Omaha Nebraska Walgreens Concealed Carry Hero

Omaha, NE – The Walgreens customer who killed a would-be-robber Monday night has been cited for carrying a concealed weapon but won’t face a charge in the shooting.

Harry J. McCullough III, 32, had a permit to carry a loaded handgun in plain view — typically in a holster — but did not have a concealed weapons permit, said Omaha Police Officer Jacob Bettin.

McCullough pulled his handgun from the waistband of his pants when he shot and killed Marquail Thomas, a shotgun-wielding 18-year-old and would-be-robber at the Walgreens in Benson Monday night, Bettin said.

Full Story – HERE

Very disappointing that McCullough isn’t being hailed as a hero. He risked his own life, and put a stop to the armed robbers who may very well have killed innocent people.  I love how the title of the article in the story I linked is “No Charge In Shooting”… like that is the big issue here… not that one robber is dead, one in jail, and everyone in the store got to go home unharmed.  I don’t know what the charge for carrying a concealed weapon in Nebraska without a permit is, but it damn well better not be more than a misdemeanor in this context.

Stories like this one are my absolute favorite.

94 COMMENTS

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Evil Josh April 27, 2010 at 10:24 pm

I would have to agree with you on all counts. After reading the story and watching the video, it is really quite annoying how much they actually seemed to downplay what he did.

On another note, it was refreshing to hear about the SBS being referred to as a “short shotgun” rather than a “sawed off”, “street sweeper” or other evil name.

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Josh April 27, 2010 at 10:48 pm

They did seem to be downplaying the incident. I’ll give the newspaper the benefit of the doubt though. It seemed like the article just wanted to present the facts. It could be that they’re hesitant about lauding any hero praise on him since, despite the fact that he stopped a robbery, he was carrying the gun illegally.

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Erin Grace April 28, 2010 at 11:55 am

I am writing a story about reaction to the shooting. If anyone would like to comment, you can reach me at 402-444-1136 or by email: erin.grace@owh.com. Deadline in a couple of hours (2 p.m.)

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Mike April 28, 2010 at 12:52 am

Can he opt for a trial by jury? That’s what I’d do.

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Josh April 28, 2010 at 01:17 am

He might be able to, it depends on state law and what the severity of the crime is. Some states don’t allow jury trials for crimes that have a maximum punishment less than a certain amount of jail time. A jury would be instructed in what the law says and how the law applies, they wouldn’t have the latitude to say, “Well, he broke the law, but everything turned out well in the end, so we’ll find him not guilty.”

If it can be proven that he was carrying the gun concealed, and did not have the proper permit to do so, the jury would have to find, as a matter of fact, that he is guilty.

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Pete April 28, 2010 at 07:55 am

agree with Josh on this…the pity is that now with that on his record he will probably be barred from actually getting a CCW now…more the reason to do it now rather than put it off…

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Henry Bowman May 4, 2010 at 10:04 am

Juries ALWAYS have the latitude to say “not guilty” — they just have to UNDERSTAND that.

http://fija.org

If juries didn’t have latitude to decide both ways, why have them at all?

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ea October 2, 2014 at 07:19 am

Actually, any jury may judge the law as well as the defendant. “Jury nullification” is a longstanding attribute of America’s justice system. Look it up.

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 03:50 pm

knowing my luck I would get a jury consisting of people with far left wing beliefs

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Josh April 28, 2010 at 03:55 pm

This would be a pretty clear-cut, black-and-white case. It’s not like a murder trial where the jury has to determine whether there was intent to commit first-degree murder, or merely second-degree, etc.

The jury’s job is to make a finding of facts, not judgment on whether or not the law is right or wrong, just or unfair. There doesn’t appear to be much of a gray area possible in the facts here. Either he was carrying a weapon concealed or not.

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 04:05 pm

Hopefully there is just some video footage they can look at and not waste a lot of time and money.

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Tim April 29, 2010 at 08:02 pm

Jury nullification? African jurors do it all the time to let a little deshawn or Shanequa evade responsibility for their acts.

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rusgunnut1 April 28, 2010 at 08:19 am

that guy looks like “cutlerylover” on youtube.

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 03:54 pm

You’re right, there definitely is a resemblance. The only thing noticeably different is the nose.. but the pic in this article isn’t exactly good quality either.

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Michael April 28, 2010 at 09:21 am

as an omaha nebraskan, woot!

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Alicia April 28, 2010 at 11:38 am

This man “harry” Mcculough is a personal friend of mine and has been for many years. James, as his friends know him has been a VERY skilled gunman from the day I met him, and has taken all necessary training courses to carry a gun. I am very disappointed with the Omaha Police Department that they would ticket him when he is so skilled, and like the county attorney said “he was justified in using deadly force to protect himself and others”. Dont worry guys, the charge of carrying a concealed weapon is a Class I misdemeanor in Omaha, besides he’s got he best damn attorney in Nebraska on his side!
EVERYONE in Omaha thinks he is a HERO!

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 03:55 pm

Right on Alicia! Give your buddy a pat on the back and thank him for me.

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Tim April 29, 2010 at 08:04 pm

He IS a hero, with any luck more right minded individuals will carry at all times and terminate useless life forms like the groid in question.

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Seth May 1, 2010 at 08:56 pm

Actually no, EVERYONE in Omaha does NOT think he is a hero. And deadly force was not necessary in this case, no police officer would ever have gotten away with this. Shoot to injure or disable would have been much more appropriate. Also if he is such a good shot how come all of his bullets are not accounted for in the body of the man killed? You’d think such an expert wouldn’t miss, especially considering the vicinity of innocent bystanders in the area. He may have taken all of his training and is good with handling guns, obviously he isn’t as good as you seem to think though. A GREAT shot would not have missed the body it was aimed at.

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Admin (Mike) May 3, 2010 at 12:21 am

Law enforcement N E V E R shoots to “wound”. They shoot to kill, and they shoot until the threat is gone. If you have ever shot a handgun, you would know that its not as easy as it is on video games. Putting a shot in the “shoulder” or “leg” of a threat would not even be worth attempting… the difficulty is increased even more when you add in stress, distance, and a moving target.

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Seth May 3, 2010 at 01:58 am

Of course the difficulty is increased with distance and moving targets, however this was not a huge distance and a shot to the leg or shoulder could have been very possible for someone who is trained properly. I have shot a handgun, on many occassions. It is part of my job and also something that I personally use as a “destresser” often.

I was raised in a family of police officers and fire fighters, I’ve undergone training in both fields and so has my fiancee. Training primarily focuses on shoot to wound or disable. Deadly force is only to be used in certain situations. From the things I’ve seen and heard in the news this instance did not meet those requirements. There hasn’t been a single story I’ve come across saying that the robbers fired any shots themselves or were warned in any way to drop their weapons before the man opened fire.

