Neighbor with AR-15 Stops Knife Attack, Assailant Captured

An Oswego, Illinois, man saw the assault, grabbed his rifle, and protected the intended victim as police arrived and took suspect into custody

Dave Thomas said he saw a guy with a knife going after somebody else on the street near him. So he reached for what he thought was his most intimidating weapon and halted the assault, according to Chicago’s WGN-9 television news.

“I ran back into the home, into my house, and grabbed my AR-15. Grabbed the AR-15 over my handgun. It’s just a bigger gun. I think a little bit more than an intimidation factor definitely played a part in [the man’s] actually stopping,” Thomas said, as quoted by WGN-9.

The victim, a neighbor of Thomas, sustained injuries that were not life-threatening and is expected to recover.

The potentially deadly incident follows within days of another attack involving an AR-15, this one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. There, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, who had been expelled from Douglas, entered the school on Valentine’s Day with the semi-automatic rifle and killed 16 students and an adult.

Law enforcement and school officials in the Broward County area had received multiple warnings that Cruz was a potential danger to himself and others — but they did not take action. The FBI also received at least two warnings, which fell through the bureaucratic cracks.

The Parkland massacre has prompted an emotional explosion of demands for new gun control measures that, advocates claim, will prevent such tragedies, including either an outright ban on the AR-15 or raising the minimum required age of purchasers.

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But Thomas told WGN-9 the AR-15 “is my weapon of choice for home protection. It’s light, it’s maneuverable. If you train and know how to use it properly, it’s not dangerous. And this is just a perfect example of a good guy with an AR-15 stopped a bad guy with a knife. And there were no lives taken, so all in all it was a good day.”

Thomas reportedly holds both a concealed-carry permit and the state’s mandatory firearms ownership certificate.

Related: Why Good Guys with Guns Matter — and Make a Difference

Good guys with guns stopping bad guys with all kinds of lethal weapons are far from rare in the U.S. A Jan. 5, 2016, analysis by the Daily Caller News Foundation of crime data found at least 283 victims saved by gun-wielding good guys in the period between July 2014 and July 2015.

Senior editor Mark Tapscott can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.

(photo credit, article image: WGN9 News)

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