David Roberts, a concealed handgun permit holder, prevented a fleeing robber from running over 66-year-old Betty Jones. Both the woman who was about to be run over and an Evansville police captain. From the Tristate newspaper in Evansville, Illinois:
. . . Brittany Deener, 20, and Morgan Blair, 20, have been charged with strong arm robbery, criminal recklessness with a vehicle, theft and hit and run in connection with Tuesday’s incident. The victims, 66-year-old Betty Jones and 82-year-old Myrna Chumley, were seated at the food court inside the mall when Deener and Blair allegedly snatched their purses. . . .
The female suspects then fled out the front doors of the mall as the two elderly victims gave chase. In fact, the victims caught up with the suspects, who are 40 and 60 years their junior. . . .
. . . Police said Deener was backing out of the parking lot while Jones was outside of the vehicle next to an open door. When Deener backed out, the open door clipped Jones and knocked her to the ground. That’s when 33-year-old David Roberts . . . intervened . . .
Roberts . . . had a valid gun permit, police said. He fired multiple times into the vehicle’s tires . . . .
“If [Deener] had gone forward, she would have run me over,” Jones said. “But instead, [Roberts] was firing at the tires and [Deener] backed up away from me. He was defending me. He was keeping me from being run over.” . . .
“It certainly appears that way to me. What he was doing was literally intervening in an attempt to prevent harm to somebody else,” said Evansville Police Captain Andy Chandler. “I certainly commend him for coming to the rescue to help and assist elderly women.”
Update: “Prosecutor: Shooter justified in alleged Eastland Mall purse-snatching”
. . . “I think, looking at the witness statements and the video, he is justified in his use of a firearm,” [Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nicholas Hermann] said. “There aren’t a lot of instances where you are justified in using deadly force.”
One of those exceptions, Hermann said, is to prevent serious bodily injury to oneself or another person.
He said Roberts did not pull his handgun and become involved until one of the alleged victims, a 66-year-old woman, was knocked to the ground and appeared about to be possibly run over.
Police said Roberts fired about six shots during the incident in the mall parking lot outside the main entrance. Surveillance video was obtained from the mall, according to police reports. . . . .
“It’s not self-defense, but he was defending one of the victims who was knocked to the ground (by the car),” said Lt. Scott Doan, of the Evansville Police Department. . . .