HOUSTON, TEXAS — A good guy with a gun tried to stop a mass shooting which took place over Memorial Day weekend at a car wash and tire store in Houston. The news has been strangely mum about it and the details surrounding the story seem awash with obvious omissions.
First, there’s the shooter, which ABC 13 identified as an Army veteran with past tours in Afghanistan who believed that the collapse of the United States was underway. He was identified predominantly because a military style backpack with ammunition and his birth certificate were found at the crime scene but not collected as evidence by Houston police.
The combat style backpack, inexplicably uncollected by the Houston Police Department Sunday, was found Monday, in plain sight, at the service station that caught fire on the 13200 block of Memorial Drive. The sack contained bullets and a birth certificate, among other items.
That’s the first component that we know about. The second is a Good Samaritan who stepped in to try to help others. Houston police report via ABC 13 that they initially had suspected him to be involved in the shooting but it was later revealed that he had attempted to intercede on behalf of others when the shooter began his attack.
The Good Samaritan was shot three times — twice in the legs and one time in the shoulder, narrowly avoiding death.
Police eventually arrived and engaged the shooter, killing him in the exchange.
While many will likely never hear about this story, there were two notable heroes.
The first was the brave man willing to stand up to an armed shooter and risk his life for others and the second was a 17-year-old who provided life saving first aid treatment to those suffering from gunshot wounds.
Nick Latiolais, 17, credited his fast thinking first aid skills to his time in the Boy Scouts. He was there helping people overcome the trauma and pain of the damage inflicted. He and the man who was shot defending others are the real answer to situations like this: being willing and able to stand up and support your fellow man in the heat of a bad event.
For the man who was shot, that’s a harrowing reality no law abiding gun owner likes to face — we don’t always prevail despite the best of intentions. Training and preparedness can only take a single person so far when dealing with a better armed, more maligned man. The willingness to step up to the plate, though, that deserves some credit.
Train like you intend to fight and know that no one can predict when you may be called upon to save yourself and others from harm’s way.