIDEO FOR YOU TO SEE AS CLEARLY HE’S TALKING AND THEN HE’S DEAD! NEVER AGAIN DOES HE SPEAK SINCE HE WAS KILLED ON THE GROUND IN FRONT OF MANY WITH LIVE CAMERAS! Also REAL overdoses and not TV overdoses are very violent and not at all pretty. He would of been convulsing and choking on his own vomit and that takes minutes and isn’t pretty or something ANYONE could miss so THEY KILLED HIM NO DOUBT! If you eat a mountain of lethal pills and then someone shoots you in the head… You didn’t die from the pills! You sure from the bullet correct?! If not, how would you \George be walking and talking if he was SO intoxicated that he would then overdose within a hour or less… Common?!

    • Marvin August 10, 2020, 12:13 pm

      Your 100% right. Take the drugs out of this equation and Floyd would still be alive and the animals would have to figure out a different reason to be animals

  • Bad Penguin August 10, 2020, 7:53 am

    Gen 1-2 Glock triggers were/are the worst I have ever used. They are gummy feeling and just when you think you have pulled the back all of the way you have to pull a little more before they fire. Gen 4 triggers are acceptable.

    • Scott August 10, 2020, 11:01 am

      Not true for my G17 I bought in 1988. It smoothed out really well after the first 100,000 rounds.

    • Don August 10, 2020, 12:18 pm

      He carried a Gen 5.

    • Big Al 45 August 11, 2020, 11:58 am

      Hence the once very popular “Ghost” trigger replacement that existed.
      It did wonders for my 19, 17 and 22.
      I just couldn’t get past the very crappy grip configuration, and is why I no longer own a Glock.
      I much prefer HK and the S&W’s.

  • Joe E August 10, 2020, 7:28 am

    I like Will’s writing style. Very good report. I’m mature enough to realize this incident is still raw for all of us. Will, your article is a thousand times better, and more accurate, than anything we will see in the media. Police tactics and dress is a response to society. I approached vehicles to ask questions and maybe issue a ticket. Now, the approach is wondering if one or more weapons are coming out of the vehicle. Looking forward to more articles Will!

  • Edward Stillwell August 10, 2020, 7:07 am

    Something to consider; The Sheepdog works for the owner of the sheep not the sheep.

  • Stephen Cox August 10, 2020, 5:53 am

    I would like to know where there author get his facts on how “many or most” cops look like military today. I’ve been working downtown Austin around the Capitol for years where there are high presence of LEO from bike cops to state troopers and none look like the image shown in the article or look “military” unless you want to consider their “Batman belt” of tools to be military.

  • Don E August 10, 2020, 5:48 am

    Derek Chauvin, the loser police officer who killed George Floyd, will rightfully never again breathe free air. In the aftermath of this senseless murder, however, we seem to have lost our collective minds. I suspect most who are kneeling, protesting, and rioting have not actually seen a great deal of the rest of the world.



    • MagnumOpUS August 10, 2020, 6:55 am

      Get off this forum, add a layer of plastic to your face diaper and tighten the straps.

      • Rick P. August 10, 2020, 2:26 pm

        Although it appears this appears to be a senseless criminal act. The Police Officer is still by law presumed innocent until proven guilty. That’s one of the issues at stake here. The possibility that someone should be the Judge, jury and executioner of another. Don E was only pointing out that ALL people are entitled to equal rights.

        • Slim August 15, 2020, 12:29 am

          I agree with that UNLESS IT’S XKEAR AS DAY IN VIDEO FOR ALL TO SEE! Did you see the same video as the rest of the world and believe he really kept TRYING to say he couldn’t breath over and over with less and less life in his voice with each day out until he DIED CLEAR AS DAY as you can see his face to limp and his face as if he were asleep was limp as can be which NEVER happens to that degree unless your DEAD or unconscious in a serious way! It’s on VIDEO CLOSE UP AND CRYSTAL CLEAR VIDEO AS WELL AS AUDIO! Amazing how dumb people really are!

      • Rxev Bvgi January 18, 2021, 3:55 pm

        And you have yourself another cup of Kool-Aid, Pal.

Leave a Comment

Send this to a friend