Armed citizen shoots knife-wielding man threatening paramedics

Just a day after Stacey Abrams pilloried Georgia’s concealed carry laws and bemoaned the fact that millions of Americans have embraced their right to keep in bear arms since gun sales started soaring in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, an armed citizen in Gainesville, Georgia came to the aid of paramedics who were being threatened by a man armed with a knife.

Gainesville police say they first started receiving reports of an armed man threatening passerby and damaging vehicles around 7:30 Monday morning, but before officers could get to the scene the armed citizen intervened when the suspect began fighting with paramedics, who apparently had arrived before law enforcement.

“It was about four shots,” said John Morea, who awoke to the incident. “Somebody outside popped him, and that was it.”

Police say Darrion Suave Fraley was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where he is expected to recover. The neighbor who reportedly opened fire and a second person were also hurt, investigators said.

The 34-year-old man’s family members told FOX 5’s Rob DiRienzo that he had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, and Monday morning’s incident was the result of an imbalance in his medication.

“When you’re up at 7 o’clock, and all of a sudden you hear gunshots, and you’re in this neighborhood, that doesn’t make sense,” Morea said.

Investigators have not released the identity of the armed neighbor.

Fraley was charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, two counts of obstruction of an EMT, possession of a gun during the commission of a crime, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, and aggravated assault. He was still in the hospital as of late Monday afternoon.

“They’re very brave for doing that. It takes a lot to take that on yourself,” said Carmella Neal, who lives near the scene. “I’m thankful they did it for the safety of others.”

Thankfully, it sounds like the armed citizen and the second person who was injured in the attack are going to recover from their injuries, just like the suspect.

While Fraley’s violent outburst may have been the result of an “imbalance” in his medication and weren’t the actions of a rational individual, that doesn’t make the incident any less dangerous to those who were involved. If that armed citizen hadn’t been present to intervene in the attack, who knows how much worse this could have been?

If Stacey Abrams had her way, Monday’s armed citizen would probably have been another unarmed victim of this attack, and Fraley might be facing homicide charges instead of being arrested for attempted murder. Abrams took issue with Georgia gun laws during Monday’s debate with incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp, calling for a host of new restrictions on gun owners and new laws criminalizing various aspects of the right to keep and bear arms.

Last session, Kemp championed a law that eliminated the remaining permit regulation on concealed carry licenses in Georgia, allowing any “lawful weapons carrier” to carry a concealed handgun without a license anywhere concealed weapons are already allowed.

  • His second-term public safety plan proposes increasing penalties for gang recruitment of minors, implementing a database for gang research and prevention and reforming the system for granting no-cash bail.

The other side: Abrams’ gun control policy platform entails repealing Kemp’s recent permitless carry law and others, despite the fact she’d be likely to face a Republican legislature if elected.

What they’re saying: “Street gangs are one part of the problem but we have a governor who has weakened gun laws in this state, flooded our streets with guns by letting dangerous people get access to these weapons,” Abrams said.

  • Kemp said local permitting processes were holding up law-abiding citizens’ ability to protect themselves and pointed to federal background checks as a stopgap.
  • “The largest-, fastest-growing segment of the population that’s buying handguns and firearms is African Americans and females. You know why? Because the criminals are the only ones that do have the guns,” he added.

As we saw in Gainesville on Monday morning, a person doesn’t need a firearm to be a danger to themselves or others, and Abrams’s gun-centric approach to combatting violent crime would not only infringe on the rights of responsible gun owners but would put the public at risk by taking the focus off of violent criminals and placing a spotlight on the actions and rights of the law-abiding.

No matter who wins the Georgia gubernatorial election, there will still be carjackers, home invaders, gang members, and domestic abusers ready and willing to violate the laws of the land. The question facing Georgia voters is how the criminal justice system should handle these individuals, and whether or not they want the right (and the means) to fight back if they themselves are ever a target. At the moment, it looks like voters feel pretty comfortable giving Kemp another four years, but I’d hate for Second Amendment activists in the state to become so confident they get complacent. Every vote counts, every vote matters, and now is the time to turn out to support those candidates who’ll support and strengthen our right to keep and bear arms.