Gun-rights advocates have found another good guy with a gun. “I’m grateful a good guy with a gun was there to prevent further casualties and am praying for the families who lost loved ones in this senseless tragedy,” said Jim Banks, a Republican who is representative of Fort Wayne and the northeast parts of the state, in a tweet on July 17th.
Lauding the man as a hero, Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison released the name of Dicken at a press conference on the afternoon of July 18th. The chief also announced more information about the victims and the suspected perpetrator which included a timeline.
At 5:56 p.m. on July 18th, Ison reported, the assailant emerged from a mall restroom and using a rifle began shooting at people in the food court.
A 22-year-old Seymour man, Dicken was shopping at the mall with his girlfriend, Ison said.
About two minutes into the shooting, Dicken pulled his handgun away and began shooting at the assailant. The assailant tried to retreat to the bathroom but collapsed on the floor.
The threat had ended once Dicken fired 10 rounds and the gunman fired 24, Ison said.
Ison said Dicken was cooperative with the police investigation, and the fact that Dicken was carrying his handgun, is legal. Just this month, Indiana is no longer requiring a license to carry a handgun in public.
The law of Indiana protects an armed bystander. Indiana has some of the strongest language to enable people like Dicken to intervene in situations like the one in Greenwood.
The state of Indiana does not require someone to flee the premises, for example, as long as the person satisfies a specific requirement defined in state law. The language, commonly referred to as the Stand Your Ground provision, states that a person does “not have a duty to retreat” if the person “reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person.”
Though, the example of July 17th is a rare circumstance. People who argue for stronger gun restrictions also acknowledged how Dicken, obviously, prevented more deaths. But they mentioned that while it’s true that the good guy with a gun got the bad guy on July 17th, it’s a relatively rare circumstance.
“I’m glad this guy was stopped,” said Jody Madeira, a law professor at Indiana University, “but these types of incidents make it very difficult for people who do this kind of work and research because you assume it’s way more common than it is.”
There is a greater chance that guns are going to be used in crimes, to end in the wrong hands, or to be accidentally discharged, Madeira stated, than to be used to stop an active shooting.
In the end, it does not matter where the political debate on guns is heading, Dicken is being hailed as a hero. Three people were killed by the assailant and two others were injured, but it could have definitely been worse.
In other news, an armed suspect was wiped out immediately once someone noticed he was an armed threat and tried to rob a cashier. That suspect paid with his life and it was all caught on camera.
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