As a law enforcement officer you cannot open fire without warning unless there is reason to believe that someone’s life is at risk. In that instance my training would have been to shoot in the shoulder or upper leg. I do think that it would be ridiculous to expect him to have warned them he would shoot, in the circumstances as a private citizen I probably wouldn’t have been in a mind set to do so either.

However I do have to say that having been to this Walgreens myself and having an accurate idea of the distance and obstacles that would have been between him and the robber the fact that he did not aim for something like a leg or arm is exactly why his shots should not have missed at all. It really is not that hard of a shot to make if you’re properly trained and have a target the size of a young man. Honestly I wouldn’t be nearly as upset if I knew for a fact that all of his shots at least hit the robber, knowing that his aim was at least that good would make me feel a lot more comfortable with what happened, so please let me know if anyone has found a news story that confirms where all of the bullets were found.

My other real concern is a basic one that you see every time something like this happens, what do we do when some idiot decides to mimic this guy and fucks it up? Putting it out there like he is a huge hero is putting the wrong idea into some people’s heads and we all know it. There are probably at least a dozen idiots out there right now thinking how cool it would be if they did something like this, and out of that 10 we’ll be lucky if even 1 of them is capable of pulling it off without harming themself or a bystander.

I’m not trying to sound negative and mean if that’s how I’m coming across, living here in Omaha myself it is something that is being talked about WAY to much. In the last few days I’ve just been getting sick of listening to people who don’t really know what the hell they are talking about spouting off for one side or the other. At least you guys have a clue what you are talking about with regards to safety and ease of shot in comparison to a lot of the people I get to listen to on a daily basis lol.

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Seth May 3, 2010 at 02:00 am

Apparently I am practicing bad math today too. I am completely aware that a dozen is not 10, haha. You all still get the idea though.

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Josh May 3, 2010 at 08:15 am

I’m sure that I’m not alone in that I can’t help but doubt the veracity of your statements that you are familiar with both firearms and law enforcement given the fact that you consider shooting to wound a viable option for a situation like this. It is beyond my comprehension that anyone would talk about shooting to wound, other than a highly trained police marksman (or sniper, if you prefer); and then, only when a tactical team is standing ready to act once a wounding shot is made to give them a brief window to do so.

I have questioned here whether or not opening fire was the right thing to do in this particular situation. NEVER, would I ever think that a more appropriate thing to do would be to open fire and aim for a leg, shoulder, etc. Opening fire in the way he did presents the possibility that he could miss his target altogether and hit an innocent bystander, or hit his target, but in a manner insufficient to incapacitate before the target had the chance to fire his weapon and kill someone. Surely, aiming to wound instead of aiming at vital areas would have increased the chances of that happening ten fold.

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Admin (Mike) May 3, 2010 at 10:42 am

So in this “shooting to wound” paradigm… are your family members that are police officers also taught to avoid arteries so the person doesn’t die?

Shooting to wound is seriously the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard in a while.

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Seth May 3, 2010 at 12:31 pm

There is of course always a chance that shooting to wound could lead to the person bleeding out. However it’s considered a more acceptable option than just shooting someone in the gut multiple times at a fairly close range.

There are definitely things about this that make sense, as far as this guy personally shooting to kill. That’s exactly why he SHOULDN’T have fired. There has been absolutly no report that has shown that he had any reason to fear for his life or the life of another person. I’m sorry but the amount of robberies where they get what they want and leave without injuring or so much as even bruising a bystander is so much higher than ones where anyone gets injured in any way that there is no reason to believe this 18 year old kid would have even attempted to fire his weapon. A person trained to deal with these situations knows that, most citizens are even aware of that and it’s part of why I personally have a huge issue with this. I personally do not believe for a minute that his life was in danger or the life of anyone else in that building. If I truly felt that it was a possibility then I’d feel differently about what happened, but I don’t.

I guess my dislike of how it unfolded probably is more about the fact that I don’t feel he should have taken this into his own hands at all. In the past month there have been several robberies at local Walgreens stores in our area, not a single one ended up with any kind of injury other than this one. I know how much a police officer would have to go through if they had acted as this guy did, the amount of paperwork, reports on why they even took their weapon out of the holster and then the idea that they would have had to defend themselves to the media and the people of the city. Almost every single instance where a police officer has killed someone has become a huge public thing in our area that the citizens bitch and complain about. We have a large group of the public that are more willing to step up and scream police brutality or inappropriate use of deadly force in the same instances that they’d applaud a private citizen.

What I’m admiting here is that my idea is probably a biased one and is possibly not the correct stance to take. It’s easier to be pissed about something when you know that if you’d done the exact some thing you would not be considered a hero when it’s just doing your job. So I am totally giving you guys that I am most likely overreacting to the situation. I still don’t feel he is a hero, and I don’t feel his actions were necessary at all.

In response to Josh, have you yourself ever taking police training? I’d advise you to look into it more, shoot to kill is NOT the primary focuse and is taught to be used as a last resort. That is all my point was. It is a true and valid point which any amount of decent research will prove to be true.

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Josh May 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I have not taken any police training. My experience with the application of firearms to human targets is limited to the military only. I don’t doubt that “shoot to kill” is not the primary focus, and is taught to be used as a last resort. I’m sure that’s the case insofar as shooting is a last resort, period. I think the vast majority of those with experience with weapons would find, as I do, that attempting to shoot to wound a suspect would be far more potentially harmful in a situation with innocent bystanders than attempting an incapacitating kill shot. Again, a wounding shot MIGHT be a viable option for a highly trained marksman with a precision rifle in a situation where there were either no innocent bystanders that could possibly be shot by a wounded suspect, or in a situation where a wounded suspect would not be able to cause any harm to innocent people around him.

I might be inclined to agree with you that the shooting at all might not have been the right response. I think the vast majority of readers here will agree with me that your notion of shooting to wound the suspect is absurd. I can’t imagine a responsible law enforcement professional that would suggest such a thing as a viable option. It again makes me doubt your claims to have any actual firsthand knowledge of law enforcement procedures or firearms, and makes me think that you watch too many action movies.

