Armed citizen holds stabbing suspect for police

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Police in Wichita, Kansas are crediting an armed citizen with helping them apprehend a man suspected of stabbing another after intentionally ramming into the victim’s car. Like most defensive gun uses, the gun owner never had to pull the trigger of his gun, but he may very well have prevented the suspect from harming others.

The incident unfolded a little after 6 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, when police were dispatched to the scene of a vehicle accident. Once officers arrived on scene, however, they quickly realized there was much more to the story than a simple fender bender.

Investigators learned [Julian] Gonzalez intentionally used his white 2010 Hyundai Elantra to strike a gray 2018 Chevrolet Cruz, driven by the victim. The Chevy Cruz also had a 28-year old woman, a 4-year-old girl and a 5-year-old boy in the car.

Gonzalez then exited his vehicle and began breaking the Chevy windows out with nun-chucks. The adult victims were getting the juvenile victims out of the vehicle when Gonzalez began stabbing the 30-year-old man in the lower body, according to Ditch.

A few citizens gave commands at gunpoint to Gonzalez to stop and other citizens provided first aid to the victim until officers arrived.

Police say that one woman at the scene actually used her own vehicle to force Gonzalez to disengage from the suspect, while another eyewitness who had his firearm on him held Gonzalez at gunpoint until the first officers appeared at the scene of the crime.

Now the 38-year old suspect is facing four counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, two counts of aggravated child endangerment and two counts of domestic violence/criminal damage to property. Gonzalez also has a previous conviction for aggravated battery, though it’s not clear when that crime took place or how much, if any, prison time he received in that incident.

According to authorities, the suspect apparently knew the stabbing victim, so this wasn’t a case of road rage. Instead, police say it was the culmination of simmering tensions.

WPD Lieutenant Jason Waite says that the people involved knew each other and that this conflict “had been brewing all week.”

Waite also says that he doesn’t know if the car crash was intentional or not. After the crash occurred however, the adults got out of their cars and that is when the stabbing occurred.

Following the stabbing, several citizens stopped to help with one person even taking off their belt and shirt to help stop the bleeding of one of the injured people.

“The citizens of Wichita stepped up tonight to help the police department out,” Waite said. “And probably saved this guy’s life honestly.”

It’s amazing what can happen when good people are in the right place at the right time and willing to do the right thing. Neither the armed citizen nor the Good Samaritan behind the wheel knew if Gonzalez was armed with anything other than a knife, and yet they still put their own safety at risk in order to help those who desperately needed it. Because of their good deeds not only was the attack on the victims stopped before others could be harmed, but police were able to take a violent suspect into custody immediately.
It should also be noted, by the way, that despite claims from anti-gun activists that armed citizens only create confusion and chaos for police, the officers in Wichita seem grateful that a good guy with a gun was around before they arrived. I’m sure the victims are as well. In fact, outside of anti-gun activists (and Mr. Gonzalez) I’m pretty sure we’re all in agreement that it’s a good thing this armed citizen was around.