For years, we have heard the gun grabbers on the left spouting off lies to disarm the American people. It seems that every time there is a news report of gun violence the left is ready to pass new legislation that would make it harder for law-abiding citizens to purchase guns to protect themselves and families.
These gun grabbers are quick to mention all the times that criminals had used guns to harm others but hardly recount the stories of when a good guy with a gun stopped a potential tragedy. And, that point is proven yet again when a deranged gunman walked into a Kansas state Costco today screaming that he was ready to kill innocent people. However, all that was averted thanks to an armed citizen in the store who was able to stop the lunatic, and it was all caught on video.
When any of us go to the grocery store the last thing on any of our minds is that we could be walking into danger. However, that is what happened on Monday when families in Lenexa, Kansas were faced with the unthinkable.
As people were milling about the superstore, the crazed gunman Roland Hunt, walked into Costco armed with a gun and begin screaming “I’m going to kill people.” Fortunately for all the shoppers there that day Captain Michael Howell an off-duty police captain was in the store at the same time, and he made sure no one harmed except the gunman.
As Hunt walked further into the store, Howell stalked him, being sure to protect the women and children from the potential harm the gunman could bring. Then, when Hunt caught sight of Howell he turned and pointed his gun at the officer, but before he could get a shot off, Howell already shot him dead.
As the chaotic scene unfolded and the gunman methodically walked through the aisles of the Lenexa Costco on Nov. 26, off-duty police Capt. Michael Howell knew his best tactic would be the element of surprise.
When the gunman, later identified as Ronald O. Hunt, announced, “I’m an off-duty U.S. Marshal, I’m here to kill people,” Howell realized that he had only one option.
“I knew that there was a threat that had to be stopped,” Howell said Friday as he recalled the incident.
The 22-year veteran of the Kansas City, Kan., police department weaved through the aisles and confronted Hunt. A video of the encounter was released Thursday.
“’Police, drop the gun. Don’t move,’” Howell said.
When the off-duty captain said police a second time, Hunt turned and pointed his pistol at Howell.
“That is when I fired at him,” Howell said. “And he went down.”
Looking back on that Sunday morning, Howell said, it seemed as though time stood still as he waited for uniformed officers to arrive.
In announcing that the retired U.S. Army veteran would not face criminal charges, Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Howell “acted with extreme courage, and saved an unknown amount of innocent lives.”
Howell said he views what did as something less heroic: “I’m just a cop doing my job.”
Hunt was not a U.S. Marshal. Missouri court records show that he pleaded guilty in 2015 to a traffic violation for carrying too much weight on a truck, and the address given for Hunt was the Swift Transportation terminal in Edwardsville.
Howell had gone to the store with a friend to purchase an electric fireplace for his new house when a crowd of customers flooded past them.
Hunt, armed with a black revolver with a 12-inch barrel, pushed a grocery cart as he slowly followed the customers and employees as they fled out of the emergency exit on the west end of the building.
“My greatest fear was we had kids with their moms, with their grandmas, with their dads,” Howell said. “It was little kids running and screaming. And seeing the fear in their faces and knowing whatever it took, I had to do whatever necessary to end this threat so they wouldn’t get hurt.”
Neither Howell nor any customers or store employees were injured.
Ironically, Howell had tickets to the Chiefs game against the Buffalo Bills. Howell received a free ticket after he participated in a halftime ceremony earlier in the season that honored military veterans and first-responders.
Instead of attending the game, Howell decided to stay home and get some rest. He had returned home after visiting family in Oklahoma during the Thanksgiving holiday.
The incident helped Howell appreciate the active shooter training he and other officers routinely receive. It was the first time, Howell said, that he confronted gunman while off-duty. Howell said that he’s always armed.
“You never know what situation you are going to find yourself in whether it is a restaurant or a shopping mall, or just driving down the road,” he said. “I think it would be ludicrous not to be prepared.”
While this story just goes to prove why citizens should be armed, you won’t hear the mainstream media praise this officer, but that doesn’t mean we have to keep silent about it. Thank goodness this officer was in the store at this time to protect these innocent people since we all know what could have happened if not.
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