A pair of armed citizen stories have provided a couple of perfect examples of the fact that guns are the great equalizer, as two women used their lawfully owned firearms to hold suspects for police in two very different scenarios.
Just a few days ago, Oregonian Kat Cast caught a suspected arsonist on her property in a part of the state that’s been beset by wildfires. In a post on Facebook, Cast described driving into her family’s secluded 10-acre property with her son and spotting a stranger standing on her driveway.
He was looking at our equipment, vehicles and excavator. He was holding only matches in hand when I drove up on him. Then he started walking towards me and my son really fast. I yelled at him not to get any closer and gave two warning shots from inside my vehicle. That slowed down his pace towards us. Then he moved further away to the side and into our field. I circled around him with my vehicle and made him walk down my gravel road. I didn’t know if he was alone or if he had entered my home or started a fire somewhere in our property or the many acres of forest surrounding our property. All I knew is that I needed to keep my 13 year old boy safe and get this criminal out of here.
Cast went on to say that she escorted the man to the end of the driveway, where she then told the man to get down on the ground until police showed up. So far no information about the man or his arrest has been made available, but Cast reported on her social media that the man had multiple warrants, including one for assaulting a police officer.
Meanwhile, in Adrian, Michigan, a woman is being praised by police for using her lawfully-carried and legally concealed firearm to hold a man for police after a fatal stabbing at a Meijer store on Wednesday. According to local newspaper The Daily Telegram, police were first called out to the business on reports of a man wandering around the automotive section with a knife. Before they even arrived, dispatch alerted them that at least one person had been stabbed.
Upon arrival, officers found the victim between the automotive and sporting goods section, having been stabbed multiple times in the head and neck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police were able to take the suspect into custody without incident.
The suspect was a 29-year-old man from Adrian, according to a news release.
[Adrian Police Chief Vincent] Emrick said that a woman with a concealed pistol license witnessed the stabbing taking place. She drew her pistol on the suspect and ordered him to the ground. The woman held the suspect at gunpoint until police arrived.
29-year old Alarik Guajardo has been charged with three felonies, including open murder. According to the Detroit News, police believe the stabbing occurred after some sort of dispute between the two men, and while they haven’t released any details, in a perfect twist for 2020 they did say that the incident had nothing to do with wearing masks.
It turns out that Guajardo has had at least one previous run-in with the law as well.
In May 2013, Guajardo took a guilty plea that reduced a charge of fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct, involving force or coercion, down to aggravated assault, according to Lenawee County court records.
Guajardo was given two years of probation. During this time, he was made to do two weeks of hard labor, prohibited from using drugs or drinking, and required to help repay his parents the cost of the defense attorney they hired.
Both of these stories would likely have ended up much differently if the women involved had been unarmed. Perhaps the alleged arsonist would have cooperated with Kat Cast regardless, but I highly doubt that the stabbing suspect in Michigan would have politely sat down on the ground and waited for police if the armed citizen simply asked him to do so without a gun in her hand.
At the very least these women helped police take two suspects into custody, but it’s quite likely that they stopped both an arson and additional stabbing injuries or deaths thanks to the fact that they had their guns with them.