Last July, David Serbeck and the [unnamed] president of his Home Owners’ Association were driving around their Bluffdale, Utah neighborhood as part of a neighborhood watch. A recent wave of automobile burglaries in the neighborhood had them in condition orange. The two men encountered a group of teenage girls walking through the ‘hood. They questioned the girls and let them go on their way. A short time later, the men encountered a vehicle matching the description of one connected with the car break-ins. They followed the car to get a license number. Unbeknownst to the men, the same group of girls they’d seen walking through the neighborhood earlier that night were in the car. The girls drove to the home of Reggie Campos. Reggie’s daughter told her father they were being stalked by two strange men in an SUV.

The neighborhood watchmen had long since driven off. In a classic case of “rage . . . taking . . .over,” Campos grabbed his pistol and his daughter and jumped into his car. A short time later, Campos’ daughter identified the SUV in question. After flipping a U-turn, Reggie cut in front of the men’s car and blocked them in.

Campos exited his vehicle with pistol in hand, screaming at the men in the SUV. At the sight of the enraged, pistol-waving Campos, Serbeck drew his own legally concealed pistol. He tired to de-escalate the situation by placing his pistol on the ground and kicking it away.

That’s when Campos, in his own words to the 911 operator, “Let him have it.” He fired twice, severing Serbeck’s spinal cord, paralyzing him for life.

Campos claimed self defense. The jury would have none of it. They deliberated less than four hours before convicting the 44-year-old accountant of first degree attempted murder, and two counts of aggravated assault. Campos now faces a sentence of three years to life in prison.

A man with a concealed carry permit is permanently paralyzed from the chest down. Another man faces a lengthy prison sentence. Two families are devastated. On top of it all, the smug, self-righteous advocates of gun control have the ammunition they need to rail against the evils of gun ownership and concealed carry.

There is plenty of irresponsibility to go around.

Campos provided a textbook example of what NOT to do in a situation like this. By arming himself and leaving the safety of his home, by taking his daughter back out onto the street to hunt down those he claimed were “threatening” his little girl, Campos became the aggressor.

Campos compounded his error by forcing a confrontation and introducing deadly force into a situation where no threat existed.

Serbeck also played his cards wrong. Either he should have A) escaped in his vehicle (if he wasn’t completely blocked ) or on foot B) not drawn his weapon and run for cover or C) drawn his weapon while running for cover and fired.

The last thing Serbeck should have done: disarm himself in the face of enraged aggressor. Only surrender your weapon to a member of law enforcement.

As for the idea that no citizen should have gun because anyone could lose control of themselves and take the law into their own hands, that train left the station a long time ago. Mutually assured destruction kept the world safe for democracy. Even when it didn’t.

9 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Reggie Campos

  1. One other negative point. The person who was being threatened and who had a legal right to have a concealed weapon gave it up rather than using it, as he should have, to defend himself. Now he’s a paraplegic. Either he should never have drawn the gun in the first place, or he should have used it, not kicked it away.

  2. This is so grossly incorrectly given information. Mr. Campos fired his gun BECAUSE Serbeck raised his weapon. Campos acted in defense. Get your information correct before posting ridiculous version of tragedies.

  3. Sorry, Mel, but when Campos grabbed his pistol and took his daughter back out onto the streets to initiate a confrontation, he lost the mantle of innocence. He was not being attacked at that moment. His daughter was not in imminent, unavoidable danger either since there was neither proximity, intent or capability on the part of Serbeck to cause them any harm. This information is why the jury rejected his claim of self defense. Campos allowed his temper to cloud his judgement and to force a confrontation where none was necessary.

    This is why he is languishing in prison at this moment.

  4. I've been in Utah 20 years now and have witnessed naive white girls over reacting to just about every situation. These church girls are so sheltered that any person, any bump in the night becomes an hysterical moment. Come on guys, the mean streets of Bluffdale ?, These two girls freaked out over nothing, so what two white men stopped to tell them to be carefull; they weren't thugs,gang members, Illegals, meth heads; so these two girls ran home to daddy to wind him up over nothing where he felt insecure so he drives out with girls in tow to stop and point a pistol at these two men. Serbeck is a fool to pull a gun then disarm himself; the same types who own a guard dog and have no idea how to control it, so it turns on them. Now this Serbeck is paralized for life and Campos will emerge free in a few years. Now you sit in a 6×11 with a celly thinking about your stupidity where you can act out scared rage on the other inmates; welcome to survival school.

  5. Mel, quit eating Crown burger and McDonalds for the fat is clogging your arteries clouding your judgement. Your boy Campos drove out looking for trouble, cut off a vehicle exiting with a gun, fired a shot, repositioned himself and fired again. Why don't fools like you do something about Meth heads or Illegals patrolling your easy marked neighborhood for mail to gain identity theft or burglarize your home and vehicles. Instead you've got Barney Fife and the angry scared over reacting dad facing off. There's your facts, 'Jack'. If your his sponser or support pal, then put some money on the books for him and tell his daughter to toughen up.

  6. NEVER trust a government seeking to take away any of your rights! Never trust nor tolerate those telling you your rights should be impinged! As a practicing knife fighter, note the glaring example of governmental idiocy: in many locales it is a felony to conceal a knife, but a misdemeanor to carry a handgun sans a license! Veritas/Aequitas

  7. Where is the girl Stephanie Campos. She caused it all. I don’t know how she can live with herself. She told her Dad to shoot Serbeck. She put her own Dad in prison. And told her Dad to shoot Dave Serbeck. How can she sleep at night, is she on medication
    and receiving therapy. I have heard rumours she is suicidal. What kind of life will she
    ever have. She sure won’t be dating like other teenagers. Who would want to even have a friendship with, let alone date her. Her life is over. She didn’t shoot at Serbeck
    and Campos. She told her Dad to shoot them

  8. Your made for tv-like dramatization is missing a “few” facts. FYI the good and watchful neighbor Serbeck is currently in prison for unlawful sexual activity with a 16/17 year old having occurred in 2007,2 years before the shooting. Sounds like maybe the girl was being stalked, and more was being investigated than recent car break ins.

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