Armed Citizen Who Stopped Mass Shootings?


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BBDartCA
April 3, 2012, 11:37 AM
The terrible tragedy in Oakland California yesterday brought up a question today ... can anybody cite situations where somebody was starting or involved in a mass shooting and was stopped by an armed civilian?

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Tommygunn
April 3, 2012, 12:03 PM
IIRC several school shootings were terminated by either students or teachers/professors who interdicted with a firearm, which they usually had to retrieve from their automobiles.
The exact details I don't recall.

Justin
April 3, 2012, 12:10 PM
The attempted mass shooting at New Life Church in Colorado Springs a few years back.

The attempted mass shooting at the Appalachia law school was stopped by two students with guns.

Loosedhorse
April 3, 2012, 12:30 PM
I'm surprised the NRA doesn't keep a running tally for easy reference. Oh, well, here's another: A principal and his gun (http://www.davekopel.com/2a/othwr/principal&gun.htm)

There might not be many more. This article (http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/people-stop-killers-people-guns-article-1.211272) by Glenn Reynolds only lists the ones we've already mentioned (maybe one more if you count an off-duty cop as an "armed citizen"), and he's pretty thorough.

Please understand also: if an armed citizen stops a murderer after he has shot just one person, well, that's not going to show up as a mass shooting, is it? There remains therefore the possibiity that armed citizens have prevented more mass shootings than they have stopped.

:)

TX1911fan
April 3, 2012, 12:53 PM
Part of the problem is that those who want to be successful in mass shootings go where others are not armed. I haven't heard of any mass shootings at a gun range, police convention or other event where people are likely to be armed. So, because law abiding people obey the law, the chances of someone preventing a mass shooting are much lower.

Justin
April 3, 2012, 01:57 PM
The other issue is that a would-be mass shooter who gets drilled by an upstanding citizen before he has the chance to complete his rampage isn't going to make national headlines.

If Seung-Hui Cho had been put out of commission after his first or second victim, none of us would have ever heard his name. He wouldn't even have risen to the level of infamy required in order to be featured on one of those godawful true crime shows that run on 3rd rate cable channels.

Steel Horse Rider
April 3, 2012, 01:57 PM
That is a similar reason you rarely hear of robberies of gun shops when they are open.

Tango57
April 3, 2012, 02:42 PM
You are trying to prove a negative and that can't be done.

One can prove how many things have happened because of.... But not how many haven't happened because of....


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk when i should have been doing something useful

HGM22
April 3, 2012, 03:22 PM
Wasn't there a lady in Texas I think who stopped a shooter at Church?

hso
April 3, 2012, 03:31 PM
CO Springs, not TX

ConstitutionCowboy
April 3, 2012, 03:49 PM
An acquaintance of mine stopped a mass shooting in a South Africa church - with a snub nose 38! He was up against terrorists with full autos and grenades!

Here's my bona fides. (http://www.charlvanwyk.info/books_shootingback.html) His name is Charl van Wyk.

Woody

critter
April 3, 2012, 04:20 PM
An assistant principal stopped one in Pearl MS several years ago. Went to the car and got his gun.

MedWheeler
April 3, 2012, 05:31 PM
Trolley Square incident in SLC, Utah. An off-duty officer from a neighboring jurisdiction was carrying, against mall policy, when a shooter opened fire. The officer engaged the shooter and kept him pinned down until on-duty LEOs arrived. In the end, the shooter had killed five and woulded four more, before he was killed.
In another incident at the Tacoma Mall in Washington, an armed citizen attempted intervention, but was shot and paralyzed himself. Another armed citizen also deployed his weapon, but withheld fire over the concern of hitting innocents. The suspect went on to take hostages, but eventually released them and surrendered to police (one of very few who ever did; statistically, more than 90% of mass-shooters take their own lives when cornered by armed resistance, either by their own hands, or by forcing police to kill them.)

lemaymiami
April 3, 2012, 06:40 PM
Some years ago we had a mass shooting at a machine shop in the Miami area (if memory serves this was late seventies) when an employee shot down almost all of his co-workers then left to head for other targets with his shotgun (his family and others). A stand up citizen cancelled his ticket but not with a firearm... Our shooter was actually on his bicycyle headed for more targets when the citizen deliberately ran him down with his car and killed him. It took quite a few hours that day until the real story came out since the citizen didn't want to admit what he'd done, even though he was absolutely justified. His actions cut the threatened death toll in half but only came after the guy had killed almost all of those at the machine shop.

