People legally carrying guns have saved police officers

May 20, 2022 | Defensive Gun Use

Maple Falls, WA, February 10, 2022

Two deputies responded to a report of shots fired in a Maple Falls neighborhood. Upon arrival, the suspect started yelling at the deputies, waving a shotgun around, and “appeared to be intoxicated by his speech and actions.” The suspect fired at the deputies, hitting both. That was when good Samaritans armed with their own weapons stepped forward and fired multiple shots in the direction of the suspect to provide cover for and protect the wounded deputies. The sheriff thanked the armed good Samaritans who came to the wounded heroes’ aid and kept them safe until backup arrived.

According to Friday’s news release, deputies were sent at 4:17 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, to the 3000 block of Green Valley Drive in Peaceful Valley for a report of shots fired, after a caller told 911 that a neighbor was outside shooting his 12-gauge shotgun in the air. Additional callers gave the specific address and reported two people were shooting at each other from two houses.

Deputies arrived at approximately 4:40 p.m., according to Friday’s release, and said that a man, later identified as Young, was yelling at them and waving the shotgun around. Deputies established probable cause to arrest Young for felony harassment and reported noting that Young appeared to be intoxicated due to his speech and actions…

Young yelled at the deputies and then fired on them.

The first deputy was hit in the head and dropped to the ground.

The second deputy stepped forward and returned fire in an effort to protect the deputy who had already been shot…

Police said that was when good Samaritans armed with their own weapons stepped forward and fired multiple shots in the direction of Young to provide cover for and protect the wounded deputies, the Bellingham Herald reported.

The good Samaritans told KING that they were military veterans and they weren’t going to sit still and watch law enforcement officers be murdered so they took their children inside their homes and came back out with their own guns…

The sheriff wrote that … “Second, we are extraordinarily blessed that several armed citizens came to the deputies’ assistance at the critical moments when they were most vulnerable,” the sheriff continued. “I have contacted all three of the good Samaritans and expressed appreciation on behalf of myself and all members of law enforcement and their families. There will be a more formal recognition of these humble citizen heroes once more details of their actions can be released.”

Sandy Malone, “Armed Good Samaritans Provided Cover Fire, Rescue Wounded Deputies,” The Police Tribune, February 14, 2022.
Denver Pratt and David Rasbach, “Bail set at $5 million for Whatcom attempted murder suspect who allegedly shot 2 deputies,” The News Tribune, February 12, 2022.

Tonopah, AZ, October 9, 2021

A suspect accused of critically injuring a Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy in Avondale was captured after a homeowner shot him during a break-in. The homeowner was glad he carried a gun that day to protect his family.

At the time of the trespassing incident that turned into a shootout, Clinton Hurley, 30, was on the run following a Saturday attack on a Maricopa County Sheriff’s deputy…

Earlier in the day, officials said Hurley attacked and seriously injured a deputy as he was being processed on felony warrants, then stole that deputy’s car…

(The homeowner) explained that could possibly mean he had two separate, random encounters with Hurley.

The first he claims was on Friday when he said Hurley just showed up in his front yard with a wooden knife, scaring him and his daughters as they were loading into his truck. After a verbal fight, he said Hurley left.

The homeowner said Hurley circled back, this time with a gun, and pointed it right at his dad.

They exchanged gunfire. The sheriff’s office said Hurley was hit and airlifted to the hospital. At last check, he’s in critical condition.

The homeowner said he doesn’t normally carry a gun but is grateful he decided to that day so he could protect his family…

Jessica Winters, “Tonopah homeowner who shot suspect says he was protecting his family,” 12 News, October 10, 2021.

Las Vegas, February 3, 2021

“I would like to take a moment to remind everyone the dangers of this job, of being a police officer,” said a representative for LVMPD during a press briefing from the scene, “and to thank good citizens that step up and help us in our time of need.”

Joyce Lupiani, “Police: Officer, citizens shoot man after alleged screwdriver attack near gun range,” KTNV Channel 13 (Las Vegas), February 3, 2021.

One officer and three people shot at a suspect who stabbed another officer with a screwdriver. The attacker was fatally shot. The stabbed officer was taken to University Medical Center and she was reported to be in stable condition.

“He went into the business and started messing around with property that did not belong to him, and they asked him to leave,” she said.

Several people followed the man outside of the range as they waited for Metro officers to arrive. Investigators believe they were “ensuring that he didn’t re-enter,” Prosser said. . . .

