Volunteer Church Member Stops Attacker in Church Gunfight

Volunteer Church Member Stops Attacker in Church Gunfight
Volunteer Church Member Stops Attacker in Church Gunfight

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- On Wednesday, 28 March, 2018, the West Maypole Avenue Church of Christ was having a Bible study that started at 7:30 p.m. At 8:09 p.m., the study was interrupted by 27-year-old Kenneth Baines, who announced an armed robbery. A 57-year-old armed church member was seated inside. The church member was legally armed and had a concealed carry permit.

It seems likely that he was a member of a voluntary church security team, as later reports refer to him as a “security guard”, but no report mentions that he had a security guard license, or that he was paid as a security guard. From suntimes.com on 29 March, 2018:

A 57-year-old man was sitting in a the church at 8:09 p.m. in the 4400 block of West Maypole when a 27-year-old man walked in and announced a robbery, according to Chicago Police.

Maypole Avenue Church of Christ is located at 4400 W. Maypole.

The two men then started shooting at each other, police said. The older man was struck in the left arm and taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in good condition. The robber was shot multiple times in the chest and was in critical condition at Stroger Hospital.

The 57-year-old legally owned his gun, police said.

From the Maypole Ave Church of Christ Facebook page:

“We solemnly pray for our brother in Christ and the perpetrator of this heinous deed.”

To be a paid and armed security guard in Chicago, a special permit is required, 40 additional hours of training to be armed, and they need to be employed by a by a company with special licensing and liability insurance.

It seems unlikely that a church would go to the expense of several hundreds of dollars of licensing fees and the liability insurance when it could use volunteers with concealed carry licenses at no cost or additional insurance.

This is particularly true for an evening Bible study in the middle of the week. Churches have numerous such events. They are seldom targets of robberies, for donations are not usually collected there. Paying a security company for a licensed security guard would be prohibitively expensive for most small churches. Few would be willing to spend the thousands of dollars necessary when most churches will have members who have police or military training, and who are familiar with firearms.  Members who would be glad to serve the church at no cost.

That is the case at my church, where I am a member of the church security team.

The coverage of the gunfight in the Maypole Avenue Church of Christ, except for the earliest reports, call the church member who shot the armed robbery suspect a “security guard”.  This gives the misleading impression that he was a paid and licensed professional, rather than a church volunteer.

This is important because of the ongoing debate about whether ordinary people are capable of acting in defense of themselves and others.  Licensed security guards are heavily regulated and controlled by the State. Because of federal court cases about the Second Amendment, shall issue concealed carry permits are available to the vast majority of Illinois residents with much less effort.

Calling a church volunteer a “security guard” while ignoring their voluntary status, makes it seem that only professionals can be trusted with this duty. This was done in the case of Jeanne Assam, who stopped a mass killing at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs in 2007.

The name of the church volunteer has not been released. If any reader has personal knowledge of this case, please help us confirm the status of the 57-year-old defender.

©2018 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

Link to Gun Watch


About Dean WeingartenDean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 65 thoughts on “Volunteer Church Member Stops Attacker in Church Gunfight

    1. Thx for posting article.
      Read Nehemiah 4:13-23. Covers risk assessment, work while holding a sword, spear, bow, protecting family with God’s help, being armed even while getting water, and diligent even to the point of sleeping in clothes and armed.
      Ezekiel 33 – as God’s vigilant watchman
      Daniel & Goliath. Daniel took 5 stones because Goliath had 4 brothers. Daniel was trained in sling useage because he had already killed a lion and bear as a shepherd. More difficult targets (lion likely at night) than Goliath.
      Luke 22 – instructors to disciples to sell cloak and buy weapon (sword) if you don’t have one
      James – faith without action is no faith
      Gideon – training & selection of soldiers
      Moses & Joshua fighting, High Priest Aaron holding up his staff during the battle…
      Etc etc
      It is a false dichotomy to argue faith vs action. Faith, Training and action. Risk assessment (Nehemiah), accompanied by preparedness that reduces need for action, plus action as necessary.
      If you will – each has different gifts… plus mental, physical and spiritual preparation

