The city of Virginia Beach is the scene of another deadly shooting that has claimed at least one life and put another person in the hospital, but anti-gun Democrat Gov. Ralph Northam is surprisingly silent, and there is little news coverage.
Maybe it’s because the dead man, and the injured man were shot by a legally-armed citizen while they were allegedly trying to pull an armed robbery at a convenience store. Long story short, a “good guy with a gun” stopped two bad guys with guns, sending one to the emergency room and the other to the morgue.
According to WTKR News, the dead man has been identified as Michael Moore, 18. The other suspect, and a third man—identified as 18-year-old Ronald Lee Brookins, Jr. and 19-year-old Deric Breon Simmons have reportedly been charged. Brookins faces two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, two counts of conspiracy to commit a felony and abduction and wearing a mask in public. Simmons faces two robbery counts and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, WTKR reported.
Thursday morning after 2 a.m. two suspects entered a Virginia Beach 7-Eleven and allegedly tried to rob the place. Already inside, however, was the legally-armed private citizen who confronted the suspects and shot them both. Witnesses reportedly are calling the unidentified citizen a “hero.”
A female customer, Barrie Engel, told WTKR, “I was just standing there watching him (one of the suspects) putting money in his pocket and then I heard a gunshot. As soon as I heard the gunshot, I just fell to my knees (covered) my head and prayed to God that I wasn’t going to be the next shot.”
Of the armed citizen, she told a reporter, “He’s a hero. He’s a hero. Thank God he was in here and thank God he was holding a gun, and he saved our lives.
“I was thinking this day was my last day on earth. I thought these robbers are going to shoot us and kill us,” Engel added
But thanks to the legally-armed citizen, it was a suspected criminal who died.
This incident may be connected with a string of armed robberies that occurred in the hours leading up to the shooting, WTKR reported.
But Gov. Northam has apparently not uttered a word about this incident, even in the wake of his push for gun control following the May 31 mass shooting in Virginia Beach that left a dozen people, most of them municipal employees, dead. Northam had called a special July 9 session of the General Assembly, which deferred his lengthy gun control wish list to the Virginia State Crime Commission, which will hold hearings Aug. 19-20.
Silence from gun control proponents in the aftermath of an incident in which an armed citizen intervenes is typical. Gun rights advocates suggest that it is because anti-gunners are also anti-self-defense, making them essentially on the side of the criminals.
By some estimates, there may be as many as 17.5 million legally-armed private citizens licensed to carry across the states. In a number of situations, these private citizens become the “first responders” in emergencies. According to the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 2017, the most recent year for which data is available, 299 criminals were killed justifiably by armed citizens. That number was up from the 282 fatally shot by armed citizens in 2016. In 2015, armed citizens killed 272 people in self-defense and in 2014, that number was 227 justifiable shootings, according to the FBI data.