Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Trashing the Hero Who Stopped the Shooter

The medical examiner in Colorado Springs has determined that church shooter Matthew Murray died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the AP reports.

But the wire service also notes the Murray was struck "multiple times" by church security officer Jeanne Assam, who confronted the gunman after he entered the church and opened fire.

So, why did Murray decide to shoot himself? Forensic experts will say they can't answer that question, but it's likely because of Ms. Assam's bravery--and those bullets she pumped into his worthless carcass. Realizing the terror spree was at an end (and facing capture) Murray fired the final shot that ended his life.

Lest we forget, Murray had already taken four lives before he walked into New Life Church in Colorado Springs and began spraying bullets. Early Sunday morning, he killed two people at a missionary training center in the Denver suburb of Aravda; 12 hours later, he launched a similar rampage in Colorado Springs, killing two girls in the parking lot at New Life before that final flurry of bullets inside the church.

And, Murray had enough guns and ammunition to kill scores of people. Police found more than 1,000 rounds of ammo in the backpack he carried, along with three weapons. Without Ms. Assam, the carnage inside New Life could have been staggering.

Investigators in Colorado are praising the security guard's heroism, saying she helped prevent a far greater tragedy. We heartily concur. Still, there are those who (apparently) don't believe in the notion of responsible individuals defending themselves--and their fellow citizens--with firearms. If you were one of the six or seven folks watching Morning Joe on MSNBC today, you probably saw newsreader Mika Brzezinski go off on an anti-gun tirade after reporting the story.

Newsbusters' Mark Finklestein has the video.

And, not surprisingly, the MSM seems quite happy to depict Ms. Assam in less-than-glowing terms. Various outlets report that she was fired from her job as a Minneapolis police office for lying to investigators during an internal probe, which stemmed from a complaint by a city bus driver. Some scandal, indeed. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has the details:

Sgt. Jesse Garcia, a Minneapolis police spokesman, said Assam worked at the department from March 1993 to November 1997, when she was fired for lying during an internal investigation.

Sgt. John Delmonico, president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, said police were investigating a complaint that Assam swore at a bus driver while she was handling an incident on a city bus.

Delmonico said Assam was dealing with an incident on the bus and for some reason she swore at the bus driver as she exited the bus. The bus driver became angry and filed a complaint.

"In giving a statement about the incident, she was untruthful and she was fired," Delmonico said. The swearing was caught on tape, he said. "The union arbitrated the case and the arbitrator upheld the termination."

For what it's worth, there are unconfirmed reports that the bus driver may have provoked the incident, knowing that it would be captured by the vehicle's on-board security camera.

Whatever happened in Minneapolis, a lot of folks are thankful that Ms. Assam was on duty in Colorado Springs on Sunday afternoon, and not arguing with an idiot bus driver in Minnesota.


F said...

One of the things that impressed me about Ms. Assam's return of fire is that she is reported to have been "running at him, firing her weapon and shouting 'surrender'." Sounds like he did surrender, in the literal sense of the word (se rendre).That's a pretty gutsy thing for anyone to do and demonstrates good training. It might also explain why Murray turned the gun on himself, faced with a woman running AT him, yelling something and shooting. That would be enough to get anyone to turn the gun on himself. F

Acad Ronin said...

1) She moved towards the danger.
2) She had the self-control to shoot accurately, hitting the attacker.
She may not have been perfect all the time, but on that day at that time she was.

Vinnie said...

Im glad she didn't kill him. It bothers some people to kill, even when necessary. So I see it as a bonus for her, and she deserves one.

davod said...

"She may not have been perfect all the time, but on that day at that time she was."

What does this mean?

davod said...

Sorry for my earlier post. It is obvious what you were writing about.

amr said...

“But the wire service also notes the Murray was struck "multiple times" by church security officer Jeanne Assam”. Not being the trusting type, I suspect that AP and others used the words church security officer to redirect anyone’s thoughts about a citizen’s right to self defense. She was a volunteer parishioner who used her own gun and happened to have been a police officer about 10 years ago; not an armed rent-a-cop.

It was a shame that someone at the Omaha mall wasn’t armed and legally permitted to carry; but wait, the mall didn’t allow citizens to carry and was a designated free fire zone, er, a gun free zone, by orders of the property owners while providing no armed security to compensate.

Being a former submarine sailor, I have no use for crowded public areas anyway and even less desire to be in such places since my CCW permit is not welcomed. There have been no incidents where Islamists terrorists have been involved in attacking a mall, just one caught during planning but without the plotter having the necessary firearms and explosives. At some time they will succeed and then will we over react and turn malls into security bastions with limited free access as in our courthouses and what has become normal in Israel? I fear we will erode our freedoms by moving to such preventative measures out of fear for our security; once implemented I doubt if those intrusions on our freedom of movement would be revoked. The”it is worth it if only one person’s life is saved” logic would prevail.

An armed citizenry with strong licensing regulations and training would be my hope rather than going to purely physical security.