This is a revised, updated version of a post originally written on April 21, 2015.
Columnist Eugene Volokh wrote in the Washington Post on April 20, 2015: “Have civilians with permitted concealed handguns stopped such mass shootings before?” We provided Volokh with a list of such cases, which he used.
Below, we have collected news stories on more cases of permit holders stopping mass public shootings with their handguns (we separately collect cases where concealed handguns are used to stop other crimes). There is no reason to believe that this list is comprehensive, given how little media coverage is devoted to these heroic acts. In addition, we make no attempt here to list here the vast number of defensive gun uses in general that are reported daily in the US.
Permit holders stopped some mass public shootings that gained extensive news coverage, but only a few stories mentioned that it was a permit holder who stopped the attack. The stories frequently get other facts wrong.
A note: Gun control advocates raise the concern that concealed handgun permit holders who stop an attack might accidentally shoot a bystander. They are also fearful that the police might accidentally kill the permit holder. While such incidents are a possibility, they have yet to occur. We probably do not have all the cases where a permit holder stopped a mass public shooting, but if a permit holder were to shoot a bystander, it seems clear that such an event would get news coverage.
[This post has been updated. Cases have only been systematically collected since 2014. Because of the lack of news stories that accompany these cases, we believe that we have found a much greater percentage of the cases since 2014 than earlier.]
South Fulton, Georgia, May 3, 2022
A teenager started firing his gun at multiple people. There was a large number of people present at the park because of an anti-violence riot.
South Fulton, Georgia: . . . Meadows said the men involved in the shootout with Hambrick have been cooperative and will likely not be charged since the teenager fired the first shot.Fox 5 Atlanta Digital Team, “Charges not likely in shootout that killed teen near ‘Stop the Violence’ rally, police say,” Fox 5 Atlanta, May 3, 2022.
“After having reviewed most of the witnesses statements, it appears that the decedent Mr. Hambrick discharged his weapon first, and as a result of that there was an exchange of gunfire between him and two individuals,” he said. . . .
Portland, OR, February 19, 2022
A homeowner allegedly confronted participants at a racial justice demonstration Saturday night before pulling out a handgun and shooting multiple people in the crowd, leaving one woman dead and several others injured. The shooting ended when a person with the group of demonstrators, who is licensed to conceal carry a firearm, fired back, striking the homeowner in the hip.
The suspect in a weekend shooting that left one woman dead and four people wounded during a protest in Portland, Oregon, faces several charges, including murder, prosecutors said Tuesday.
The shooting unfolded Saturday night after Benjamin Smith, described by police as an homeowner, allegedly confronted a group of demonstrators who were protesting the killing of Amir Locke by Minneapolis police, authorities said…
“Several participants asked Smith to leave them alone. Moments later, Smith drew a firearm and fired at the crowd, striking five people,” the DA’s office said in the news release…
The shooting ended when a person with the group of demonstrators shot Smith in the “hip area,” critically wounding him. Law enforcement originally detained that person on charges of first degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon, both felonies. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office ultimately decided to bring “no complaint” against the person “based upon our review of facts and evidence.”
OPB has chosen not to name the person because they have not been charged with a crime, and they did not respond to multiple requests for comment. Court records show the person is licensed to conceal carry a firearm…Conrad Wilson and Ryan Haas, “Multnomah County prosecutor charges suspected park shooter with murder,” Oregon Public Broadcasting, February 22, 2022.
Jennifer Henderson and Michelle Watson, “Suspect in deadly shooting during weekend protest in Portland faces several charges, including murder,” CNN, February 23, 2022.
South Central, Nebraska, October 22, 2021
A man fired from a south central Nebraska grain complex Thursday returned to the facility and started shooting at his former colleagues killing two, and injuring another according to the Nebraska State Patrol.
The gunman, identified as Max Hoskinson, 61, was shot and killed by another employee of the Agrex facility in Superior, Nebraska. . . .
According to investigators, Hoskinson returned to Agrex shortly before 2:00 p.m. and opened fire with a handgun. He was stopped by someone who used a shotgun stored in the Agrex office to shoot the gunman. . . .“Grain complex worker stops active shooter using shotgun stored in office,” KETV, October 22, 2021.
Lancaster, Pennsylvania, October 17, 2021
On Sunday, October 17, 2021, four people were injured after a fight between two teenagers at Lancaster’s Park City Center Mall escalated into a shooting this past weekend. A 16-year-old who was illegally carrying a gun started the shooting. But it could have been much worse were it not for a concealed handgun permit holder. Fortunately, 14.4% of adults in Pennsylvania have a concealed handgun permit.
A bystander armed with a gun intervened in a shooting in Park City Center on Sunday afternoon, shooting one of the participants, Lancaster police said.
The unidentified bystander, who legally possessed the firearm, had heard gunshots related to a fight between two males that knew each other, police said. The bystander remained on scene until security and police arrived.
Police said the initial shooting stemmed from an altercation between two males who knew each other and at least one of them — a 16-year-old boy — had a gun.
They, and other people then struggled for the gun and the 16 year old fired at least two shots, striking at least one of the people involved.
The bystander, who had been in a store nearby, heard the shots, came over and “then engaged the subjects fighting over the gun and fired shots, striking one of the suspects.” . . .Dan Nephin, “Armed bystander intervenes, shoots Park City shooter; charges pending against 16-year-old: police,” Lancaster Online, October 18, 2021.
Syracuse, NY, August 31, 2021
The District Attorney credited a property manager with saving the lives of several individuals after he pulled a legally possessed 9mm handgun and fatally wounded a man who opened fire on a crowd outside a building.
Demetrius Jackson, the man killed in the Lodi Street shooting on Tuesday, was in possession of a loaded 9mm handgun while outside of 1808 Lodi Street, District Attorney William Fitzpatrick said.
Jackson threatened multiple people at the location and fired the loaded handgun in the direction of those people, officials said.
Another man, who was on scene and in possession of a 9mm handgun returned fire striking and killing Jackson, Fitzpatrick said.
According to Fitzpatrick, this man has a valid pistol permit for the 9mm handgun.
The District Attorney said in a statement that based on preliminary investigation, it appears the man who shot Jackson saved the lives of several individuals…
The District Attorney’s Office is aware that the man who shot Jackson and other witnesses to the incident have received threats and suffered property damage in what they say appears to be retaliation…Natalie Dascoulias, “Onondaga County District Attorney: Man ‘saved the lives of several individuals’ after fatally shooting man who fired at crowd,” LOCALSYR.com, September 2, 2021.
San Antonio, TX, August 11, 2021
A woman who crashed into a parked car in San Antonio’s West Side neighborhood climbed out of her vehicle and began shooting indiscriminately at people who came out of their homes and rush to her aid. The armed resident fired back and shot the driver to death, ending the violent threat to the neighborhood.
Police are investigating a shooting that left two people dead and two others in the hospital. It happened outside a home on the 400 block of Hazel Street on the West Side.
It all started just before 10 p.m. Wednesday night when a driver was traveling at high speed and crashed into a parked car – and then for some reason she got out of the car and started firing.
The owner of the vehicle that was hit, a man in his 50’s, and two others came out to see what happened. That’s when the female driver got out of the car and opened fire, hitting all three people…
“During the shooting, a neighbor from a nearby residence, intervenes, comes to the aids of the victims, opens fire on our suspect, striking her multiple times,” Schuler said.
Schuler said it does not appear that the neighbor who fatally shot Perez will face any charges…SBG San Antonio Staff, “Woman opens fire and kills man, injures two others after smashing into parked car,” FOX San Antonio, August 11, 2021.
Katrina Webber, Tim Stewart, Emily Martin, “Authorities ID woman, man shot and killed in West Side neighborhood,” KSAT, August 14, 2021.
Fort Meyers, Florida, July 22, 2021
A man, who was a convicted felon and illegally possessing a gun, fired multiple shots into a crowd before a bystander returned fire. When the bystander confronted the attacker, he stopped attacking and “threw his gun in a parking lot.” Fortunately, no one was injured in the attack.
A man was arrested after being accused of shooting toward a crowd before a bystander returned fire.
The Fort Myers PD ShotSpotter detected multiple shots fired Thursday afternoon around 4:20 p.m. in the area of Henderson Avenue and Thomas Street near an abandoned building.
When police arrived, they arrested David Williams, 50, after a struggle and holding him at Taser-point.
Witnesses say Williams had “an object” in his jacket pocket that he began banging on a bench – which turned out to be a gun. They say he did it multiple times before pulling it out and firing toward a crowd of people.
One of the men in the crowd pulled out his own gun and returned fire in the direction of Williams.
The report states Williams then threw his gun in a parking lot. . . .Staff, “Man arrested for shooting toward a crowd; bystander shoots back,” WINK News, July 23, 2021.
Chicago, Illinois, July 4th, 2021
It seems likely that if the concealed handgun permit holder hadn’t intervened in this case there would have been at least three deaths instead of just the one woman.
