DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA — In what appears to be a preplanned ambush, Bobby E. Willis III, 30, walked right into his assassin, Ricky Kelly, 32, outside a convenience store. Kelly allegedly opened fire on Willis, fatally striking him. Willis was a licensed concealed carrier who just moved from Miami to Daytona Beach. Laid on the hot concrete in the early morning, Willis was able to pull his own handgun and hit Kelly twice.
Kelly ran from the scene of the crime but was later picked up by police. He had to undergo surgery but is expected to make a full recovery. Willis died but several witnesses confirm that bystanders attempted to help him into the store for safety.
According to police records obtained by the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Kelly is a felon with prior criminal charges for cocaine possession. As such, he is not legally allowed to own and carry a gun in the State of Florida. Willis, however, was a legally licensed concealed carrier and decided to carry that day.
The good guy doesn’t always win in these situations. At best, Kelly will be tried for first degree murder and possession of a gun by a convicted felon. He’ll be in prison for a very long time. That’s a shy thing in comparison to the loss of life of a concealed carrier.
But, it’s also why we carry.
Who knows why Willis was the subject of a planned ambush? It doesn’t matter. It could be any of us in those shoes. For whatever reason, Kelly decided that he was going to shoot a man in broad daylight and escape in a Cadillac. That’s not how things work when you’re fighting someone who wants to defend his life.
It’s a high price to pay but ultimately, Willis did precisely what he needed to do: stop his attacker from hurting anyone else.
There have been cases of mistaken identity where a gang member has targeted an innocent person for assassination. Gangs don’t care. It would be a minor correction for them.
“Oh that guy? That’s not the right guy.”
Whether Willis knew he was being targeted or just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time will be the subject of a lot of speculation from those who witnessed that fateful occurrence.
For the rest of us, we don’t take chances. We carry everyday.
- Going to the convenience store to pick up some orange juice? Carry.
- Walking outside to pick up the newspaper off the front lawn? Carry.
- Hanging around the house watching a movie? Carry. Carry. Carry.
You can only make the mistake of not carrying once — when it’s your life or the life of someone you love being threatened or hurt by a bad guy.
That’s why we carry concealed every single day… Because criminals don’t care who they hurt.