An armed civilian saved a security guard from being seriously injured or killed on Saturday in Indiana when he shot at a shoplifter who was holding the guard at gunpoint.
The civilian, who is licensed to carry a gun, was shopping at a Walmart in Beech Grove, Ind., when he noticed a scuffle between the guard and the suspect. The guard tried to apprehend the suspect for shoplifting but could not restrain him. The guard then called police to assist, but before they could arrive, the suspect drew a gun and pointed it at him.
That’s when the good Samaritan drew his own gun and fired three shots at the suspect, which caused him to turn away from the security guard and flee the area. The suspect didn’t get far: Another bystander tackled him as he tried to escape.
“Most of the time, civilians and community members call us when they need us,” officer Samone Burris, a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, told WIBC. “So, it is phenomenal that when we needed the community, they were right there with us.”
The armed civilian’s intervention highlights the common but rarely covered reality that Americans use firearms to defend themselves in the real world—often without injuries or even shots fired. Academic surveys have estimated the number of defensive gun uses may be as high as 2.5 million per year. A 2013 survey ordered by the Centers for Disease Control found defensive gun use was significantly more common than violent crimes involving guns.
Police arrived shortly after the ordeal and arrested the suspect, who has two prior warrants, according to WTHR. There were no reports of any injuries.
“It definitely does our hearts good that nobody was injured during this altercation,” officer Burris told WRTV. “We thank the public that witnessed what was going on and jumped into action with us.”