When Armed Citizens Fight Back

By Dave Workman

Three days after fatally shooting a deranged carjacker and would-be killer in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store in Tumwater, a suburb of Washington State’s capitol city of Olympia, David George, pastor of his church and a volunteer fireman and EMT in Oakville, broke his silence with a statement.

Pastor David George issued a statement three days after fatally shooting a rampaging gunman in a Wal-Mart
parking lot in Tumwater, Washington. Screen capture, YouTube, CBS News.)

The dead man, 44-year-old Tim O. Day, had a lengthy criminal history that precluded him from possessing firearms. There was no small irony that this incident happened in the Evergreen State, where four years earlier, voters passed Initiative 594, a gun control measure touting so-called “universal background checks” as the avenue to preventing people like Day from getting guns and committing mayhem.

On this day, according to various published reports, Day started his rampage by attempting several carjackings, firing a shot at one teenage driver, crashing his car and then attempting to steal other cars. In one of those vehicles, Ricky Fievez and his wife, a Wal-Mart employee, were seated. When Fievez wouldn’t turn over his car to the gunman, Day shot him. The wounds left Fievez paralyzed.

By the time that happened, Day had gone inside the store, fired shots into a locked cabinet in the sporting goods department that contained ammunition, and then headed back outside, waiving his handgun.

He walked right past David George and another armed citizen, Jesse Zamora. Both licensed Samaritans followed Day outside and witnessed the shooting. The good guys were not acquainted, but they soon would be working as a team.

“In a calm, but emotional appearance in Oakville where he serves the church and the volunteer fire department, George stated, “When the gunman began threatening another person for the use of their car, I moved in order to have a safe shot at the gunman. He entered the vehicle, which I considered an even bigger threat and fired to stop the shooter. After being hit, the gunman tried to exit the vehicle and fell to the ground. I moved to clear the gunman yelling to him to drop the gun and show me his hands.”

Under long-standing Washington law, homicide by a private citizen is justifiable when committed either “In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or, In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.”

Public support for the pastor was quick and overwhelming. He explained his three days of silence by noting, “You need to know that it was not out of shame or regret that I wanted to maintain a small level of anonymity. My intention was and is to maintain the dignity and integrity of my ministry here in Oakville.

“I did not wish those actions to overshadow the ministry of the church and my service to the community,” he continued. “Secondly, I and my family needed time to process the events, ensure one another’s well-being and just love each other. Third, I felt it important to give the authorities the time they needed to investigate an already chaotic scene of events and determine the truth as best as they are able without the hue of media fueled speculation and interpretation on the part of potential witnesses.”

Concluding his brief statement, George summed it up: “I acted on Sunday to protect my family and others from the gunman and his display of obvious deadly intent. This is in accordance with both by training as an emergency responder and calling as a pastor, husband, father and grandfather. Myself, my family and my entire church are praying for the gunshot victim’s recovery and I would add to that those that may be suffering as a result of Sunday night’s tragic events.”

He declined to take questions and referred reporters to the investigating authorities.

It’s still not clear what motivated Day’s multiple attacks. KOMO News in Seattle reported that he had recently been fired from his job “because of bizarre behavior.”

Justifiable Homicides By Private Citizens

David George is hardly the only legally armed private citizen who has terminated a dangerous threat.

According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2016, over the previous five years, armed citizens — he proverbial “good guys with guns” — killed more than 1,200 people, an average of just over 249 justifiable shootings per year.

With an estimated 16.3 million legally armed citizens across the country, the odds of armed intervention by a private citizen seem to be increasing.

The odds go up in CCW-friendly states such as Washington. Regardless what one might thing about Washington being politically dominated by far left Seattle, there are a lot of armed citizens in that state. According to the state Department of Licensing at this writing, more than 584,200 active CPLs (concealed pistol licenses) are in circulation.

Georgia On Our Minds

Only a couple of days before the June 17 Washington incident, a trio of would-be criminals picked the wrong couple to apparently target for robbery down in DeKalb County, Georgia.

According to reports at WSB-TV and WXIA, the would-be victims were armed. The three suspects ended up in a local hospital following an exchange of shots in a shopping center parking lot.

WSB quoted DeKalb County Police spokeswoman Shiera Campbell, who stated, “We believe that there may have been some sort of crime that was intended to happen at that time, whether it was a robbery or a carjacking, we really don’t know right now.”

Chalk this caper-gone-bad up to extremely poor planning in the victim selection process. It is happening more often, if one pays attention to the FBI data. In 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available armed citizens killed 276 perps. That was up four from 2015 and nearly 50 from the 227 bad guys who went down in 2014. There was a spike of 263 fatal shootings in 2013, leaving the 209 dead suspects in 2012 far in the rear.

Down In The ‘Gunshine State’

When Florida reformed its concealed carry law in favor of armed citizens, anti-gunners went ballistic, calling it the “Gunshine State.”

Down in Jacksonville, however, sentiments appear to differ. That’s where a would-be carjacker got a nasty surprise when his intended victims both drew guns.

WHDH reported that Jacksonville’s finest arrested the 36-year-old suspect, who had allegedly already robbed a Wal-Mart liquor store. He then tried to carjack a car at knifepoint, slashing the owner’s arms and legs. That stopped when the car’s owner reached down and pulled a gun out of the console area.

That cooled the bad guy’s jets for a bit, but he then climbed into a car driven by a female. She got out, went to her trunk and pulled out a gun and aimed it at our knucklehead. He became a track star and ran, but as cops say, you can’t outrun a radio. Police found the suspect hiding in a restroom at a styling salon.

This incident occurred on June 8, a little more than a week prior to the Georgia incident and nine days before the Washington rampage.

Meanwhile, In Illinois…

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that there have been “nearly 40 shootings by people with concealed carry licenses since Illinois became the last state to allow them four years ago.”

The newspaper did an analysis of those cases. They found that “most of those shot by CCL holders have been armed robbers.” Among the rest were carjackers, one burglary suspect armed with a crowbar, an armed robber who was holding a clerk at gunpoint and a teenager shot while allegedly trying to steal a Jeep. There was also “an ex-girlfriend, a father-in-law…a passenger in a car during a road rage attack and a naked man acting ‘aggressively.’”

According to the Tribune, there are now more than 265,000 people with state carry licenses. That’s not bad for a state that was anti-gun until the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association filed separate lawsuits that were upheld in federal court, forcing the legislature to adopt a carry law.

In Cook County, which encompasses anti-gun Chicago, there are “nearly 74,000” active licenses.

And here’s the bottom line, as observed by Lt. Matthew Boerwinkle, state police spokesman quoted by the Tribune: “You rarely hear of an instance where a CCL holder is using their firearm in an unlawful manner. They’re generally law-abiding citizens, and they’ve gone to great lengths to get to where they’re at to have a CCL. And they’ve taken training to get there. And most of them, they understand what the requirements are to use force to defend themselves.”

Perhaps, eventually, that lesson will sink in with would-be criminals and the gun control advocates who seem to be on their side by working to disarm law-abiding citizens.












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One thought on “When Armed Citizens Fight Back

  1. Jim

    I’ve been running a thread that I update daily with news stories of people using guns in self defense. Over 1500 in less than a year and a half and that’s with me taking month’s off at a time for lent. In many cases the gun is not fired, but changes the dynamics of the situation against the criminal.

    The thing that strikes me is not just how often guns are used in self defense, but the multitude of articles I read where if a person had a gun, the situation could have turned out differently and more positively for the person.

    Self defense stories are not just about when they are used, but also all the times where people are victims and robbed, raped, killed etc…. because they could not defend themselves.

    The thread if you are interested.


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