Considerations from Shooting in Kam’s Market, Bay Point, California, 2019 ~ VIDEO

Opinion

Screenshot from surveillance video at Kam's Market Shooting

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- An attempted armed robbery and self-defense shooting occurred in Kam's Market in Bay Point, California.  Bay Point is in Contra Costa County in the East San Francisco Bay area.

From multiple published accounts, Mark Kaspowitz was starting to close up for the night at about 11 p.m. on 22 December 2019.  Two masked assailants came into the store. One of them jumped the counter, confronted Mark, attacked him, and took money from the register. The assailant pistol-whipped Mark with what appeared to be a semi-automatic pistol, beating him down to the floor.

The assailant used both hands to grab the cash. From the floor, Mark manages to access a store owned pistol kept in a drawer not far from the cash register. The robber noticed and attacked Mark again.  Noticing Mark's access to the store pistol, the assailant recovers the pistol he brought to the store and again used it as a club. Mark fired a shot, pointing the store pistol upwards at the person who was above him and pistol-whipping him.

The robber fled the store, only to die outside, yards from the entrance.

Mark Kaspowitz is reported to be a military veteran of the Air force, from 1980 to 1984, with about 20 years experience as a security guard. He said he is 56 years old. After the shooting, Mark gave an interview to reporters in the video below.

Here are a few things to consider from Mark's experience.

Situational awareness:

Mark was busy with the store close down procedures. The store considers robbery a serious threat, or it would not have a store pistol available to employees. Closing time is a prime time for robbers. All of the days proceeds are likely to be available, and it is likely there will be fewer customers to interfere. Mark did not notice the robbers until one was within 5-6 feet, pointing a gun at him.

Denial of reality:

Mark had a masked man with a gun pointed at him from 5-6 feet away, at closing. He still denied the reality, saying:

“At first, I thought it was someone playing a joke.”

Ineffective disarm:

This may be why Mark makes the ineffectual disarm attempt, simply pushing the robber's gun aside. The attempt is quickly and easily defeated. If the robber's gun were operative and loaded, Mark could have been shot.  A disarm attempt should be all-out, a matter of life and death. The robber was relatively unguarded. A serious disarm would probably have succeeded.

Firearm stored off body:

The store firearm was stored in a drawer close to the register. If Mark had noticed the masked robbers coming in, he might have had time to access it before the robber cleared the counter. The difficulties Mark encountered show the value of on the body carry.

Contra Costa County issues very few concealed carry permits. In 2016, the estimated number of permits was 263. The population of Contra Costa County is over 1.1 million people. The chance of Mark getting a permit was virtually nil.

Focus on survival:

Mark focuses on survival, rather than saving the store some money.  This is positive. Mark said the money was the least of his concern.  He only accesses the store firearm after being attacked.  Then he hears the assailant saying “He's got a gun”, indicating there was more than one assailant, increasing his concern for his and his co-worker's survival. He thinks he hears a shot, as he is being pistol whipped again, just before he fires.

It may have been the blow to the head the assailant delivered a second or so before Mark fired, which Mark interpreted as a gun shot.

Lack of instantaneous effect from the shot:

Mark says he did not know if he hit the assailant or not. There was no obvious, instant, effect from the shot.  We do not know the caliber of the small, black, semi-auto pistol which Mark accessed.

Robber's guns ineffective:

It is likely the robbers guns were not operative, either through operator ignorance, mechanical problems, being unloaded, fake, or toy guns. If toy, the gun was sufficiently hard to wound Mark as he was being pistol whipped. Using ineffective guns in a robbery is common.

Alert readers will notice alternative courses of action which Mark could have taken. The list above is not exhaustive or complete. It is a compilation of some of the more obvious things to be considered from the robbery and shooting at Kam's Market in December of 2019. It is not meant to denigrate Mark's successful defense.

Commenters are free to discuss potential problems with Mark's interview, and other areas not considered above.


About Dean Weingarten:

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30-year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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Doom
Doom
9 months ago

The second the suspect entered the store with his face covered, the clerk should have drawn a weapon from his person and as soon as he saw a gun in the suspects hand, he should have fired. The threat was clear and present.

Rattlerjake
Rattlerjake
9 months ago

The county’s CCW policy makes no difference in this situation because it is PRIVATE property. It would only make a difference if Kam had left the store with the weapon concealed on his person and didn’t have a CCW permit. The government CANNOT prevent an individual from carrying open or concealed on his own property or on private property with permission of the owner!

Tionico
Tionico
9 months ago
Reply to  Rattlerjake

It may have been changed as that insane SHole of a state tightens restrictions on one’s possessioin and use of firearms, but I know just a few years ago it was lawful for business owners/staff can legally be armed on the premises, concealed or otherwise. Of course, mGETTING a handgun in that nuthouse is neither straightforward nor easy, but it can be done as long as one is not a felon. I”m certain this chap is not, else we’d be reading about how he was charged as felon in possession, despite his life/death situationi. Glad he fought back and survived.… Read more »

OldJarhead03
OldJarhead03
9 months ago

The robber demonstrates the mistaken use of a gun as talisman of control. Just by waving it around, he expects people to automatically obey. Good guy or bad guy, that is a stupid mistake.