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Pete May 3, 2010 at 09:03 pm

Seth, you have obviously NEVER undergone any type of law enforcement or other firearms training as your statements are pure bull crap on several levels….shooting to wound? seriously? you offer that up in the same post claiming to use a firearm in your job…. what peace officer training academy or other training did you attend, I would love to ask for a copy of its training program that emphasizes shooting at joints and limbs other than center mass on torso in order to incapacitate the target by inflicting trauma to major circulatory or CNS systems…the other thing you said about officers not firing without waring is pure bull too….”hey guys I am going to shoot you now OK? just wanted to give you a heads up so you can take a couple of pot shots at me too and make this nice and fair”….

the use of deadly force is a serious matter and is not taken lightly by any LEO or agency, this is why that even after clearly justifiable shootings the officer(s) involved will be reassigned to other duties and often given mental counseling and evaluations after the shooting to establish that all the facts and circumstances surrounding the shooting can be properly documented and reviewed. A friend of mine of over 25 years and a 18+ year veteran of the CPD was involved in a fatal shooting of a California rape suspect on an interstate here in Columbus this year and this is exactly what happened to him.

Like Josh my experiences and training have been “limited” to military applications (I learned enough from that NOT to want to pursue a career in law enforcement afterwards – more power and respect to those who do watch my back while I sleep) but I have several friends that are in law enforcement (Columbus PD Detective/ Westerville, Ohio PD Lieutenant and US Army CID officer/ CPD Helicopter pilot/ CPD training officer / several CPD patrol officers / City of Gahanna, Ohio officers….and the list goes on) and none would ever claim to have been taught to “shoot to wound”…you shoot to stop an attacker, the end result is dependent upon the skill of the shooter and the physical condition of the target..death is not necessarily the ultimate goal of the shooting but is often the outcome regardless…

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Pete May 3, 2010 at 09:04 pm

Oh snap…Seth…are you John posting under another name?

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Patrick May 5, 2010 at 03:59 pm

Limited police training here. I would almost be willing to bet that no police force worth it’s salt would ever, ever teach a police officer to wound. Force is met with deadly force. You shoot to stop the attacker so he cannot attack any more.

If shot in the chest and he stops, you stop. If you shoot 3 times quickly and he stops, you stop, etc. Seth, you are simply wrong here.

I cannot imagine a police officer being even chewed out for killing a person with a gun, rightly anyway. I had an uncle (by marriage) shot to death by police officers. 56 bullets in him. At least two of the officers would have had to reload. He presented an empty shotgun and pointed it at them. They had no way of knowing it was empty and he was warned more than once. Those officers did the right thing. James did the right thing.

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Henry Bowman May 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

Seems to me a professional LEO would know that any discharge of a gun constitutes “deadly force” under the law, regardless of whether your intent was to stop, kill, wound, or even MISS.

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Bill May 4, 2010 at 01:17 pm

I find your name very interesting. Not from a book of fiction by chance?

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Mark December 24, 2011 at 05:39 am

I’d rather be alive and have a trial by 12 of my piers. I guess you would a complied with the robber then shot a killed for your effort. Great job JAMES

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Jack McCullough April 22, 2013 at 08:44 am

what does it matter that deadly force wasnt COMPLETELY necessarry, The robber who was killed was a pimple on the ass of society. Living in Omaha myself i will attest we have a problem with gangs and crime. I APPLAUD this man for not only wiping that p.o.s. off the face of this planet, but thanks to his quick thinking and impecable aim nobody was harmed that didnt deserve it. seth, you are litterally too stupid for words. if you have ever been in ANY sort of confrontation you would know that in the thick of it keeping your head about you and reacting reasonably and accurately is ALOT harder than you’d think.

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Bill May 13, 2013 at 02:01 pm

Seth, Were you there? If you were not there you are the absolute worst person in the world to be commenting on this issue. In the gun culture it is a well know axiom that whatever weapons skills you have, are decreased by as much as fifty per cent, when you are involved in a life or death situation. The next time there is a law enforcement shooting, do some research and see how many shots the law enforcement personel miss. My educated guess is that that number will be close to fifty per cent misses.
Your idiot statement of shooting to “injure or disable” is an indicator of how much fiction television you watch. NO law enforcement agency anywhere in the U.S. is ever instructed to shot to “injure or disable”. They may not hit the area they were aiming at and as a consequence, injure or disable a bad guy but it is not done intentionally.
If everyone in Omaha does not consider him a hero (pathetic idiots like yourself), they should be ashamed of themselves!

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ea October 2, 2014 at 07:27 am

You are quick to judge, but I’ll bet you would have cowered and wet yourself in the same situation. You can choose to be a victim but you don’t make that choice for others and LEO’s do not shoot to wound. They are taught to stop the threat. Firing at a target is worlds apart from firing at a living moving threat. Go back to your video game.

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Gun Nikhai April 28, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Certainly not the most biased news story, I’ve ever heard.
I would expect that video footage will determine whether or not the gun was concealed. If it was, that’ll be dossapointing if he loses any shot to get a ccw.
Maybe he was open carrying, then saw a situation developing, concealed the gun, saw himself and others in danger and drew and did what he had to do.

That’s all speculation, but I wish the best for him, if there was a legal fund available id send some coin his way.

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 12:16 pm

Good theories on the CC/OC issue! If he was CC’ing the whole time, I can’t think of anything that would qualify him more for a permit than what he was able to put a stop to. That said, I suppose it would be a dangerous precedent to set if he didn’t get at least a slap on the wrist for CC’ing without a permit.. even in this context where he saved lives.

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Josh April 28, 2010 at 02:02 pm

I’m glad everyone in Nebraska considers him a hero. The issue of whether a law was broken by carrying a concealed weapon without a permit is not affected by the ultimate outcome (successfully shooting a robber) of this situation. If someone without a driver’s license is driving around and comes upon an accident and renders aid, do they get a pass on the driving without a license, because they assisted? I think the answer is probably an obvious no, and I think the answer should be the same in this situation. The court might be justified in exercising a little latitude in the punishment, but the violation should stand.

As to whether or not the gun was concealed – I assume it was as reported for a couple of reasons. I haven’t seen anything to indicate that the concealment is being disputed at all. I assume that the shooter admitted it was. I imagine he had to concede that he was carrying it concealed because he probably was not wearing a holster for open carrying.

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John April 28, 2010 at 03:45 pm

Sadly none of you know this guy. Having known him and hung out with him from junior high until recently, I can personally tell you james is mentally not all there and is NOT a responsible person with guns. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen him pull guns on people or threatened to use gun violence against people. This wasn’t a cop, it was a sad/single white male/ power complex/violent video game cultured Guy who has been waiting his whole life to shoot someone.

Nebraska isn’t Texas, rarely are people shoot in robberies here and when they are its typically because they don’t follow the perps order to “stay down “. Personally I will be hounding the state attorney general to file charges. Its not OK to stop a crime while committing one yourself. He isn’t a hero, he is just a thug.

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 04:02 pm

Bottom line is he felt his life and the lives of others were threatened so he took care of business. If that is not the definition of hero I don’t know what is.