Never a dull moment down here... that's just one of the reasons I try to spend as much time back in the Everglades as possible.

Double Naught Spy
April 3, 2012, 08:51 PM
IIRC several school shootings were terminated by either students or teachers/professors who interdicted with a firearm, which they usually had to retrieve from their automobiles.
The exact details I don't recall.

Several have been stopped by unarmed people as well. I put together the following list as a result of discussion on being unarmed and defenseless in "gun free" zones. Lots of shootings are stopped by unarmed people tackling the shooter as happened recently in AZ with Loughner. He wasn't stopped in a gun free zone, but nobody stopping him had a gun until a late arriving carrier helped keep him pinned down, but never drew his own gun.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=436861&highlight=tackle

No doubt that the reason there are so many shooters stopped by unarmed people is that there are so many unarmed people present in the general population, no-gun zone or not. We get less armed citizens stopping mass shootings, in part, because we have less armed citizens than unarmed.

Part of the problem is that those who want to be successful in mass shootings go where others are not armed. I haven't heard of any mass shootings at a gun range, police convention or other event where people are likely to be armed. So, because law abiding people obey the law, the chances of someone preventing a mass shooting are much lower.

Apparently, you haven't looked very hard at mass shootings, locations, etc. There have been several attempted mass shootings at police stations, but either the shooter didn't have many targets or was shot by cops before racking up numbers to qualify the shooting as being "mass." Police stations are often locations of considerable violence and often are places of shootings. The fact that so many people are armed does not stop people from trying to shoot others inside the police stations. And while there haven't been a lot of mass shootings at gun ranges, only an abysmally small portion of the population goes to gun ranges. If you think about it, there haven't been too many mass shootings at Radio Shack stores either despite having more customers than gun ranges and Tandy's employee policy of no guns.

Police station shootings...
Detroit, MI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsHcQdX9_dc 4 officers injured, gunman killed

McKinney, TX police station shooting http://newsfeed.time.com/2010/08/17/texas-gunman-launches-assault-on-police-station/
Idaho http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18766089/

See post #73 for more...
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=365954&page=3&highlight=police+station

None at gun ranges. Sure, that may be true, no mass shootings. Then again there aren't that many gun ranges and gun ranges are often located in more remote areas. There are several individual shootings, murder-suicide, and way too many suicides, but no mass shooting/murders that I can find.

It is a bit of a myth that people conduct mass shootings where they don't expect to encounter armed resistence. Generally, there are two types of mass shootings. There are those where the shooting returns to a location where there has been a problem (often their workplace or place where they have had bad experiences) or somewhat random/unrelated locations. In the case of the former, it doesn't matter if the workplace has a policy or not against guns, that is where the problem is and where the shooter expects to take revenge. As it turns out, a tremendous number of businesses have no-guns policies, but the shooter doesn't pick the business location for the shooting because of the policy, but because it is the location where everyone s/he dislikes is located together. The latter seems to be a matter more of convenience and doesn't seem to correlate one way or another with expected resistence.

So when you have a guy that gets fired from the post office, does he drive to a gun unfriendly state and go onto a college campus and start shooting people because he chances for killing more area greater in a gun unfriendly state and at a gun free location with a lot of people? By and large, no, this is not what is done. Pissed off people tend to go back to get retribution from those that have made their lives less than wonderful. For most of these shooters, their goal isn't to kill a lot of people as much as it is to kill a lot of people that caused their problems. This seems more of the norm.

