Now and again one reads news of a good guy taking down one or more bad guys as they try to do their bad thing. It's often spoiled by the GASP! SHOCK! HORROR! reaction of the news media.
Many journalists seem congenitally incapable of understanding that a gun is neither good nor evil: it's morally neutral, an instrument in the hand of the user, who can decide whether to use it for good or bad ends.
In this case, two bad guys decided to use a gun for an evil end: and a good guy with a gun made sure that they came to a bad end instead.
The Walgreens customer who killed a would-be-robber Monday night has been cited for carrying a concealed weapon but won't face a charge in the shooting.
Harry J. McCullough III, 32, had a permit to carry a loaded handgun in plain view — typically in a holster — but did not have a concealed weapons permit, said Omaha Police Officer Jacob Bettin.
McCullough pulled his handgun from the waistband of his pants when he shot and killed Marquail Thomas, a shotgun-wielding 18-year-old and would-be-robber at the Walgreens in Benson Monday night, Bettin said.
McCullough was not arrested in connection with Thomas' death, and Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said Tuesday afternoon that he would not file charges in connection with the shooting.
Bettin said two masked men had entered the Walgreens at 6101 Northwest Radial shortly before 9 p.m.
He said one of the men pointed the shotgun in the direction of the cash register, where several customers were standing in line.
McCullough fired several shots as the shotgun-wielding suspect pointed his weapon at customers. Thomas was hit several times. He fled from the store but collapsed outside.
McCullough then grabbed a second masked man and held him until police arrived, Bettin said.
Thomas was taken to Creighton University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
The second suspect, who authorities identified as 17-year-old Angelo Douglas, was booked into the Douglas County Youth Center on suspicion of robbery and use of a weapon to commit a felony.
Nebraska law allows individuals to use force when their life or another person's life is threatened.
It was a very close call . . . one of Mr. McCullough's bullets was reportedly found embedded inside the barrel of Mr. Thomas' shotgun. In other words, the latter was pointing his gun directly at the former, and fortunately was rendered incapable of firing it by his wounds. Things don't get much closer than that!
I'm also pleased to note, in another report, that Mr. McCullough (who was initially cited for the misdemeanor offense of carrying his handgun concealed, rather than openly) won't be charged after all. The DA's office reviewed security video footage of the incident and determined that although his gun was shoved into his waistband, it was still visible, and therefore could be counted as open rather than concealed carry.
Nice going, Mr. McCullough, and thank you.