The gunman who shot three people standing in a South Austin alley on the Fourth of July may have gotten away with the brazen attack that left a woman dead — had a witness with a concealed carry license not stepped in, a Chicago police statement suggests.
Officers were called to the first block of North Menard Avenue around 10:45 p.m. Sunday and found a total of four people shot, a police notification said. But one of the injured men was alleged to be the gunman who had shot the other three people before an uninvolved witness pulled his own gun and shot the attacker, officials said.
Initially, three people, including a 45-year-old woman, had been shot as they stood outside in an alley, police said. A 33-year-old man approached and “began shooting at the victims,” according to the police notification.
The woman suffered a gunshot wound to the head and she was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. Although officials had said she was 30, around 8:30 a.m. a police spokeswoman said the woman’s age had been corrected to 45. . . .
Nearby, a second, uninvolved 49-year-old man witnessed the attack, police said. He had a concealed carry license, which allowed him to legally possess a weapon. That man drew his weapon and shot at the gunman who had allegedly killed the woman and wounded the two men, officials said. . . .KATHERINE ROSENBERG-DOUGLAS, “3 people shot, man with concealed carry license steps in, shoots gunman, Chicago police say,” CHICAGO TRIBUNE, JUL 05, 2021
Arvada, Colorado, June 21, 2021
The attacker and two other people were killed in this attack.
A good Samaritan who was killed in a shooting in Arvada, Colorado, . . . “He did not hesitate; he didn’t stand there and think about it. He totally heard the gunfire, went to the door, saw the shooter, and immediately ran in that direction,” Troyanos said. “I just want to make sure his family knows how heroic he was.” . . .
Troyanos said he witnessed Hurley confront the gunman. “Mr. Hurley shot him. I think I heard 6 shots from his gun, maybe 5,” Troyanos said. . . .
The police chief said Hurley is a true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life. . . .KMGH staff, “Witness says good Samaritan shot gunman in deadly Colorado shooting incident,” WRTV ABC, June 23, 2021.
Unfortunately, this is the one case that we know of where a person legally carrying a permitted concealed handgun was fatally shot by police later arriving on scene.
The police in Arvada, Colo., said a good Samaritan who fatally shot a gunman who had just killed a police officer was himself shot by responding officers.Jesus Jiménez and Eduardo Medina, “Bystander Who Intervened in Shooting of Officer Was Fatally Shot by Police,” New York Times, June 25, 2021.
Fort Smith, Arkansas, May 15, 2021
Zachary Arnold, 26, fatally shot Lois Hicks, 87, in her apartment and then began shooting at other people in neighboring apartments. Wallace A. West, 58, used a rifle, not a concealed handgun, to stop the attack.
“Mr. West acted lawfully when he shot Mr. Arnold and likely saved a number of lives in the process,” a Police Department news release states. “At last count, Mr. Arnold had fired 93 rounds from his semiautomatic rifle before Mr. West was able to stop him. There were no other fatalities or injuries, though a number of residents were home at the time of the assault.”Thomas Saccente, “Prosecutor says deadly physical force justified in Fort Smith shooting,” Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, July 29, 2021
Hicks was shot multiple times inside of her apartment by Arnold who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle. Arnold continued to shoot his rifle at neighboring apartments. A resident at the apartments heard the gunshots and got a hunting rifle which he used to shoot and kill Arnold. . . . .Nayely Palafox, “Fort Smith Police investigate shooting that left two people dead,” Channel 5 News (Springdale, AR), May 15, 2021.
Metairie, Louisiana, February 20, 2021
Having murdered two people and wounded a couple of others, it is clear that the attacker intended to kill as many people as possible. The quick response by people with concealed handgun permits stopped the attack.
A person entered a gun store and shooting range in a New Orleans suburb and fatally shot two people Saturday, prompting customers and staff to open fire on the shooter, a sheriff said. The shooter also died. . . . Sheriff Joseph Lopinto said the shooter initially struck two people inside, and then several other people . . .Stacey Plaisance, “Customers, staff fired back in gun store shooting; 3 dead,” Associated Press, February 20, 2021.
“(Williams) became agitated by the request and pulled his gun out of his pants and started firing. Our armed and trained employees, as well as some armed, permitted customers, returned fire and eliminated the threat. One customer as well as one employee perished in the gun battle. Joshua Williams, the gunman, is also dead.”Bob D’Angelo, “Gunman, 2 victims identified in Louisiana gun shop shooting,” Cox Media Group National Content Desk, February 21, 2021.
Weslaco, Texas, August 17, 2020
A man upset because of a medical condition was planning to shoot people at a Weslaco, Texas Walmart. Man was “very upset” because he had his plans were stopped.
It was Monday, Aug. 17 . . . at the Walmart in Weslaco.
“I just didn’t want him to kill innocent people,” Allen said as recounted seeing a man walking into the store dressed in black and carrying an AK-47. . . .
While most would retreat and call 911 seeing something like that, not knowing what the man’s intentions were, Allen was not about to stand back. He jumped into action.
You’re not going to shoot anyone in this store today,” he said. “I’m not going to let that happen.”
Allen held the man a gunpoint with a store security guard. His actions led to the man putting down the gun. “He was totally surprised. Got him to put the AK-47 down. He was very upset because I had destroyed his plans.” . . .
The man who Allen confronted did have another gun on him. Police said he pulled it on officers, and officers returned fire, killing the man. The police chief told media the man was upset over a medical condition.Chris Carter, “‘I chose to not be a victim’: Decatur native credited with stopping Texas mass shooting,” WAND Television NBC Channel 17, August 20, 2020.
Dallas, Texas, July 25, 2020, Fox 4 News (Dallas)
Dallas police said three men were shot and a woman was hit by shrapnel when someone opened fire outside a sports bar in North Oak Cliff Saturday night.
The shooter was reportedly among three men who were turned away from Harris House of Heroes II sports bar, just before midnight, because the establishment was at full capacity. . . .
Police said the shooter went to the back of the sports bar, where he was “confronted by armed partrons,” and they exchanged gunfire.
The shooter fled before police arrived, and remains at-large.David Sentendrey, “4 injured in shooting at Dallas sports bar after men not allowed in due to COVID-19 restrictions,” Fox 4 News (Dallas), July 26, 2020.
Brownsburg, Indiana, July 16, 2020, WISHTV (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Fortunately, one of the people wounded in this shooting had a permitted concealed handgun and was able to then get out of his car and shoot the attacker. Indiana has 18.5% of the adult population with concealed handgun permits.
22-year-old Joshua Christopher Hayes launched an unprovoked attack against two men working in Brownsburg Cemetery Tuesday around 1:15 p.m. Hayes first chased 36-year-old Seth Robertson to a nearby intersection before he fatally shot Robertson.
Hayes then chased after the second man and shot a third man who was stopped at a traffic light nearby. The third man was legally armed and fatally shot Hayes.
“This tragic event could have been much more disastrous. So, victim three not only saved victim two’s life, but he saved potentially the lives of many others,” BPD Capt. Jennifer Barrett. “Victim three did exactly what anybody would have wanted him to do at that scene that day.”Travis Robinson, “Mental health issues contributed to fatal Brownsburg shooting,” WISHTV (Indianapolis), July 16, 2020.
Hummels Wharf, PA, July 11, 2020
A prosecutor says a bystander will face no charges for shooting a suspect who authorities said had just gunned down his ex-wife and another man in the parking lot of a central Pennsylvania restaurant last week…
Authorities said the man was waiting to be seated inside the restaurant when a man drove into the parking lot, got out of his pickup truck and opened fire, killing 52-year-old Matthew Bowersox of Mifflinburg and 46-year-old Heather Campbell of Trevorton.
The restaurant customer, who is licensed to carry a firearm, shot and wounded Fernanders as he walked back to his pickup truck. “Thankfully, he helped prevent further bloodshed,” Piecuch said. . . .Erie News Now Staff, “DA: No charges in shooting of suspect after double murder outside Pa. restaurant,” Erie News Now, Wednesday, July 15th 2020
Louisville, KY, June 27, 2020 (USA Today)
Steven Nelson Lopez, 23, is facing charges of murder and first-degree wanton endangerment, Louisville Metro Police officials said Sunday after releasing his arrest citation…
Several witnesses identified Lopez, who had frequented the park, as the shooter. And video surveillance showed him shooting a handgun into the crowd, the citation says.
Several bystanders returned fire, shooting Lopez in the leg, according to the citation.Lucas Aulbach, “What we know about Steven Lopez, the suspect in the fatal Louisville protest shooting,” Louisville Courier Journal, June 27, 2020.
Kwethluk, Alaska, May 16, 2020, multiple sources.
This attack appears to have been a well-planned mass public shooting where the attacker had brought multiple guns and a bullet-resistant vest and helmet. The fact that the attacker was charged with four counts of attempted murder shows what might have happened if the armed civilian who stopped the attack hadn’t been present.
According to state troopers, a 19-year-old man, Brian Nicolai, broke into the village public safety building dressed for combat. He staged rifles inside, and activated the fire alert system. When village police officers responded, the officers say that Nicolai shot at them. But no one was hurt, largely thanks to an armed resident who got Nicolai to give up his weapon and lie on the ground. . . .