There are exceptions, of course. Charlie Whitman killed strangers, but also family first. Silvia Seegrist went on a shooting spree at a mall where it could be said she had some unpleasant experiences, but she didn't seem to be after anyone in particular. She was mentally incompetent (or whatever the correct terminology is for someone who can't fully understand what they are doing).

John Hinkley is another bizarre example. He definitely went to shoot at a location where he expected there to be armed people and managed to shoot 4 including Reagan before being taken down by folks who were armed, but not by their weapons. And of course, he was insane and his target choice wasn't Reagen specifically, but the President. Apparently he had stalked Carter previously but had failed to act.

When you look at some of the notable instances where armed civilians have stopped shootings, often is the case that they are not typical generic civilians.

Who were the guys who responded with guns at Appalatia State? Students who were police officers. Not only did the retrieve guns from vehicles, but one also retrieved a ballistic vest and cuffs.

That church shooting in Colorado? The person who stopped the shooting was an armed security guard (voluntary, but presence for the purpose of providing protection) who was a former cop.

Tyler Courthouse/Square? Mark Wilson responded and was killed, but apparently wounded the shooter who then fled the scene. Mark Wilson wasn't your normal Texas CHL person. He was a firearms structor who taught self defense and CHL courses and had been an owner of a gun range.

As noted, Trolley Square in Utah was stopped by an off duty officer.

Some, like in the Pearl, MS school shooting, the principal who retrieved a gun from his vehicle was not a cop or firearms instructor.

That is a similar reason you rarely hear of robberies of gun shops when they are open.

Once again, you aren't looking very hard and on top of that, in the grand scheme of retail businesses, gun shops are fairly rare.

http://www.legallyarmed.com/gun_store_shooting.htm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmlZp822SBE
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=58a_1180139512
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/arrests-made-in-collinsville-gun-store-armed-robbery-58619372.html
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1991-12-31/news/1991365039_1_gun-shop-gun-store-troy
http://forums.officer.com/showthread.php?100916-Armed-Robbery-of-Gun-Store-(No-Money-Taken-Only-Firearms)

The War Wagon
April 3, 2012, 09:03 PM
An assistant principal stopped one in Pearl MS several years ago. Went to the car and got his gun.

I immediately thought of this one as well!

There were two brothers at a high school out west (Washington, Oregon?) a few years back, who TACKLED & DIS-ARMED a classmate who brought a .22 rifle and was in the cafeteria either threatening OR shooting classmates. The older brother took a round but lived. They stood out to me, because one was an Eagle Scout and the other was also a Boy Scout, and their dad wore an NRA Lifer hat to the news conference a couple days afterward. :D

JellyJar
April 3, 2012, 10:57 PM
Here's one that happened just the other day...

http://charlotte.cbslocal.com/2012/03/26/sheriff-concealed-weapon-saves-church-from-man-armed-with-shotgun/

CCW church member helps stop man with shotgun after he kicks in door at a church.

Also, if you do some searches you will find that some news accounts do not mention the CCW holder!

darkhelmet
April 3, 2012, 11:04 PM
http://fairchildhospitalshooting.com/page3.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchild_Air_Force_Base

1994. Fairchild Air Force Base.

military security made seventy yard shot with a beretta to stop the shooter.

The-Reaver
April 4, 2012, 12:46 AM
Wait....there was a shooting in California?....I thought California had strict gun laws.... I don't believe it....what your telling me is....the bad guy ( criminal type ) got a gun anyway...and did the unthinkable.


Jeeze and I had hope in ************'s laws.

BLB68
April 4, 2012, 02:58 AM
Some, like in the Pearl, MS school shooting, the principal who retrieved a gun from his vehicle was not a cop or firearms instructor.


I thought I'd read at the time that Myrick had a military background, maybe Guard or Reserve. I can't find any corroboration with a quick web search though.

Double Naught Spy
April 4, 2012, 11:15 AM
I thought I'd read at the time that Myrick had a military background, maybe Guard or Reserve. I can't find any corroboration with a quick web search though.

