Legally Armed Defender Faces Four Attackers Outside of a Bar

Armed Defender Faces Four Attackers Outside of a Bar
Legally Armed Defender Faces Four Attackers Outside of a Bar

U.S.A. –-( A young man and his buddy tried to drive away from a bar. That doesn’t sound like part of an attack and armed defense, but it was in this case. This self-defense story starts to unfold at about 11:30 on a Friday night outside the Steam Pub in Southampton Township. The pub is about 16 miles north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the pub takes its name from an old train station. Two men tried to leave the pub, but four men were leaning on their car in the parking lot. The four men began punching the two men as they tried to enter their car and drive away.

One of the victims, Luis Rodrigues,  tried to enter the passenger side door. He was hit several times and ran away to get help. The driver, Liam Hughes, was punched as he tried to enter the driver’s side door. He was knocked to the ground. He tried to enter his car but was grabbed and pulled back outside, where he was hit again. Again, the driver dove into his car and pulled his gun from between the driver’s seat and the center console. As the victim was again dragged out of the car, he shouted that he had a gun.

The victim was on the ground as several attackers again advanced on him. That is when the victim fired his handgun. The defender stopped shooting when the attackers backed away. The armed victim stayed at the scene and called 911. It is unclear from the news stories if the attacker’s motive was to beat the two victims or to steal their car.

Two of the attackers died at the scene. A third was transported to the hospital for treatment of a bullet wound to his arm. The four attackers and the two victims were detained by the police. Police reviewed security video of the parking lot outside the bar.

The armed victim was a 140-pound male. He purchased his firearm legally. He also had a concealed carry permit. He had been in the Army Reserve for the last 3-½ years.

The attackers were both larger than the victims and the victims were outnumbered. After being hit several times, the armed driver was on his back on the ground outside his car. He could not move to escape his multiple attackers, nor could he effectively defend himself from that position.

That disparity of force is critically important. The victims could easily establish an immediate and unavoidable threat of death or great bodily harm. The district attorney agreed after he reviewed the witness statements and viewed the security video. The defender was not charged.

Pennsylvania law includes the crime of felony assault, where an accomplice may be charged with second-degree murder if the death occurred during the commission of a felony. So far, one of the assailants was charged with the misdemeanor crime of simple assault.

The defender did a number of things that helped his case. He didn’t start the attack or shout insults back at his attackers. In contrast, the defender shouted for his attackers to stop. He shouted that he was armed. The defender stopped shooting when the attackers let him go and the attackers backed away. He stayed at the scene of the crime and called 911, asking for help. When they arrived, the defender identified himself and gave a statement to the police.

As an aside, I wonder how accurately I could shoot if I was on my back being dragged across the ground by several attackers. Also, if the police suggest that you go to the hospital to have your wounds examined, then take their advice. That medical documentation may be used in court to substantiate your claims.


About Rob Morse

Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.Rob Morse

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Criminals will continue to prey on citizens until they learn that committing crimes is very dangerous.

I’m glad that the victims weren’t charged with any crimes. DAs who charge armed victims belong in jail themselves.


Hughes did really good. Killing two out four of those SOB’s ain’t bad, esp. considering the circumstances.


After the first shot the attackers did not retreat. Obviously it was some personal animus.


Captain JP8,

Well the shots were more than likely all fired in quick succession… But yes, this was probably something that maybe got its budding start inside the bar, even if it was just the group of four giving them dirty ugly looks, or doing something disrespectful in the bar… The group of four probably thought these two were a couple of chumps. Happens all the time.


I would almost bet it was about a pretty girl with a real nice smile. Happens all the time.

Last edited 1 month ago by 3%er

READ the story again. This pair left the bar to get in their car and go somewhere else,probably home. The four were first contacted as the four were AT the car. So unless the four KNEW the pair from before and KNEW what car they had come in, this was a random association prompted by the four. WHY were they already AT the pair’s car? The shots were all fired fairly close together in time, as would be expected if four toughs were making mayhem on their victim. Start shooting and keep shooting until the perps clearly break away and… Read more »


The article forgot to mention that the victim’s gun was stolen by the police and will never be seen again. Now, he is defenseless.


Four against two is already off balance. But when the one victim ran to get help and left the other guy with four attacking him, well that guy had every right in the world to use whatever means necessary to defend himself. Including an Apache.


He had every right to use deadly force whether or not his buddy ran off the get help. He could had used deadly force even if it was one on one.

Last edited 1 month ago by Ope

It worked out. The only thing better would have been if the victim carried the handgun on his person. And of course, no alcohol consumption in the bar. It is a common mistake of people to think they can reach the handgun in their vehicle. Not to mention the handgun can be stolen by a ten year old who breaks the window.

Jay Hanig

In my state (NC), CCW holders can carry into a bar as long as they don’t partake of anything alcoholic themselves. If you’ve had a drink inside, it’s as if you didn’t effectively have a CCW, and if you get into it with someone, you’re on your own.. So I could understand why he left his pistol in the car, assuming PA has a similar law. I would have too. But frankly, I don’t drink in bars and restaurants for precisely that reason… that it would cause me to have to leave my gun behind if I want to drink… Read more »


I agree.
Don’t drink.
Carry always.


Given the fact that Pennsylvania law does not prohibit an individual from carrying a firearm in a bar or establishment which sells liquor for consumption on the premises, I wonder why he left it in his car. In fact, in Pennsylvania it is not even illegal to drink alcohol while carrying. Doing so may or may not be a bad idea depending on the individual’s temperament and amount consumed but there’s no doubt the beating could possibly have been avoided all together had he kept the gun in his person instead of having to fight his way into his vehicle… Read more »