Saying that because Nebraska isn’t Texas the robbers probably wouldn’t have shot anyone blows my mind. Would you really gamble with your life like that? I would not fear a bit of guilt killing someone in self defense.. I’d never in a million years take the chance of getting killed myself. As far as I’m concerned, anyone planning on committing a violent crime, or one involving a weapon has already decided “today I just might die, and I’m alright with that”.

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Josh April 28, 2010 at 04:18 pm

I don’t know if there’s any truth to what was said here or not. Although after Alicia posted about how well-qualified he was, I had to wonder why someone so well-qualified did not have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I just saw in another news story that he had been employed previously as a security guard (maybe it’s unfair to generalize, but we all know what the stereotypical “hero” security guard is like – Paul Blart). This story said he held several security guard jobs, which is why he carried a gun. It’s worth noting that he is currently employed, but not as a security guard. It is strange that anyone would use former employment as a security guard as justification for carrying around a weapon. That does sound a little “mall heroish.” It also states that he was previously arrested for carrying a concealed weapon, although in that case it was a knife. Could be nothing, could be indicative of something.

The thought had crossed my mind that, from what I read, he wasn’t being directly threatened, and certainly the only thing the robbers wanted was the money – not to hurt anyone. This could have easily been a move that resulted in innocent lives being lost. Thankfully, everything turned out alright in this case. I have to agree with John to some extent though – I think often times complying with the robber and giving them the money will get them what they want and out the door without incident. The money’s insured and the police can catch up to the robber.

It happened to work out well this time, but it’s not difficult to imagine the scenario ending with more dead than just a robber.

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Pete April 29, 2010 at 11:18 am

I would never assume people brandishing guns and demanding money only wanted to scare me with them. I am sure a lot of people have thought that while being lead into a back room and ordered to lie on the floor…

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Josh April 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm

And I think that being led into the back room might be a different situation than what happened here. No two situations are alike. I suspect that many law enforcement experts would suggest that, in a situation where someone is brandishing a weapon and demanding money, the best thing to do is often to give them what they want and get them out of there. Every situation is unique, and it is easy, given that we know the outcome, to say that this was the best response. It would be interesting to see what law enforcement and criminal psychology experts had to say – would it have been better to give them what they want and not risk escalation? (I imagine that these robbers, and others just like them, are very cowardly, and not prone to shooting someone unless they get spooked or become afraid.) Also, I wonder what the other victims have to say. Do they think that opening fire put them at more risk of injury or death than complying with the demands of the robbers?

Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely glad that the robbery was stopped, and a bad guy killed. I also am not fond of the idea of giving in to the demands of a gun-wielding criminal. That being said, I do believe that from a practical standpoint, in some situations your odds of surviving a situation unscathed are better if you comply, and avoid doing anything to escalate the situation.

The bottom line is, it worked out well this time. I don’t think that that means we leave it alone though. I think there’s plenty of room for analysis here, because I’m not convinced that this type of response would ALWAYS be the best choice. A similar response from someone in the future could easily end in the life of an innocent victim in a situation that would otherwise have ended only in a financial loss. Feel free to disagree; I’m open to the discussion and/or criticisms.

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Pete May 5, 2010 at 09:31 am
Admin (Mike) May 5, 2010 at 05:19 pm

Damn that is just cold. I hope those guys live long painful lives in a rough prison. The death penalty is way too easy.

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Tim April 29, 2010 at 08:06 pm

Useful idiot. Statistically, your best to fight than comply. Don’t buy this guys BS.

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Ian April 28, 2010 at 05:26 pm

The man is definitely a hero, and while I hope he gets off easy, I can understand if he doesn’t. He might be a hero, but he still broke the law. Heroes aren’t above the law. I mean, why didn’t he have a CCW license? He went through the process of getting an OC permit, and he was carrying, so why not just get the CCW license?

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 09:39 pm

You don’t need any sort of license to open carry in Nebraska. For concealed carry you do need one.

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Josh April 28, 2010 at 09:48 pm

Except that within the city limits of Omaha (where this happened) you need a permit for open carrying. You have to have some sort of basic firearms class (not the same as the CCW class) and – here’s the bigger part, I think – you have to register the gun with the city.

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Evil Josh April 29, 2010 at 10:49 am

I’m not sure how I feel about that. Preemption is a warm fuzzy blanket here in Virginia.

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Aleksandr Mravinsky April 28, 2010 at 07:32 pm

White dude called the perps “black”! RACISM!

Anywho, almost makes me want to visit my home city. Another story ( http://www.ketv.com/mostpopular/23275007/detail.html ) said that McCullogh had a permit to carry, but not a permit to carry CCW. But no one should be charged with a crime. Should just add another sentence of “Illegally Concealing a Firearm” to the perp’s rap sheet.

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 09:36 pm

cool thanks Aleksandr

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John April 28, 2010 at 09:13 pm

Like I said before, breaking the law to enforce the law is not a valid excuse for his actions. What if he had shot the lady next to the perp? You folks would not be claiming him a hero, but screaming for blood.

Listen, I’m all for the right to bear arms and to protect ones self. However putting for rounds into a criminal at close range with a .40 cal round when you have such “great training” is not protecting…it’s called blood lust.

Oh, and Admin Mike I’m not discussing this with you. It’s obvious you have the same mentality that James had while committing his act of violence (or heroism if you will). Furthermore, your use of a target for an avatar further promotes my assessment of you.

On another tangent, it’s guys like James who have the “liberals” and “democrats” screaming to rid the nation of weapons. The man stock piles ammo, for what? The next zombie apocalypse? The next revolution? Nah, for being a hero I suppose.

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Admin (Mike) April 28, 2010 at 09:35 pm

Since it’s my blog I’m going to respond anyway…

What if he had shot the lady next to the perp? You folks would not be claiming him a hero, but screaming for blood.

Correct, but how is that even comparable? The lady “next” to him wasn’t a criminal with a shotgun demanding money, therefore her life has value.

He concealed carry instead of open carried and since that’s against the law because he didn’t have a permit, then he will be likely punished accordingly. Do I agree with that? Sure, if there was no punishment then there would be no deterrent for others to break the law.

However putting for rounds into a criminal at close range with a .40 cal round when you have such “great training” is not protecting…it’s called blood lust.

Obviously you live in some sort of utopia where your personal safety is never threatened. I really could give a shit about the life of any criminal, it’s a shame that the 2nd robber managed to stay bullet free. You’re assessment of me is perfectly correct, I wish all armed robberies, muggings, rapes, etc.. would end due to a bullet put in the perpetrator.

You never did respond to the question I posed in my last response to you:

Are you comfortable gambling with your own life when someone pointing a gun in your direction has the power to either kill you or let you live? Would you take your chances on dying, just HOPING he doesn’t pull the trigger?

