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View Full Version : Shot in the shoulder blade with a handgun - what happens?



thisismydesign
10-22-2013, 08:17 AM
My main character, Peter, is robbing a house when it happens; he's on his way out when the homeowner spots him and, in a panic, blindly fires. Peter makes it to his car and floors it; now he's far enough away he won't be found, but what does he do now?

He's a serial robber, and he's been caught once before, so he's not chancing it and seeking help, right away at least.

So, a) I guess my first question would be, what circumstances would permit him to be able to run down the driveway to his car after this happens? b) What kind of wound would allow him to, say, drive long enough to find somewhere to go and be safe? And c) what does he do now? His buddy was doing this with him, so there is another person around.


Follow-up questions may come. Thanks guys! I'll do more of my own research once I have these basics down.

Cath
10-22-2013, 12:48 PM
Could you make the font a bit larger, please. Some of us have old eyes.

thisismydesign
10-22-2013, 02:52 PM
Of course! I only made it so small because on my monitor it looked huge :/

ULTRAGOTHA
10-22-2013, 04:12 PM
Is this contemporary in the USA?

There are so many other important parts that control the arm in that area that it may be better for him to be shot somewhere else. Muscle of the shoulder, flesh of upper arm, some place like that.

Though that depends on how badly and for how long you want him injured. What does your plot require?

If he is shot in the shoulder blade, he will probably end up in hospital eventually.

thisismydesign
10-22-2013, 08:18 PM
We'll say muscle of the shoulder, then. Thank you for that!
I guess one of my biggest questions I left out would actually be, where could he go for treatment? He has access to a good criminal lawyer who could probably redirect him to someone in the business that could help, but how do those kinds of organizations go? Like where would such a person work?

ULTRAGOTHA
10-22-2013, 08:46 PM
I'm not sure what ethical rules and laws govern criminal lawyers if their clients show up in their offices with a gun shot wound. This would vary from state to state.

But if he's shot in the muscle of the shoulder, and the bullet doesn't lodge, his friend could just pour a bunch of betadine and hydrogen peroxide in the wound and bandage it up. Assuming they can stop the bleeding with a lot of pressure on the wound.

What does your plot need to have happen? It's usually better to go from that end of things to create a wound that would meet your requirements than try to bend the plot to match a wound. We're just guessing here if anything would help you. Better to tell us what your plot needs.

Do you WANT him to be caught? Or do you want him to get bandaged up and be better in a few weeks? Raging infection? Big ol' divot in his shoulder? Bleeding all over the office of his good and expensive lawyer? What?

GeorgeK
10-22-2013, 08:57 PM
There are many different handguns ranging from a 25 auto which is only a bit more lethal than the very high end pellet rifles to a 45 magnum aka the hand cannon which would probably have an exit wound if not using hollow point ammo. Of course if his back is to the homeowner he needn't see it and you don't need to specify.

Also you tend not to hear the shot that gets you. Most modern firearms injuries do not get infected unless there's poor wound care or poor sanitation. They generally don't need to have the bullets removed. They also generally should not be sewn up but allowed to heal by secondary intent. So if he was shot with a relatively wimpy handgun and had a friend who could apply pressure and do wound care several times a day since he won't be able realistically to do that to his own back, he could conceivably heal without formal medical attention.

jclarkdawe
10-22-2013, 09:22 PM
As an attorney who has represented criminal defendants, here's my reaction to your scenario.

A client shows up with a gunshot wound that hasn't been treated, wanting advice on how to get treatment for the gunshot wound. As an attorney, I'm well aware that a gunshot wound is a mandatory report for a doctor. My client is asking me how to commit a crime. Further my client is asking me to risk his health, potentially resulting in his death. In addition, my client is asking me to compound a felony, which will result in my going to prison.

If I'm nice, I don't call anyone. More likely, I call an ambulance.

Understand that criminal defense attorneys do not trust their clients.

You might find a doctor who'd do this, but not through an attorney.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

pdichellis
10-22-2013, 11:37 PM
My main character, Peter, is robbing a house when it happens

I might be a little off-topic here, or maybe the terms “robbing” and "serial robber" were loose not literal, but from the description of the crime I think this guy committed a burglary, not a robbery.

That is, the character did not confront the victim with force or fear of force, because the victim first “spots" the character leaving the house.

The resident was home during the crime so, depending on the state, that’s probably a felony burglary, something your guy definitely would not want to get arrested for, so it still makes sense that he runs and hides instead of seeking immediate care.

I’ve researched and written a couple of burglary stories (including for the anthology linked in my signature below), so am no doubt way more hyper to this than most readers. But you seem interested in accurate details, so thought I’d mention this in case it’s helpful.

