An armed private citizen is being praised for opening fire on a criminal suspect Thursday who had just shot a Cicero, Ill., police officer during a traffic stop; one of those “good guys with guns” that anti-gunners want disarmed.
Wounded multiple times in the shooting was Officer Luis Duarte, who was listed in good condition following surgery. Cicero Police Supt. Jerry Chlada Jr. told reporters that the armed citizen stopped, got out of his car and fired at the fleeing suspect, who was being pursued by other officers. That man was wounded, but it was not immediately clear whether a police round or one fired by the private citizen struck him. Some news reports indicate the suspect was shot by the citizen.
The shooting underscores what gun rights advocates have said for many years about legally-armed citizens saving lives. By no small coincidence, the shooting happened just one week before the 33rd annual Gun Rights Policy Conference is scheduled in Chicago.
That event, running Sept. 21-23, will be held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare. It is co-hosted by the Second Amendment Foundation and Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. It is the third time since 2011 that the GRPC is gathering in the Windy City, and already organizers have reported a record pre-registration for the weekend event.
Authorities have not identified the armed citizen, but they have heaped praise on his actions. Cicero Town President Larry Dominick told reporters, “I want to applaud the citizen, a civilian, who risked his life to help in apprehending this armed suspect.”
Such interventions by armed citizens might be on the rise, thanks in part to a growing number of Americans who are licensed to carry. Recently, the Crime Prevention Research Center estimated that there are now more than 17 million active carry licenses and permits nationwide.
In another incident, this one in Florida, an armed citizen intervened when a 14-year-old boy allegedly threatened a female customer at a Walmart if she did not have sex with him. The armed citizen was nearby and came to the woman’s aid. The teen was arrested by Clay County Sheriff’s deputies.
Earlier this year in Washington state, am armed citizen fatally shot a carjacker who had fired at several people, also in and outside of a Walmart near the city of Olympia, where the state capitol is located.
Anti-gunners rarely mention the defensive use of firearms, although research indicates that as many as 2 million times annually, firearms are used in self-defense, often without a shot being fired. Illinois was the last holdout state to prohibit concealed carry until separate lawsuits, one filed by the Second Amendment Foundation known as Moore v. Madigan, and the other filed by the National Rifle Association forced the state legislature to act.