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Seth May 1, 2010 at 09:12 pm

“Correct, but how is that even comparable? The lady “next” to him wasn’t a criminal with a shotgun demanding money, therefore her life has value.”

I think the point was that he could have missed and shot her on accident, not that her life (or it’s value) is somehow comparable to the robbers. I thought the same thing myself when the story broke here in Omaha. My understanding is that not all of his shots actually hit the robber, this was from a local news story the day that it happened (I wish I could remember which station and had seen any reference to rather or not this was true, but the fact has not been covered in anything I’ve read, I’m open to being pointed in the direction of any article that does answer this question.)

Even if all of his shots did hit the robber though that does not make John’s point moot. What if they hadn’t? What if he had hit the woman standing within a couple of feet of the robber? How do we know that he verified what/who was behind the robber before opening fire? How will we ever know?

We won’t.

Fact is though that John has a valid point, IF he had accidentally shot the woman who the robber had at gunpoint or if he had hit any other bystander the people of this city would not consider him a hero. He is a “hero” because things just happened to go right. That doesn’t allow us to conclude that he is an accurate shot and a well trained gunman, it only leads us to know that luck was on his side THIS time.

What happens when someone who isn’t trained appropriately decides to reenact this and hurts a bystander creating more victims? This story will be their defense, their way of showing they were just trying to act as a hero as well.

What this man did was not the right thing to do. Law enforcement officers would not have shot to kill in this circumstance, especially without any notice to the robber to put down his weapon or to let the woman go. In fact it’s policy that police always announce they will shoot before they take actions like this. If it had been a police officer instead of a random guy people would be mad that he used deadly force. It simple was not necessary. Shooting the guy in the shoulder or legs would have had the same outcome with one difference… no one would be dead.

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Henry Bowman May 4, 2010 at 10:14 am

Oh, puh-LEASE.

Earlier, you wrote:

“I’ve undergone training in both fields and so has my fiancee. Training primarily focuses on shoot to wound or disable… the fact that he did not aim for something like a leg or arm is exactly why his shots should not have missed at all. It really is not that hard of a shot to make if you’re properly trained and have a target the size of a young man.”

Now you write:

“I think the point was that he could have missed and shot her on accident… Even if all of his shots did hit the robber though that does not make John’s point moot. What if they hadn’t? What if he had hit the woman standing within a couple of feet of the robber?”

Translation: “He’s Barney Fife, but I’m Annie Oakley.”

If you ARE one (which I doubt you are), you’re clearly an “only one.”

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ea October 2, 2014 at 07:30 am

You do not know what you are talking about. Research the accuracy of police in “shooting to wound” than come back to reality.

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Martial-Lol'd April 29, 2010 at 12:58 am

“[P]utting fo[u]r rounds into a criminal at close range with a .40 cal round when you have such ‘great training’ is not protecting…it’s called blood lust.”

John bullet caliber doesn’t matter in this case. Police and armored car personnel use the same caliber. As for shot count. I would say doing everything possible to prevent the bad guy with shotgun from reacting is good. Hopefully the groups were tight and he, the shooter, checked whatever was behind the BG w/ shotgun.

And yes, anytime you rob someone with a shotgun it does make you a “bad-guy.” Just an FYI

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Pete April 29, 2010 at 11:42 am

@John…

since you have “banned” the board admin from responding to your reply, please allow me to make a go at it in his place…

#1 wtf are you on this blog for?

Having read your first reply concerning his mental state I thought “wow, this is getting interesting now we have some insight into this event that wouldn’t be common knowledge”…then you posted this and now I question your first reply.

The use use of firearm related avatars on a firearm related site promotes what type of assessment by you? That the user is a firearm owner? What, I really don’t get it.

I do agree with you that the fact that he stopped the criminal does not excuse him from unlawfully carrying a weapon, especially if he has had as much training as some on this post claim.

I do not see where it says how many times he fired or hit him in the article, did you get this information from another source? Please post that reference if you can. I would not doubt that he may have fired 4 times, actually hitting the other guy with all 4 shots is what may be called into question. I know from my own firearms training, that drawing and engaging a target in rapid succession is tough enough to do by itself, let alone get all rounds on target without that target having the ability to bob and move out of the way. And what does caliber have to do with it? I know that there is one high profile case of a guy being convicted of manslaughter for using 10mm for defense and the jury deciding it was “overkill” I guess, but .40 is a common round used by many law enforcement agencies and individuals. It would be no more uncommon than 9mm, .45, .38 or .380..

BTW, I stockpile ammo not for “what” but to have it on hand, if I see a good deal on boxes of say 9mm for $9.50 a box, I may grab 10 or so boxes. It is not unusual to go through 200 – 250 rounds in a day of shooting for me. I don’t question why I see some people buying several cases of beer at the store when I am there when a single 6 pack may last me all weekend or longer in most cases. With your logic we should ban all beer because those people are surely going to drink it all at once, get behind the wheel of their cars and cause massive casualties on the highways.

All in all it seems like you have “planted’ yourself on this board in the guise of someone pro-gun but obviously harbor feelings to the contrary…

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Lawrence April 29, 2010 at 06:23 pm

Wow, this is a sickening post John. Do you know this man? You’ve accused him of having blood lust, and that the man stock piles ammo…

In multiple other posts there have been uncomfirmable references to his character to base some type of slander some wish to promote against him. They’ve said that “maybe it’s unfair to generalize” and then continue to generalize on some tangent I’ve never even heard of before.

Since I HAVE known James for over five years now, lets clear up some of the insultive misconceptions here. Whatever story that was read that said he had held several security jobs and that was his justification for carrying around a weapon simply was an inaccurate article (but it’s written on the internet, so it must be true right?).

He wasn’t being directly threatened… Hmmm, well if you head over to http://www.omaha.com (site for local paper) his attorney clearly points out that they found one of the bullets from his gun inside the barrel of the shotgun. That’s a bit tricky if a guns not pointed at you. And for the record, if a gun is pointed at me (which it has been once before) I feel threatened, and if I may say so, legitimately threatened.

Again, I’m not sure what qualifies as “close range” to you all either. The robber was 12-20′ away from James when he opened fire, and as was noted before, the gun was pointed at him. Shooting someone with a short shotgun that’s pointed at you from 12=20′ away is blood lust? Really?

And your comment that it’s guys like him that have the liberals and democrats screaming to rid the nation of weapons… Then you go on to say that the man stocks piles of ammo and question his motive. Ok, for starters I’ve been to the guy’s place and didn’t see a bullet in sight. It wasn’t a very big place so I’d imagine he must have kept this “stockpile” in the batcave… Secondly, have you ever even heard of a gun enthusiest? Some people just like firearms and who the hell are we to judge them (for the record, I don’t like firearms so feel free to try to label me whatever you want with that knowledge).

