Mercedes Perez crashed her car into another car on a street in San Antonio. She then jumped out with her gun blazing away at neighbors who came out to see what happened. She killed the other car’s owner and wounded his wife and son before another neighbor grabbed his gun and was able to kill Perez.
This was a tragic story but illustrates what most people would consider to be an example of how a “good guy with the gun” stopped a crime from being much worse. John Lott (founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center) says it was left out of the FBI’s database of active shooting incidents. It is one of dozens of examples of incidents missing. And that fuels the false narrative that rarely do good guys with guns stop shootings.
Last year an armed citizen intervened and was about to stop a shooter at an Indiana food court. But news accounts pointed to the FBI database as evidence that such actions are quite rare.
Part of the problem is the reliance by the FBI on news accounts. Reporters are less likely to cover the issue of good guys with guns. Often there is a judgment call as to whether an incident qualifies as an active shooter case. And if the citizen who does stop the shooter is a security guard, then that action doesn’t make it to the database.
One example took place not far from this radio studio. A shooter at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas was stopped by Jack Wilson, an armed member of the church. But his action wasn’t put in the database because the FBI considered him a volunteer security guard, even though he was just a member of the congregation.