I had not heard this, but it would not surprise me...for a couple of reasons. For a time in our past, a lot of the adult male population had military experience due to various military conflicts and the draft. So it would not be uncommon for people to have a military background and the principal would have been in a generation where they would have a lot who served.

Alan Crum, who helped bring down Charles Whitman, is the famous civilian who was deputized guided officers to the top of the Tower (since he knew the way), was also a Marine earlier in his life.

So no doubt there are a lot of people that show up in some of these major events that appear to be generic citizens, but they aren't. Many do have training and have combat training or have actually seen combat. However, these sorts of individuals turn out to be so noteworthy not because of who they are and what they did, but because of the magnitude of the event in which they played. There are a lot of bad guys who are stopped by non-military, non-police, generic citizens that simply do not garner out attention because they are not involved in these really noteworthy events.

CCW church member helps stop man with shotgun after he kicks in door at a church.

Also, if you do some searches you will find that some news accounts do not mention the CCW holder!

Yep, but then again, the fact that non-armed people are who subdued the gunman actually seems much more impressive from a news standpoint. I noticed that there is no mention of who the CCW person was.

scaatylobo
April 4, 2012, 12:27 PM
A few years back a wackadoodle stood in front of the White House and opened fire with an AK or SKS.

When he attempted to reload,a man [ possibly military or reservist ] tackled him and took him out .

Until the guard got there to take him into custody.

the brave soul was unarmed [ after it is Washington ] and stated he was trying to become an LEO.

SADLY,most active shooters take advantage of "gun free zones" and that precludes the possibility of most meeting a quick end to their carnage.

And honestly,most who are armed daily - DO NOT PRACTICE near enough for that scenerio.

SimplyChad
April 4, 2012, 01:32 PM
And what about ft.hood and bliss?

wannabeagunsmith
April 4, 2012, 02:46 PM
http://fairchildhospitalshooting.com/page3.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fairchild_Air_Force_Base

1994. Fairchild Air Force Base.

military security made seventy yard shot with a beretta to stop the shooter.

And the reason he was able to make such a shot? Because he bought a gun identical weapon to practice with and was a pretty darn good shot by the time the shooting happened. I know all this because I live minutes from Fairchild and I know someone whose wife got killed that day.

BSA1
April 4, 2012, 04:43 PM
University of Texas Clock Tower Shooting, 1966: Gunman Charles Whitman killed 14, injured 32.

sniper5
April 5, 2012, 01:14 AM
I don't know if this qualifies for the OP's criteria, but it was a theft and kidnapping at a gun range in Santa Clara that I was personally involved in. The perp's plan was to murder the three employees at the range and shoot up a nightclub. You have to read down a while till you get to the discussion of the specific event. QuarterBoreShooter was the shooter that stopped the perp. Here's the link:

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=46699

MedWheeler
April 5, 2012, 11:25 PM
SimplyChad asks:

And what about ft.hood and bliss?

What about them? I don't know about what incident at Bliss you're asking. At Hood, it was two civilian LEOs who brought down the shooter. Both were on duty, assigned under contract with the Army to provide LE services at the base, since a majority of the base's own MPs were deployed overseas. So, this doesn't count as an incident of civilian involvement for this thread.
Keep in mind (as I recently had to remind a colleague about "gun-free" zones) that soldiers on base here in the US are not armed. Except for the sidearms of MPs, their weapons are kept secured in the base armory. From what I recall, that was a Clinton-era decision included with one of his RIF policies. It's definitely a crying shame to picture many of America's finest warriors having to duck and cower like helpless animals because they were not permitted to be "at the ready."

Neverwinter
April 6, 2012, 12:14 AM
The recent Giffords shooting in Tucson.

Double Naught Spy
April 6, 2012, 03:45 AM
White House shooter
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A few years back a wackadoodle stood in front of the White House and opened fire with an AK or SKS.

When he attempted to reload,a man [ possibly military or reservist ] tackled him and took him out .

Until the guard got there to take him into custody.

the brave soul was unarmed [ after it is Washington ] and stated he was trying to become an LEO.