And last on this subject, I hardly doubt you know this man. Especially if you are the same John that posted before about his character and his emotional state. James is quite the kind hearted soul. I’ve had him hang out over here when he had a gun in his holster and he makes no reference to it. I’ve seen him in very tense situations and react just like any other stable individual would. I’ve never seen him reach for his gun or even pull it on someone, so I really think you (or the other John) came here to just spread lies about him and those who are wondering which of us is telling the truth about his character I’ll leave you with this: If you knew him and hung out with him from junior high until recently, consider him not all there, and watch him pull guns on people or threaten to use violence “many times”, someone you consider to be a thug, what does it say about your own character to continue to associate with someone like that. You obviously think yourself a law-abiding and respectful citizen soI think I’m just gonna call you out as full of B.S. on that one.

I totally agree with Pete’s assessment that you have “planted” yourself on this board pretending to be someone that you are not.

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Tim April 29, 2010 at 08:08 pm

If genius here had ANY training, he would know you continue to fire until the threat ceases. Little Leroy, our friendly sawed-off wielding model citizen, ran 20 yards after being blasted 4 times. If it were me, I would have emptied the magazine and initiated reload sequence.

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Bill May 13, 2013 at 02:16 pm

Just for the record, the correct spelling is “four” rounds and if the puke with the shotgun was still able to move, he did the correct thing. Stop the threat.
Wow! What is “stock piling”? Ten rounds, five hundred rounds, thousand rounds? I shoot one match a month and just shooting that match I will use close to a thousand rounds a year.
The statement about the “liberals and democrats” is exactly what is wrong with this country today. Someone protects an innocent person and immediately called a “vigalante”.
I love the question of “what if he missed?”. What if the guy with the shotgun had killed four or five innocent people after he was given the money? That question, just as yours, has no answer. The know fact is that there was a criminal, with a weapon, threatening not just the store clerks but all the other people that were in line in the store.

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jamescatlane April 29, 2010 at 12:23 am

This man is a hero plain and simple. Until people start fighting to protect their lives and their property like this man did we will only see criminals continue to thrive. This man did more than just protect his own life, to do that he could have shrunk back and kept quite, but instead he took action and potentially saved the lives of the innocent people around him.

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DD Jacks April 29, 2010 at 12:31 am

This man is a hero plain and simple, God bless him it must be a terrible feeling to take a life, but it appears he had little choice.

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George Collins April 29, 2010 at 03:55 am

Sounds like a good opportunity to request a jury trial and for the jurors to then practice a little civil disobediance in the form of jury nullification.

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jwcoopusa April 29, 2010 at 08:54 am

You know, I think I was in that Walgreens just before the incident. And I think I saw this McCollough guy carrying his .40 S&W. Therefore, I think it was NOT concealed. Thus, McCollough cannot be charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

That’s my story, and I think I’m sticking to it…………….

-jwcusa-

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Pete April 29, 2010 at 11:19 am

the definition of concealed varies from state to state, in Ohio if you are carrying OWB it is not considered concealed, but put a jacket on that obscures any portion of the firearm and all of a sudden you are concealed…just saying it is a tricky call..hopefully video is clear enough to tell one way or another…

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Delf April 29, 2010 at 09:51 am

As a resident of Nebraska, I have to say THANK YOU. You saved the taxpayers thousands of dollars for the time the perp would spend in jail for this act plus all the robberies, rapes and assaults he would carry out down the road.

According to US Dept of Justice figures, in 2005, 37,460 white females were sexually assaulted or raped by a black man, while ten black females were sexually assaulted or raped by a white man.

What this means is that every day in the United States, over one hundred white women are raped or sexually assaulted by a black man.

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Josh April 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

According to U.S. Justice Department figures, there were 185,430 rapes or sexual assaults of white women. Of those, 75.5% (140,000) were committed by white offenders, while 7.6% (14,093) were committed by black offenders.
(Criminal Victimization in the United States, 2007, Statistical Tables, table 42)
(http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/pdf/cvus0702.pdf)

What this means is that every day in the United States, there are over 380 white women raped or sexually assaulted by white offenders, and nearly 40 raped or sexually assaulted by black offenders.

Now, we all know that there the crime rate involving young, black offenders is comparatively higher than for other demographics, but there’s no need to inject a racially suggestive comment into this discussion.

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Pete April 29, 2010 at 11:20 am

agreed…

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Tim April 29, 2010 at 08:10 pm

Statistics adjusted or percent of population? Didn’t think so. It is important to recognize that blacks commit a majority of violent crime and overwhelmingly victimize whites. It warms my heart every time the white man strikes back and wastes a useless feral savage.

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Josh April 29, 2010 at 08:15 pm

Yeah, white power!

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Pete May 3, 2010 at 09:11 pm

Tim,

“It warms my heart every time the white man strikes back and wastes a useless feral savage.”

Well thanks for helping to solidify the already mis-shapened view many already have of gun owners as being a bunch of red necked racists…don’t you get it that the 2nd Amendment applies to ALL people regardless of skin color, thats what these pro gun blogs are all about, showing how firearms are legitimate devices for personal protection and sporting use and not to reinforce the negative stereotypes of our opponents?

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McBragg April 29, 2010 at 02:56 pm

This man is a hero and it is a shame that they are charging him with a crime.. the city should instead buy he and the person of his choosing a nice steak dinner and give him a certificate of good citizenship! Drop the charges and charge the surviving scumbag with capital murder!!

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McBragg April 29, 2010 at 02:59 pm

I do not buy your figures, josh, but I do buy the figure that in year 2005, 37,460 white women were raped by black males, while statistically ZERO black females were raped by white males.. USDOJ stats..

http://www.davidduke.com/general/the-truth-of-interracial-rape-in-the-united-states_2111.html

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Josh April 29, 2010 at 03:12 pm

Yeah, why believe “my” figures, they only came with a citation to the Department of Justice publication that they came from (which, incidentally, is the same publication, but 2 years newer version, as the one pictured in the link you included).

Good thing the KKK (and its more modern spinoffs) is around for people like you who can’t look up the data and interpret it yourself. It’s good that the unbiased supremacist sites (obviously sarcastic) can spell it out so that all you have to do is believe it, not worry about looking it up yourself.