Kwethluk’s Public Safety Administrative Chief, Nicolai Joseph, said that a potential mass shooting was avoided on May 16. According to state troopers, Brian Nicolai was wearing a bullet-proof vest and helmet when he activated the village fire alert system. Village Police Officer Tiger Lee was the first to respond to the fire alarm. When he arrived, he said that Nicolai pointed a rifle at him and pulled the trigger. . . .
That resident was Casey Thompson, according to the trooper’s report. Thompson, armed with a rifle, was able to get the shooter to drop his weapon, the report said. Thompson declined to talk with KYUK about the incident.
Lee said that he’s glad Thompson had a gun . . . .Greg Kim, “After armed resident thwarts shooting, Kwethluk VPOs consider carrying guns,” KYUK, May 22, 2020.
Brian Nicolai, of Kwethluk, is charged with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, third-degree assault, first-degree burglary, third-degree criminal mischief and first-degree criminal trespass. He was arraigned Saturday in Bethel court. . . .
A Kwethluk resident who saw what was happening left the scene, returned with a rifle and talked Nicolai into lowering his weapon. Nicolai lay down on the floor and was quickly subdued by village police officers.Dorothy Chomicz, “Man in Southwest Alaska charged with shooting at police officer,” Fairbanks Daily News, May 18, 2020.
Bethel-based troopers in Kwethluk responded to a report of an active shooter inside the public safety building at 5:18 p.m . . .
Tulsa, Oklahoma, March 27, 2020, Channel 6
A woman named Ashley Porter started firing at a group of people who were standing in a parking lot outside a marijuana dispensary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
. . . Detectives say Porter got into an argument with someone near a convenience store over a parking spot.
They say surveillance video from the marijuana dispensary next door shows the argument, then Porter leaving in her car.
They say the video shows Porter coming back minutes later and firing shots toward the crowd of people in front of the store.
Detectives say an armed citizen pulled out a gun and fired back, killing porter. . . .
Detectives say the armed citizen was questioned and released. . . .Reagan Ledbetter, “Family Devastated After Woman Killed In Tulsa,” NewsOn6, March 30th 2020.
Near Fort Worth, Texas, December 29, 2019.
Note: The above video puts up some options in the top left hand corner that block seeing one of the parishioners who shot the murderer.
Three people, including the shooter, were shot in attack just before 10 a.m. at the West Freeway Church of Christ at 1900 south Las Vegas Trail in White Settlement, which is near Fort Worth. The attacker died at the scene after being shot by two of the parishioners. Four other parishioners also drew their permitted concealed handguns.
The Tarrant county sheriff at press conference after the shooting: “Good people stepped up and stopped it before it got worse.”
“The citizens who were inside that church undoubtedly saved 242 other parishioners, and that might get swept aside,” Texas DPS Director Jeoff Williams said. “It was miraculous. The true heroes in all this are the people who were sitting in those pews today and responded, the immediate responders … it was truly heroic.”
Duncan, Oklahoma, November 18, 2019
There was a shooting at a Walmart parking lot in Duncan, Oklahoma that left two people murdered.
From USA Today (though it is buried in the story): “Aaron Helton, an Army veteran, said he was at the Walmart around 9:45 a.m. when he heard nine shots and saw the gunman, weapon in hand. According to Helton, another man walked up, put a pistol to the gunman’s head and told him to stop shooting. Helton said he saw the shooter was turning the gun on himself and looked away.”
From CNN, after killing two people in the parking lot, “the shooter shot himself after a bystander confronted him with a firearm.“
From KSWO ABC Channel 7 in Oklahoma: “Multiple witnesses have said the gunman shot two people in a vehicle and a civilian with a gun confronted him, causing the gunman to turn the gun on himself. We are working to confirm that story with Duncan police.“
Newnan, Georgia, August 13, 2019
This is an amazing story that was caught on video. An employee who wasn’t even scheduled to work that day, but was simply hanging around the bar outside in the parking lot, stopped an attack that the police say would have likely resulted in multiple deaths. Note in the cover picture for this video that the bar has multiple gun free zone signs. From Fox 5 in Atlanta:
FOX 5 News has the exclusive surveillance video of the shooting outside Fat Boys Bar and Grill on Highway 16. Deputies say that video shows Kevintez Mathewis on his way into the bar with a handgun when Ben McCoy confronts him and is shot multiple times. He drew the gunman’s attention and then drew his fire. . . .
From Channel 11 News in Atlanta:
McCoy heard the shots and grabbed his gun. Investigators reportedly said that Matthewis fired several rounds at McCoy. “He put his life on the line to try and protect the bar that he loves,” bar manager Emily McGhin said. . .
Colonial Heights, Tennessee, February 13, 2019
A shooting at a dentist office in Colonial Heights, Tennessee was stopped by Larry Seagroves, a concealed handgun permit holder. After the killer, Harry Weaver, fatally shot one person, Kelly Weaver, his wife, he turned his gun on other people in the office. One of them, a dental hygienist, Sabrina Steal, said: “then he raised a gun to shoot me” (see video). Larry Seagroves shot the killer, wounding him before he could shoot these other people. After the attack, Harry Weaver told the police: “You all wouldn’t be dealing with me right now if the hero hadn’t stepped in.”
WJHL TV Channel 11 in Johnson City, Tennessee reports: “It was just a horrific situation that police said could have possibly been even worse if a patient at that dentist office didn’t take action. We are talking about a man identified as Larry Seagroves, a man with a carry permit.”
Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said: “He was a concealed carry permit holder and I’m going to call him a hero today.”
The court hearing reported in the video took place on March 22, 2019. More information is available here.
Birmingham, Alabama, October 27, 2018
A masked man entered a McDonald’s restaurant and immediately started firing his gun. A concealed handgun permit holder returned firing killing the attacker.
He said he heard more than 15 shots fired. . . .
— Markus Washington, an employee at the McDonalds’, to WAFF Channel 48 News
Louisville, Kentucky, Wednesday, October 24, 2018
The national media has picked up on this story because of the killer, Gregory Bush, is racist, but they are ignoring the fact that a white civilian with a concealed handgun permit stopped the attack. Both the people murdered at the Koger — Maurice Stallard, 69, and Vickie Jones, 67 — were black. Bush had apparently tried to do an attack at a black church before shooting blacks at the Kroger indicates he was trying to kill as many blacks as possible and that the number of blacks killed could have been much worse if it wasn’t for the concealed handgun permit holder.
The Louisville Courier Journal reports that after Bush had visited the church:
According to the Jeffersontown police, the suspect, Gregory Alan Bush, entered the grocery store and “gunned down” the first victim, and then exited the store where he killed the second victim.
While in the parking lot, a citizen who possessed a concealed carry permit engaged with the suspect, according to Jeffersontown police.
“Multiple rounds were fired by both the suspect and the intervening citizen,” Jeffersontown police wrote in a statement. “Neither the suspect nor the involved citizen, nor any other bystanders were injured with this exchange of gunfire.”
Bush fled the scene in his vehicle. Police located Bush and his vehicle on Hurstbourne Parkway, next to the Stony Brook Center, where he was taken into custody. . . .
Another story on the case notes: “The police chief clarified that . . . the woman killed in the parking lot was shot by the suspect before the exchange [with the permit holder] began . . . .”
Titusville, Florida, August 4, 2018
A shooting at a back to school event for children and their families had a shooting that was quickly stopped by a concealed handgun permit holder. Something between 150 and 200 people (video here puts it at over 200), primarily children, were present at the event.
From Fox 32 WOFL in Orlando, Florida.
The gunshots still echo across social media, after the emcee at Titusville’s Peace in the City event posted a Facebook live video of the shooting. When a good Samaritan carrying a licensed concealed weapon shot the attacker, police say he did the right thing.
“Based on the information that we’ve gathered,” said Titusville Police Sgt. William Amos. “This person stepped in and saved a lot of people’s lives.” . . .
Here is another statement from the Titusville Police via the Orlando Sentinel on the evening of August 6th, 2018.
Titusville Police are calling the bystander who shot a gunman who opened fire at a park full of kids on Saturday a “hero.” On Monday, police said they aren’t releasing the names of those involved and said the citizen who returned fire on the suspect won’t be facing charges.
“He’s a hero,” Titusville Police Sgt. Bill Amos said. “This park was filled with families and children and, at that time, it was an active shooter situation for him and he was trained enough to deal with it and he did.” . . .
Tumwater, Washington, June 18, 2018
A wild rampage at a Walmart in Tumwater, Washington was stopped when three concealed handgun permit holders confronted and killed the attacker. The attacker had carjacked a vehicle that he drove to the Walmart. Once there, the attacker stole ammunition and then went out of the store, continuing to shoot at people. He unsuccessfully tried to carjack another vehicle, seriously wounding the driver. When he attempted to carjack a second car, two armed customers shot dead the attacker.
