Armed Citizen Helps Capture Suspect Who Shot At Cops

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Another day, another armed citizen story that the national news media will largely yawn and ignore. This time around the good guy with a gun was a Virginia man in the right place at the right to help police in Newport News capture a man wanted on a probation violation and grand larceny charges.


The incident happened on Tuesday of this week, when police went to an apartment complex in Newport News to serve a warrant on 22-year old Deston Coward. Instead of cooperating with police, Coward took off running, and eventually fired several shots at pursuing officers.

Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew says that’s when an armed citizen intervened.

A bystander, who has a concealed carry permit, is said to have confronted the man too, which gave officers enough time to get to him to take him into custody. Chief Drew emphasized that the situation could’ve been much worse if not for the “good Samaritan,” because officials say the fugitive was considered “armed and dangerous.”

“He was able to hold him and detain him for a brief second as officers made it up the embankment and took Mr. Coward into custody,” Chief Drew said. “I really want to thank the young man that did engage him and assisted the police today. He did an amazing job.”

I’m glad to see Drew acknowledging the quick thinking and decisive action taken by the armed citizen, even if the national media will shrug off his potentially life-saving actions. Officers chasing down the Coward of James City County could easily have been injured or killed by the fleeing suspect, but thanks to the armed citizen Coward was taken into custody and is now facing far more serious charges than he was originally. Instead of looking at a likely plea bargain and a slap on the wrist for the grand larceny charges, Coward’s now facing charges of attempted capital murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Speaking of armed citizen stories largely ignored by the national media, there’s a bit of an update to the attempted mass murder in Fort Smith, Arkansas that was stopped by a good guy with a rifle this past weekend. We still don’t know much about the armed citizen who stepped up and put down the threat when a 26-year old opened fire on residents of the apartment complex where he lived, but the Times-Record newspaper reports that those who were saved are doing something special to thank the man who saved their lives.
Property Manager Cherre Miller said that after the shooting, the tenants formed a committee and decide to honor the resident who shot Arnold with a plaque remembering his actions, “just to show him how grateful we are.”
“If he had not done that, we don’t know how many people could’ve died,” Miller said.
Law enforcement can recognize when an armed citizen saves the day. Intended victims can show their appreciation for the actions of a good guy with a gun. Heck, even local media can report on these stories. National news outlets, on the other hand, tend to look the other way at stories like these. Someone taking a life can easily become a national news obsession, but responsible gun owners saving lives are a blip at best on the radar of networks like CNN or papers like the New York Times.

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