NORTH WALES, PENNSYLVANIA — A 27-year-old man was shot and killed during a church service Sunday morning, and police are still trying to determine if the shooting was justified or not.
The person shot and killed, identified as 27-year-old Robert Braxton, was said to have been in an altercation with another church member. The person who fired the shots has not yet been identified, but police say that he’s cooperating with their investigation and that he holds a valid PA concealed carry permit. He has also not been charged with any crime.
Braxton was taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest where he later died. The person who fired the shots was also injured, according to reports.
While we don’t know yet whether this was a justified self-defense shooting, the media is already using the term ‘gunman’, which is typically (and should be) reserved for a person looking to do harm to others without provocation. But alas, the media jumps the gun and sets it in the minds of viewers that this just has to be a sinister act.
Definition of gunman (link)
a man who uses a gun to commit a crime or terrorist act.
“a gang of masked gunmen”
On police radio, a person can be heard saying “All units, active shooter, Montgomery County”. While things tend to develop quickly and without warning during events such as this, there is no telling what 911 callers said directly after the incident. “A man just started shooting” could very well have been a call made, and it’s up to police to figure out what’s going on when they arrive… and being as cautious and safe as possible.
The church released the following statement shortly after the incident.
Comments started pouring in on media websites reporting on the incident, again jumping the gun as to what actually happened. Given that this could have very likely been a defensive gun use, I’m annoyed to see comments such as this pop up before details are out.
Check this space for updates.