According to the local Fox affiliate and Fox News, the man who killed the attacker is a pastor with five kids who was out with his family.
More details are available at KOMO News here.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Thursday, May 24, 2018
Two men who had handguns in their cars, Juan Carlos Nazario, 35, and Bryan Whittle, 39, stopped what likely would have been a mass shooting at Louie’s Grill & Bar in Oklahoma City. Police Capt. Bo Matthews said: “You can say they’re heroes, which is a very good thing to say.” Nazario is a security guard, and Whittle was able to legally carry a gun openly without a permit (it is unknown whether he had a concealed handgun permit, though it wasn’t necessary for this case). The shooter, Alexander Tilghman, shot at people “from a position outside the front door” of the restaurant. It was from that position that he was stopped by these two heroes. It turns out that Whittle’s shot killed the gunman.
From USA Today:
The two, police say, prevented what could have been a deadly attack Thursday night after they armed themselves and took down the shooter, Alexander Tilghman. Both say they don’t feel like heroes. . . .
The police captain also said this:
The way that the attack was stopped was described this way:
Nazario fired two shots. “He just fell to the ground.”
Despite a restaurant full of innocent lives potentially saved, Nazario said he doesn’t feel like a hero.
“I just can’t understand being called a hero when someone’s life was taken,” he said. “I just did what I had to do. I’m very glad no innocent lives were taken but ultimately, there was a life taken.” . . .
Both Alexander Tilghman, the killer, and Juan Carlos Nazario were security guards. We will continue to check whether Whittle had a concealed handgun permit.
The District Attorney issued this statement: “The two civilians who engaged, and ultimately neutralized the threat posed by Tilghman, were justified and compliant with the law when they employed deadly force.“
San Antonio, Texas, December 7, 2017 (ABC 13 in San Antonio, Time Magazine)
This case is an exception to all the other cases shown here in that it received national coverage on Time magazine’s website. A man with a gun was about to start shooting a father’s children as they were walking out of a restroom when the father killed the attacker. This case was also unusual from the other cases above is that the attack was part of some other crime, a robbery. Police stated that the permit holder saved at least several lives. From ABC 13:
That’s when the robber pointed his gun at the family.
The father pulled out his own gun and killed the robber in the middle of the dining area.
Police say the father is a licensed carrier. He is not facing any charges.
Officials also say the father saved several lives. . . .
Rockledge, Florida, November 17, 2017 (Florida Today, WFTV.com in Orlando)
Two concealed handgun permit holders stopped an attack at Schlenker Automotive repair shop at 4:30 PM on the Friday after Thanksgiving. The attacker, Robert Bailey, was armed with a .45-caliber handgun and “multiple magazines” and killed one person and severely wounded another in the business’ parking lot. Bailey continued shooting inside the shop. From Florida Today:
Two other workers — both concealed weapons permit holders — confronted the gunman and engaged in a shootout that left the suspect wounded. Bailey continues to recover at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne. . . .
Video here from WFTV stated: “The police say this could have been even worse.” “This business was packed today with customers and employees,” noted Karen Parks, a reporter at the scene. Parks also reported that the police referred to the permit holder as a “good samaritan.”
According to news reports, Bailey had no connection to the auto shop. Indeed, he didn’t even own a car. It appears as if Bailey had selected this target simply to kill people.
First Baptist Church of Sutherland Spring, Texas, November 5, 2017
This is another case that involved a rifle.
The armed civilian who used his assault rifle to stop Sunday’s mass murder of 26 Texas churchgoers has been hailed, rightly, as a hero, but Stephen Willeford is hardly unique. . . .
The former National Rifle Association instructor who lives next door to the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Spring, Texas, grabbed his AR-15-style rifle after hearing the gunfire and went over to investigate. Confronting the shooter, Devin Kelley, Willeford shot him in the leg and torso before Kelley dropped his weapon and fled the scene in his SUV.
As horrific as Kelley’s rampage was, it could have been much worse if it wasn’t for Stephen Willeford.Andrew O’Reilly, “,” Fox News, November 8, 2017.Texas church shooting not the first time a good guy with gun takes down mass shooter
Clearlake Oaks, California, October 23, 2017 (FBI report on active shooter incidents for 2016-17)
On October 23, 2017, at 11:23 a.m., Alan Ashmore, 61, armed with a shotgun and a handgun, allegedly began firing into several homes and a vehicle in Clearlake Oaks, California, killing two people, includ-ing his father, and wounding one. Another person was wounded while fleeing out of a residence window. The shooter then shot and wounded a responding law enforcement officer before fleeing in his vehicle. The shooter drove to a nearby gas station and exchanged gunfire with the vendor, who possessed a valid firearms permit. The shooter fled the scene in his vehicle and drove to another gas station where he firedmore shots.
Antioch, Tennessee, September 24, 2017 (Chicago Tribune, Daily Caller) (the above picture shows a picture of Samson after he received treatment for his minor wound)
A 25-year-old shooter, Emanuel Kidega Samson, killed one person in the parking lot, entered the church, and started shooting. A 22-year-old usher, Robert Engle, tried to wrestle with the shooter, but Samson is a very large bodybuilder, and Engle realized that he was not strong enough to stop him. During the scuffle, Samson pistol wiped Engle causing him to bleed from his head. Samson also shot himself, causing very minor wounds to his chest and arm. Engle then ran to his car and got his permitted concealed handgun. The usher came back into the church and confronted the attacker, holding him there at gunpoint until police arrived. With one dead and seven wounded, the attack could have been much worse.
Don Aaron, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said Samson drove up to the church and shot and killed a woman who was standing near her vehicle in the parking lot. The shooter — who police said was armed with two handguns — then entered the church through a rear door, shooting and wounding six people inside.
At some point, the gunman also pistol-whipped a church usher, causing “significant injuries” to the man, Aaron said. The usher, 22-year-old Robert “Caleb” Engle, confronted the gunman, police said, and during a struggle, Samson was injured with a shot from his own gun. The usher then ran to his car and retrieved a handgun, police said.
Aaron said the usher ensured the gunman did not make any more movements until officers arrived on the scene. “It would appear he was not expecting to encounter a brave individual like the church usher,” Aaron said.
Police Chief Steve Anderson praised Engle for intervening: “We believe he is the hero today.” . . .
Video of Police Chief Steve Anderson’s comments:
Arlington, Texas, May 3, 2017 (Dallas Morning News)
This attack was stopped before more than one person was killed. Yet, the police spokesman made it clear that the concealed handgun permit holder “prevented further loss of life” and that the killer was “shooting at the front door” at the customers who were fleeing the restaurant. The headline on the Dallas Morning News story was: “‘Hero’ stopped mass murder by crazed bar patron who was armed to the teeth, police say.” Emphasis added in quotes below.
Before he was shot about 6:15 p.m., the gunman killed the manager of Zona Caliente in the 6500 block of South Cooper Street, police spokesman Christopher Cook said.
Police later identified the gunman as 48-year-old James Jones of Grand Prairie and the victim as 37-year-old Cesar Perez of Duncanville. The man who killed Jones has not been identified.
Authorities later found two loaded guns and two knives on Jones, Cook said Thursday.
“We do believe he had the capacity to do much greater harm,” Cook said.
“After he was struck once, the suspect started shooting at the front door,” Cook told the Arlington Voice. “We know people were trying to escape, but we’re not sure if he was just trying to harm others.”
More than a dozen customers and a handful of employees were in the sports bar at the time of the shooting.
Cook said the customer, who was dining with his wife, “prevented further loss of life.” . . .
Another story in the Arlington Voice mentioned this:
Jones did not have a license to carry. . . .
From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Townville Elementary School, September 28, 2016 (FBI report on active shooter incidents for 2016-17)
On September 28, 2016, at 1:45 p.m., Jesse Dewitt Osborne, 14, armed with a handgun, allegedly began shooting at the Townville Elementary School playground in Townville, South Carolina. Prior to theshooting, the shooter, a former student, killed his father at their home. Two people were killed, includingone student; three were wounded, one teacher and two students. A volunteer firefighter, who possessed a valid firearms permit, restrained the shooter until law enforcement officers arrived and apprehended him.
Lyman, South Carolina, June 30, 2016 (Fox Carolina)
Just a couple of weeks after the Orlando massacre, man, 32-year-old Jody Ray Thompson, started shooting at others at another nightclub. Fortunately, unlike Florida, permitted concealed handguns were allowed in bars in South Carolina. Before he could shoot a fourth person, the permit holder was able to shoot back, wounding Thompson in the leg.
Bobo said the man who shot Thompson has a valid concealed weapons permit, cooperated with investigators, and won’t be facing any charges. . . . .
Winton, Ohio, Sunday, July 26, 2015, Fox 19 in Cincinnati and Fox News
The shooter in this case directly fired at four different people. Fortunately, because of the permit holder’s quick actions, no one was seriously injured.
[Thomas] McCary [62-years-old] was arguing with a woman around 8 p.m. Sunday night and, when the woman’s brother, Patrick Ewing, approached, McCary pulled out a .38-caliber handgun and fired three shots at him, Cincinnati police said.
