This past Friday, 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:
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. . . .
In a Washington Post column, Eugene Volokh asks: “Have civilians with permitted concealed handguns stopped such mass shootings before?”
The Uber driver case isn’t even the first mass public shooting in Chicago that has been stopped by a concealed handgun permit holder.
Chicago, 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. . . .
Some other cases include
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . .
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. . . . .
Grundy, Virginia, Jan. 16, 2002, Josh White in the Washington Post recounting 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.
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. . . .
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. . . . .
Reno, Nevada, May 2008, KOLO ABC Channel 8:
. . . 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. . . .
College park, 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. . . .
Spartanburg, South Carolina, March 2012, article by Jenny Arnold at GoUpState.com:
. . . 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.” . . .
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.
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.
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 behinda 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, Isaw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and Iknew if Ifired and missed, I could hit them,” he said.. . .
I’m not beating myself up cause I didn’t shoot him, said Meli. Iknow after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself. . . .
March 2014, Plymouth, Pennsylvania, article by Bob Kalinowski Citizensvoice.com
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.
Ktytor shot Allabaugh during a gun battle on Main Street after Allabaugh started shooting at him, police said.
July 2014, Darby, Pennsylvania, 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 . . .
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 2015, NBC Channel 10:
A 40-year-old man was inside Falah Barber Shop Inc. on the 600 block of Preston Street shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday when police say he began fighting with another person inside. . . .
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.”
Off-duty police have also had some dramatic cases
Salt Lake City, Utah, February 2007, CBS News (note this off-duty officer carried his gun where he was not allowed to do so):
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. . . .
New York Mills, New York, May 2010, WKTV (possibly shouldn’t be included in list as it was an off-duty police officer who stopped this attack):
. . . 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.” . . .