News & Politics

Hero With Concealed Carry Firearm Prevents Mass Shooting in SC on Sunday morning, a drunken man — who seemingly had no legal authorization to carry a gun — pulled out a firearm at a nightclub in South Carolina. He fired into a crowd, and hit three people and nearly struck a fourth when the would-be victim pulled out his own legally owned weapon and shot him in the leg.

This nameless hero has a concealed carry license, and his act prevented a mass shooting this past weekend. Local police in Lyman, SC, reported that 32-year-old Jody Ray Thompson pulled out a gun after getting into an argument with another man at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday morning. The shooting took place in the Playoffz nightclub.

“His rounds struck 3 victims, and almost struck a fourth victim, who in self-defense, pulled his own weapon and fired, striking Thompson in the leg,” said Lt. Kevin Bobo. The lieutenant added that the unnamed hero has a valid concealed weapons permit, cooperated with investigators, and will not be facing any charges for shooting Thompson.

In 2014, South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a law legalizing concealed carry weapons in bars and restaurants. In 2016, that law saved lives.

The FBI defines a mass murder as the unlawful killing of four or more people using a firearm. This means a mass shooting is loosely defined as the shooting of four or more people. Thompson has been charged with four counts of attempted murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and unlawful carrying of a weapon.

That’s right — the shooter was illegally carrying and the man who stopped him was not only a legal gun owner, but the proud owner of a concealed carry license. It is unclear why Thompson was charged with the unlawful carrying of a weapon. The 2014 law prohibited anyone carrying a concealed weapon in a bar or restaurant from drinking alcohol.

The shooter was identified on Monday morning. “Thompson was still on the scene when deputies arrived, but the initial scene was chaotic,” Bobo reported. “It wasn’t until victims and witnesses were interviewed, and video from the scene was reviewed that Thompson was identified as the suspect.”

Thankfully, none of the victims’ injuries were life threatening.

While Democrats pushed for more gun control measures following the Orlando shooting at a gay nightclub earlier this month, large numbers of gay and lesbian Americans purchased firearms to protect themselves. With more widespread gun ownership, more would-be mass shootings can end like the events in Lyman, with zero casualties.