      1. It’s all well and good that you can quote the bible, but it doesn’t apply in this type of situation. One of the many gifts the Lord our God gave to us is free will. We are souly responsible for our actions not God. With the blessing of free will comes the fact of life that some humans are evil and walk among us. It’s our responsibility to deal with them not Gods for he nither rewards or punishes us on earth. He loves us all with out conditions. Even evil people come to him at the end of mortal life. The point being it’s up to us to protect both ourselves and the good people around us from evil, not the Lord

    2. Wondering why my comment was not published? No foul language so why was it scrubbed before it ever made it to the board here?????

      1. Would be nice if the state, province, country was posted at the eginning of an article so we would know if its crapperville, zier, pinibongo or wherever

    3. Bill,
      Journalism tip:
      Next time your write an article, state the time, date and place (city & state) of the incident in the first paragraph. The article never states the city.

      1. “To be a paid and armed security guard in Chicago, a special permit is required…”

        But point taken, WAY too late.

        1. Being a member of the church dosent make you an armed professional security guard even if there is some type of agreements with members to be armed and act as such, just as you don’t have to be a licensed chief to cook the for the church dinner. As long as carrying a weapon on church property isn’t illegal or prohibited by the church.

    4. GOD, GUNS AND GUTS MADE AMERICA.
      Let’s keep all three!

      I carry at my church, just as our colonial forefathers brought their arms to church, to guard against indian attacks etc. Today we might not deal with indians, but there are criminals, terrorists, and mentally deranged people out there who may attack a church like what recently happened in Texas. We should always carry wherever we go, JUST BECAUSE.

      A Right that is not exercised is a Right that is lost!

      1. @Bill God founded the human as a free entity and does not interfere with actions and interactions we do to ourselves and others. That is why being able to defend yourself is a God given right.

        1. @Bill, If you believed in God, you would understand about the gift of freewill. Sorry about my previous comment.

      2. Well Bill,

        Let’s take a look using these verses below as an example opposed to what many today believe in that the God of the Bible is a weak, uncaring incompetent woosie in comparison to what He says He really is. God says in Exodus 15:3 “The Lord is a warrior, the Lord is His name;” Isaiah 42:13 says that “The Lord will go forth like a warrior.”

        And in Exodus 32:27; 1 Chronicles 14:16; Deuteronomy 3:18; Ezekiel 37:10; Joshua 8:1-2; Psalm 18:34 and Psalm 144:1 again God says that He is a Man of War. And David said that “He trains my hands for battle, my arms can bend a bow of bronze,” and in 2 Samuel 22:35 he again states the same thing.

        So no He is not a complacent God and does not expect any who belong Him to be weak, untrained adolescent minded incompetent woosie, but rather men who have been trained to be warriors and, or warrior minded as He will use them for His glory.

        In the Old Testament God said that a murderer should be killed as murder is a sin. Thou shalt not “kill” is a misinterpretation of the verse Exodus 20:13where the correct word is “murder” (lo tirsah in Hebrew).

        You can look at Genesis 9:6 and Leviticus 24:17 as an example), and in Revelation 13:10 where He says “he who kills with the sword MUST BE KILLED with the sword.”

        Hoped this helped you Bill and hope to see you at church next Sunday.

        William Charles

          1. The problem is with the multiple translations of the transliteration of what was written by men in the first place.
            I am a Christian atheist, and I won’t expect anyone who is a simple Christian to understand that is not a contradiction in terms.

            1. Please help this simple Christian understand how it is not a contradiction. How can one claim to be a Disciple of Christ, God-the-Son, and at the same time believe there is no God?
              That appears to be, not just a contradiction, but a statement of mutually exclusive terms.

            2. I am not a disciple of anyone. Jesus Christ is my lord, not my leader.
              Since he is a stand-alone adept, with full control over matter and energy on his own, why should he or anyone else need a deity?
              I do not understand how medical doctors who are Christians can rip a human fetus apart with forceps without recognizing that it is murder.

