Journalists rarely report armed resistance:
The first incident began on the morning of October 1, 1997 when Luke Woodham fatally stabbed and bludgeoned his sleeping mother, Mary Woodham. At his trial, Woodham claimed that he could not remember killing his mother.
Woodham drove his mother’s car to Pearl High School [Pearl, Mississippi]. Wearing an orange jumpsuit and a trenchcoat, he made no attempt to hide his rifle. When he entered the school, he fatally shot Lydia Kaye Dew and Christina Menefee, his former girlfriend. Pearl High School assistant band director, Jeff Cannon, was standing five feet away from Dew when she was fatally shot. Woodham went on to wound seven others before leaving, intending to drive off campus and conduct another shooting at the nearby Pearl Junior High School. However, assistant principal Joel Myrick had retrieved a .45 pistol from the glove compartment of his truck and subdued Woodham inside his mother’s car. Then Myrick demanded “Why did you shoot my kids?” to which Woodham replied, “Life has wronged me, sir”. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance.
James Eaves-Johnson wrote that there were “687 articles on the school shooting in Pearl, Miss. and of those, only 19 mentioned that ”Myrick had used a gun to stop Woodham“, four-and-a-half minutes before police arrived”,
The Parker Middle School dance shooting was an incident that occurred on April 24, 1998 at a restaurant in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. 14-year-old Andrew Jerome Wurst fatally shot 48-year-old John Gillette, and wounded another teacher and two students at Nick’s Place (a nearby restaurant) during an 8th grade graduation dance.
Prior to the shooting, Andrew Wurst was described as an average student, and somewhat of a loner. One student noticed that he had become curt and unfriendly prior to the shooting, and had told others that he wanted to “kill people and commit suicide”. He had no history of mental illness prior to the shooting.
Wurst showed up late to the dance, with his father’s .25-caliber pistol in a holster belt under his jacket. He had previously left a suicide note under his pillow, and stated to investigators that he planned to go to the dance and kill only himself. The shooting began on an outdoor patio, about 20 minutes before the dance was scheduled to end, around 9:40. He shot John Gillette after he asked Wurst to come inside. Wurst proceeded to enter Nick’s Place, where the dance had been held, and subsequently fired and wounded Edrye Boraten, a teacher and two students, Jacob Tury and Justin Fletcher. The shooting ended when the owner of Nick’s Place, James Strand, intervened and confronted Wurst with his shotgun, ordering him to drop his weapon and later holding him at bay for eleven minutes. Strand later got Wurst on the ground and searched him for weapons, finding a dinner fork in his sock. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance.
On January 16, 2002 a student with a grudge, 43-year-old Nigerian Peter Odighizuwa arrived on the Appalachian School of Law campus in Virginia with a handgun. Odighizuwa first discussed his academic problems with professor Dale Rubin, where he reportedly told Rubin to pray for him. Odighizuwa returned to the school around 1:00 p.m and proceeded to the offices of Dean Anthony Sutin and Professor Thomas Blackwell, where he opened fire with the handgun. According to a county coroner, powder burns indicated that both victims were shot at point blank range. Also killed was student Angela Dales, three other students were wounded, one in the chest, one in the stomach and one in the throat.
Many students heard the shots. Two who did were Mikael Gross and Tracy Bridges. Mikael was outside the school having just returned to campus from lunch when he heard the shots, Tracy was inside attending class. Both immediately ran to their cars as each had a handgun locked in the vehicle.
Bridges pulled a .357 Magnum pistol and he later said he was prepared to shoot to kill if necessary. He and Gross both approached Odighizuwa at the same time from different directions, both were pointing their weapons at Odighizuwa. Bridges yelled for Odighizuwa to drop his weapon and when the shooter realized they had him cornered he threw his weapon down. A third student, unarmed, Ted Besen, approached the killer and was physically attacked by Odighizuwa, but together the three students were able to restrain him and held him for the police. Odighizuwa is now in prison for the murders he committed receiving three life sentences plus 28 years, his killing spree ended when he faced two students with weapons. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance.
The shooting was cited by John Lott and others as an example of the media’s bias against guns, describing how the use of a firearm in a defensive role was not reported in most news stories of the event. James Eaves-Johnson wrote about this fact one week later in The Daily Iowan. He wrote: “A Lexus-Nexis search revealed 88 stories on the topic, of which only two mentioned that either Bridges or Gross was armed.” This 2002 article noted “This was a very public shooting with a lot of media coverage” but the media left out information showing how two students with firearms ended the killing spree.
On February 12, 2007, at 6:44 PM MST, Sulejman Talovi? began a deadly shooting spree in Trolley Square [Salt Lake City, UT] resulting in the deaths of five bystanders, as well as the wounding of at least four others. Talovi? was described as wearing a white shirt, a tan trenchcoat and a mullet. He carried both a shotgun with a pistol grip and a 38-caliber handgun as well as a backpack full of ammunition. The mall was a self-declared “gun free zone” forbidding patrons from carrying weapons.
According to local TV station KTVX, several witnesses reported that most of the shooting took place on the ground floor near the Pottery Barn store, though the majority of the dead were found in Cabin Fever, a card store. One of the victims, having been shot, apparently entered the nearby Hard Rock Cafe and told customers to lock the doors. Several victims were transported to local hospitals, some in critical condition.
One of the victims was a 16-year-old boy, A.J. Walker, found in his car with a wound to the side of his head; another, Cedric Wilson, an employee at Rodizio Grill, was fired at twice but suffered only a graze on his head.
The gunman’s rampage was stopped after trading shots with off-duty police officer Kenneth Hammond of the Ogden City Police Department, who had ignored the signs informing patrons they must be unarmed to enter the mall and Sgt. Andrew Oblad of the Salt Lake City Police Department. The final confrontation, in which Talovi? was killed, occurred in the Pottery Barn Kids home furnishing store. Hammond was at Trolley Square having an early Valentine’s Day dinner with his pregnant wife, 911 dispatcher Sarita Hammond, when they heard gunshots. Sarita Hammond borrowed a waiter’s cell phone to call 911. Talovi? was cornered and was shooting at officers, until an active shooter contact team composed of Salt Lake City PD SWAT team members arrived and shot him. Salt Lake City police officials on February 13, 2007, thanked Hammond as a hero for saving countless lives. There would be no further victims that day, thanks to armed resistance.