Concealed Carry Permit Holder Prevents Mass Casualties After Vehicular Attack in a S.C. Cemetery

According to the media and gun control groups, the whole “good guy/gal with a gun” thing is just a myth, right?


A young woman with a concealed weapons permit and a handgun was in the right place at the right time on Wednesday, July 19, 2017, when she stopped a horrific terrorist-style vehicular attack on mourners at a funeral in Columbia, S.C.


Jennifer Timmons, a spokeswoman for the Columbia Police Department, confirmed the young woman drew her firearm after a man weaponized his car in an attempt to kill mourners attending Margaret “Peggy” Livingston’s funeral at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

The accused assailant, 64-year-old James Kester, wanted revenge against the S.C. Department of Mental Health, which had treated his daughter, who died last year. Livingston had over 30 years of service as an administrative assistant for the department before she retired, but when Kester read her obituary, police said her funeral gave him an opportunity to carry out his sick plot.

John Montgomery, dean emeritus and professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, was one of the 40 mourners standing at Livingston’s grave when Kester carried out his attack.

The State reports:

“The next thing I know, you hear this tremendous roar, and the car was coming right at us. … he just slammed on the accelerator,” said Montgomery, who was grazed by the car, cut but not seriously injured.

“Bodies started flying,” he said. “I do remember seeing my son being flipped up and landing on the hood of the car, crashing onto the windshield and then rolling off the other side as the car went by. My initial thought was ‘He’s been killed.’ I didn’t see my granddaughters.”

After Montgomery saw his son, John, 45, hit, and the car speeding by, he recalls “people yelling and screaming, people crying, ‘Help me.’… There must have been seven or eight people just lying around.”

One injured person, who had apparently been struck and carried by the car, was lying nearby, crying, “Help me get away. I’m afraid he’s going to run me over again.”

Montgomery said it looked like the bumper on Kester’s car had snagged in the ground, keeping the car from moving. But before that, it looked like Kester might circle around and come at them again.

Timmons said the woman “presented” the gun at the scene, where the accused assailant’s car had come to a stop amid the low-lying memorial tombstones and plaques.

Police and emergency medical technicians swarmed into the cemetery within two to three minutes, Montgomery said.

It wasn’t until the next day that Montgomery heard about the woman with the gun.

“That struck me as a good thing,” he said. “We all think perhaps she prevented something else, because if he had started up again, at least one of us was prepared.” And even though Kester’s car had stopped, people believed he might come at them again. “We had the same fear: that this might not be over.”


Police and warrants show Kester is facing 12 counts of attempted murder and is being held on a $5 million bond.

Although this young hero never had to fire her weapon, this is yet another example of how guns can, and do, save lives!

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