[Guest post by DRJ]
UPDATE 4: After seeing Assam interviewed on Fox News, I can’t tell what she was. She discussed her law enforcement background and that she was part of a “professional security team.” It’s possible she was hired to work security or that she volunteered to be part of a security team. So I reinserted the term “Security Guard” in the title.
UPDATE 3: I’ve changed the title to strike through “Security Guard” because it’s unlikely this was a paid security guard. Instead, it was probably a parishioner with a CCW permit. However, at least one blogger notes the media is uniformly portraying her as a security guard instead of as an armed individual. Maybe this is because, in the rush to get the story out, the “security guard” terminology became set in stone. On the other hand, maybe not.
UPDATE 2: Powerline quotes a report that the gunman “hated Christians” and notes that “the toll in Sunday’s shootings exceeded the combined total in all ‘hate crimes’ against Muslims in the six years since September 11.”
UPDATE 1: CNS News reports the volunteer security guard was a church member “dressed in plain clothes” who used her own gun and “probably saved 100 lives.” It also quotes a KUSA report that the gunman, 24-year-old Matthew Murray, “was wearing a “tactical helmet and body armor.”
Also from JayHub, here’s a Denver Post article on the courageous actions by a male Vietnam Vet and a female volunteer security guard who stopped the Colorado church shooter:
“[Vietnam War Vet Larry] Bourbonnais, 59, had just finished up a hamburger in the cafeteria on the sprawling church campus when he heard gunfire, he recalled. Bourbonnais headed in the direction of the shots as frightened people ran past him looking to escape to safety. “Where’s the shooter? Where’s the shooter?” Bourbonnais kept yelling, he recalled.
Near an entryway in the church, Bourbonnais came upon the gunman and an armed male church security guard who was there with his gun drawn but not firing, he said. Bourbonnais said he pleaded with the armed guard to give him his weapon.
“Give me your handgun. I’ve been in combat, and I’m going to take this guy out,” Bourbonnais recalled telling the guard. “He kept yelling, ‘Get behind me! Get behind me!’ He wouldn’t hand me his weapon, but he wouldn’t do anything.” There was an additional armed security guard there, another man, who also didn’t fire, Bourbonnais said.
Bourbonnais yelled at the gunman to draw his attention, he said. “First, I called him ‘Coward’ then I called him ‘S—head’ ” Bourbonnais said. “I probably shouldn’t have been saying that in church.”
That’s when the shooter pointed one of his guns at Bourbonnais and fired, he said. Bourbonnais ducked behind a hollow, decorative pillar and was hit in the arm by a bullet and fragments of the pillar.
At about that moment, a female guard with a drawn handgun turned a corner and walked toward the gunman and yelled “Surrender!” Bourbonnais said.
The gunman pointed a handgun at the woman and fired three shots, Bourbonnais said. She returned fire and just kept walking toward the gunman pressing off round after round. The female guard fired off about a dozen shots.
After the gunman went down, Bourbonnais asked the woman, who has only been identified as a volunteer security guard with the church, how she remained so calm and focused. Bourbonnais said she replied: “I was asking the Holy Spirit to guide me the entire time.”
This is an amazing story.
An earlier post on the shootings is here.