Civilians and Active Shooters
So you are sitting, chilling out in your home when you hear gunfire outside. When you pop your head out you see one of your neighbors hiding behind a tree taking pot shots with a rifle. Its then you notice that the person he is popping off at is a police officer barricaded behind his patrol car. What do you do?
Well this isn't a scenario, it really happened last month in Early, Texas. Charles Ronald Conner, the neighbor with the rifle, had just shot and killed a couple in their 50s over a dispute about dog scat. Witnesses say that Conner even stood over the couple's bodies and delivered kill shots once they were down. It was shortly after that police arrived on scene and Conner took them under fire.
The man sitting in his home and responding to the hail of gunfire was 66-year old Vic Stacy. Stacy retrieved his personal weapon, a .357 Magnum revolver of an undisclosed type and tried to do what he could to help. From an amazing distance of 50-yards, Stacy fired six rounds at Conner and hit him four times. With Stacy distracting Conner, the officer from behind cover engaged and ended the threat with another two well-placed rounds. Stacy was praised by the local sheriff who said, "...the main consolation on this is I think he helped save the officer's life, kept him from driving into an ambush."
The trailer park gunman was a classic active shooter on a rampage and more than likely would not have stopped on his own accord. An Active Shooter incident is when one or more subjects participate in a shooting spree, random or systematic with intent to continuously harm others. (Source: U.S. Army Military Police School, Active Shooter POI)
Civilians vs. Active Shooters
In 2010 firearms trainer Ron Borsch extensively studied 40 active shooter cases in the United States and overseas. His findings were startling in the fact that he could document that "About 70% of these killing sprees were "aborted" (ended) by third-party intervention, without which the death toll undoubtedly would have been higher." By third-party intervention he meant by civilians-- not law enforcement. Armed and unarmed regular people stopped these sprees. By students and teachers, garbage men and secretaries who decided that it was their time to act. In these cases, the civilians were instant responders. The study goes on to state that, "Of the total aborts, two-thirds were by armed or unarmed civilians, initially taking action alone the overwhelming majority of the time."
So take from that there is a risk in doing something, but the greatest risk lies in doing nothing.
Good shooting, Vic.