Nightclubs seem to be frequent locations for mass tragedies. The most infamous was probably the unfortunately named “Happyland Social Club” in New York City where 87 people were murdered by an arsonist in 1990. Now, an armed citizen seems to have stopped an attempted mass killing in El Paso on Sunday. A 23-year-old Hispanic man had been thrown out of the aptly named “Club Khaos” at about 1 a.m. He later returned to the club and started shooting, hitting five people, )one of them is in critical condition) . . .

From the elpasotimes.com:

A 21-year-old man was hit in the torso/chest area and received serious injuries but is in stable condition, (El Paso Detective Javier) Sambrano said.

The shooter also hit a 24-year-old man, a 25-year-old woman, a 21-year-old woman and 19-year-old woman. All received what are described as “non-life-threatening injuries” and are considered stable, Sambrano said.

The suspect was shot in the leg by an unknown individual and investigators believe this person was acting in self-defense, Sambrano said.

The unidentified armed man who stopped the attack hasn’t been located and police would like to talk to him.

Police are asking this individual to come forward and answer questions about what happened.

An AP story identifies the attacker as Martin Guerrero. The AP neglects to mention that Guerrero was shot by an armed defender in the club. That was probably just an unfortunate oversight.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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58 Responses to Armed Citizen Stops Mass Shooting in El Paso Nightclub

  1. This is yet another case where an armed citizen prevents a criminal, mentally unsound, or jihadist from killing many more citizens. The left and anti-Second Amendment activists wish to deny these incidents but they are available for all to see and for all from which to learn.

  2. The man they are looking for us probably not eager to come forward because bars are one of the few places that the law mandates being disarmed in Texas.

    • ^ This.

      Asking the man to come forward requires self-incrimination — something that our Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution forbids.

      Besides, what do the police need to know from the person who intervened? The person who intervened was legally justified to use deadly force to defend himself and others. And there were plenty of witnesses who can establish exactly what happened. End of story.

      • Seconded. What would him coming forward do? Apparently by all other accounts, he stopped a massacre. Him coming forward will only get him in trouble or unwanted attention.

        • They want him to come forward so they can make sure to do whatever they possibly can to charge him with some crime. You know that as well as I do. You can’t have the citizenry getting uppity and stopping the criminal before they have finished what they started. Think of all the OT that won’t have to be worked now investigating the actual criminal. That has to be made up someplace, so Instead they’ll investigate the guy that put a stop to things.

  3. Having used your self defense tool for it’s intended purpose, it is best to keep a low profile. IANAL but: First thing the police tell you is “You have the right to remain silent” Do that. If the police persist, they will tell you that “You have the right to an attorney” Do that. Anything you say may be twisted, slanted, misconstrued, or taken out of context to use against you if they can find any way to do it, even though you know you’ve done nothing legally or morally wrong.

    That being said, well done that man or woman!

    Stay safe.

    • “IANAL but: First thing the police tell you is “You have the right to remain silent” Do that.”

      That usually is not the ‘first’ thing they say to you. They’ll chat you up a bit first, asking ‘routine’ questions…

      • “Cold night isn’t it?”

        “You come here often?”

        “Who do you think will make it to the Superbowl?”

        “Is that a gun in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?”

        • My favorite — driving on my job at 3-4 AM, being pulled over regularly, and told “You seemed to be weaving”.

    • Chatting with police is almost ALWAYS a negative experience. Sadly, cops always seem to come off like arrogant assholes.
      Whoever fired the shot at the shooter is smart not to talk to the police. He’s NEVER required to talk to them and it’s better that he doesn’t. If he feels the need, get a lawyer and let the lawyer handle it.

  4. The police would like talk with him…. I am sure they just want to talk, I see some steel matching bracelets in this defenders future.

  5. Great Story and a great citizen. Wow!!
    I’m with Don on this one. If they don’t find you, then don’t come forward and if you do come forward, do so with an attorney and say nothing.

    • No! There should be no “and” in your advice.

      DO NOT COME FORWARD! The shooter was in violation of the law when he carried his firearm into the club and he should not come forward and admit that so long as the police do not already know who he is. Why do their job for them and admit that you were the one to break the law when the fact that you defended a crowd of people from a violent criminal without injuring innocent bystanders is likely enough for the police not to try too hard to find you?

  6. Yeah, doubt if I would come forward in a situation like this either. They probably want to lock him up for some kind of firearm violation even though he probably saved quite a few lives.

  7. I remember Happyland. The killer used 10 gallons of gasoline and a Bic lighter. He was trying to kill his ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend. For the record, she made Helen Thomas look like Raquel Welch.

    Ray

    • It’s cases like that one that makes it obvious we need to do what China did and pass strict laws regulating and registering lighters and flammables. For the children.

  8. Perhaps this is a less charitable perspective, but I’m thinking the defender was a prohibited person/criminal who expected the shooter’s presence. He would have thus beat it the moment the cops showed up.

  9. Night clubs always fell under the “stupid places” criteria for me.
    If there is any one place your chances of having a very bad time increase to a near certainty it’s in and around night clubs. If I were the samaritan I’d STFU all the way to a lawyer ASAP or better yet just STFU and go along living.

    • You said it. I have never liked nightclubs and in my younger days regretted it when my friends dragged me along. Now that I found my balls in adulthood I just straight up tell them no. Stupid music, a herd of stupid people under the influence of alcohol and who knows what all crammed together under the same roof and I’m not allowed to carry a firearm? No thanks.

