The off-duty police officer responsible for shooting the Minnesota mall attacker over the weekend is a competition shooter and a member of the National Rifle Association.
Jason Falconer shot and killed 22-year-old Somalian Dahir Adan when he went on a slashing spree in Crossroads Center Mall, which forbids patrons from brandishing "firearms or illegal weapons."
Regardless of the rules Falconer may or may not have broken, St. Cloud Mayor David Kleis told MPR News the fact that the off-duty officer happened to be shopping there and was carrying his gun at the time prevented more serious injuries and even fataliites.
"Clearly, he is a hero," he told the Minnesota outlet. "He was the right person, at the right place, at the right time."
According to a report from Bearing Arms, in addition to being a part-time police officer, Falconer is also a tactical weapons trainer, a competition shooter and the CEO of Tactical Advantage, a gun shop, range and firearm training center.
"[Falconer's] goal is to teach individuals the mindset, knowledge and skills needed to be successful with firearms in order to secure their personal safety or that of their family; at home or in public," his biography reads. "As a firearm training professional, he continuously researches and develops new curriculum and training methods to make the experience for his students the best they can get."
Falconer also received praise from St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson, who described the professional marksman's actions as "appropriate."
"None of us ever want to have to do that but that's what we're here for, and Officer Falconer's actions were swift and direct, and in my opinion appropriate," he told the Independent Journal Review.
According to mall policy, the shopping complex is a gun-free zone. However, officers whose training is up-to-date are permitted to carry weapons. In addition, state law allows those who have permits to carry firearms openly or concealed.
As Adan lunged toward Falconer with his knife Saturday night, the off-duty cop shot the attacker. After being knocked down, he tried to get back up, at which point Falconer shot him again, leaving the knife-wielding man dead.
In addition to being a member of the NRA, Falconer belongs to the United States Practical Shooting Association, a competitive pistol shooting organization.
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