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An Indianapolis man wounded by an armed assailant after he killed one man and was preparing to kill another managed to subdue the shooter with his own legally-carried firearm, preventing what likely would have been a mass murder incident.
Police in nearby Brownsburg, Ind., say that Joshua Christopher Hayes, 22, who was black, launched an unprovoked assault against two white men working in a cemetery Tuesday afternoon.
Hayes chased down Seth Robertson, 36, shooting and killing him at a nearby intersection. He then chased the second man and was preparing to kill him as well before he was shot and killed by the legally-armed CCW holder.
“This tragic event could have been much more disastrous. So, victim three not only saved victim two’s life, but he saved potentially the lives of many others,” BPD Capt. Jennifer Barrett told WISH-TV. “Victim three did exactly what anybody would have wanted him to do at that scene that day.”
Because such incidents are rare in the small city, rumors quickly spread online that a second gunman was on the loose, but police quickly quelled it. There were also a number of posts claiming that the shooting was racially motivated since Hayes was black and his victims were white.
“I was being provided screenshots of social media posts prior to my even arriving on the scene,” Barrett said. “So it played a huge role. A lot of misinformation was out there.”
Police officers met with the family of Hayes to see if they could find out why he launched his attacks.
“That is part of what led us to exactly understand that there was a mental health component that was behind- that we were already seeing in the investigation,” Barrett said.
“However, I think the biggest thing that Mr. Hayes’ family has expressed is that they want there to be a mental health awareness component to this. They’re, of course, devastated. But they’re also devastated for the other victim.”
Police say they don’t expect the CCW holder to be charged with any crime but added that will be up to the Hendricks County Prosecutor’s Office.
The incident is the latest example of how the Second Amendment helps prevent mass murders.
In the wake of a string of mass murders a few years ago, Americans seeking to protect themselves filed for and received record numbers of concealed carry permits in states where citizens are trusted to protect themselves and others.
A study released in August 2018 found that over a 10-year period, CCW permits had increased roughly 275 percent — from 4.6 million permits in 2007 to over 17.25 permits in 2018, the Crime Prevention Research Center found.
The center discovered that the most notable demographic increases were among women and minorities.
“That increase in women and minorities mirrors their changing views on guns,” John Lott, the founder of the CPRC, told Fox News at the time.
“A poll by [the] Pew [Research Center] helps to explain why there has been such a large increase in concealed handgun permits among blacks and women. The poll shows a 25 percentage point increase in the proportion of blacks with a favorable view of gun ownership. This is the largest increase of any group,” Lott, a criminologist and author of the book, “More Guns, Less Crime,” said.
His study also noted that concealed carry holders are “extremely” law-abiding.
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