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Editor’s Notebook

Stories of Two Shootings

by Gila Hayes

On the day the Zimmerman verdict was delivered, I listened to a first-hand report about a different shooting with different results. I would like to share parts of it with Network members because it helps balance out the utter stupidity demonstrated in that Sanford, FL courtroom.

This story begins as our man, Bob, is standing in his Western Washington jewelry shop on a Saturday morning. He’d arrived at work a few minutes late that morning, losing his normal parking place, but by this moment, Bob’s back to normal, standing behind the glass counter of his store with a paper document in his hands. He’s conversing with a female customer who is standing at the door, preparing to leave. Several employees are also in the store, along with another customer.

The sight of a man rushing into the jewelry store draws Bob’s eye, seen only because his car is not parked in its usual place by the window. A hood and a mask conceal the intruder’s features and as he comes through the door, he is pointing a .40 caliber Glock at the jeweler. “He was a clear and identifiable threat. There was no question in my mind what was about to happen,” Bob relates.

“I’m a jeweler! I don’t want to be a guy that has to shoot somebody, but here it is,” he remembers. He reacts quickly and as the intruder shoves his way in, Bob’s hands go to his holstered Kimber .45, which he presents two handed. Realizing that if he does not shoot, his assailant will, he fires two shots while collapsing to the floor to avoid being shot. He does not remember deciding to take cover, relating that, “It was like the hand of God grabbed my ankles and pulled me down.”

One of Bob’s bullets strikes the assailant in the clavicle and the next, delivered as the second of a very rapid double-tap, goes into the ceiling, as a result of his fall to the floor. The glass display counter in front of him explodes, though miraculously, glass only lodges in his forehead, missing his eyes entirely.

The entire incident began and ended in less time than it takes to tell about it. Store security video shows the exchange of gunshots in a mere two frames, about an eighth of a second. The .45 “sounded like ‘pop, pop,’ even with no ear protection,” Bob marvels.

To Bob’s amazement, the intruder gets up. “I was trained to shoot somebody in the chest twice, and I got two bullets out. And he gets up? That is not supposed to happen! Well, it did. I put one in him and as I was hitting the deck, I put one in the ceiling. It’s not pretty but it worked,” he continues.

Fortunately, the assailant turns and runs out the door, which is providentially blocked open by the female customer, whom he’d knocked over on his way in. The door opens inward to prevent grab-and-run thefts, but this time, it is a good thing the door is open, because a trapped gunman in the store is the last thing these innocent people need!

As the intruder runs out and past the double pane glass store windows, Bob grabs the counter and pulls himself to his feet on wobbly legs. “I felt blinded by the cover and felt that I had to get back into action,” he explains. His pistol muzzle tracks the assailant until he is out of sight.

Bob quickly checks on the store’s occupants to be sure no one was hurt, and then goes out to the parking lot, but the hooded man is gone. He was found dead on a public bench in a neighboring community a few hours later and subsequently identified as a career criminal who’d flown in from Los Angeles several days earlier.