Ewing didn’t get hit, but he did get his own gun and returned fire, wounding McCary in the leg. Ewing had a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
Injured, McCary went into his house to get a second gun and, holding a weapon in each hand, he fired three shots in the direction of the woman, Jeaneta Walker, her 1-year-old son and a third man.
Ewing fired at McCary again to try to distract him as the victims fled indoors. McCary squeezed off a few more rounds, hitting no one, before withdrawing into his apartment, Cincinnati.com reported. . . .
Conyers, Georgia, Sunday, May 31, 2015, The Rockdale Citizen
Often it is claimed that citizens who stop mass public shootings don’t get news coverage because they stop anyone from being killed. But in this case two people were killed before the permit holder was able to stop the attack.
From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
Pitts fled after another patron, Todd C. Scott, of Covington, opened fire with his own hand gun. It is still unclear whether Aikens died before or after Scott returned fire with Pitts, but the sheriff credited Scott with saving lives.
“I consider him to be a hero,” [Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett] said.
New Holland, Wisconsin, May 5th, 2015, Fox Carolina (cases such as this where the people who stopped the attack didn’t fire a gun don’t tend to get that much news attention):
The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office said deputies responded to the New Holland Fire Department’s Station 2 around 6:30 p.m. for a report of shots fired.
Firefighters said Chad Barker pulled up to the crowded fire station parking lot full of children and firefighters, got out of his car, and began firing in the air and at his vehicle. They say he also pointed the firearm at individual firefighters for lengthy periods of time.
“I came out of the office, saw the man with the gun, told everybody to leave out the back quickly that there was a man in the parking lot with a gun, and I was not kidding,” said Gary Knoll, a firefighter for New Holland.
Knoll said he and another firefighter who have concealed weapons permits pulled their guns on the gunman.
Knoll said Barker returned to his vehicle and firefighters carefully followed him with their weapons still drawn. After encouraging Barker to put the gun down, Knoll said Barker ultimately complied and Knoll grabbed the gun. . . .
Chicago, Illinois, April 19, 2015, Chicago Sun-Times
An Uber driver with a permitted concealed handgun stopped what likely would have been a mass public shooting. Police arrived on the scene quickly, but the Uber driver had still already taken care of the situation before they arrived. From Mitch Dudek in the Chicago Sun-Times (April 19, 2015):
An Uber driver put his concealed carry permit to use Friday night when he pulled a gun and opened fire on a man he saw firing a pistol into a group of people on a Logan Square sidewalk, according to prosecutors.
Six blasts from his gun injured a 22-year-old man identified as Everardo Custodio.
Custodio suffered wounds to his shin, knee and lower back . . . Cook County Judge Peggy Chiampas refused to grant [Custodio] bail on charges of aggravated battery with a firearm and illegal possession of a firearm.
The 47-year-old Uber driver “was acting in self-defense and in the defense of others,” Assistant State’s Attorney Barry Quinn said. . . .
The Uber driver had dropped off a passenger minutes before the shooting occurred, said Uber spokeswoman Jen Mullin. She had no comment on the driver’s actions other than to say the company requires all its drivers to abide by local, state and federal laws pertaining to transporting firearms in vehicles. . . .
Police patrolling the area heard the shots and arrived to find Custodio on the ground and bleeding. Police also recovered a handgun found near Custodio, Quinn said. . . .
[The Uber driver is] a registered gun owner who has a concealed carry license. He doesn’t face any charges. . . .
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 22, 2015, NBC Channel 10:
The fight quickly escalated and the 40-year-old man took out his gun and opened fire on customers and barbers, police said. , , ,
As he was shooting, another man outside heard the gunfire, ran into the shop and took out his own gun, according to investigators. He then opened fire, striking the 40-year-old man once in the chest. . . .
“The person who responded was a legal gun permit carrier,” said Philadelphia Police Captain Frank Llewellyn. “He responded and I guess he saved a lot of people in there.“
Darby, Pennsylvania, July 25, 2014
John Lott in the Philadelphia Inquirer (Other details on the case are available here).
At Mercy Fitzgerald, caseworker Theresa Hunt was killed when Plotts opened fire during a regularly scheduled appointment with Dr. Lee Silverman. Fortunately, the doctor had his own gun and returned fire, hitting Plotts three times and critically wounding him.
After firing all the bullets in his gun, Plotts still had 39 bullets on him, bullets that he could have used to shoot many other people . . .
According to the Associated Press:
“Without that firearm, [the shooter] could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition,” Molineux said. . . .
Chicago, Illinois, July 7, 2014, from Geoff Ziezulewicz in the Chicago Tribune:
The military member and three others were leaving a party Friday night . . .
One of the victims had noticed a cup of liquor on top of her vehicle and asked attendees of a party next door who it belonged to, Hain said.
When she removed it, Denzel A. Mickiel approached her, shouting obscenities and threatening her and her friends, according to Hain and court records. . . .
As Mickiel fired at the victims’ vehicle, the military member retrieved his gun and took cover near the vehicle’s front fender, according to Hain. Two unidentified people also shot at the group, she said.
The military service member fired two shots and struck Mickiel twice, she said.
A 22-year-old woman in the group was injured by Mickiel in the shooting, suffering wounds to the arm and back, according to court records and Hain.
The four victims escaped the melee in two vehicles as two unidentified people continued to shoot at them, Hain said. . . .
Portland, Oregon, January 11, 2014, Oregonian
Thomas Eliot Hjelmeland, 43-years-old, was ejected from a nightclub, but he returned 30 minutes later with a gun and wearing a mask. He shot the bouncer who had ejected him and shot at others. The bouncer was shot in the head and critically wounded. Two others were also wounded: one patron in the foot and a waitress, who had been standing at the front of the club, in both of her legs. Hjelmeland was on probation at the time of the incident. Given that Hjelmeland was shooting people all around the club, Bouncer Jonathan Baer, a concealed handgun permit holder who fatally shot Hjelmeland, appears to have had good reason to fear that other people at the front of the club would also have been shot by Hjelmeland.
Here is a February 1, 2014, article in the Oregonian.
Baer, 31, followed the masked gunman out of the club’s interior doors to the entrance foyer and drew his own Glock .40-caliber pistol from his hip. He looked back one or two times to check on Rizzo, who hadn’t gotten up.
While using one foot to prop open the club’s inner door, Baer said he saw the masked man reach the front door. The man stopped and looked as if he were going to turn around. Baer said he leaned forward and fired two to three rounds.
Baer, who has a concealed handgun license, . . .
Baer later explained to detectives that he had thought about two dancers and two customers who were standing outside the club smoking. He said he didn’t want anyone else to get hurt. . . .
And this January 21, 2014, article in the Oregonian.
In a Facebook post, Baer wrote, “I did what I felt was right to stop the shooter…I carry every day, and will continue to, and will so with the hope that I will NEVER have to pull it out again.” . . .
Plymouth, Pennsylvania, September 2012
The article by Bob Kalinowski Citizensvoice.com states:
Ever since Ktytor, who has a concealed carry license, dropped the killer with several shots on Main Street in Plymouth, . . .
In October, the murder suspect, William Allabaugh of Plymouth, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and attempted murder, then was sentenced to 25 to 50 years in state prison.
Authorities say Allabaugh critically wounded Stephen Hollman, 30, by shooting him in the head inside Bonnie’s Food and Spirits on Main Street. A short time later, Allabaugh fatally shot Scott Luzetsky, 39, outside the bar. Police said both victims were innocent bystanders who didn’t provoke the attack by Allabaugh, who was angered he was being kicked out of the bar.
More importantly, see this (emphasis added):
“The video footage and the evidence reveals that Mr. Allabaugh had turned around and was reapproaching the bar. Mr. [Ktytor] then acted, taking him down. We believe that it could have been much worse that night,” Luzerne County A.D.A. Jarrett Ferentino said.
Early, Texas, August 2012, KTXS ABC Channel 12:
An armed citizen, Vic Stacy, shot and stopped a deranged man who had just murdered two neighbors and was firing at police with a rifle. Stacy made a very long shot with his revolver, three times as far as the perpetrator was from the police officer, who had an AR-15 type rifle.
Santa Clara, California, July 26, 2012, Reuters:
“He intended to go out in a blaze of glory,” Morec said, noting Stevens had accumulated more than 100 rounds of ammunition for his rented 9mm semi-automatic weapon.
“It certainly looks like he intended to take a lot more people out.”. . . .
After several minutes on the range, however, Stevens returned to the club’s gun store and shot at the ceiling. He then herded three store employees out the door into an alley, saying he intended to kill them, Morec said.
Unknown to Stevens, one store employee was carrying a .45 caliber handgun concealed beneath his shirt. When Stevens looked away, the employee fired, hitting Stevens several times in the chest and bringing him to the ground. . . . .
