North Carolina Carjacking Suspect Shot by Intended Victim

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A carjacker armed with a knife ended up picking the wrong target, and is now facing charges in addition to recovering from the injuries he received when his intended victim pulled out his gun and fired in self-defense. 


Police in Lincolnton, North Carolina responded to a call of shots fired at the Times Turnaround gas station and convenience store around 5:30 Sunday afternoon. When they arrived, they found both the driver of the car and the carjacking suspect, 39-year-old Billy Ray Galloway, still at the scene

“Upon arrival, officers encountered the victim, who was a customer at the gas station. The victim told officers that a male ... entered his vehicle and attempted to steal it while brandishing a knife,” police said. “The victim then retrieved his handgun and fired the gun, striking Mr. Galloway. 

Mr. Galloway was still on scene when officers arrived and was treated by Lincoln County EMS for the gunshot wound before being transported by EMS to CaroMont Regional Medical Center in Gastonia.” The identity of the intended victim was not released. Galloway, 39, of Denver, NC, was arrested after being discharged from the hospital. He is charged with attempted robbery, police said.

A brazen daylight carjacking like this is something you'd expect to hear about in Chicago, Washington, D.C., or even nearby Charlotte. The fact that this happened in a sleepy town of about 10,000 people on Easter Sunday afternoon is a reminder that crime can happen anywhere and at any time. 


North Carolina doesn't have a Constitutional Carry law in place, but the state is still home to hundreds of thousands of residents who are lawfully carrying concealed. In 2019 the state Bureau of Investigation reported 647,553 active permits; an increase of almost 300 percent from the 177,787 permit holders in 2010. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, in 2022 there were 859,859 concealed carry licenses; about 10 percent of the adult population. Now, not every concealed carry licensee is going to have their firearm with them every time they leave the house, but carjackers and armed robbers still have a decent chance of encountering an armed citizen instead of an unarmed and defenseless victim, as was the case last Sunday.  

We might not think that a quick trip to the store or gas station warrants us carrying for self-defense, but the truth is that we don't get to choose when and if we're the target of an armed criminal. Even in the most unlikely of circumstances we can be confronted with a threat to our lives, and our choice is how we're going to respond. 

Unfortunately for Billy Ray Galloway, the subject of his alleged carjacking attempt was ready and prepared to protect himself from harm. Galloway's lucky that he didn't suffer life-threatening injuries, though I don't know how blessed he feels now that he's facing the potential of more than ten years in prison if he's convicted of attempted robbery. If Galloway ends up taking a plea deal he'll likely serve far less time, and could even be released on probation, but his encounter with the armed citizen will hopefully serve as a reminder in the future that the potential reward of robbing someone isn't worth the risk of being shot or killed by someone with the means and the motive to defend themselves. 


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