That was Harry Rakosky who was a former security guard who used to guard embassies under construction. Others quickly arrived to help hold down the shooter until law enforcement arrived.
http://articles.latimes.com/1995-06-30/news/mn-18913_1_white-house

and the gun used apparently was a Chinese SKS.

SADLY,most active shooters take advantage of "gun free zones" and that precludes the possibility of most meeting a quick end to their carnage.

While they may benefit from it, there really doesn't seem to be a pattern indicating that the shooting locations were selected because they were gun free zones. Most commonly the locations are where the shooter had problems of some sort.

SimplyChad asks:
And what about ft.hood and bliss?

and Medwheeler responded:
What about them? I don't know about what incident at Bliss you're asking. At Hood, it was two civilian LEOs who brought down the shooter. Both were on duty, assigned under contract with the Army to provide LE services at the base, since a majority of the base's own MPs were deployed overseas. So, this doesn't count as an incident of civilian involvement for this thread.

Fort Bliss does not either. The 2010 shooting of 3 people by Craig Allen Graham killed one and wounded two. He too was arrested by responding police. The shooting wasn't actually on base, but at a club in central El Paso.
http://www.kvia.com/news/30224247/detail.html

Maybe you meant the case in 2010 when a gunman shot two at a convenience store on base before getting gunned down by police.
http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/09/20/shooting-fort-bliss-army-base/

Keep in mind (as I recently had to remind a colleague about "gun-free" zones) that soldiers on base here in the US are not armed. Except for the sidearms of MPs, their weapons are kept secured in the base armory. From what I recall, that was a Clinton-era decision included with one of his RIF policies.

Actually, soldiers being unarmed on base is nothing new and the practice goes back several decades. Clinton's influence was only in disallowing personal arms.

Not having guns and/or ammo was something of an issue on Dec 7, 1941 at Pearl Harbor. Of the few guns on land, most had little or no ammunition. Most shipboard guns had no ammunition available either. By and large, ammo was securely stored in gun lockers/depots and ship magazines.

Apparently the night before most of the troops were due to leave Iwo Jima, most of their ammo and some guns were boxed up to be taken to the pickup ship. So when the banzai attack happened this night lots of the soldiers didn't had guns or ammo.

When the USS Cole was attacked, none of the guards on duty had ammunition for their guns. Even if they would have had it, they were under orders not to fire the first shot. So the bomb boat would still have completed its mission.

In the 1983 Marine barracks bombing in Beirut, the truck bomber crashed though barbed wire fence and drove past 2 guard stations where the guards would not allowed to have loaded weapons. They were carrying mags and ammo, but by the time they got their guns up and running, it was too late.

It's definitely a crying shame to picture many of America's finest warriors having to duck and cower like helpless animals because they were not permitted to be "at the ready."

Maybe so, but this isn't because of anything Clinton did. It is our military that doesn't trust its own soldiers enough to be armed with their duty weapons while on base.

Alaska444
April 6, 2012, 06:01 AM
The most amazing self defense example I have ever heard about was the Indian soldier who took on 30 robbers with only his knife and WON.

http://xnepali.net/a-gurkha-soldier-who-fought-40-train-robbers-to-be-felicitated-in-the-republic-day-of-india/

Double Naught Spy
April 6, 2012, 06:41 PM
What a great story, A444. Gurkas have had a reputation for being brave fighters. It has nothing to do with mass shootings, so I not sure of the relevance of your post. Bijaya Shrestha was on a train that was robbed in 2010 by 30-40 bandits using bladed weapons and pistols, thought it is thought the pistols might have been fake because they never fired a shot. The looting of the train was all but completed when the bandits attempted to rape a girl and he acted.
http://archives.myrepublica.com/portal/index.php?action=news_details&news_id=27100

Alaska444
April 6, 2012, 06:44 PM
All true DNS, but wow, what a brave man. My five shot Ruger SP101 would not have put down as many men as this man did with a knife that he brought to a gun fight!! I pray to never be in a similar situation.

wacki
April 6, 2012, 06:51 PM
That is a similar reason you rarely hear of robberies of gun shops when they are open.