“As they attempted to have more verbal contact with him, he pulled out a screwdriver and violently attacked one of our officers,” Prosser said. “At that time, three citizens as well as her partner officer fired multiple rounds, striking the subject.”

Katelyn Newberg, “Officer injured, man dead after screwdriver attack, police shooting,” Las Vegas Review-Journal February 3, 2021

Fresno, CA, March 24, 2020 

Officers tried to pull over the car, but the driver refused to stop and sped off. The driver led police on a short chase and ended up crashing near Valeria and Grant.

After the crash, the driver hopped out of the car with a pump shotgun. He then reportedly aimed it at the officers and began firing at them. After firing a couple of rounds, he then turned around and started to run away from officers.

During this time, a good Samaritan was walking down the street and spotted the guy running toward him with a shotgun. That good Samaritan turned out to be a CCW holder and pulled out his gun to defend himself. He fired one time at the suspect, making him fall to the ground…

KMPH Staff, “Good Samaritans help bring down man accused of shooting at Fresno police officers,” KMPH Fox 26 (Fresno, California), March 24, 2020.

Trenton, MO, June 14, 2019

An armed citizen and his companions came to the aid of a female police officer who had just been shot with her own gun. She was escorting an inmate to a mental health evaluation when he made a struggle for the firearm.

The Missouri Highway Patrol reports that Trenton, Missouri Police Officer Jasmine Diab was shot in her abdomen just after 3 p.m. on Friday, June 14, 2019. Jamey Aaron Griffin was charged with first-degree degree assault, armed criminal action and unlawful use of a weapon.

Sgt. Jake Angle said Griffin was restrained but was able to initiate a struggle over the female officer’s gun inside the vehicle.

The Trenton officer was shot in the abdomen. She was taken by helicopter to an area hospital.

The highway patrol reports Saturday afternoon that she remains in critical but stable condition. . . .

KCTV had a follow-up story about how the attack ended. Remember that Griffin was armed.

The witness said one of those good Samaritans was able to control the situation because he carried his own gun. He never fired it, but he cornered the inmate who was trying to make the wounded officer drive with a stomach wound. Then, the men were able to hold that inmate to the ground by pointing a gun to his head. . . .

In this case, the police believe that the armed citizen’s intervention was “critical” to stopping the criminal from possibly “doing more harm.” The fact that the officer was still in critical condition a day after being shot indicates that the civilian may have come to her rescue just in time.

“In this case, they chose to intervene and come to an officer’s aid and subdue the suspect and possibly keeping him from escaping or doing more harm,” Trooper Angle told WDAF. “I am not advocating that people need to feel that they intervene in a situation this level, however, people chose to and in this situation it was critical.” . . .

Cicero, IL, September 13, 2018

UPDATE: It is now clear that the good Samaritan is the one who wounded the criminal who had shot the one police officer four times and was shooting at the other officer. 

A man with a concealed-carry license was commended for coming to the aid of Cicero police who were engaged in a shootout with a man who shot and wounded an officer near the Stevenson Expressway Thursday, authorities said.

Cicero Police Officer Luis Duarte, 31, was shot four times during the encounter near the 4200 block of South Cicero Avenue during the evening rush hour, but it might have been worse if the armed citizen hadn’t stepped in, officials said.

“We were lucky enough to have a citizen on the street there who’s a concealed-carry holder, and he also engaged in gunfire,” Cicero Police Supt. Jerry Chlada Jr. said outside Mount Sinai Hospital, where Duarte was undergoing surgery Thursday night. . . .

An editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times notes: “Had the good Samaritan not joined the gun battle, the Cicero cop might not be alive today, and the accused shooter might have gotten away.

Cicero Town President Larry Dominick said: “I want to applaud the citizen, a civilian, who risked his life to help in apprehending this armed suspect.

Springville, UT, February 2, 2018

A concealed handgun permit holder rescued a Springville, Utah police officer who was being beaten by a man. From Fox News:

. . . Derek Meyer told FOX13 he was driving by the area when he spotted the police lights and saw Anderson attacking the cop. Meyer turned around and pulled out his pistol.

“I carry a gun to protect me and those around me, but primarily I carry a gun to protect my family first and foremost,” Meyer, who has a concealed-carry permit, told FOX13. “Outside of that, if I were to use my gun to protect anyone it would be law enforcement or military personnel.”

