Deverick Woodfork, a devoted husband and father, was with his family when he was forced to make the split-second decision to defend himself and his loved ones against an armed attacker. Moments before the attack, Deverick, his wife, and his two sons under the age of 3 pulled into the parking lot of a local flooring store. He removed his keys from the ignition of his van and exited the vehicle, reaching to hook his keys to his belt. He heard a man’s voice demanding he hand over his keys; as Deverick turned around, he was greeted with a Glock aimed directly at him.

Before Deverick had a chance to respond, or even fully process what was happening, the stranger began firing at Deverick, shooting as he closed the distance between himself and Deverick and his family.

The attack took place in broad daylight during rush hour. Deverick’s family was trapped inside the van while the armed assailant emptied his weapon in Deverick’s general direction. The shots could have penetrated the metal of the van, potentially killing his wife or two sons. This situation is a father’s worst nightmare.

Deverick fired four shots from his Glock, which was loaded with hollow point ammunition. Two of his bullets struck the attacker—one in the leg and one in the chest—successfully stopping the threat. The attacker fired several rounds, and although he peppered the vehicle with gunshots, he missed Deverick and his family entirely. The attacker fled the scene after Deverick’s successful self-defense acts.

In the moments following the attack, Deverick did exactly what he should have—he called the U.S. LawShield Emergency Hotline and immediately reached Independent Program Attorney Emily Taylor. “Deverick was, understandably, in a heightened emotional state when he called the hotline,” recalls attorney Taylor. “He needed someone calm to help him process what had happened so that he could give an efficient statement to law enforcement. That’s my job; I knew what questions to ask to get Deverick in the right state of mind to talk to the police and to paint the entire picture of the event. Your first statement should be your best statement. Luckily, Deverick acted in near-perfect self-defense, so our biggest hurdle was simply pulling the adrenaline down and giving a clear picture of the defensive incident.”

After shots are fired in self-defense or defense of others, there are a few things you should know:

  1. Law enforcement is there to investigate YOU. Even if you feel you have done everything right (like Deverick), do NOT give any statements until you have conferred with an attorney.
  1. Your first statement should be your best statement. Anything left out of your first statement will be treated with suspicion down the road when you want to “add” it in. A seasoned attorney knows what questions to ask you to get a clear picture of what occurred and ensure you’re not leaving anything important out.
  1. You don’t know what you don’t know. Just as important as not leaving out critical facts is not adding details to your statement that may be incorrect. How many shots you fired, precise positions…if your memory of these details is incorrect, police will treat the inconsistency as a possible deception. After reviewing the facts of your particular circumstances, your attorney will be able to help identify crucial information that law enforcement needs to know to understand your defensive action clearly.

Deverick protected his family from a violent attack that could have easily ended in tragedy. As a result of his quick thinking and carefully fired shots, he and his family emerged physically unscathed. He credits his Independent Program Attorney, Emily Taylor, and U.S. LawShield with making the aftermath of the self-defense shooting easier to navigate. What would you do if you were attacked while out shopping with your family? If it comes down to defending your family with your everyday carry firearm, you want solid backup for after the shots are fired; you want U.S. LawShield and our team of Independent Program Attorneys on your side. Call U.S. LawShield at 877-448-6839 or visit our member sign-up page to become a member today.