Armed Citizen Stops Mass Murder at a Graduation Party

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Armed Citizen Stops Mass Murder at a Graduation Party

U.S.A.-( We start with this news story out of Charleston, West Virginia as reported by the local news station WCHS TV.

You are attending an outdoor party at an apartment complex. Some of the teenagers just graduated and some of them were having a birthday party. About 40 people are here. It is after dark when someone drives quickly through the parking lot. People shout for the driver to slow down. The driver takes offense but leaves the parking lot. He returns a few minutes later. You hear shots and see a muzzle flash from the back of a car. People run for cover.

You own a gun. You have your West Virginia carry permit in your purse and you’re carrying your firearm concealed tonight. You look to make sure no one is in the way. You present your handgun. You put several shots into the window where the attacker was shooting. You stop shooting because the attacker has stopped attacking. People are running for cover and that seems like a good idea if the attacker starts shooting again.

You holster your gun and stay at the scene. The police approach the attackers car. Emergency medical services declare the attacker dead at the scene. You move forward and give the police a statement. They ask to see your ID and for you to stay there while they talk to other witnesses.

After a while, the police return your ID and verify your contact information. You’re free to go. The chief of detectives says you may have prevented a mass murder. The amazing news is that no one except the attacker was injured.


My first thought is to wonder if this story is extraordinary or if it is common. There are about 20 million of us who have our carry permits. Some of us live in states that don’t require carry permits for citizens with a clean criminal record. 25 states have permitless carry, and West Virginia is one of those. We know that about 17 million of us carry in public every day. That works out to a little more than one-in-13 adults who are armed. We use a firearm for self-defense about 1.7 million times a year. That is more than 45-hundred times a day, though many of those cases of armed defense were not in public.

The attacker had an extensive criminal record and ignored the state’s gun-control laws as well as the laws of the state against murder. Most people who commit aggravated assault are intoxicated during the attack. I have not been able to find the toxicology report from this attack.

Our defender carried every day and she had no idea that today would be special. She responded to the attack after the first shots were fired. What is wonderfully usual is that no one except the attacker was injured during her armed defense. From that perspective, this is an ordinary example of armed defense.

What is extraordinary is the degree of harm this attacker could have caused. The attacker had dozens of potential victims who had little place to hide. Many of the adults at the party might have chosen to not carry that evening if they were swimming or drinking.

Also, the attacker was largely hidden from view because he was inside his car. We don’t know the exact distance from the attacker to the defender, but hitting a 6-inch target in dim light gets significantly harder as the distance grows. It is both harder to see the target and to put your shots on it.

The rule of thumb is that most armed defense is at three yards, takes three shots, and is over in three seconds. This example of armed defense was probably outside those norms. We don’t always get the defensive shot we want, and it is important to know what we can deliver.

Like many of us, this defender was simply being a responsible adult in her community. Like us, she probably thought that someday she might have to defend herself, but that would probably never happen.

There is room for compromise in this debate. This woman was ordinary when she got up that morning, yet she went to bed a superhero who saved her life and the lives of others.

Now let’s look at the significant things we don’t know. We don’t know if the defender had been drinking. Even though she appears to have done everything correctly during her defense, she will probably have to submit to a drug and alcohol test. That test would be used to answer the question if she was impaired during her defense. That may have only a small bearing during a criminal trial. The defender clearly had the right of armed defense. The toxicology report may be significant during a civil lawsuit.

The standards of proof are different during a civil suit as compared to a criminal proceeding. The attempted murderer’s next of kin can ask if the defender’s intoxication limited her ability to know when to stop shooting. Was the attacker incapacitated by the first shot but the defender couldn’t detect that because she was impaired? We might be forced to answer that question if we stoped an intruder who broke down our door as well as if we stopped mass murder.

Not all states are as welcoming to armed defenders as West Virginia. The defender would probably be arrested if she acted in a similar manner in New Jersey. We need legal help even if we did everything correctly when we were attacked.

Politics rears its ugly head. We might imagine that the defender deserves the benefit of the doubt because of the extraordinary harm she prevented. For an anti-rights politician, the defender’s extraordinary virtue is a useful stepping stone so that the politician gets his name in the news.

We want to win all the fights we will face. There is an armed fight with the criminal. There is a struggle with our emotions. There is the legal contest to show our innocence, and there is the financial struggle to pay our bills. Studying these events helps us know what to do. That helps during our armed defense and also during our emotional recovery after our defense. As to the legal and financial struggle, I have chosen to purchase a pre-paid legal plan. Please consider that for you and your family.

We’d hate for a real hero to become a financial casualty.

-Rob Morse highlights the latest self-defense and other shootings of the week. See what went wrong, what went right, and what we can learn from real-life self-defense with a gun. Even the most justified self-defense shooting can go wrong, especially after the shot. Get the education, the training, and the liability coverage you and your family deserve.

About Rob Morse

Rob writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.Rob Morse

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On the worst day of one’s life when Evil/Violence/Mayhem come no-knock knockin’… will be thankful the Left didn’t get their way of dis-arming everyone. The Left hates God, prayer, guns, and police/good guys. But, on the worst day of their life, when Evil/Violence/Mayhem comes no-knock-knockin at their door, they’ll be praying to God that a good guy with a gun shows up immediately…….and actually enters to engage E/V/M…..or better yet… action praying to thank God for a fast, clean draw, steady aim and great trigger control through threat elimination. There needs to be a national data base repository of Defensive… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by StLPro2A
Deplorable Bill

This kind of situation is why we carry. We carry in DEFENSE of lives, our own and others. The woman is a hero and brave. She deserves every award and praise we can give her. How about a go fund me page to help with her coming legal issues? Doing the right thing is rare these days. Facing a semi auto rifle with a hand gun is brave but this is proof that it can be done. I wish this woman or someone like her would have been at that elementary school in Texas!!! Sad to see cops as cowards… Read more »

Protect defend serve

Does any media have a daily segment on defensive shootings that save lives so the general public knows there are legitimate defensive shooting and the main stream media can’t/won’t ignore?

Deplorable Bill

Not that I am aware of Sir. If people knew how many times and how many lives were protected and saved by the righteous use of our GOD given right to keep and bear arms it would go a long way in destroying the lies put forth by the main stream news and evil legislators. For some video of actual events and critique after action look up A.S.P. Armed Self Protection. It’s on you tube.

Arm up and carry on

Protect defend serve

Is there any single source that publishes defensive shootings that save lives?


In a world of reality, she should be invited to the White House and awarded the Medal of Freedom.
In the Bizzaro Biden world he will go to the dead perps funeral and praise him.


Sadly, Biden’s action will depend on what his Diversity & Inclusion political advisor tells him to do. And….READ THE TELEPROMPTER, and then stop talking. TAKE NO QUESTIONS
Let’s just cut to the quick…how much melanin did the perp have? .