Police in Arlington, TX are praising the swift action of a concealed carry permit holder who stepped up to eliminate a threat in a local restaurant Wednesday night.
Authorities say the gunman walked into Zona Caliente, in the 6500 block of South Cooper Street, about 6:15 p.m. and fatally shot 37-year-old Cesar Perez of Duncanville, the bar’s manager, Arlington police spokesman Christopher Cook said.
Authorities later found two loaded guns and two knives on Jones, Cook said.
“We do believe he had the capacity to do much greater harm,” Cook said.
Witnesses told police the gunman entered the establishment and immediately began yelling incoherently at patrons.
“People didn’t know who he was yelling at,” Cook said.
Those same witnesses saw Perez trying to have a conversation with the man to calm him down before he was shot and killed.
That’s when a patron with a concealed carry permit told his wife to get down as he drew his weapon and eliminated the gunman, preventing further loss of life.
“After he was struck once, the suspect started shooting at the front door,” Cook told the Arlington Voice. “We know people were trying to escape, but we’re not sure if he was just trying to harm others.”
Cook said the customer, who was dining with his wife, “prevented further loss of life.”
The customer, who has not been identified, was carrying a handgun under the Texas concealed handgun license program, Cook later confirmed.
“We’re treating the good guy as sort of a hero,” Cook said.
In a statement, Arlington PD said: “This customer was armed with a handgun and engaged the shooter by firing his weapon towards the suspect, striking him. The suspect was pronounced deceased at the scene. It is too early to determine a motive or whether the suspect knew the employee.”
Police say a customer was a concealed carry holder said to his wife "get down," then stood up and took out the restaurant shooter pic.twitter.com/td1Ag8BpYE
— Charlotte Huffman (@WFAAcharlotte) May 4, 2017
Police confirm there were over a dozen patrons and a handful of staff in the Zona Caliente at the time of the shooting. One person was injured by glass as they were exiting the building following the incident, but thanks to the swift actions of a good guy with a gun, no further loss of life or injuries were reported.