Police in Brownsburg, Indiana say an armed citizen saved the life of a man who had been targeted in an “unprovoked attack” at a local cemetery on Tuesday afternoon, though not before the suspect took the life of one cemetery worker. Authorities still don’t know what might have motivated 22-year old Joshua Hayes to attack the pair of workers, but they credit the armed citizen with putting a stop to the shootings that spilled out into a residential neighborhood not far from the downtown area of the city.
WISH-TV in Indianapolis reports that Hayes drove to the cemetery before leaving his car and approaching the two men on foot before he started shooting.
“This led to a foot chase where [Seth] Robertson and Victim 2 separated to seek safety and cover from Hayes’ gun fire (sic),” the news release said. “Hayes continued his pursuit of Robertson, while firing upon him, until he caught up with him in the intersection of 56th St. and N. Grant St, where he ultimately shot and killed Robertson.”
The release said Hayes then began chasing Victim 2 through a residential neighborhood and back onto 56th Street, where a physical altercation ensued and shots continued to be fired.
Eventually, the chase led to an intersection where a passing motorist, identified only as Victim 3, was stopped at a traffic light. As Hayes continued firing at Victim 2, one of the rounds struck the driver.
“Victim 3 was armed with a firearm that they are legally licensed to carry and intervened on the behalf of Victim 2 and numerous other civilians in the immediate area that were rendering aid to Victim 1 and/or stopped in traffic,” the news release said. “Victim 3 fired his firearm at Hayes as Hayes was pointing his firearm at Victim 2’s head. Hayes died on the scene.”
It sounds like the armed citizen definitely saved at least one life, and possibly several others as well. Thankfully, the injury he received at the hands of Hayes wasn’t life threatening, and it looks like both he and Victim 2 will recover from their injuries.
Police say at this point there’s no known connection between Hayes and the men he targeted, and the motive for his attack remains unclear. What’s obvious is that if Hayes hadn’t encountered the armed citizen, the carnage in Brownsburg could have been much, much worse.
I’m sure when Victim 3 left his house Tuesday morning, he wasn’t anticipating having to pull his gun and defend his life and the lives of total strangers at a traffic light, but thankfully he was prepared to do so. Far better to have a gun and not need it than to need one and not have it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the number of gun owners in Brownsburg increases exponentially as the news of the bravery and heroism of the unnamed armed citizen spreads through the community. Hopefully at some point we’ll learn a little more about the man who defended himself and others with the help of his firearm, as well as what could have motivated the suspect to randomly target strangers for murder.