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Pete May 3, 2010 at 09:22 pm

I am just going to throw this out there at this point… McBragg, you do know David Dude is a past Grand Poobah or whatever of the KKK and any info concering race directly linked from his sight is subject to serious credibility issues…

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Bill May 3, 2010 at 03:09 pm

This is a reply to Seth. I don’t know anything about you but I will call you a liar straight out. You have minimal, if any, contact with weapons and weapons training or law enforcement personel. Your statement about how law enforcement are “trained” to wound the perp is a total and complete lie. Law enforcement are trained to shoot for the center of the body where all the vital organs are located to incompacitate the perp. Snipers are not “trained” to shoot a leg or shoulder.
More important you were not there. You cannot possibly know what the maggot infested perp had on his mind. You have no idea when a person may escalate “just an armed robbery” into murder!
I have been involved in law enforcement training, competitive shooting for thirty years. NO WHERE, NO WHERE do they teach shooting to wound.
In reference to the caliber that this citizen used in self defense, I believe he was in error for not using a .45 caliber weapon.
Your ignorance of shooting under the threat of death, is spoken like a true card carrying liberal, gun banning puke. When someone is pointing a shotgun at you from twelve to twenty feet away you are in danger of losing your life. When it comes to self preservation, the other person loses!

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Seth May 3, 2010 at 03:34 pm

First off I never once stated anything about how snippers are trained, so that is a moot point in proving your stance that I am a liar. I do know that different parts of law enforcement are trained differently, my personal background is as a reserve as is my fiancees. Her training was part of a requirement for volunteer firefighters in Carter Lake, Iowa and they were trained to NEVER shoot to kill… but as a reserve firefighter that certainly makes sense.

I also will admit that I am younger, 25, and my training is probably not as extensive as a younger reserve than that of an actual seasoned officer. This doe not make me a liar, it makes me someone who may have different training based on my own background. It isn’t really that they teach shooting to wound so much as they teach NOT to shoot to kill. Where you choose to shoot the person is more left up to you, for me shoulder and leg have been successful in my training, I have never had to use force of any kind when actually called to duty. Having been someone who has handled guns since I was very young I find these shots to be simple, but once again, that is in training not with a real life suspect in the heat of the moment. I grant that you are probably right, in that instance I probably would end up shooting at the center of the body because of ease of shot with a moving target. When I say shooting to wound I mean that we are taught to shoot but not to shoot to kill, hence you would “wound” the suspect. I’m not claiming it as a phrase they use in training or anything like that, it’s the obvious opposite to shoot to kill though for the basic conversation.

I do not believe in banning guns and absolutly nothing I have said points to that. I also do not identify as liberal, hell I live in one of the most right wing states in the country and was raised in western Nebraska, not one of the cities. The chances of finding a liberal out there is next to nothing. I know one person I grew up with who claims he has met two in his entire life west of the big cities (Lincoln and Omaha).

You also seem to have assumed that this man was aiming at the person who shot him. From every news story that I’ve read the robber had his gun held to a woman who was at an ATM, doesn’t sound like he was aiming at the shooter to me. In fact that sounds exactly like that it was, he was pointing the gun at a completely different person and in no circumstances have I seen a single person come forward saying that he threatened to fire his gun… which he obviously would have been lying about anyhow since it was found to be unloaded after his death. I’ve openly stated several times that I’m willing to take a look at any article or news source that says differently and take that into consideration. The man who shot at the robber was not in danger of losing his life at any point from any story I have read. The fact that one of his bullets ended up in the burglars shot gun is not any kind of proof that it was being aimed at him, especially since I’ve yet to see any clarification about where in the shotgun the bullet lodged. It easily could have been as simple as the teenager turned around when hit or when he heard the shots start to fire, the shotgun being in his hands and held in front of his body (most likely in front of his torso) would be an easy thing to hit accidentally when you are firing rapidly at someone.

Your accusations of me being a liberal or a gun banning puke have absolutely no grounds since nothing I’ve said points to either of those things. All I’ve stated is that I don’t agree that this gentleman’s life was in danger and that he should not have acted at all. I’ve also only said that if he chose to shoot there was likely an opening to shoot without killing the kid. I have not said that this is definitly the case, I have admited that I could be biased and that I was not there so perhaps I have the idea wrong about how everything went down and what was possible. You need to take everything I’ve said into context when forming responses rather than your own irrational and unfounded views of me.

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Pete May 3, 2010 at 09:16 pm

your fiance had to qualify with a weapon to “shoot to wound” to be a reserve firefighter???? Since when are fire fighters deputized or sworn peace officers?

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Josh May 3, 2010 at 09:25 pm

The town of Carter Lake, while essentially surrounded by Omaha, has a population of around 3,500. They must be the most elite firefighting force in existence. This whole notion of “reserve officer” in such a small town reminds me of the character Dwight Shrute from “The Office.” A highly-trained fighting machine in his own mind, but an incompetent boob in reality.

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Mark May 3, 2010 at 05:05 pm

Seth you speak of something you have no knowledge about! There is no such thing as shoot to wound! In any law enforcement training if you have to fire your weapon it is because your life is being threatened and the only option you have is to kill the criminal. If he had shot the guy in the shoulder there is a great chance that he or others might have been shot at. Why is this hard to understand. If someone points a gun at you or anyone else legally they have shown intent to use that wapon and you are justified in killing them. Shooting to wound will get you killed, but have fun with that.

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Seth May 3, 2010 at 06:30 pm

The fact is this guy acted in a dangerous manner that just happened to work out well in this instance. There was way more potential for harm to come from his actions than there was from the original robbers. Rather than see the obvious points and even have a rational discussion though people would rather mouth off at anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

It isn’t that my point is or yours is hard to understand, it’s that both sides (mine and yours) have biased opinions of the situation. Since Bill’s comment though one things has become clear about this site, there is no rational discussion, merely one side that feels their opinion is the only one with any merrit. Basically this site is filled with people who are the opposite of what Bill accussed me of being, if my opinion makes me a gun hating liberal then I guess the opinions of most of the other people here make them crazy gun totting exremists.

Honestly I feel like both sides have great points and I was merely looking for rational conversation with people who seemed to have knowledge about what they were talking about. The fact is most of you only have knowledge of the reasons you personally feel guns are great (which I totally agree about by the way, I certainly don’t think we should ban guns and if someone tried to take away mine I’d be pissed! lol).

I see your side just as much as I see mine, and have continuisly said that I have a biased opinion based on my own personal experience/training and my own beliefs. I don’t believe that just because someone has a gun they have shown intent to use it (regardless of the circumstances, i.e. if they are attempting to commit a crime I don’t feel it is a show that they have intent to injure or kill a bystander/victim of their crime). Obviously if this kid had any intent to actually use his gun he would have loaded it in the first place, I do understand your argument about the legal side though. It is just something that I don’t agree with on a personal level.