Salt Lake, April 27, 2012, ABC Channel 4
he Original story is no longer available, but this is its content:
A citizen with a gun stopped a knife wielding man as he began stabbing people Thursday evening at the downtown Salt Lake City Smith’s store. Police say the suspect purchased a knife inside the store and then turned it into a weapon. Smith’s employee Dorothy Espinoza says, “He pulled it out and stood outside the Smiths in the foyer. And just started stabbing people and yelling you killed my people. You killed my people.” Espinoza says, the knife wielding man seriously injured two people. “There is blood all over. One got stabbed in the stomach and got stabbed in the head and held his hands and got stabbed all over the arms.” Then, before the suspect could find another victim – a citizen with a gun stopped the madness. “A guy pulled gun on him and told him to drop his weapon or he would shoot him. So, he dropped his weapon and the people from Smith’s grabbed him.” . . .
Another media report is available here: Lt. Brian Purvis noted “This was a very volatile situation that could have gotten even worse. We can only assume, judging from what we saw, that it could have gotten a lot worse so he [the permit holder] was definitely in the right place at the right time.” A brief description is available here.
Aurora, Colorado, April 2012, Fox 31 Denver by Tammy Vigil:
Kiarron Parker rammed his car into another in the church parking lot, got out and attempted to kill multiple church members. He was only able to kill one before a member of the congregation, the nephew of the lady killed, and an off duty police officer, drew his handgun and shot Parker, stopping the killing.
Spartanburg, South Carolina, March 2012, article by Jenny Arnold at GoUpState.com (see also here):
. . . About 11:20 a.m., Jesse Gates returned to the church. The Rev. Guyton’s grandson, Aaron Guyton, 26, was in the recreation building separate from the church and saw Gates get a shotgun from the trunk of his car.
“At that point, I knew I had to do something,” Aaron Guyton said. “I wanted to try to contain him outside.”
Aaron Guyton went into the main building and locked the doors.
Henry Guyton said he was in the pulpit, preaching about how Jesus spoke the word of God and healed the sick, when Gates kicked open the side door of the sanctuary and entered with the shotgun, pointing it at the pastor and congregation.
Church members, including Aaron Guyton, a concealed weapons permit holder, acted quickly.
Aaron Guyton held Gates at gunpoint, as church members Jesse Smith and Leland Powers held him on the floor and waited for deputies to arrive. The Rev. Guyton said he stepped onto a chair, climbed down a 3-foot bannister surrounding the pulpit and took the shotgun from Jesse Gates. . . .
No shots were fired and no one was injured, according to deputies.
During a news conference Sunday, Wright called Aaron and Henry Guyton, Jesse Smith and Leland Powers “everyday heroes.” . . .
Oklahoma City, December 2009, KWTV NEWS Channel 9:
Witnesses said the man initially went into the apartment complex’s main office. When employees locked him out, he opened fire in the parking lot.
As the man was firing shots, another citizen armed with a gun came around the corner and ordered the gunman to put his weapon down. The gunman dropped his weapon and ran into his father’s apartment and barricaded himself inside. . . .
Richmond, Virginia, July 2009 (this first description is based on a video of the shooting and a talk on the attack is here):
The gun owner was in the store [the Golden Market] waiting in line to pay for an item when the bad guy came in wearing dark sunglasses and trying to coverup his face while brandishing a revolver. The [bad guy] yelled for everyone to get down and before anybody could react, immediately walked over to the store owner and in a cold-blooded fashion shot him twice. The owner then dropped down behind the counter. . . .
The [bad guy] ran towards the back of the store, aiming his gun at an innocent man laying prone on the floor. Luckily the [bad guy] was too distracted by the [gun owner] to shoot the man. There is no doubt in my mind that the man would have been shot in cold blood that day if it weren’t for that [gun owner] returning fire. . . .
As he approached the front of one aisle, he again pointed a gun at a person on the ground and was about to execute him, when he was again distracted by the [gun owner]. . . .
College Park (near Atlanta), Georgia, May 7, 2009, WSB-TV 2
Bailey said he thought it was the end of his life and the lives of the 10 people inside his apartment for a birthday party after two masked men with guns burst in through a patio door.
“They just came in and separated the men from the women and said, ‘Give me your wallets and cell phones,’” said George Williams of the College Park Police Department.
Bailey said the gunmen started counting bullets. “The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough,” said Bailey.
That’s when one student grabbed a gun out of a backpack and shot at the invader who was watching the men. The gunman ran out of the apartment. . . .
More information is available from WFXI in Atlanta:
The resident of the apartment, Charles Bailey, told police that he thought it was the end of his life. He and ten other people were in his apartment celebrating at a birthday party when two masked gunmen burst through the patio door. . . .
Bailey further informed authorities that the suspects counted their bullets. Apparently Hill was guarding the men when one of the victims retrieved a gun from a backpack and turned the tables on the situation. Hill reportedly fled the scene.The victim with the gun then proceeded to the next room where Lavant had watch over the females at the party.The guy was apparently was about to rape one of the females, said Bailey. . . .
Bailey said if not for the quick thinking of that party goer, it is likely that all the victims would have been killed. I am thankful that one student risked his life for others. . . .
Winnemucca, Nevada, May 25, 2008, KOLO ABC Channel 8 (Reno):
. . . Winnemucca Police Chief Bob Davidson says the violence erupted around 2:30 A.M. Sunday when a man entered the crowded Players Bar and Grill. He fatally shot two brothers, 20-year-old Jose Torres and his 19-year-old brother, Margarito. The shooter was later identified as 30 year old Ernesto Villagomez. All three were from Winnemucca.
According to witnesses, Villagomez at some point stopped to reload his high-capacity handgun and began shooting again when he was shot and killed by another patron – a 48-year-old Reno man who had a valid concealed weapons permit. . . .
Colorado Springs, Colorado, December 2007, by Solomon Banda with the Associated Press:
After a year of accolades that followed her shooting of a gunman who killed two teenage sisters at her church, security guard Jeanne Assam remains “low key” and says she thinks of the family of gunman Matthew Murray. . . .
Assam shot and wounded Murray after he opened fire at New Life Church on Dec. 9, 2007. Murray then killed himself, ending a spree that killed four people in two cities.
Assam said volunteering as an armed security guard at the church remains the highlight of her week. . . .
Murray began his shooting spree at the Youth With a Mission center in the Denver suburb of Arvada just after midnight Dec. 9. There, he killed Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24.
Hours later, he drove 65 miles south to New Life Church in Colorado Springs and began shooting as worshippers left a Sunday service. Sisters Rachel Works, 16, and Stephanie Works, 18, were killed. . . . .
Wearing a trench coat and carrying an assault rifle [sic], Murray opened fire in the church complex’s parking lot and headed into the church. He walked past a playground, which church spokeswoman Amie Streater said was empty that day because it had been snowing, and entered a hallway that led toward the sanctuary past a children’s worship area.
Outgunned and stationed near the children, Assam stepped out from a doorway, confronted the gunman and then fired 10 shots from 63 feet away, hitting Murray once in the wrist and twice in a leg. Murray died in the hallway barely 40 feet from where he entered. . . . .
Memphis, Tennessee, March 2007, WBIR TV NBC in Knoxville, TN:
No one was hurt during the incident that apparently began with a minor traffic accident, but one passing car was believed hit by a bullet.
Brothers William Webber and Paul Webber told police they stopped their car and pulled their own pistols when they saw a man firing a handgun yesterday.
The brothers said they ordered the man to drop his weapon and then held him at gunpoint until police arrived a few minutes later. Police say the Webbers did not fire their pistols.
Police arrested Dementrius Roberson and charged him with reckless endangerment. Police say the Webber brothers and Roberson have licenses to carry firearms.
Paul Webber says Roberson was firing across traffic and they couldn’t tell why he was shooting. . . .
Memphis, Tennessee, July 21, 2006.
Here is another knife attack that was stopped before the police were able to arrive. From Fox News:
The attack apparently stemmed from a work dispute, police said.
Five victims, one in critical condition, were admitted to the Regional Medical Center, the main trauma hospital for the Memphis area. Three others were less badly hurt and treated at another hospital.
The attacker, chasing one victim into the store’s parking lot, was subdued by Chris Cope, manager of a financial services office in the same small shopping center, Higgins said.
Cope said he grabbed a 9mm semiautomatic pistol from his pickup truck when he saw the attacker chasing the victim “like something in a serial killer movie.”
“When he turned around and saw my pistol, he threw the knife away, put his hands up and got on the ground,” Cope told The Associated Press. “He saw my gun and that was pretty much it.”
Police arrived within minutes . . . .
Tyler, Texas, February 2005, Fox News (see also here):
. . . Wilson, a licensed concealed handgun permit holder, heard Arroyo’s shots and saw the commotion from his apartment window. He grabbed a handgun and headed toward the attacker. Arroyo had already wounded several police officers and there was no one left to prevent his rampage.
