LISTEN TO TLR’S LATEST PODCAST:
By Will Racke
Police in Texas say a concealed carry holder is a “hero” for shooting a crazed attacker and preventing what could have been a slaughter inside a crowded sports bar on Wednesday.
The man, who was dining with his wife at Zona Caliente in Arlington, Tex., quickly sprung into action when he witnessed the gunman shoot and kill the bar manager, police said. The man took a gun he had on a concealed carry permit and quickly shot at the assailant.
The good Samaritan has not been publicly identified, but police identified the assailant as 48-year-old James Jones of Grand Prairie, Texas.
“We’re treating the good guy as sort of a hero,” Arlington Police spokesman Christopher Cook said Thursday.
Police say the customer, who has not been publicly identified, was carrying a handgun under the Texas concealed handgun license program. (RELATED: Gun Activists Focus On National Concealed Carry Push)
Witnesses told police that Jones walked into the bar and began yelling incoherently. Jones shot and killed 37-year-old Cesar Perez, the bar manager, after he tried to engage him in conversation to find out what he wanted, police say. That’s when the armed customer drew his own weapon and shot Jones.
“After he [Jones] was struck once, the suspect started shooting at the front door,” Cook told the Arlington Voice. “We know people were trying to escape, but we’re not sure if he was just trying to harm others.”
In the aftermath of the shootings, police discovered that the incident could have been much deadlier. Investigators found two more loaded guns and two knives on Jones’ body.
“We do believe he had the capacity to do much greater harm,” Cook said.
Cook confirmed that Zona Caliente is a so-called “blue sign” establishment that allows concealed carry holders to bring firearms inside. He said the shooting will be referred to the Tarrant County grand jury — a standard procedure — but doesn’t expect the concealed carry holder to be charged with any crime.