    • One of my only times at a club when younger (writing that makes me feel old” one of the people in our small group got us kicked out for moving a barricade to make room to get my wheelchair through not 5 min after arriving. Another friend was pepper sprayed by somebody in a passing car (he was at least partly to blame) and soon attacked by a “lady” using her high heels. Ended the night talking to a cop outside my hotel room. Everything ended fine for everybody with little more than a story to tell and a better understanding of the effects of pepper spray to the face as well as reinforcing why I limit or altogether avoid drinking and nightclubs. Some people learn from their mistakes, I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others.

      • Learning from the mistakes of others is the best way to go about it. Why go through all the trouble and pain messing up yourself?

      • @KC in NorCal

        “Some people learn from their mistakes, I prefer to learn from the mistakes of others.”

        Amen to that. I’ve had too many run-ins with losers looking to drag someone down with them. So far, I managed to disarm every situation with my mouth and feet, but I’m no longer risking an encounter where I’m forced to invoke self-defense. Bye nightclubs, bye d-bags, and bye high drink prices.

  10. Club Khaos has the required “51%” sign, so the hero was carrying illegally. Actually pretty common here. Talk = Siamese friendship bracelets to the Police. The dirtbag turns out to be a soldier from Fort Bliss. Most likely he’ll get a dishonorable discharge if he goes to prison. Or worse yet, they’ll keep tabs on him and take him back if he gets out of prison. The army can be very vindictive! Gotta love alcohol powered idiots! The critical person dies, shooter will be “Texas Toast.”

    • “Club Khaos has the required “51%” sign, so the hero was carrying illegally.”

      So, basically what we see here then is:

      Stupid Sign = 5 presumably innocent bystanders victimized
      “Illegal” Carrier = 1 (attempted) murderer stopped

      Looks like a win, at least on the moral side of the coin.

      • In TX, anyplace that makes 51% of it’s profit on alcohol, and posts the sign, no guns allowed. Only other in TX is the “30.06” usually posted in hospitals. Means weapons verboten! (yeah, 30.06 is a strange choice of numbers, but easy to remember)

        • Methinks you missed the point of my comment.

          Sign did not stop bad guy shooter. Sign did not stop good guy from stopping bad guy shooter.

          Sign = pointless fluff

        • The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is well-positioned sign.

          Start Your Own Gun-Free Zone

        • 30.05 is the Penal Code which deals with criminal trespassing. I think 30.06 (dealing with trespassing while carrying) was just the logical subsequent number, as opposed to being cutesy or clever.

          I could be wrong though.

    • “Club Khaos has the required “51%” sign, so the hero was carrying illegally. Actually pretty common here.”

      Very common. If a sign can’t protect you then it shouldn’t stop you either.

    • Shooter was not in the Army. There was a guy with him who is/was in the Army and is a new soldier to me. The other guy is being charged by EPPD with agg assault w/ a deadly weapon and is being discharged from the Army…still in the clink.

  11. In the words of Phil Robertson,

    He gone.

    Which is pretty much where I would be if I was caught with a gun in a prohibited area.

  12. Last thoughts of shooter

    From out of nowhere Felina has found me,
    Kissing my cheek as she kneels by my side.
    Cradled by two loving arms that I’ll die for,
    One little kiss and Felina, good-bye.

  13. Unfortunately this is a pretty common scenario. Drunk douche gets thrown out of bar, club, house party, etc. He leaves, but is unable to let the perceived insult go. He retrieves his gun and goes back to teach everyone a lesson for “disrespecting” him.

    If you throw someone out, you need to be vigilant to make sure he or she (usually he) does not come back later. If anyone here is in the bar business or works security for bars/clubs, I highly recommend “The Professional’s Guide to Ending Violence Quickly” by Marc “Animal” MacYoung. It is a good primer on dealing with drunk club patrons like this suspect.

  14. My soldier was involved with this. He’s sitting in the clink for trying to stab somebody at the same time the other dude was shooting. Apparently the shooter beat a murder vase a little while ago and felt unstoppable because of it.

  15. Is there a law that requires an individual to identify him/herself as the one who shot the murderer? If so what would be the sentence for not coming forward. I know if I was carrying and had to defend a crowd from a mass murderer I wouldn’t rather stay anonymous.

    Also a big thank you to the anonymous hero! Hope you remembered to pickup your brass!

  16. The shooter is identified as a Ft. Bliss soldier…Just a few weeks back another Ft. Bliss soldier murdered a security guard in town at a kids Halloween event…and just before that another Ft. Bliss soldier smashed into a local female and killed her on the road. A while before that, a local cabby was assaulted with knives by Ft. Bliss soldiers after they called him for a ride…and this is just what I remember right off the top of my head (not to mention the typical soldier bar fights that break out weekly). This happens pretty often around here. Guns don’t kill people, dummies with over inflated egos and a sense of entitlement, with guns, kill people.

    • Exactly! Unfortunately, Ft. Bliss is earning a bad rap because of a few idiots. Aside from these killings, there have been several auto and bike accidents where people were killed and the drivers were enlisted. But it’s a case of just a few bad apples and that is what the media focuses on because that’s what the people want.

  17. why do mass shootings happen? Mostly because the weapons are easily accessible. Yes bad guys do not follow the law blah blah blah but 80% of the biggest mass shootings in America envolved a registered gun. So this tells me the problem is there too many guns out there and need to be reduced dramatically. No believes you can rid all guns and if someone really wants to do something g they will find a way. Lets not make it easy for them. Every day we continue this same path we make it easier and easier. Japan has strict gun laws and enjoy the lowest gun related deaths

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