      3. Where is my comment back to Bill concerning God put us here on earth as free people and has given us commandments that we should live by. We were not developed as puppets.

        1. when you are in christ you want to be like him in every way most will copy him through the words he spoke some will copy him through the way they act and even fewer folks will copy him by giving up free will and doing only the will of the father…..so in answer to your qeustion yes i would pray to be a puppet on a string and do only the will of the father……

      4. Bill. I do believe in God and know what He says. Also if you believe in “Free Will” what exactly is free will? Do people have it? Does God have it? How free is God’s will? Can He do what He wants? Can we do what we want?

        The Bible teaches that I’m not free to choose God because it is contrary to my nature. That’s why we need new natures that are given to us by the Holy Spirit at regeneration. Unless a man is born again he cannot enter or even see the kingdom of God (John 3).

        These kind of questions are not new of course, but have been the source of countless conversations and debates amongst ordinary folk and the chief theologians of the Church throughout history. Martin Luther, in looking back over his ministry considered his book on the subject of the will to be his most important work. In Luther’s mind, to misunderstand the will is to misunderstand the Reformation doctrine of sola gratia. He said, “If anyone ascribes salvation to the will, even in the least, he knows nothing of grace and has not understood Jesus Christ aright.”

        Have you noticed, though the term “free will” is banded about every day, you don’t actually find the phrase in scripture? That’s because man’s will has suffered a radical corruption in the Fall. Because our nature as unregenerate human beings has no interest in seeking after God (Romans 3:11), our will chooses, 100% of the time, to turn from God rather than towards him.

        This is not due to some physical handicap, you understand, but rather a moral one – and one we are all responsible for. Adam’s sin brought the Fall, which had radical consequences from his progeny. As our federal head and perfect representative, Adam sinned on our behalf. But before we say it is not just for God to declare the entire human race guilty in Adam, we need to understand the other side of the coin. That is the wonderful truth that all who are in Christ are declared not guilty, and reckoned righteous with Christ’s perfect righteousness. We can’t believe in one of these imputations and not the other and still be biblical in our thinking.

        We were all perfectly represented by Adam. He was a literal human personality, not a legend or myth. All of humanity are represented by Adam and are reckoned guilty because of Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12, 19); all those in Christ (the Last Adam) are reckoned just because of Christ’s righteousness (Rom 5:17; 2 Cor 5:21). As in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Cor. 15:22)

        Pastor Steve Weaver writes, “A good definition of free will is the ability of the mind to make choices in accordance with our natures. This definition of “free will” also applies to God’s free will. He too is bound by His nature. Therefore, He cannot sin! Why? Because it is not His nature! But God does have a free will and, unlike human beings, He has an accompanying good and holy nature.”

      5. Because of free will, of course. While some use their free will to follow God, others use their free will to commit heinous, evil acts. That’s why even churches are wise to be prepared. Especially as our society becomes more and more atheistic and the media paints Christians as the enemy.

        1. Free will has nothing to do with suicidal and homicidal ideation.
          Christiandom breaks down to a civil war among 200 disparate denominations.

    5. I commend this man for taking care of business. Fortunately living in Montana now after moving from the People’s Repubic of Kalifornia and working with the Sheriff’s Office there for a number of years, here in Montana no one truly needs a CCW as anyone who can legally own a gun can carry it openly. Although a number of my friends here do have CCWs I don’t, because I want the person I may come in contact with to know that I am armed and I don’t want a coat, jacket. shirt etc. to hinder my draw as seconds count in a gunfight.

      If it takes the average person who is trained 1.5 seconds to draw their pistol before shooting from an open carry, it takes at least double that time to sweep back a coat, heavy shirt or even an undershirt before you can draw your gun. That amount of time can be very deadly to you, and I don’t want to take that risk.

      I do however recommend that anyone who carries a gun to have insurance with the USCCA as I do.