And why post offices, gun-free schools and unarmed military bases (oxymoron at it's best) like fort Hood are prime targets....

the_hustleman
April 6, 2012, 06:57 PM
Interesting topic, I'll have to come back later

*swyped from the evo so excuse any typos*

Cosmoline
April 6, 2012, 07:36 PM
While they may benefit from it, there really doesn't seem to be a pattern indicating that the shooting locations were selected because they were gun free zones. Most commonly the locations are where the shooter had problems of some sort.

That's true from my knowledge and experience in these matters. But there is a strong correlation between the places typically targeted by spree killers (large employers and educational institutions) and enforced gun-free zones. And there's a legitimate question about the efficacy of these policies.

But even in gun-rich environments a deranged spree killer is danged difficult to deal with. He follows no ordinary rules, and may target people with no connection to him and no apparent motive. A madman ran roughshod through Anchorage a few years back. He just wandered into town after killing his dad and taking his handgun. He went where the voices in his head told him to go, and shot people sitting in their cars and on the trails before finally getting caught. How can you prepare for some nutter just up and shooting you in the back? It's not easy. You can just do what you can do.

Neverwinter
April 8, 2012, 05:29 AM
But even in gun-rich environments a deranged spree killer is danged difficult to deal with. He follows no ordinary rules, and may target people with no connection to him and no apparent motive. A madman ran roughshod through Anchorage a few years back. He just wandered into town after killing his dad and taking his handgun. He went where the voices in his head told him to go, and shot people sitting in their cars and on the trails before finally getting caught. How can you prepare for some nutter just up and shooting you in the back? It's not easy. You can just do what you can do.
In those kinds of incidents, it's the lack of perception regarding the entire series of events which makes the armed response harder than the archetypal self-defense situation such as a mugging. The Giffords shooting is one example. When the CCW holder entered the scene from across the street, his first identification of the shooter was an incorrect one. His contribution to stopping the shooter wasn't the armed response that was available to him, but physically subduing the shooter.

Double Naught Spy
April 8, 2012, 12:36 PM
The Giffords shooting is one example. When the CCW holder entered the scene from across the street, his first identification of the shooter was an incorrect one. His contribution to stopping the shooter wasn't the armed response that was available to him, but physically subduing the shooter.

I have found it interesting that there have been at least 3 of these attacks now where CCW people are in the area and make a point of talking with the media about how they have guns and are prepared to act, but in reality did absolutely nothing with their guns.

You have Dan McCowan at the Tacoma Mall who carried a gun to protect others and then didn't even have it drawn when he opted to verbally engage the shooter who then shot him multiple times.

Joe Zamudio at the Giffords shooting. Talked a lot about his gun and being prepared to use it and made a big deal about it with the media, but his gun and his being prepared to use it had nothing to do with the sitaution.

Ralph Swagler at the BBQ across the street from the IHOP shooting in Carson City, NV, told 911 and the media about having his gun but never did anything with it.

Cosmoline
April 8, 2012, 08:46 PM
Those are all good incidents to learn from. In the case of the Tacoma Mall shooting McCowan warned the killer first, which was a huge mistake obviously. In the Giffords shooting Zamundio arrived after it was over and correctly didn't shoot. Swagler had a mere handgun against a long gun and as I recall never had an opportunity to engage.

Part of the problem is inherent with mere handguns. Even in the best trained hands they're pretty limited. Part of the problem is in the irrational behavior of the spree killer. These guys don't respond as a mugger or ordinary criminal might. So a warning for example is a terrible idea. The only reliable way to safely stop them is to intentionally kill them with a shot to the back of the head, which runs against the grain of what most of us are taught. You have to treat them like monsters because that's essentially what they are. Lesser wounds may not even register in their minds. They're so wired up on pure crazy they don't even care if you're putting bullets in them. Many have come there to die, so they're hoping to be shot.

Thankfully these kinds of incidents remain far more rare than typical contact with typical criminals in muggings, home invasions and the like.

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