One year ago today, I had the kind of day that every father dreads. I was at home, not doing anything particularly important, when my phone rings. I look down and see it’s from my daughter. I answer it and say “hey Tumblebug, what’s up?” thinking it’s going to be about Christmas and when she is going to be getting home from college.
What she says next will stay with me for the rest of my life. She is crying and says " Daddy, there’s 2 black guys shooting at another black guy on the opposite sides of the street from each other and they have hit my car and I have glass all over me, I’ve drove around the corner and parked behind the gas station but they are still shooting and I think one of them came around the back to see if I was there". I told her to call 911 and then her Mom (it was about 6 blocks from where my wife, her mother works).
I run to my safe and grab my Keltec KSG shotgun and my Glock 41, jump into my car. I get my wife and daughter on the phone and I literally, burned the engine of my Mercedes SL500, out getting there. I made what is normally a 15 minute drive in 9 minutes and that’s with a traffic stop in between. Fortunately, the police officer listened to my daughter and wife and then escorted me the rest of the way there.
We arrived as 911 did, the guys were still blazing away and when 911 arrived they didn’t even send an officer to check on my daughter they all went off in pursuit of the 2 who were on foot and a couple after the one who was gassing up his car.
The officer who escorted me, was out of his jurisdiction, but he got on his radio and got additional units dispatched to come for my daughter. My wife had gotten there before me and her and my daughter were hiding in the back of my wife’s car under a blanket and my wife’s car sunshade. I sling my shotgun over my shoulder, started assessing and administrating first aid to my daughter. How she didn’t get hit I do not know, I am a subject matter expert on ballistics and trajectory from what my rating was while I was in the Navy and I still can not explain it.
After I make sure there is no immediately life threatening issues, I get 2 cups and tape them over her eyes so that she can’t rub at her eyes and leave her Mom to deal with 911, while I get her to the hospital. My daughter’s car took 4 rounds, 3 into the dashboard driver’s side gauges, and one into the driver’s side windshield pillar. All 4 came in from the passenger side where the 2 African American males were shooting from.
My daughter had to go into surgery, she had 7 pieces of glass removed from her eyes 4 from the right, and 3 from the left. She also lost part of the sclera of her right eye.
In the aftermath, I discovered things that honestly, made me want to lose my mind. The police lost all 3 of the shooters. 2 who ran into an apartment in the " subsidized housing" behind where the shooting was, the one driving lost them in traffic and went into another “subsidized housing” about 8 miles away and the biggest one the first gas station she ran too, closed and locked the door in her face, she moved to the gas station across the street until her Mom got there.
So I can get my head around the idea of people being scared of guns, especially guns in the hands of criminals. What I don’t understand is how any of the gun control proposal’s do a d*mn thing to get the guns out of the hands of criminals.
My daughter has handled this better than I have. She has taken ownership of the experience with grace and humor and wants us to take her out to a steakhouse for a “Good Job You Didn’t Die” dinner tonight. Which we will do and I will do my best to be in the spirit of how she wants to treat it. But I’ve never been more terrified in my life.
This is my value story and how I came to be a member of the USCCA. An organization I plan to be a part of for the rest of my life.