Arroyo had also shot his 22-year-old son and was about ready to shoot him again from very close range when Wilson fired his gun, hitting Arroyo several times in the chest. Arroyo was wearing a bullet resistant vest and flak jacket and Wilson’s shots did not seriously wound him. Yet, Wilson’s shots forced Arroyo to come after him, and it used up a couple of minutes of his time. Unfortunately, in the exchange of gunfire, Arroyo eventually fatally shot Wilson. With police arriving, Arroyo fled the scene and was later shot to death by police as they pursued him. . . .
Grundy, Virginia, Jan. 16, 2002
Josh White in the Washington Post recounts the testimony of Mikael Gross, one of the two students who had:
. . . Odighizuwa accepted responsibility for the shootings that began after school officials told him that he was failing out of the program. On Jan. 16, 2002, he took a .380-caliber pistol to the offices of Dean L. Anthony Sutin and Prof. Thomas Blackwell and killed them before opening fire on a crowd, killing student Angela Dales, 33, and wounding three others. Odighizuwa was subdued without incident by armed students. . . .
— More details of the attack are available here, including interviews that Lott conducted with the two students who stopped the attack as well as various reporters who covered the case.
Edinboro, Pennsylvania, April 1998, from Robert Moran and Susan Q. Stranahan in the Philadelphia Inquirer
. . . Yesterday, Andrew Wurst, 14, was charged with fatally shooting John Gillette, 48, a science teacher at James Parker Middle School, as Gillette was chaperoning a prom for Wurst and his eighth-grade class at Nick’s Place.
After Wurst shot Gillette in the head, police said, the teenager entered the banquet hall where his dressed-up schoolmates were dancing Friday to the final song of the evening, “My Heart Will Go On,” from the movie Titanic.
Wurst shot and wounded two students and another teacher, police said, then fled from the hall. None of the three was seriously injured.
As the 240 youngsters and teachers ran for cover – some diving into a closet for protection, singing and praying to stay calm – hall owner James Strand grabbed a shotgun and followed Wurst out the door, police said. Strand caught up with Wurst, who lives in nearby McKean, and held him until authorities arrived. . . .
Pearl, Mississippi, October 1997
In the Pearl, Mississippi, case, Myrick stopped the killer from proceeding to the nearby junior high school and continuing his attack there.
Student eyewitnesses and shooting victims of the Pearl High School (Mississippi) rampage used phrases like “unreal” and “like a horror movie” as they testified Wednesday about seeing Luke Woodham methodically point his deer rifle at them and pull the trigger at least six times. . . . The day’s most vivid testimony came from a gutsy hero of the day. As- sistant principal Joel Myrick heard the initial shot and watched Woodham choosing his victims. When Woodham appeared headed for a science wing where early classes were al- ready under way, Myrick ran for his pickup and grabbed his .45-caliber pistol. He rounded the school building in time to see Woodham leaving the school and getting into his moth- er’s white Chevy Corsica. He watched its back tires smoke from Woodham’s failure to remove the parking brake. Then he ordered him to stop. “I had my pistol’s sights on him. I could see the whites of his knuckles” on the steering wheel, Myrick said. He reached into the car and opened the driver-side door, then ordered Woodham to lie on the ground. “I put my foot on his back area and pointed my pistol at him,” Myrick testified. [Bartholomew Sullivan, “Students Recall ‘Unreal’ Rampage,” Commercial Appeal, June 11, 1998, p. A1 as quoted in the 1st edition of “More Guns, Less Crime”]
Muskegon, Michigan, August 1995, The Chronicle:
Plans to slay everyone in the Muskegon, Michigan, store and steal enough cash and jewelry to feed their “gnawing hunger for crack cocaine” fell apart for a band of would-be killers after one of their victims fought back. Store owner Clare Cooper was returning behind the counter after showing three of the four conspirators some jewelry, when one of the group pulled out a gun and shot him four times in the back. Stumbling for the safety of his bullet-proof glass-encased counter, Cooper managed to grab his shotgun and fire as the suspects fled. . . .
Anniston, Alabama, December 1991, J. Neil Schulman in the Los Angeles Times:
. . . two men armed with recently stolen pistols herded 20 customers and employees of a Shoney’s restaurant in Anniston, Ala., into the walk-in refrigerator and locked it. Continuing to hold the manager at gunpoint, the men began robbing the restaurant.
Then one of the robbers found a customer who had hidden under a table and pulled a gun on him. The customer, Thomas Glenn Terry, legally armed with a .45 semi-automatic pistol, then fired five shots into that robber’s chest and abdomen, killing him instantly.
The other robber, who was holding the manager at gunpoint, opened fire on Terry and grazed him. Terry returned fire, hitting the second robber several times and wounding him critically.
The robbery attempt was over. The Shoney’s customers and employees were freed. No one else was hurt. . . .
The preceding list is not meant to be anything near comprehensive. One can see how hard it is to identify these cases when there is often just one or two stories on a case.
Cases where attacks were stopped with other types of guns
Fort Smith, Arkansas, May 15, 2021
Zachary Arnold, 26, fatally shot Lois Hicks, 87, in her apartment and then began shooting at other people in neighboring apartments. This case involved someone with a rifle, not a concealed handgun, to stop the attack.
Hicks was shot multiple times inside of her apartment by Arnold who was armed with a semi-automatic rifle. Arnold continued to shoot his rifle at neighboring apartments. A resident at the apartments heard the gunshots and got a hunting rifle which he used to shoot and kill Arnold. . . . .Nayely Palafox, “Fort Smith Police investigate shooting that left two people dead,” Channel 5 News (Springdale, AR), May 15, 2021.
Cicero, Illinois, September 15, 2018
The Chicago Tribune points out that the police considered a concealed handgun permit holder a hero. They did not initially know if the permit holder was the one who had shot the criminal, but that at the very least his shots helped stop the attack and made it possible for the other officer to shoot the criminal. The police and others referred to the permit holder as a “hero.”
[David] Lombardo added, “speaking as a former part-time deputy and an ex-military guy, the (citizen) was an angel. He knew what he was doing, he got involved when he didn’t have to and he saved the cop’s life. The bad guy could have hit somebody else too. So who knows how many lives (the citizen) saved?”
Cicero police and town leaders credited the citizen, whose name they did not release, with helping to end the wild shootout during the Thursday evening rush hour.
“We were lucky enough to have a citizen on the street there who is a conceal carry holder, and he engaged in gunfire with the suspect,” Cicero police Superintendent Jerry Chlada Jr. said . . . .
It later turned out that the permit holder wasn’t the one who had wounded the criminal. From the Chicago Sun-Times:
The officers attempted to pull the vehicle over, but it drove off and got stuck in traffic near the expressway ramp, Assistant State’s Attorney Guy Lisuzzo said. When the officers blocked the Mercedes in, Mageo, armed with a black handgun, allegedly opened fire.
Duarte was shot at least six times — in the leg, hip and shoulder, Lisuzzo said. A bullet also struck the officer’s Taser. Duarte has since been released from the hospital, but was still walking with the aid of a walker, authorities said.
A witness with a permit to carry a concealed gun saw the shooting and fired three times at Mageo as he ran, Lisuzzo said. None of those bullets struck Mageo. . . .
Rock Hill, South Carolina, December 21, 2017 (The State newspaper (Columbia, South Carolina), WYFF Channel 4 TV)
The attacker wielding a large wrench threatened to kill several people. The attacker had cornered one of the employees, and he would have likely killed her. Fortunately, two concealed handgun permit holders stopped the attack. This case is only included as possible because it isn’t clear that the attacker would have been able to kill more than the one female employee. From The State newspaper:
A pair of customers legally carrying guns held a pipe-wielding attacker at bay at a York County car dealership until police arrived in a December incident where the suspect threatened to kill dealership employees, prosecutors said in court Friday.
Alonzo Seegars, upset with service at Stateline car dealership on Gold Hill Road in Fort Mill on Dec. 21, arrived armed with a pipe wrench, said Aaron Hayes, 16th Circuit assistant solicitor. Seegars told a service employee, “I know who you are and you are a dead man,” then “threatened to kill” a female employee, Hayes said.
Seegars then shouted out “Watch this!” as he smashed at least three vehicles with the pipe wrench, Hayes said.
Two customers, whom prosecutors said had legal concealed carry permits and were armed legally at the time, intervened and “held Mr. Seegars at bay” with the handguns at the crowded dealership until police arrived, Hayes said. York County deputies tackled Seegars after using an electric stun gun. Seegars suffered a broken leg in the scuffle. . . .
North Naples, Florida, July 11, 2018
It looks as if the permit holder stopped what otherwise would have been a drive-by shooting. WINK television news -had this headline “Good Samaritan with a gun stops possible shooter outside restaurant.”
“You wonder, is this ever going to happen to me, and it did,” Tom said.
According to witnesses, what Tom did may have prevented a tragedy.
“I pulled into Jack’s, just walked in to grab a beer. Walked outside to sit down, and there was a table of ladies to the right of me,” Tom said. “Almost immediately, this black Lincoln pulled up with all dark windows and he did a hell of a burnout.” . . .