Meyer aimed the pistol at Anderson and yelled at him to stop attacking the officer. Anderson bolted from the scene as responding officers arrived. The attacker, who was found hiding under a flatbed trailer, was arrested and faces several charges, according to FOX13.

The officer suffered a fractured eye socket and lacerations around his eye.

Cpl. Cory Waters of Springville Police told FOX13 Meyer’s quick action helped save the officer’s life. . . .

Dawson County, GA, December 5, 2017

A sheriff’s deputy was assaulted by a homeless man after the deputy had given the man a ride to try to help him out.  The deputy was in the process of giving the man some money when the deputy was attacked.  Fortunately, according to the Atlanta Constitution, a “bystander stopped her car and shot the suspect,” with her wounding him and saving the deputy sheriff’s life.  Both the videos here have the Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson praising the woman who came to the rescue (Fox 5 in Atlanta and WSB-TV Channel 2).

Sheriff Johnson: “I truly believe that she was a hero.  I believe that she thankfully saved this officer’s life.

In the Fox video, Aseem Khan, the store owner, who witnessed the attack on the deputy, said that if it wasn’t for the woman permit holder, the attack “could have been much worse.”

After his assault on the deputy, the wounded attacker ran to a nearby MacDonald’s and struck an elderly woman in the head and apparently attempted to steal her car.  At that point, other people came to the elderly woman’s aid and restrained the attacker.

The deputy and the elderly woman were taken to the hospital to treat their wounds.

Indianapolis, IN, February 20, 2017

In February 2017, we posted links to news stories discussing how a woman named Kystie Jaehnen had come to the aid of an officer who was being beaten by a criminal.  Sergeant William Halbig, President of Laughery Valley Fraternal Order of Police Lodge, posted this account of what happened:

The suspicious person was parked in a elderly persons yard for an extended period of time, blocking her driveway, and creating a road hazard. Shortly after a Police Officer arrived in response to the call. The man began resisting and both the Officer and man went to the ground. A young woman (Kystie)standing nearby on her property ran to help the Officer. Kystie could see the Officer was loosing the fight as this man reached for the Officers gun. Fortunately for the Officer, Kystie was armed and shot the man one time which ended the fight.

Indiana State Police conducted the investigation, which was reviewed by the Dearborn County, Indiana Prosecutors Office, and the findings were that Kystie’s actions were deemed justified and no criminal charges were filed. . . .

Holland’s family has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the officer who was being attacked, as well as Kystie.  The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is covering the officer’s legal costs.  Meanwhile, the FOP is so appreciative that Kystie saved the officer’s life that they have set up a go fund me page to raise money to cover her legal costs.

Tonopah, AZ, January 12, 2017

A concealed handgun permit holder saved a police officer who was being ambushed in Arizona at I-10 in Tonopah.

An Arizona trooper trying to help a motorist in a rollover crash was shot in an ambush-style attack by a random suspect, who was then fatally shot by a Good Samaritan driving by…

The suspect shot [the trooper] at least once in the chest-shoulder area and fought the trooper to the ground.

A passerby saw the fight unfolding and stopped to render aid to the trooper, who asked for help.

However, the suspect ignored the Good Samaritan’s orders to stop attacking the trooper.

That’s when the passerby went to his car, grabbed a gun and fatally shot the suspect, reported ABC15…

DPS Col. Frank Milstead said he has yet to speak to the passerby, but he had this message for him:

“Thank you because I don’t know if my trooper would be alive today without your assistance.”…

ABC7.com staff, “Arizona trooper shot in ambush attack; Good Samaritan kills gunman,” ABC7.com, January 12, 2017.

Lee County, FL, November 15, 2016

This video was obtained from KHQ Channel 6 television.

On March 15th, 2017, the Florida State Attorney’s Office released a video of Ashad Russell, a Florida resident with a concealed handgun permit, fatally shooting another man, Edward Strother, who was attacking a Lee County, Florida Sheriff Deputy Dean Bardes.  Prosecutors had cleared Russell of criminal charges on February 15th, 2017.  The shooting was found justified because the deputy’s life was determined to be in danger.  The case stems from an incident that occurred on November 15, 2016.  The Florida State Attorney’s Office just released cell phone video of the event.

Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott wrote this on his Facebook page the day after the attack:

Earlier this week, two heroes met on I-75 and while they had never met before, one would save the others life. I was at the hospital when the ambulance arrived, the rear doors opened, and my Deputy Dean Bardes was unloaded on a stretcher. Bloody from a vicious attack by a driver Bardes had stopped for endangering the lives of other innocent citizens in our community, the Medics wheeled him into a treatment room. Joined by others from our team, I was there when his wife and family arrived with fear and concern for their loved one as the E.R. team worked on him. Ironically, this was the first day in a while that Deputy Bardes was alone on patrol because as a Field Training Officer, he typically has a recruit riding with him to learn the business. A business that has seen an increasingly alarming rise in attacks and killings perpetrated on cops. A business that has fallen victim to false narratives like Ferguson where the good guys have been painted as the bad guys by a vocal minority that refuses to allow facts and evidence to get in their way. A business that is the last line of defense between good and evil.

On behalf of the men and women of the LCSO, I thank Deputy Dean Bardes for his bravery and pray for a full recovery. I thank the E.R. staff and E.M.S. for their immediate attention to Dean, and I thank the many witnesses to this event who stopped to assist our Detectives. I thank my good friends at “Shoot Straight” who realized that the hero’s gun was taken as evidence and immediately gave him a brand new firearm. Above all, I thank the hero that recognized the imminent threat, rushed to Deputy Bardes’ aid, and ultimately stopped that threat. In a day and age where race is a near instant focus for media and other pundits in police incidents, the fact is that this hero happens to be a man of color who stopped another man of color from further harming or killing a white cop; thereby reminding us that black lives matter, blue lives matter, and indeed all life matters. We at your Sheriff’s Office remain proud to serve and focused on the mission.

Another video is available here.

Here is a video from the day of the original attack.

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, February 5, 2016

Upper Darby, Pennsylvania police are grateful to a concealed handgun permit holder who stepped in and kept an officer from harm by a mob of 40 to 50 high school students.  The first officer suffered “significant hand injuries” and a second officer who came to rescue the first officer suffered “a major injury to a leg.”  The first officer was in real danger significantly greater harm before the permit holder intervened with his permitted concealed handgun.  A newspaper ran the following headline: “Police Officer’s Life Saved By Concealed Carry Permit Holder.”

From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

. . . “There were 40 kids. If it wasn’t for the good Samaritan stepping forward, he’d have been dead meat,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said. “There’s no doubt they would have attacked him.” . . .

[This past Friday afternoon], police responded to three fights in three locations near the school. When the dust settled, eight teens, ages 13 to 17, were charged with crimes, and two officers were injured so severely that it’s unclear when they’ll be able to return to work, Chitwood said. . . .

[One officer] broke up a fight between two teen boys that had attracted a large crowd at that location was holding one of the combatants at bay when the teen’s opponent attacked the officer, Chitwood said.

“As he breaks up the fight, he takes one kid and then the other jumps [on] him. Now he’s fighting two of them and he’s calling for an assist officer at the same time,” Chitwood said. “There’s a crowd of 40 or 50 kids watching the fight, and they all move in towards the officer.”

That’s when the good Samaritan, who lives on the block, came out of his house with a gun in his hand and told the teens to get away from the cop, Chitwood said.

“He had the gun in his hand, but he didn’t point it at the kids, he just told them to back off,” Chitwood said. “If this guy didn’t come out and come to the aid of the officer, this officer would have had significant problems.”

The 35-year-old gun owner, who has a concealed-carry permit, kept the group of teens at bay until responding officers arrived, Chitwood said.

Not only did the officer who tried to break up the fight suffer significant hand injuries, Chitwood said, but an officer who responded to the request for backup also suffered a major injury to a leg when he was kicked by one of the teens in the fight. . . .

Another story notes that two teens who initially attacked the officer “with aggravated assault on a police officer.”

Bastrop, TX, January 16, 2016

Bistro County is located just a few miles east of Austin.  From Austin Statesman:

. . . “Freeze!” Scott Perkins yelled as he pulled out his concealed handgun, pointing at the suspect.

“I’m alive today because of him,” the deputy, 23-year-old Dylan Dorris said Wednesday, reflecting on the events surrounding a disturbance call outside a Bastrop County gas station Jan. 16. “There are no words to explain it. He’s such an outstanding citizen. He’s here for our country, our community and you really feel the love.”

Perkins’ actions caused the suspect to leave Dorris and flee, before he was detained and taken into custody by another deputy and Dorris shortly after.

