Originally published on OpsLens.com on Nov 15th, 2016.
By Chris Wagoner:
I knew it was bound to happen sooner or later. I am willing to bet that it has happened before, but simply hadn’t made the news on a national scale. Now that it has, it is bound to make the rounds of the pro and anti-gun crowds, adding more fuel to the fire when bringing up the question, “do good guys with guns ever stop bad guys?”
On the morning of November 14th, a deputy in Lee County, Florida was involved in a high-speed chase ending with the suspect exiting his car, running at and then tackling the deputy to the ground, according to one witness who posted on the Internet. A fight for the deputy’s life ensued. However, what happened next was not expected, but thank goodness it did. A lawfully armed concealed firearms license holder who happened to be driving by, stopped and confronted the suspect while he was fighting the deputy.
According to news reports, “The passerby, who had a concealed weapons license, exited his vehicle and instructed the suspect to stop beating the deputy…after noncompliance from the suspect, the passerby shot the suspect three times,” sources said.
That’s right the lawfully armed civilian stopped to help the officer, and when the suspect failed to stop beating the officer and failed to listen to the commands of the good samaritan, he was left with no choice but to shoot the suspect to save the deputy’s life. According to the witnesses at the scene, after the suspect was shot, he fell off the deputy, the deputy got up for a few seconds and then laid back down until help arrived.
What I would like to note for some citizens against civilians carrying firearms, like Sheriff Bob Gualtieri of Pinellas County Florida, located not far from the shooting, is the fact that the arriving deputies and officers evidently did not have a hard time telling the good guy from the bad guy. No one else got shot, or even threatened as far as we know. Sheriff Gualtieri said last year in an interview that his deputies would draw down on any civilian they found carrying a firearm, especially at the scene of a shooting. I beg to educate Sheriff Gualtieri, but the good guy was the one that shot the bad guy and saved the deputy’s life! Not hard to figure out.
The Florida Sheriff’s Association lobbied against several pro-gun bills last year in Tallahassee. I would love to see them do that this year. I would love to ask them what would have happened if that lawfully carrying citizen had not been allowed to carry. The answer should include the fact that deputy may have been killed and the suspect could have gotten away.
The name of the conceal and carry weapons holder has not been released yet, but I am sure he will get a call or two from the deputy he saved as well as the sheriff of that county. This event is exactly what we need in this country! People who are willing to step up and help others out in need. It doesn’t matter if it is a cop or citizen. The time of walking by while taking no action and watching as someone gets assaulted or even killed must stop! We have to be our brother’s keeper and protector.
I have had citizens stop more than a couple of times while I was a deputy, helping me out in a fight. I was always glad for the help! So next time you see someone being attacked and you have the ability, knowledge or skill to help, do so! Maybe then, the thugs and scum will think twice about attacking another person if it actually becomes more common for willing and able citizens to not stand for such violence, intervening when they see people in need. They may think again if the likelihood is that they will become the loser.
A separate news report on the event can be found here.