Mass Killings Stopped by Armed Citizens has been my most popular article. It was published on 16 December, 2012. I had been collecting these incidents for a few years, ever since I noticed that the old media gave them virtually no coverage. They received a little local coverage, but were ignored/spiked by the national media.
In the original publication, there were eight incidents. Readers quickly brought more to my attention, swelling the list to fifteen. Over the last two years, seven more incidents have been added. One of those, the SC Boiling Springs event, does not appear to be a likely mass shooting. I added it in response to a reader, with the note that it did not really fit. It is not included in this update, which brings the total to 21 incidents that have come to my attention by 17 May, 2015. Only incidents in the United States are included. Given the lack of curiosity, if not direct hostility, by the old media about these incidents, it is likely that a significant number exist that have been under reported and are unknown to me. The totals will change as more incidents are brought to my attention.
For clarity, I have arranged the incidents in chronological order, and have interjected commentary where it seemed appropriate in this update. I have refreshed links where they have gone bad. A few older links are to secondary sources reporting on the original article, where the original has disappeared down the memory hole.
This is the oldest incident that I have found. I include it because it is in the "modern era". It occurred in 1915, in Brunswick, Georgia. It is a bit unusual in that 20 or more people were wounded and at least five killed. The citizen who finally stopped the slaughter obtained the pistol used from a hardware store, during the attack, after he had been wounded. The shotgun was actually a double barreled model.
Angered by losses in a real estate deal, Monroe Phillips, a lead business man, ran amuck today with an automatic shotgun and killed five men and wounded twenty others before he himself was killed. Phillips was shot dead by E.C. Butts, a lawyer, while he was trying to fire upon citizens who appeared in the street.
Link to 1915 Brunswick GA Mass Shooting story
Link to the 1915 NYTs Article March 6, 1915
There is an astonishing gap for the next 76 years. Several explanations are possible. President Woodrow Wilson instituted severe censorship during WWI; political "progressives" became dominant during this period; and bans on the carry of weapons were adopted across much of the country. There may have been formal or informal decisions made at AP to spike such stories. I will not be surprised if readers find several incidents in this period that were spiked by the national media and only reported locally. Without the Internet for research, they are difficult to discover. The next reported story is from 1991.
The 17 December, 1991, Aniston, Alabama defense where a CCW holder stopped armed robbers who were herding employees, customers, and his wife into a cooler. He shot both robbers, killing one.
17 December, 1991, 20 innocent lives saved, and it wasn't even news to ABC, CBS, NBC, or CNN__no bloody innocent bodies for the "film at eleven." What's more, it never even made it in to the largest Georgia daily newspaper. I was doing a site inspection of our Warner Robins (Robins AFB) classified/crypto account at the time.
Aniston Shoney's Shooting Link 17 December, 1991
August 23, 1995 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.
Muskegon Shooting Link
October 1, 1997 The Pearl High School shooting was stopped by vice principal Joel Myrick with his Colt .45. He had to retrieve the handgun from his car.
Pearl High School Link
April 24, 1998 Parker Middle School Dance Shooting
14 Year old Andrew Jerome Wurst Killed one person and wounded three others when he was confronted by James Strand who subdued Wurst with a shotgun and held him until police arrived.
Parker Middle School Dance Shooting Link
July 5, 1999 The Santa Clara gunshop shooting in 1999 was stopped by an armed citizen after the shooter declared that he was going to kill everyone. Police found a list of intended victims in his car. Only the perpetrator, Richard Gable Stevens was shot.
Santa Clara Gunshop Link
January 16, 2002 The Appalachian School shooting was stopped by two students with handguns, without firing. Other students tackled the gunman while he was being held at gunpoint.
Appalachian Law School Link
24 February, 2005 Tyler Courthouse shooting, While police officers were involved in this shooting before and after Mark Alan Wilson intervened, no more people were killed after he shot the shooter, who had body armor, and who was able to return fire and kill the CCW holder, Wilson.
Tyler Courthouse Shooting Link
February 12, 2007 An off duty police officer stopped the Trolley Square shooting with his personal handgun. He stopped the killing and contained the shooter until police reinforcements arrived and ended the situation. Off duty police officers are armed citizens.
Trolley Square Shooting Link
9 December, 2007 The mass church shooting in Colorado Springs was stopped by the shooter being shot by a church member with a CCW permit.
New Life Church Link
25 May, 2008 Winnemucca NV shooting
The shooter, Ernesto Villagomez, entered the Players Bar and Grill and killed two people. He reloaded and was continuing to shoot when a citizen with a concealed carry permit shot him and stopped the killing.
Winnemuca Shooting Link
May 4, 2009 College Park, GA,
Two gunman entered a party and ordered the men separated from the women. Then they started counting bullets. “The other guy asked how many (bullets) he had. He said he had enough,” said Bailey.
When one of the assailants prepared to rape a girl, a student was able to access a handgun and engage the two attackers in a firefight, driving one off and killing the other before the thug could rape his girlfriend.
“I think all of us are really cognizant of the fact that we could have all been killed,” said Bailey.
College Park Link
July 13, 2009, in Virginia at the Golden Food Market: The gunman tried to shoot several people, was stopped by a CCW carrier.
Golden Food Market Shooting Link
27 May, 2010 AT&T Store
Abraham Dickman had a history of anger against employees of the AT&T store in New York Mills, New York. On May 27th, 2010, he walked into the store with a .357 and a list of six employees. He shot the first employee, but was stopped from further attacks when Donald J. Moore, an off duty police officer who was allowed to carry his own handgun when not on duty, drew and fired his .40 caliber, killing Mr. Dickman before he could fire any more shots.
