How to Lead in a Crisis – Marine Corps Veteran Disarms Rioters of AR15 Rifle

Matt: In these types of times, when everything looks so dark, I’m looking for the light to shine and bring it up. One thing I know as a former United States Marine, as a veteran, is that oftentimes that media has a chance to tell the right thing or in this case, a lot of the wrong things and they have a responsibility to perpetuate a message of hope as opposed to a message of fear.

So, joining with me today is Shooter Rughi, the marine who disarmed a looter, a rioter (not a protestor) of an AR-15 that they had stolen from the back of a squad car. We have the honor of having him here. Welcome to the conversation!

Rughi: Thank you, sir, appreciate it. Glad to be here.

Matt: So proud of you man. Everybody initially said that you were an undercover cop, this and that. Take us through the moment, take us through what happened during that incident.

Rughi: That specific incident was the second rifle I had snatched from someone.

Matt: So, let’s go back, let’s rewind. For more context, you were working security for a news team?

Right: Yes, I was. My team had reached the place and I was profiling security. So, when I first saw those police vehicles, I had assumed that there were patrol rifles in those vehicles. So, I made a mental note that I need to watch those vehicles because if they do get into them, that might be a problem. So, as I was watching it, that’s what happened. They got their hands on the rifle. I immediately told my crew to get to safety and handled the situation myself.

I drew my Glock-19, approached them, and told them to drop the weapon. They were stunned and so I simply snatched the rifle from their hands and told them to get out of there. I again started scanning around and spotted another person getting the rifle out from another police vehicle. And that’s when the video starts.

Matt: What do you think was going through his mind when he saw you?

Rughi: I don’t know what he was thinking, I can’t assume what was going through his head. His body language was telling me that he didn’t know how to react to the force I was coming at him with.

Matt: So, what did you do after you grabbed his gun?

Rughi: I was telling them to get back and get out of there.

Matt: Where do you think you got your natural instincts to identify the situation, protect the ones you were tasked to protect, you know the journalists, and these sorts of things?

Rughi: That’s actually a very deep question for me. Because it touches upon how I grew up. That’s because I wasn’t protected as a kid. So, it kind of got instilled into me to protect those that aren’t protected. A specific situation where I had helped a gentleman at a waterfall initiated an epiphany in me to always act instead of just stand by and watch.