Ryben Flynn
Ryben Flynn
9 months ago

But ALL criminals in California carry guns. Only Law abiding people can’t carry one.

RayJN
RayJN
9 months ago
Reply to  Ryben Flynn

To the libs self defense is vigilantism (of course most top libs have government body guards)

james
james
9 months ago

Keep your carry gun on you at all times.

Bill
Bill
9 months ago

I appreciate Dean’s analysis. As I was reading about what happened, I could only think that this event was barely a success at all for the store clerk. Between his personal incredulity in the situation and the many barriers that existed to his self defense, thanks to leftist government that supposedly “cares” so much about everybody, it is something of a miracle that the clerk is alive today. It is rather wonderful and unusual that the store had a policy that allowed employees to access a defensive arm, but with any more competent and aggressive robber, this would likely have… Read more »

N/A
N/A
9 months ago

Funny how CBS warns it’s viewers that the scenes showing the attack and shooting might be disturbing. The only thing disturbing is that these two individuals walked in to rub the establishment and did not hesitate to assault the clerk. Too bad he was unable to tap the other bad actor. Reporting the news and journalism at its core, is truly dead.

MICHAEL J
MICHAEL J
9 months ago

Another public service Contra Costa provides, keeping the law abiding citizens potential victims.

Tionico
Tionico
9 months ago
Reply to  MICHAEL J

Last I knew, California law provides that owner/staff of a business may legally be armed whilst on the premises. Of course, the stupid STATE does impose a gagging gaggle of prior restraints to obtain a handgun, but it can be done unless one is a prohibited person. He is not else THAT would have been the subhead.

JPM
JPM
9 months ago

Waiting for the “victim’s” family to show up on TV stating, “My baby dind’ do nuffin’!” or, “He only wanted money for new Nikes and couldn’t afford them, he shouldn’t have been shot for that”, or some such nonsense.

Link
Link
9 months ago
Reply to  JPM

That is tomorrow’s news story.

nrringlee
nrringlee
9 months ago

Contra Costa County is one of the many counties in CA where the May Issue CCW policy is conditional: donate to the sheriff’s reelection fund and you can get a permit. Blue utopia.

Arny
Arny
9 months ago
Reply to  nrringlee

I would like to see the list of people & background (finances) as to who are allowed to hold a CCW.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
9 months ago

Another really good example of how fast things go sideways. This entire thing was done in less than 1 min. What was the police response time? I am a firm believer of being aware of my surroundings. MANY times you can spot trouble or potential trouble and avoid it or be prepared for it. The clerk did not notice trouble until the robber was 5 to 6 ft away. It also gives one time to decide on the reality of the situation. The clerk thought it was some kind of a joke. With the stats showing the very few number… Read more »

gregs
gregs
9 months ago

definitely was in condition white, not at all aware of his environment. he looked up when they walked in the store, with masks on, and went back to counting the till. dude wake the f up.

Tionico
Tionico
9 months ago
Reply to  gregs

not so fast, there Usa….. this guy was an active duty military vet, if I remember the article aright. Doubt HE”D be freaked by an imitation combat rifle.

Grigori
Grigori
9 months ago

Justified! Good riddance to bad garbage! Glad the clerk will be okay. Too bad the other robber got out alive.

Finnky
Finnky
9 months ago
Reply to  Grigori

@Grigori – Almost enough to make one wish the deceased had survived long enough to be interrogated – not sure about CA, but in most states 2nd could be charged with murder due to death occurring during course of felony. However, I’m glad with outcome – surviving bullet shot long enough to reach hospital usually results in surviving and in any case results in extremely expensive medical care which someone else (tax payers and the insured) have to pay for. Heartless – definitely, but I don’t want to have to pay for dirtbag’s medical care. Agree that it would be… Read more »

mikeL
mikeL
9 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

@USA, you are most certainly correct. Our lack of spine leaders have made it quite difficult to bring charges against criminals. Now the theft is required to be $950 and above…crime has spiked here, literally. The one that should bother the citizens here becomes law 1-1-20. AB247…..neutralizing the use law enforcements weapons. Read it……badges will be leaving.

Vern
Vern
9 months ago
Reply to  mikeL

There should be a law that requires the politicians responsible for such stupid laws to be the ones to put the bodies of the victims in the body bags without any gloves for protection against getting blood on their hands. They need the blood on their hands to remind them of their stupidity.

Vern
Vern
9 months ago
Reply to  Vern

There are only two types of slaves in the universe, slaves of Christ, and slaves of satan, which are you?

Tionico
Tionico
9 months ago
Reply to  mikeL

Good job for the
“homeless”. They need something constructive to do once in a while.