Kenton Desean Fryer, 32, of Arkansas was arrested on charges of aggravated assault of a public servant, taking an officer’s weapon, evading arrest or detention with a vehicle and driving while under the influence with a child under 15. He is in Bastrop County Jail on $50,000 bail. . . .

Dorris remembers fearing for his life.

“I remember thinking stay in the fight. Just keep fighting, keep fighting. Do whatever you can do, just stay alive you need to go home,” Dorris said. He was transported to the hospital and treated for minor injuries that night. . . .

The entire story is quite moving and it is available here.

Mount Vernon, OH, June 10, 2015
From Inside Edition (July 27, 2016):

Cpl. Michael Wheeler of Ohio’s Mt. Vernon Police Department owes his life to a brave civilian who stepped forward with a drawn gun.

Wheeler said he was being attacked by a homeless man who later acknowledged to officers that he was high on crystal meth. Knocked to the ground and fighting to subdue the “very irritated and out of sorts” attacker, Wheeler ended up on his back with the man straddling him.

“I’ve never been in that situation before,” the 14-year department veteran told InsideEdition.com Wednesday. “I’ve always been able to take control of a situation.”

Earlier this week, Wheeler was able to reward Dylan DeBoard, the man who saved him, with the city’s Citizen’s Award of Valor. Every day, he remembers that day last year when things could have turned out far, far worse.

He often stops by DeBoard’s home, Wheeler said, just to say thanks. “Every time I see him I let him know how much I appreciate what he did.” . . .

The attack took place on June 10, 2015.  The video mentions that DeBoard is a concealed handgun permit holder.

Oklahoma City, OK, May 5, 2015

On May 5th in Oklahoma City, when a young police officer was being savagely beaten by burglar with the officer’s baton, a concealed hand permit holder came to the aid of the officer and stopped the attack. The two burglars in this case have been in the Oklahoma county jail a combined total of 70 times (see end of video clip).  Interestingly, the news of the permit holder saving the police officer did not get news coverage until the third day of the news coverage (day 1day 2day 3).  From Channel 9 News in Oklahoma City:

. . . An armed witness may have been the only thing that kept that officer from a more serious beating, or worse.. . .

Rookie Officer Adam Eller and field training officer Sgt. Michael Lambert were responding to the burglary call.

The two suspects in the burglary, Tremaine and Jermaine Williams, are twin brothers. Police say Tremaine was already gone when they arrived, but Jermaine was there and when he saw the officers he took off on foot.

During the chase the two officers became separated. Eller found himself alone when he caught up to Jermaine in a driveway of a nearby home and as he tried to place him under arrest, a fight ensued. During the struggle, Jermaine was able to take Eller’s police baton and then proceeded to strike him over the head somewhere between six and 12 times.

According to a report, that’s when a witness nearby charged up with his weapon drawn and told Jermaine he would shoot him if he did not stop hitting Eller. . . .

Fortunately, largely due to the efforts of the concealed carry permit holder, Rookie Officer Adam Eller is “expected to make a full recovery.”

Early, TX, July 29, 2012

A Good Samaritan with a good aim is credited with saving the life of a small-town cop who was under fire.

Vic Stacy, 66, was inside his trailer at the Peach House RV Park in Early, Texas, roughly two hours southeast of Abilene, when he heard gunfire. One of his neighbors, Charles Ronald Conner, had shot and killed David Michael House, 58, and Iris Valentini Calaci, 57, allegedly in a dispute over their dogs defecating on his property. Witnesses say Conner shot David House first, then stood over his body and fired a second time. They say he killed Calaci in the same manner.

The first officer on the scene, a sergeant from the Early Police Department, also came under fire…

Conner, armed with an assault rifle and hiding behind a tree, began to fire at the officer, who took cover behind his patrol car. Stacy came out of his trailer and saw the officer was pinned down and wouldn t have a clear shot. But Stacy felt he had a good angle and might be able to help with a lucky shot from his .357 magnum pistol…

KHOU Staff, “Armed good Samaritan praised for shooting suspect in trailer-park standoff,” KHOU, August 10, 2012.

Other cases of civilians using guns to save the lives of police officers are available here.

Note: Not only can civilians directly save the lives of police officers, but the fact that there are civilians carrying concealed handguns who are unknown to the criminals makes it riskier for those criminals to attack police.

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