A pair of armed citizen stories out of Virginia are perfect illustrations of why Gov. Ralph Northam’s quest to restrict the rights of residents is so misguided.
The first story is out of Spotsylvania County, located about 40 miles south of Washington, D.C. Late Tuesday evening, a woman noticed a guy taking stuff out of her car. When she confronted him, he pulled a ski mask over his head and began to walk away with several of the woman’s items.
The woman began following him while yelling for help, and a husband and wife who live nearby heard the hollering. Coming to the woman’s aid, they got in their car and called 911, letting the dispatcher know that they were following the subject. The couple eventually blocked the suspect with their vehicle, and the husband got outside of the car and told the man to stop. That’s when the stranger pulled out two firearms, causing the husband to draw a gun of his own and open fire.
Investigators later learned that the guns were toy guns that had been painted black.
The husband, who Scott said has a valid concealed weapons permit, responded by shooting at the suspect, authorities said. The wounded teen fled to the nearby area of Harrison Road and North Dickerson Drive, where he went to a residence and asked the resident to call the rescue squad.
“There was a figure standing there in dark colors and a bright wig,” Thompson said Friday while testifying during a preliminary hearing in Virginia Beach Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.
Thompson retreated back into the house as the man in black clothing, red wig and fake beard chased after her and hit her over the head with something, causing her to fall to the ground and lose consciousness.
When she came to, she said she heard her mother in the hallway screaming, “Please don’t kill me.”
Thompson got to her feet and ran to get her gun from a drawer. She aimed it at the man as he stood in the hallway, but the gun wasn’t cocked and didn’t fire. She cocked it, then fired once. The man dropped to the floor.
“I went to pull the trigger again but the gun jammed,” Thompson said.
As her mother pleaded for her to shoot again, Thompson ran to get another gun. She was preparing to fire once more when she heard the man speak for the first time.
“Courtney, don’t shoot me again. I’m dying,” Thompson heard him say. That’s when she realized who the intruder was. It was her 65-year-old stepfather, Henry Frank Herbig IV.
Cathy Herbig said that after the intruder attacked her daughter, he ran toward her and began striking her in the head and face “as hard as he could” with some kind of club. He also struck her left arm and hand several times as she tried to block the blows.
“All the time he was hitting me, I was begging him not to kill us, to leave us alone,” she testified. Cathy Herbig said she also didn’t realize that the man was her estranged husband until he spoke.
“He said, Cathy, I love you. Don’t shoot me again. I can’t move,” she testified.
Police who arrived on the scene said they collected a wooden club and a wrench in the hallway where Herbig was found. They also discovered a gun and zip ties in the tactical-style pants that paramedics cut off while treating him.
Henry Herbig was partially paralyzed by the shot fired by his step-daughter, and he was in a wheelchair for his court appearance this week, where a judge ruled there was enough evidence to take the case to a grand jury.