As the gun control debate heats up once again, BuzzFeed has surprisingly compiled a list of potential mass shootings that were stopped by law-abiding citizens with firearms.
“Can law-abiding citizens with guns combat mass shootings?” the website asks. The list speaks for itself.
“Potential mass shootings” don’t get the same media attention as deadly and devastating mass shootings, but armed civilians have been preventing tragedies for a long time.
1. The Pearl High School Shooting
On Oct. 1, 1997, Luke Woodham stabbed his mother to death and headed to his high school to continue his deadly rampage. Woodham killed two students and injured seven others before he was stopped by an armed assistant principal.
Joel Myrick, a U.S. Army Reserve commander, detained the student using a .45-cal pistol he kept n his truck until police arrived.
2. The Parker Middle School Dance Shooting
On April 24, 1988, Andrew Wurst embarked on a plot to massacre people at his middle school dance. Armed with a .25-cal pistol, he fatally shot a teacher and wounded a second teacher and two students.
The potential mass killing came to an end when the owner of the banquet hall hosting the dance, James Strand, retrieved his shotgun and ordered Wurst to drop his gun. The armed man then held the teenager at gunpoint and searched him for other weapons until police could arrive.
3. The Appalachian School of Law Shooting
On January 16, 2002, former student Peter Odighizuwa arrived at the law school’s campus with a handgun. As BuzzFeed notes, there are “different variations of the story, but according to eye-witness accounts, two students Tracy Bridges, a county sheriff’s deputy, and Mikael Gross, a police officer, ran to their cars after hearing gun shots and grabbed personally-owned firearms.”
The pair confronted Odighizuwa, who had managed to kill three and wound others, and ordered him to drop his gun, which he did. He was held by unarmed students until authorities could respond.
4. The New Life Church Shooting
On Dec. 9, 2007, 24-year-old Matthew Murray started shooting at parishioners in the New Life Church parking lot. He fatally shot two people before former police officer Jeanne Assam opened fire with his concealed handgun.
Murray committed suicide after being shot several times by Assam.
5. The Trolley Square Shooting
On Feb. 12, 2007, five people were killed and four wounded when Sulejam Talovic opened fire in a public square in Salt Lake City. He reportedly had a backpack of ammunition and a shotgun.
Talovic was cornered by off-duty police officer Kenneth Hammond until the Salt Lake City Police Department and SWAT could arrive on the scene. The shooter was ultimately stopped following a shootout with authorities.
“Hammond ran on scene after hearing gunshots fire out while having an early Valentine’s Day dinner with his pregnant wife at a local restaurant,” according to BuzzFeed.
Click here to check out the rest of BuzzFeed’s list.