north wales

Authorities in North Wales, Pennsylvania have interviewed and released a man who shot a a 27-year-old multiple times, killing him, during a church service yesterday morning, confusing and angering many of those in attendance.

Police have identified the man shot and killed on Sunday during a church service in North Wales. Police say the shooter cooperated with them and authorities are now trying to determined if that shooting was justified.

Robert Braxton’s family is now grappling with a few questions. First, why was he shot during church on Sunday and how come the shooter, so far, is not facing any charges?

In a moment, the atmosphere turned from uplifting to terrifying as at least one shot rang out on Sunday morning at the Keystone Fellowship Church in North Wales.

“We were worshiping and you hear three different gunshots, right after, I mean, everyone sort of went on the floor was hiding,” said witness Breeana Somers.

Police say this doesn’t appear to be another attempt at a mass shooting, but possibly a fight that went too far. It happened in the seating area in the back of the church.

One of the more interesting moments of a friend’s North Carolina concealed carry course was when a middle-aged man in his class couldn’t understand without a great deal of explaining that if he obtained his concealed carry permit, it was not a license to use a gun to solve a basic fist fight.

This holds true in every jurisdiction.

Firearms are to be used in self-defense or the defense of others only when there is a risk of severe injury or death, not in a minor tussle among peers.

Robert Braxton (center) was shot and killed Sunday in North Wales, Pennsylvania.
Robert Braxton (center) was shot and killed Sunday in North Wales, Pennsylvania.

For the shooter to have a plausible argument for self-defense, he must be able to articulate why Mr. Braxton constituted an immediate and proximate deadly force threat. This may be difficult. Mr. Braxton was presumably physically fit, but was not an especially imposing figure. He was of average height and build. Unless there is a huge size disparity between the two men, or Braxton was using a weapon, or was otherwise displaying deadly intent, the man who shot him multiple times is likely looking at a felony homicide charge and a number of years in prison if convicted.

Folks, if you obtain a handgun, you need to obtain quality defensive training. The more training I acquire, the more I realize that learning the basics of how to operate your gun isn’t close to being enough.

You need to understand the dynamics of conflict, and when you can and cannot use lethal force.

In all likelihood, this was a situation that called for empty hand skills or perhaps a chemical spray deterrent to stop the conflict, and that’s presuming that the shooter was entirely in the right, and didn’t instigate or escalate the confrontation. Unless there are some solid pieces of evidence exonerating this shooter, expect him to face charges.

Please learn from cases like this, folks.

I hate to see lives lost unnecessarily, and people going to jail for not understanding when they are justified in using lethal force.