Armed citizens step in, save victims in two separate attacks

(AP Photo/Al Behrman, File)

While most of the defensive gun uses we cover here at Bearing Arms involve self defense, gun owners in Texas and Michigan are receiving praise after coming to the defense of others in recent days.


It was one week ago when a concealed carry licensee in Centerville, Texas stepped in and stopped an attack on an elderly man in the bathroom of a barbeque joint, but not before he himself became the target of the suspect’s rage.

Just after noon Aug. 14, the Leon County Sheriff’s Office received a call from Woody’s Smokehouse in Centerville about shots being fired, the sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page last week.

Authorities said suspect Kevin Craig Anderson entered the barbecue joint that day in a “harassing manner” and “aggressively approached several customers inside the store.” Anderson is from Houston, which is roughly 115 miles south of Centerville, according to the sheriff’s office.

Anderson reportedly went into Woody’s bathroom and “began assaulting an elderly male knocking him unconscious onto the tile floor and continued assaulting him,” according to the sheriff’s office Facebook post.

A man with a license to carry then became involved and tried to stop Anderson from continuing his attack on the unconscious man, authorities said.

That’s when Anderson turned on the armed citizen, assaulting him and sending him to the floor as well. Fearing for his life as well as the life of the unconscious man beside him, the concealed carry holder drew his gun and fired two shots.

Anderson fled the restaurant after being shot in the arm, and police found him a short time later. Eventually Anderson ended up in the hospital, and while police haven’t announced any formal charges in the incident yet, by all accounts this sounds like a justifiable use of force.


We’re also waiting to hear what, if any charges will be filed by police and prosecutors in Cass County, Michigan after a concealed carry holder shot a robber who’d threatened a convenience store clerk with a box cutter in late July.

Three weeks later, the customer is waiting to learn if he’ll face criminal charges.

“You know why I’m here” is how the robber announced himself that day, according to police reports.

The gas station surveillance video showed the customer holding a six-pack of Miller Lite as the suspect, dressed in black, walked in.

The suspect, identified in court records as Cordelius Anthony Martin, 35, of Dowagiac, pulled a mask over his face.

Another angle showed him approaching the store clerk.

Police said he threatened the clerk with a box cutter.

The customer, who has a valid concealed carry permit, told police he couldn’t see what was in the robber’s hand, but he could see the look of fear on the clerk’s face.

Video showed the customer pulling a handgun and firing three shots, then another three, all while holding the six-pack.

According to authorities, Martin was struck three times, but suffered non-life-threatening injuries. After discharging his weapon (and hanging on to his beer), the armed citizen briefly left the store to get another magazine, then returned to hold him at gunpoint until police arrived.

Cass County Prosecutor Victor Fitz said he is waiting for police to finish the investigation before deciding whether to file criminal charges against the customer.

“In Michigan, obviously, we do have defense of others as part of the law in Michigan, that you can defend others if they’re in a situation that there’s dangerous force being used against them,” he said. “And certainly in this case, we’ll be looking at the facts in regard to that.”

The store clerk certainly believes that the customer was justified in shooting Martin, telling WOOD-TV, “He saved my life.” Martin, meanwhile, is now facing charges of armed robbery, and with three felony convictions to his name already could face life in prison if he’s convicted.
Based on the news reports, it sounds like the armed citizen only shot while he perceived there to be an active threat; first to the store clerk and then to himself. I’m a little surprised that nearly a month after this incident prosecutors and police still haven’t concluded that the concealed carry holder was justified in using deadly force against the armed robbery suspect, but sometimes what looks to be a clear-cut case of self-defense can still take authorities a year or more before determining that no charges should be filed. Let’s hope these armed citizens won’t have to wait nearly as long to learn that they’re in the clear.

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