I do want to say that nothing you said was cruel or attacking, and my previous comment about the attitude of the people on this site isn’t directed at you in particular. The fact is that no matter how much logic and fact someone wants to contribute to this discussion though your views won’t be changed and it appears that the majority of people here lack even the idea to reconsider their point of view. Instead anything that doesn’t agree with what they’ve said is automatically a lie from a liberal who wants to take your guns away. I hate to say it but this is exactly the kind of action that makes those liberals feel justified. That is part of why I attempt to take a more middle ground approach to conversations like this one, why justify one crazy side in their view point? You guys may find more success in convincing people that guns can be used safely and appropriatly if there was less of an attack towards anyone with a different view point and more of a discussion and shared facts.

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Bill May 3, 2010 at 07:06 pm

My rational reply.
I gues my issue is that you seem to be targeting the victim, not the perpetrator. If you want to balance your opinion, you need to at least acknowledge that the two “alleged robbery suspects” had to know that shoving a shotgun into someones body is likely to illicit some sort of a response. Why is the perpetrators action not deemed a “dangerous” action?
You were not there. All of whatever training you have had is of no consequence when it comes to second guessing this persons actions in what HE assesed as a life threatening situation. I will repeat myself. If you are in the same room with a person that is armed with a weapon and that person has made their actions known, if you have the ability and the opportunity to prevent that person from killing you or anyone else you have a legal, and I believe, a moral obligation to protect the life of others and yourself.
Your statement regarding ” just because someone has a gun they have shown intent to use it (regardless of the circumstances, i.e. if they are attempting to commit a crime I don’t feel it is a show that they have intent to injure or kill a bystander/victim of their crime)” flies in the face of what law enforcement believes. How do you know what their intent is? By virtue of the fact that the criminal is brandishing a weapon is incontrovertible evidence of a desire to take something, by force of a weapon, and that they are willing to use said weapon.
I want you to tell me how you would discern that the shotgun was not loaded? Quite obviously, James did not have the visual acuity that you must have and could not ascertain that the shotgun was not loaded.
You want to judge James on your stated biased opinion. Don’t. Your opinion will get you killed more often than not when you are placed in the same situation as James.
I want to address your concern with accuracy and the number of shots that James fired. Have you ever read the after action reports of police shootings? You want to talk about public endangerment! How about an FBI agent that fired 29 times at a range of less than three yards (9feet) and never hit the perp. Do not discount James’ training. Do you write about how dangerous the police are when they get into a firefight with the bad guys? With any minimal training, there would be little danger to someone that is ten feet away from the perp.
I got off to a bad start but my blood boils when someone that actually protects themselves and others is taken to task. The make belive, Hollywood BS that you shoot to wound or politely ask the perp to not shoot someone is not realistic in a shooot or no shoot situation.

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Pete May 3, 2010 at 09:32 pm

hate to direct off of this blog, but over at Front site they have a good video of a news confrence with McCullough….pretty good and convincing answers he gives…

http://www.ignatius-piazza-front-sight.com/2010/05/03/walgreens-shooting-another-great-post-gunfight-interview/#video

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Josh May 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm

I was trying to watch this with my BlackBerry tethered to my laptop, and it was taking forever to load, so I only watched the first 8 minutes or so. I’m impressed with his composure during the interview and his recollection of all the details (I’m sure he’s rehearsed it several times, but still…).

Now, I still think that it was a very gutsy move, in that it could have conceivably caused what would have otherwise just been a robbery to turn into a homicide. I think evidence of that might likely be the fact that, as the lawyer points out, one of the bullets fired entered the barrel of the shotgun. As he says, this indicates that the two weapons were facing each other when the pistol was fired. What this implies to me is that AFTER fire was initiated, the robber was able to swing the shotgun around to face the shooter. If the gunman was pointing the shotgun at the woman at the ARM when the shooting began and was able to turn to face the shooter after shooting began, it’s reasonable to believe that the robber could have discharged the shotgun at the woman (or someone else in the way) after shooting initiated. Thankfully he did not do so.

There are probably too many variables in any situation like this to definitively say whether or not any particular action is the best possible action in those circumstances. Luckily, everything turned out well in these circumstances.

I will say that after watching the portion of this video that I did, I was left with the impression that this was not just some yahoo with a weapon. I’m not sure if opening fire was the absolute right thing to do here, but he did it properly in that he committed to it and took charge of the situation. He didn’t half-ass it by losing his composure after initiating contact with the enemy (I feel like I’m back in the Army participating in an after-action-report), or half-ass it by giving warning to the perpetrator, or doing something absurdly “Hollywood” like trying to wound the robber (or better yet – trying to shoot the gun out of his hand!). I’m reminded of phrases I’ve often heard in the past that are something to the effect of – “sometimes a marginal decision is better than no decision.” He made the decision to act, and whether you think that initial decision was right, or wrong, his actions in following through after initiating fire and taking control of the situation in the manner he did should be commended.

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Mark May 3, 2010 at 10:14 pm

So then Seth when would you ever consider shooting someone to be a vialble option? Do you have to wait for them to shoot first? Watch the interview. The guy knows that there was no one behind or in the area the armed robber was in. Sorry I watched the interview before i found this page so that might be some info I knew before you did. So 1)bad guy has pointed a gun at several innocent people. 2)there is nobody behind or close enough to the bad guy that could accidentally be hit. 3)you have a gun and some training to use it. I don’t think that you could find a better example of a perfect time to excercise your right to defend yourself. Once again shooting to injure the suspect here would almost guarantee the bad guy letting off a couple shots, which would most likely lead to bystandards being shot. If it was me I would have dumped the mag in him, and he would have never had the opportunity to run away.

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chris February 23, 2013 at 10:52 pm

After reading everyones comments on this event and understanding the crime. Harry Had every right to protect himself when his life was threatened. He sounds like a responsible gun owner but he needs to have all permits for nebraska. Regardless of how good of a shot he is. When firing a gun in a stressful situation you most likely won’t even hear the gun go off let alone know where every bullet is going. I believe if you are going to have a gun you need to understand all laws for that state and have all permits on yourself. When protecting yourself in a public area you need to understand your surroundings at all time. People need to understand that everyone acts perfectly when judging someone elses actions. Everyone likes to point out you did something wrong but forget that you are human and it’s not a video game. Understanding this helps you move on. I will always carry a gun because of the younger generation that does. I was a at bar when I overheard a group talking about guns and two of them were carrying hand guns illegally while drinking.

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Mack November 17, 2015 at 08:02 am

I think 2 significant facts were understated in the reporting of this incident. First, Mr. McCullough DID posses an open carry permit from his home town in Nebraska. The permit issue was that he didn’t apply for a concealed carry permit. He was not carrying an unlicensed weapon, at worst he might have been in violation of a restriction on his permit. Second, the weapon that the suspect used in this incident was what is known as a SBS or short barrel shotgun which is not legal without a very restrictive class II NFA Federal Firearms License. The same license that is required to purchase a fully automatic weapon which the suspect could not posses at 18 years old.

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