Tom says a man, who deputies later identified and arrested as Keith Zavattaro, 55, of Naples, drove back to the front of the building, stopped and then slowly rolled down his window to then point what looked like a gun.
“So I got behind the cement pillar and showed my pistol, and he took off out of there really quick,” Tom said.
According to the arrest report, other people outside also saw the gun.
Houston, Texas, Sunday, May 29, 2016, The UK Daily Mail
He served four tours of duty in Afghanistan and was discharged from active duty in 2014, and doesn’t appear to have a criminal history. . . .
He killed 56-year-old Eugene Linscomb and critically injured father Byron Wilson, who police say was trying to fight back and stop the deadly attack.
Authorities said Wilson had a concealed carry permit and fired at the suspect. He was shot three times in the process.
He is expected to survive. . . .
more on this case is here on KHOU-TV:
“He could have prevented more people from being shot,” Guerra said. “He’s a hero, even though he was shot. He’s a hurting hero.” . . .
Las Vegas, Nevada, June 8, 2014
A Concealed Carry Permit Holder may have limited the carnage in North Las Vegas shooting that left three people dead. While the permit holder lost his life, it appears as if he was able to delay the killers’ attack on others and give people a chance to escape.
Portland, Oregon, December 2012 KGW Staff:
“I heard three shots and turned and looked at Casey and said, ‘are you serious?,'” he said.
The friend and baby hit the floor. Meli, who has a concealed carry permit, positioned himself behind a pillar.
He was working on his rifle, said Meli. He kept pulling the charging handle and hitting the side.
The break in gunfire allowed Meli to pull out his own gun, but he never took his eyes off the shooter.
“As I was going down to pull, I saw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and I knew if I fired and missed, I could hit them,” he said.. . .
I’m not beating myself up cause I didn’t shoot him, said Meli. I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself. . . .
Eugene Volokh has a discussion available here about why he doesn’t include this on his list of four cases that he has.
Manchester, New Hampshire, April 15, 2007
The links to the original New Hampshire Union Leader are broken, but I have links to a blog that quotes the articles.
Bullets flew outside the Uptown Tavern early yesterday when a peeved patron began shooting at a doorman after being thrown out of the club. The shooter himself was shot twice by an armed customer who rushed to the bouncer’s defense, a club owner and police said.
The shooter had missed doorman Chad Ryan after firing about four shots at him in the 1301 Elm St. club’s parking lot when the alleged gunman was himself hit twice by the unidentified patron who returned fire about 12:45 a.m., said club co-owner Dave Somers.
Tacoma Mall in Tacoma, Washington, November 20, 2005.
While this case ended with the permit holder not stopping the shooter, the exchange of gun-fire with the shooter delayed him and thus gave others a chance to escape and police more time to arrive.
Hoover, Alabama (Galleria Mall), November 23, 2018
Emantic Bradford Jr apparently tried to use his gun to stop what might have been a gang shooting at a mall. Unfortunately, Bradford was shot by a police officer. The Alabama Attorney General cleared the police officer in the shooting of any crime, saying that he acted reasonably because of the chaos. One factor that helped cause problems was that the mall banned concealed handgun permit holders. This is the only case that we know of where a permit holder was shot by police when he was trying to stop a shooting, though he apparently wasn’t doing it in a place where he was legally able to do it. It also isn’t clear if Bradford was himself involved in stopping the shooting of civilians.
Off-duty police have also had some dramatic cases
Lenexa, Kansas, November 26, 2017
When the gunman, later identified as Ronald O. Hunt, announced, “I’m an off-duty U.S. Marshal, I’m here to kill people,” Howell realized that he had only one option.
“I knew that there was a threat that had to be stopped,” Howell said Friday as he recalled the incident. . . .
In announcing that the retired U.S. Army veteran would not face criminal charges, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Howell “acted with extreme courage, and saved an unknown amount of innocent lives.” . . .“You never know what situation you are going to find yourself in whether it is a restaurant or a shopping mall, or just driving down the road,” he said. “I think it would be ludicrous not to be prepared.” . . .
Plymouth County, Massachusetts, May 11, 2016
Plymouth County Sheriff’s Deputy Jimmy Creed was off-duty “with his bride, just having dinner,” when the chaos unfolded, police sources told ABC News.
They were dining at Bertucci’s Italian restaurant in the Galleria Mall in Taunton, about 40 miles south of Boston.
Suspect Arthur DaRosa had walked into the restaurant and “armed himself with a knife and stabbed two people,” District Attorney Thomas Quinn said in a statement released early this morning.
Quinn said today that DaRosa’s sister told police he had checked himself into a local hospital Monday night and was released Tuesday morning, hours before the attacks. . . .
St. Cloud, Minnesota, September 17, 2016
A terrorist mass stabbing occurred at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. Ten people were injured, and the attacker was shot dead inside the mall by an off-duty law enforcement officer. The FBI began investigating the stabbing as a possible act of terrorism.
The Washington Post Reports: “the attacker lunged at Jason Falconer, a part-time police officer in Avon, Minn., 15 miles northwest of St. Cloud. Falconer then fired shots at the stabber, who fell but got up three times before he died.“
Fox 9 in AVON, Minn
Off-duty police officer Jason Falconer was the right person, in the right place, at the right time. The part-time cop with the Avon, Minnesota Police Department is the owner of a gun range in Waite Park called Tactical Advantage, and he’s a competitive shooter, according to his police chief. In fact, he’s the firearms instructor for the city of Avon.
“I believe there was divine intervention,” Chief Corey Nellis said. “I believe he was the person that needed to be there to prevent it from being worse than it was.” . . .
San Antonio, Texas, December 2012, WOAI (possibly shouldn’t be included in the list of off-duty police officer as the person was moonlighting as a security guard):
Investigators say some of the terrified restaurant patrons poured into the movie theater, and the gunman followed.
He opened fire, shooting one man in the chest, before Antu says an off duty sheriff’s deputy who was working security at the theater shot him once.
“The officer involved, she took the appropriate action to try to keep everyone safe in the movie theater,” Antu said.
The gunman and the patron are hospitalized.
Antu says the gunman never made it into the theater itself, thanks largely to the heroic work of the off duty deputy.
“She did what she felt she had to do,” Antu said. “I feel that she saved a lot of lives by taking the action she had to take.” . . .
Aurora, Colorado, April 24, 2012, Fox Channel 31, Denver
. . . Aurora Police say Kiarron Parker, 29, of Denver, shot and killed Josephine Echols, 67, just before 3 p.m. outside the Destiny Christian Center in the 10600 block of E. Bethany Dr. That’s not too far from Parker Rd. and Havana St.
Parker had a lengthy criminal record.
An off-duty Denver police officer shot and killed Parker. . . .
That gave him enough time to hide behind a car.
Then, the bullets started raining, and hit Mama Jo.
That’s when an off-duty Denver policeman—also Mama Jo’s nephew—shot the suspect dead.
“Thank God for him because if it wasn’t for him there’s no telling what would have happened,” says Martin. . . .
New York Mills, New York, May 2010, WKTV:
. . . Shortly before 1 p.m. on that Thursday afternoon, Dicken walked into the cellular phone store on Commercial Drive, with a 357 magnum in his hand, and a list in his pocket containing the six names of the AT&T store employees to which he was holding such deep anger, and planned to kill as a result.
“The suspect had no prior history,” said Lt. Troy Little of the New York State Police.
That man with no prior criminal record walked into the store and shot Seth Tyrk, a store employee who was doing no more than working at a computer at his job. Authorities believe Dicken could have been even more successful with his list of six victims, if not for the instantaneous actions of Rome Police Officer Donald J. Moore, who was off-duty, but in the store as a customer at the time of the shooting.
“He heard and sees the gun, draws his weapon, and fired,” Lt. Little said of Officer Moore’s reaction.
Officer Moore was carrying his own 40 caliber handgun.
“It’s his own personal choice,” said Moore’s boss, Rome Police Chief Kevin Beach. “We do encourage our officers to carry off-duty.” . . .
Salt Lake City, Utah, February 2007, CBS News (note this off-duty officer carried his gun where he was not allowed to do so (more details here)):
An off-duty police officer having an early Valentine’s Day dinner with his wife was credited Tuesday with helping stop a rampage in a crowded shopping mall by an 18-year-old gunman who killed five people before he was cut down.
A day after the shooting, investigators struggled to figure out why a trench-coated Sulejmen Talovic opened fire on shoppers with a supremely calm look on his face.
The teenager wanted to “to kill a large number of people” and probably would have killed many more if not for the off-duty officer, Police Chief Chris Burbank said.
Ken Hammond, an off-duty officer from Ogden, north of Salt Lake City, jumped up from his seat at a restaurant after hearing gunfire and cornered the gunman, exchanging fire with him until other officers arrived, Burbank said.
“There is no question that his quick actions saved the lives of numerous other people,” the police chief said. . . .
Santee, California. In 2001, a student (Charles “Andy” Williams) shot and killed two of his classmates and wounded 13 others before being subdued and held at gunpoint by an off-duty police officer who was bringing his daughter to school.