AT&T store Link
9 September, 2012 Plymouth PA shooting
Consider that the Plymouth shooting incident happened just three months before Sandy Hook. Mark Ktytor, a concealed carry permit holder, stopped a likely mass killing before it reached enough victims to officially quallify. From the citizensvoice.com:
"Mark Ktytor?" the latest in the stream of reporters asked, trying to put a face to the name of the man investigators credited with preventing a fatal bar shooting last weekend from escalating into a massacre.Link to Plymouth, PA Shooting story
April 24, 2012 Destiny Christian Center Shooting
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.
Destiny Christian Center Shooting Link
11 December, 2012 Clackamas Mall Shooting
I include this story because it is recent and has been getting some interest on the net. This case is not as clear as the others listed. This incident is similar to the more common defensive uses of guns because the mere display of the gun was enough to defuse the situation. We can never know if the shooter decided to commit suicide because he was confronted by Nick Meli, the CCW holder, as the shooter is dead. However, many mass shooters commit suicide when they know that armed resistance is at hand.
Clackamas Concealed Carry Showdown Link
29 July, 2012 Peach House shooting, Texas
In Early Texas, 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.
That sounds like a very good story... but it never made the national news.
I wonder who made the decision to spike that story.
Of course, when a mass shooting is stopped by an armed citizen, there are not as many victims. This leads to the charge that it would not really have been a “mass shooting”. Vic Stacy was awarded a rifle and ammunition by Governor Perry for his valor in this incident.
Early Texas Peach House Shooting Link
Updated link to Peach House Shooting one Year Later
24 July, 2014 Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in West Philadelphia shooting
ATLANTA — A mental-health caseworker is dead and a doctor and his patient wounded after a bizarre gunfight at a gun-free-zoned hospital in Yeadon, Pa., near Philadelphia, Thursday. As police prepare murder charges against the wounded patient, focus is shifting to the gun-toting psychiatrist who stopped the mayhem, likely saving other lives.Comment on some of the media coverage of a rare firearms defense in a gun free zone
Prosecutors say Dr. Lee Silverman opened fire on Richard Plotts, after Mr. Plotts shot his caseworker and barged his way toward Dr. Silverman’s office desk after gaining access to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. Silverman crouched down behind his desk and fetched his gun, which he then fired at Mr. Plotts, wounding him several times before he was subdued.
Doctor Stops Murderer at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital 24 July, 2014
May 22, 2015 Falah Barbershop shooting at West Philadelphia.
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 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."Link to Philadelphia Barbershop shooting stopped by Armed Citizen with CCW Permit
19 April, 2015 Uber driver Shoots Gunman who is shooting into Crowd in Chicago
The driver had a concealed-carry permit and acted in the defense of himself and others, Assistant State's Attorney Barry Quinn said in court Sunday.
A group of people had been walking in front of the driver around 11:50 p.m. Friday in the 2900 block of North Milwaukee Avenue when Everardo Custodio, 22, began firing into the crowd, Quinn said.
The driver pulled out a handgun and fired six shots at Custodio, hitting him several times, according to court records.
Link to Uber Driver Hero in Chicago article
22 March, 2015 Los Altos Skate Park Shooting
The mass shooting took place on 22 March, 2015. It took a while for the police to figure out what happened from cell phone video, but apparently a criminal gang attempted to steal a skateboard, then opened up on the mass of skate boarders when they attempted to retrieve the stolen item. At least three people were shooting illegally, hitting six innocents, paralyzing one, until a legal handgun carrier was able to fire back, killing one of the aggressors, 17 year old Jaquise Lewis. That stopped the attack.
Link to Los Altos Skate Park Shooting
31 May, 2015 Conyers Georgia Magnet Bottle Shop Shooting
The active shooter came into the shop with pistol drawn and immediately started fireing. He killed two people before Todd Scott drew his openly carried pistol, a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, and returned fire. The active shooter exited the store, and returned to his parents home, where he wounded both of them. The police arrived, and the active shooter was killed. Sheriff Eric Levett called Todd scott a hero who saved lives.
Link to Conyers Georgia Magnet Bottle Shop Shooting
Link to Gun Watch article on Open Carrier Stops Mass Killing
10 February, 2016 Legally Armed Man Stops Mass Killing in Hamilton, Alabama
In this case a mentally disturbed man had killed two people in offices separated by a couple of blocks. An armed man who was in the last office followed him and engaged him in a gun fight. Police were also involved, the murder suspect was wounded and captured. News reports have downplayed the contributions of the legally armed citizen, he wishes anonymity.
Link to Gun Watch summation from several sources on Hamilton Shooting
Original video report that mentions the armed citizens actions
This article mentions the private citizen "assisting" law enforcement
In this Article from 14 Feb, 2016, it mentions that the suspect was "taken down by a civilian who legally used a firearm".
10 March, 2016 B & L Landscape Company, Jacksonville, Florida, March 10, 2016
After an employee opened fire and killed a woman, another employee, Joseph Curry, pulled his legal gun and stopped the attack. Other employees say that the attack could have been much worse if Curry had not intervened.
Link to B & L Landscape Jacksonville article from wokv.com
26 June, 2016, Lyman, South Carolina, Playoffz nightclub
Deputies said 32-year-old Jody Ray Thompson pulled out a gun after getting into an argument with another man and fired several rounds toward a crowd that had gathered out in front of the club.
"His rounds struck three victims, and almost struck a fourth victim, who in self-defense, pulled his own weapon and fired, striking Thompson in the leg," Lt. Kevin Bobo said.
Bobo said the man who shot Thompson has a valid concealed weapons permit, cooperated with investigators, and won’t be facing any charges.
Link to Playoffz nightclub article from South Carolina, wistv.com
©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.Link to Gun Watch