      1. I know a couple of folks from Montana, and they have their concealed permit because of reciprocity with other states – they can travel to (some) other states and not worry about stepping on statutory toes while carrying. That’s the only reason they bothered. Might be some of your friends’ reasons too.

        I am a member of Texas Law Shield, which is competition for a similar service offered by the NRA. Both provide legal assistance, immediately and free of charge (because of your very reasonable paid membership) if you have to use a weapon and there is police involvement.

        Volunteers church members should look into both services. Very affordable, and may have a program for churches. If they don’t they should.

        1. Why would they need reciprocity from a human government which is denied the legitimacy of infringing anyone’s right to keep and bear as provided by their creator?
          Since police departments are standing armies, perhaps it is time to stop giving them quarter in civilian populations, as the Third Amendment specifies.

      2. I’m sure you’re opinion of open carry vs conceal carry makes sense to you. You’re over looking some of the facts of life here. Open carry makes you likely to be the shooters first target or a tempting robbery victim to take you’re gun. A pipe or hammer to the back of the head while you’re being distracted by the punk in front of you is normally how that works. These animals aren’t afraid of cops, they have no fear of you either. Drawing from concel carry isn’t practically slower than open carry if you train regularly as you should. Of you don’t train you’re reducing you’re likelihood of winning any kind of fight to a very low chance of survival. I’ve been carrying for personal and professional survival for over 40 years.I’ve survived several handgun fights, some from concealed some from military or police holster. No real difference if you train with what you carry and how you carry. You’re also not understanding lag time. The time it takes you’re brain takes to processe what the eye feeds it and tell the body what to do. I’ve demonstrated this to a lot of people both military and police. I’ve beaten a drawn gun many times in training and twice in a fight. This lag time more than compensates for the half second to clear the cover garment.

      3. Where does concealed or open carry need to be designated in the Second Amendment when concealed carry was more common in the late 18th century than open carry was? Since it is not so designated, why should it matter to the law abiding?

    6. Dean,

      Looking for an update on the status of the defensive shooter, but there does not seem to be any additional details publicly available on him. The church’s publicly released statement only mentioned “security” in passing, without providing details.

      However, my research did stumble onto this source for “gun violence” statistics:

      http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/defensive-use

      It looks like a pretty even-handed compiler of real statistics.

      This church shooting is recorded as a ‘defensive use” and the defender is recorded as a “victim,” the robber as a “suspect.”

      Never seen this before myself. Hope it’s useful.

      All the best.

      Kent

    7. Perhaps this black-hearted thief will take advantage of his Road to Damascus encounterand realise the direction of his life was, until that point, a short road to death and perdition. Let us hope he is carefully weighing some serious matters as he is immobilised for a season. Sometimes facing something far bigger than one’s own selfish desires can awaken one to a larger perspective. He could easily have been killed instantly, then be face to face with his Maker. Fork in the road, perhaps?

      1. I understand that Goliath’s Philistine next-of-kin blamed the National Rock Association (NRA) following the giant’s death, as reported by the comrades in the LameStream EneMedia.

        1. @durabo…Got any words of wisdom for Wild Bill concerning loading the ARK looks like he is getting some heavy rain.. We are at 31 degrees strong wind talking snow or sleet. Can’t find his post to you hope he sees this.

    8. I’d like to thank AMMOLAND for this article. Perhaps since it does not fit their narrative, this has not been covered in the mainstream. It deserves coverage on several levels.

      Most small to medium-sized churches do not have formal security teams. Many do have, however, honorable men like the one in this story who are willing to protect their fellow-members. He is to be respected.

    9. Why is everything a right and a left thing? We don’t know a thing about The Good Guy yet we figure he has to be on the whatever side. Me I say good for him, and how about we pray for him as he was injured and also was involved in a serious situations. How about all of US, the right, left, center simply pray for a Man we know little about. However we know he was praying for others, and I am guessing he still is.

      1. If you choose to be a roofer and fall and kill your self, it’s the chance you take for the profession you chose. If you choose to be a criminal and get your a** shot that’s the chance you take for choosing that line of work. TFS if the family don’t like it.