Best wishes,
Peter (not the one shot in the story) DiChellis

debirlfan
10-23-2013, 12:36 AM
Don't know if you ever saw the show "Boston Legal" or not, but lawyer Alan (who wasn't always exactly honest) sent his client to a vet (animal doctor, that is) who'd once been a human doc but had lost his license somehow. Rather than going to his lawyer, your crook may be better off calling an old prison buddy with mob or gang connections who might know someone like that.

Russ Mars
10-23-2013, 08:09 PM
One aspect of being shot that's not mentioned here, and it's so often not taken into account in literature, but especially in tv shows and movies, is shock.

How many times have we read or seen someone get shot and then proceed to carry on with all kinds of action? In reality, that wound, although in and of itself not necessarily extremely debilitating, brings with it the body's natural shock reaction to traumatic injury. Shock alone can take you out of the game and make it impossible, or nearly so, to do much of anything but pass out. Physiological shock can result in collapse, coma or even death if it is not treated immediately.

All too often the fictional characters who get shot, ordinary humans, seem to be immune to an almost inescapable physical reaction.

WeaselFire
10-24-2013, 12:11 AM
Shot in the shoulder is always a debilitating injury. Too many nerves, veins, arteries, tendons and ligaments, as well as bones, not to be. First, loss of the use of the arm and extreme pain. Second, if not stopped, loss of blood, enough to lead to unconsciousness. And third, if untreated and death doesn't occur, permanent crippling.

Shoot him in the outer thigh for the results you're looking for. Butt would be even better. Arm, outside the bone, is okay. Realistically, nobody treats a bullet wound without reporting it. But if he tells the hospital (and police) it was a drive-by and he didn't see the shooter, didn't get a plate and only remembers it as a dark-colored, four-door foreign car like a Toyota or Honda, he may be able to throw suspicion off himself.

Especially if it's Chicago, Detroit, Washington DC or Camden, NJ. :)

Jeff

jclarkdawe
10-24-2013, 12:24 AM
As well as what WeaselFire says, have it a through and through, solid jacket, with no slug. Don't be afraid to travel to find a doctor. Remember that the homeowner is going to report this, so local doctors/hospitals will be on notice. But show up in a city hospital with a good story and no details, and you'll pretty much end the investigation as soon as it starts.

However, if a bullet goes through fatty tissue or muscle, and there's no slug left, control bleeding, some good anti-biotic creme (and maybe some left over anti-biotics from his tooth ache he had last year), and you're going to be good to go. (Sort of.)

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Russ Mars
10-24-2013, 02:08 AM
And lets not forget the skin-grazing flesh wound. There's no slug to dig out and no organs, bone, muscle, ligaments, tendons, etc. are involved. Depending on how much skin is contacted and the depth, it can be a relatively non-debilitating, though painful, wound.

Russ Mars
10-24-2013, 02:13 AM
I'm not sure what ethical rules and laws govern criminal lawyers if their clients show up in their offices with a gun shot wound. This would vary from state to state.

Better Call Saul.

That's for my fellow Breaking Bad addicts.

Rockem Sockem Robot
10-26-2013, 01:34 AM
The home owner would call the police, the police would collect the physical evidence, and if the MC has a record, there is a decent chance his DNA is on file from that time and would be matched appropriately.

shaldna
10-26-2013, 02:25 AM
[CENTER]My main character, Peter, is robbing a house when it happens; he's on his way out when the homeowner spots him and, in a panic, blindly fires. Peter makes it to his car and floors it; now he's far enough away he won't be found, but what does he do now?

He's a serial robber, and he's been caught once before, so he's not chancing it and seeking help, right away at least.

First issue - no matter when he seeks help, if he arrives at a hostpital with a gunshot wound, the police will be called as a matter of course.


So, a) I guess my first question would be, what circumstances would permit him to be able to run down the driveway to his car after this happens? b) What kind of wound would allow him to, say, drive long enough to find somewhere to go and be safe? And c) what does he do now? His buddy was doing this with him, so there is another person around.

Adrenalin counts for a lot. As does shock. Many years ago I had a bad horse riding accident where the horse fell on me. I got up, checked him over, put him away, fed him, cleaned his stable out, changed my clothes and drove myself to hospital.

Then found out that I had two shattered vertabrae and would be lucky to walk again.

If he's been shot in the arms, legs etc, then he is going to hurt, but he'll be ft to keep running.

Of course, if, as your post title says, he was shot in the shoulder - well, the shoulder is a mass of nerves and muscle, and injury here is likely to cause long term damage.

Also, it depends what sort of round he is shot with. Something that was popular here in Ireland during the Toubles were Dum Dum rounds - rounds that would explode INSIDE the target. They caused a lot of damage.