PHOENIX, ARIZONA — It’s an understandable thing. You’re going into a business where it may not be convenient (or legal) to carry your concealed carry firearm so you leave it in the glove box or center console or beneath the seat. That’s what one Arizona man must have been thinking when he came out of Lowe’s to see his truck getting broken into. ABC 15 covers the story.
Antonio Silvas says he had gone into Home Depot for a few minutes to shop. When he came out, he noticed the suspect Jose Reyes inside his truck.
“Originally, in my mind, I thought I had the wrong vehicle. There is no way this could be happening,” said Silvas. But it was happening and Silvas wasn’t about to let the bad guy get away.
Later in his interview, he recognized that he only had a very short period of time to react. The car thief, Jose Reyes, was in the process of dismantling the ignition on Silvas’ truck. He somehow managed to miss that Silvas had his firearm in the truck. Silvas pressed this advantage to quickly grab the firearm and fire it into the air.
“When I did it, I fired away in the air,” said Silvas, who was worried someone might get hurt.
This sent Jose Reyes into full flight. He booked it down the street and was later apprehended by police.
“He’s probably going through a hard time. I wish him well and hope he gets the help he needs where ever it may be,” said Silvas.
Silvas won’t be charged with discharging a firearm because the event was ruled as self-defense, according to ABC 15’s sources in the police department.
While this was a success – a crime was stopped, property was maintained, firearm secured, etc. – it has a lot of really bad elements in it. All concealed and open carriers could potentially run into this problem. We simply can’t always take our firearms every place we go – or choose not to for a number of reasons. And obviously Silvas concealed his pistol well enough so that it wasn’t visibly noticeable. But it definitely highlights the dangers inherent in having a firearm stored in a vehicle versus on one’s hip.
Additionally, Silvas fires a warning shot. While the Arizona law enforcement officers responding to the scene were willing to dismiss charges due to the self-defense nature of the scenario, firing warning shots is a huge mistake. It’s better to not fire at all than to fire a warning shot. And if you’re going to shoot – aim center mass. Anything less is jeopardizing you and arguably the people around you.
So, good job Mr. Silvas on successfully thwarting a criminal breaking into your car and having extremely good intent in all of your actions. For all the rest of you concealed carriers out there, carefully contemplate where you store your firearms in your vehicle and always be prepared to do the right thing.