    10. Sad that the brave man got shot, and I’m glad it was not serious. After the perpetrator gets his free medical care, I can only hope he dies, so God can judge him. You’ll find sympathy between shit and syphilis in the dictionary, and aptly so. When a man steals food, I have sympathy, when he robs people I do not.

      1. I have always been told by every retailer that I have worked for to give them the money because my life is worth more. Apparently this is not true in churches.

        1. And that is exactly what thieves count on. When no one takes a stand the thief not only wins he continues to win. Having been robbed as a store manager I can attest to that truth.

    11. You better believe it is nice to hear about the good people coming out on top,but what you won’t see is the news highlights reels running full steam telling about it. Just look at the school shooting in the communist state of Maryland where the shooter was took in a matter of short minutes.There was no all day running same loop over an over again

    12. Apparently, the focus will now be on whether or not he was a “paid” security guard, not if he was a church member that acted on the benefit of the church. The left ALWAYS s to twist things around to suit their narrative & it’s sad. Bottom line…the bad guy lost!

    13. Bless the lord and pass the ammunition. This famous quote from Pearl Harbor Hawaii December 7yh 1941 by a Navy Chaplin who found himself as part of a AA gun crew.

    14. Yeah, calling the guy a security guard or something like that is exactly what the left would do. I don’t understand why the church would put themselves in a position of liability when the only thing they did was allowed concealed carriers to carry in the church. A lot still don’t alow it to their future regret I’ll l bet. Nice story Dean. It’s nice to see the stories of a good guy with a gun saving people.

    15. One thing is certain, street thugs and armed robbers are not the brightest bulb in Chicago. If this one survives he can get a job on the city council where robbery is more formalized.

    16. In case of disruption during the Mass, my fellow parishioners will hit the deck, I will intercept the threat, and my Anglican priest will beck me up with his own handgun. This includes terminal action against anyone rushing in, yelling, “Allahu akhbar!” since no prosecutor would question the fact that parishioners would have been in fear for life and limb.

      I am fortunate to reside in Arizona, where the 2A is a given.

    17. Question the article mentions that with a Volunteer security team that there would be no need for the church to secure additional liability insurance. Our church here in Houston voiced another opinion that there was a great liability for the church for a CHL person acting on behave of themselves or others, whether as acting as an individual or as a volunteer security team.

      Would any of the Readers have any legal references to this question?

      1. I would like to suggest asking Texas Law Shield this question, especially since you are in Houston. I am a member, since 2015, as is my husband. Their purpose is to provide legal representation to individuals in case they have to draw their weapon. They have seminars frequently all over Texas,
        Your church may have a way to either provide a membership for your in-house carrying individuals, or they may have a special plan for you since you are a church. Contact them at TexasLawShield.com or 1020 Bay Area Blvd, Suite 220, Houston, TX 77058

      2. I’m somehwat familiar with carry in churches in Texas. It is up to the church members, sometimgs through their leaders, to make the call.. will WE allow folks to carry in here or will be demand this be a Certified Defenseless Victim Zone? I’ve been close to a rather small church (maybe 100 folks, and not knowing otherwise (no signs saying I can’t) I carried on in as I do at home (another state). After meeting, during the social time, I got to “size up” some of the people I had just met. One man I pegged as ex military, and most likely armed. I pegged the pastor as a strong proponent of personal defensive readiness, just by his manour and bearing. A couple of the other men I guessed might be packing. Later, I overheard conversation involving my suspected military man. He was talking aobut advanced level rifle marksmanship training. I joined that discussion, mentioning my own involvement in a programme. I did not “make” his piece, but was dead certain he HAD one… or three. Invited to lunch with a couple of single men, somehow the issue of guns came up. I mentioned I was not certain whether carry would have been welcomed if it was known I was. THey both laughed. Seems I’d have beeh the odd man out had I left MY piece out in the car!!! Nearly every adult male, and a good number of the females, were pretty decent with arms, and mostly carried them.

