Armed Citizen Aids Pennsylvania Officer Who Came Under Fire

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You'd think a licensed concealed carry holder coming to the defense of a police officer who was taking fire from an armed suspect would be national news, but I haven't been able to find any coverage of what happened in Farrell, Pennsylvania last Friday morning beyond a write-up in a local newspaper. 

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A "good guy with a gun" reportedly came to the aid of a Farrell police officer during a shootout early Friday morning.

"He had a valid concealed-carry permit, he had a gun," Mercer County District Attorney Peter C. Acker said. "He went to where the police officer was and fired on the suspect."

State police and county district attorney's office detectives are continuing to investigate the incident, which took place about 12:30 a.m. Friday outside a convenience store along Indiana Avenue in Farrell.

Acker said the suspect, identified only as a 49-year-old white man, was undergoing treatment Friday evening at Mercy Health St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown for life-threatening injuries.

Kudos to reporter Eric Poole of the Sharon Herald for scooping his local colleagues and the national news media. Even news outlets in nearby Pittsburgh and Canton, Ohio have ignored the actions of the armed citizen, who may very well have saved the officer from injury or death. That officer allegedly encountered the man near a convenience store, and at some point determined the man was armed. Rather than producing a concealed carry permit, the suspect allegedly pulled his gun and opened fire on the officer, who returned fire alongside the armed citizen. 

After the man was wounded, he still refused to surrender the weapon. Acker said the police officer also fired bean-bag rounds during the incident, and police used an armored personnel carrier provided by Mercer County Critical Incident Response Team to disarm the man.

Acker said the three men fired more than 40 bullets and the police officer fired about 12 or 13 bean-bag rounds.

"When you have somebody with a gun, who has demonstrated that he's willing to use it, you have to exercise great caution, which is what they did," Acker said.

The man was taken to UPMC Horizon hospital in Farrell then flown to St. Elizabeth.

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The D.A. hasn't said what charges the 49-year-old will be facing once he's released from the hospital, but there's no indication that the armed citizen who came to the aid of the officer will face any charges whatsoever. 

The mainstream media may prefer to pretend that defensive gun uses rarely happen, but we know that every day gun owners are defending themselves or others. It's admittedly fairly unusual for an armed citizen to come to the aid of a police officer who's being shot at, but frankly, that's arguably an even more compelling story than someone who uses a firearm to stop their home from being invaded or saves themselves from an armed robbery. 

So why has this story barely received any local attention, and no national news coverage whatsoever? It's hard to tell, but I suspect that the anti-gun animosity inherent in the legacy media played a role in smothering this incident instead of covering it as the legitimate news story it is. 

We may not be able to fix the news media's hostility towards the right to keep and bear arms, but we can at least highlight those armed citizen stories that are never reported on in the national media. In fact, every episode of Bearing Arms Cam & Co features an armed citizen story, and we're routinely highlighting incidents like this on the website as well. 

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