An Army veteran* of multiple tours in Afghanistan opened fire in Houston on Sunday, killing two people wounding and wounding six more before being killed by responding SWAT officers.
What many news outlets seem to be glossing over in their reporting of attack is that the veteran’s attack, carried out with an AR-15 variant, showed that the weapon was anything but “high-powered.” Six of the eight people shot with the most common rifle sold in the United States survived the attack.
One of those survivors, Byron Wilson, was a concealed carrier who drew his handgun and engaged the rifle armed shooter before being shot three times.
Pictures from the scene also show police patrol cars riddled with bullet holes.
He killed 56-year-old Eugene Linscomb and critically injured father Byron Wilson, who police say was trying to fight back and stop the deadly attack.
Authorities said Wilson had a concealed carry permit and fired at the suspect. He was shot three times in the process.
He is expected to survive.
Details are very sketchy about the exact role Mr. Wilson played in stopping the attack. We don’t know if Mr. Wilson hit the gunman, but we do know that he distracted him and shot at him. We don’t know why Mr. Wilson, who is just one of 12+ million concealed carriers in the United States, chose to draw his weapon and wade into a fight against an attacker with a longer-ranged weapon and ostensibly more training.
But Mr. Wilson did make that choice, and I think, deep down, that all of us who carry firearms and give serious thought to their use and obtain training to more effectively use them know why Mr. Wilson felt compelled to act.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. – John 15:13
Most people in this world hear cries of alarm and pain and violence and either freeze or run away.
There are some, however, who run towards danger, and they are the men and women who make a difference.
Thank you, Byron Wilson, for being one of those brave souls who runs towards the sound of gunfire to save your neighbors, and thank you Houston SWAT, for also answering the call and ending the threat.
Update: Wilson was shot through both legs and his shoulder and faces a long road to recovery. Friends have set-up a GoFundMe page to help defray costs. You can read more about his story and the extent of his injuries here.
* Bearing Arms does not publish the names of attempted mass or spree killers.