        The way “security” works there is the BEST way. There IS no policy expressed. Thus the church do not incur any additional liability, as there is no “formal programme” in place. “No one knows” and thus there is no “intent” to maintain an armed security detail. Yet everyone DOES know.. because they are all a very close “family”. What they do is to uphold the INTENT of that Second Article of Ammendment:
        They EACH take personal responsibility for “the security of a free state”, understanding that term state to mean civil society. Thus, everyone is responsible for the security of everyone else round about them… and when they are all in the same place at the same time, everyone is suitably equipped, just as they are everywhere else they go. Security without the phoney added costs of making it a “policy”. Of COURSE I will be armed, seeing to everyone’s security is MY job, isn’t it> Am I not my brother’s keeper?

      3. I am not an attorney, but if you are concerned about church safety and liability, I see at least three options, for your church to consider:
        1. Hire armed and certified security guards and pay for additional liability insurance.
        2. Use unpaid, volunteer members with a CHL, for security and pay for additional liability insurance.
        3. Do nothing, but maybe post 30.06 and 30.07 signs and declare your church a Gun Free Zone.

        With option number 3, you might want to consider that armed criminals don’t obey the law and love to see Texas 30.06, 30.07 and Gun Free Signs, since they know that no one will be armed in the establishment. The signs offer no protection, but they are like an open invitation to the shooters!

        I would imagine, that if you had the signs posted and a thug shot some of your members, in a robbery, then some of your members, or their relatives, will sue the church because the church had the signs posted (it is called effective advertising) and did not provide protection for your members. Anyone can sue anyone else. All they need is a lawyer and there are plenty of them in Houston…

        Looks like at a minimum, you should call your church’s attorney and your insurance agent, for advice.

        1. Yeah, y’all go suck on the goverment tit, instead of obeying the Lord your God.. God told men to protect themselves, their families and strangers in their gates.
          Not a single time does He EVER say to pay for a license from a satanic goverment, that hates God with a passion to be able to do what HE told ya to do.. It’s better to obey God than man and if you’re a TRUE christian, you have no God but Jesus.Period…………………..
          David says it like it is and it’s never changed since then..

          Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? the kings of the earth set them selves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD (God) and His Anointed (Jesus Christ), saying let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
          He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh, he shall have them in derision. Psalms 2:1-4

          Pretty sure God doesn’t care much for cowards ……………………..

      4. Yes. Iposted this once and will try again. Try USA Law Shield or Texas Law Shield. Offices in Houston. Very reasonable rates. I’ve been a member since 2015. May have a deal for a church.

      5. Terry, I thought I added a reply to your question, but it must have not gone through. My brother’s church, as well as I would imagine a number of other churches and businesses are facing this same issue. I am not an attorney, or an insurance agent, so this is just my opinion. My brother retired as a Lieutenant from the Texas Department of Corrections. He served as a unpaid and armed security volunteer for his church, until the his pastor and deacons decided to put up 30.06 and 30.07 signs. My brother immediately told his pastor that he would no longer be volunteering as one of their security staff, since neither he, nor any other member would be able to be armed. He and the other security volunteers would have to obey the Texas CHL Laws. In fact, since he and his wife would no longer be safe in the church, he would be moving his membership to another church. From his former TDC employment, he certainly understands that criminals do not obey the law. Putting up Texas 30.06, 30.07 and Gun Free Zone signs are nothing but a written invitation, for a shooter. Usually they look for easy targets. I would imagine that should your church not have either a paid, or volunteer armed security person and/or decided to put up the 30.06, 30.07 and Gun Free Zone signs, your church would also lose some members. The loss of their membership, donations and assistance to your church may exceed the cost of the insurance. My advice is to discuss this issue with your church’s attorney and insurance agent, keeping in mind that the safety of your members should be the most important factor, in the decision.

    18. Dude got the Surprise of his Life ( if he lives)
      Ya Don’t Mess in Gods House !
      People have in the past and it Pissed
      him Off .So Bad Guys Beware !
      Apparently God Has Better AIM .

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