Gun Hero of the Day: Convicted Felon Good Samaritan

Reformed felon gun owner good samaritan

Thomas Yoxall (left) and Arizona DPS Director Colonel Frank Milstead.

Guns save lives. That lesson was learned yet again on January 12th on a desolate stretch of I-10 in Arizona. A Good Samaritan who saved a wounded Arizona State Trooper has now come forward at an Arizona DPS news conference.  While Thomas Yoxall, 43, doesn’t consider himself a hero, Arizona’s Department of Public Safety thinks otherwise.

They honored him for his courage in saving Trooper Edward Andersson. Mr. Yoxall used his handgun to rescue the injured trooper under attack.

During the news conference, ears perked up when Yoxall revealed his “past” which included a felony theft conviction from 2000. Ordinarily that means a lifetime prohibition on legal gun ownership. Thankfully for the wounded trooper, Mr. Yoxall had his gun rights restored in 2003.

Yoxall offered a rather interesting description of what happened when he came upon an “undocumented immigrant” beating the trooper’s head against the pavement. From Phoenix New-Times:

“I noticed the suspect on top of Trooper Andersson, beating him in a savage way,” Yoxall said. “I immediately pulled over. My commands were ignored by the suspect as [Andersson] called out for help. And I alleviated the threat to him.”

While rendering aid to the trooper, the wounded attacker charged Yoxall and the trooper one more time. Seeing no other option, Yoxall shot the former Mexican federale in the melon, ending the threat.

Not everyone believes in gun rights restoration for convicted felons. In those states that allow for gun rights restoration, the procedures and requirements vary widely. Thankfully for all concerned, Mr. Yoxall navigated that process.

Here’s more from the Phoenix New-Times:

“My primary concern was the life and wellness of Trooper Andersson, first and foremost,” he said. “There was no choice. I had no opportunity to even think about it rationally. I responded in the only way I know how to respond.”

He said the incident had a strong impact on him, Andersson, and their families.

Even though he may have saved Andersson’s life, he pointed out, he still took someone else’s life.

“It’s difficult to reconcile,” he said.

He keeps replaying the scene in his mind, he said, and “it hurts.”

Not that he would change a thing.

“Doing the right thing sometimes has a price, and sometimes that price is severe,” he said. “I wouldn’t change it because another man gets to go home to his family. I would not hesitate to respond in exactly the same fashion.”

…Milstead, also at the Wednesday news conference, said he’s very humbled to know Yoxall, “because we’re having this conversation about a hero and not a line-of-duty death.”

Andersson, he said, lost part of a bone in his surgeries and is still recovering.

Yoxall didn’t go into detail about his past, but said his moments of poor judgment nearly 20 years ago “have not dictated my future, nor are they representative of the person I am today.”

Let’s face it, the great majority of The People of the Gun are good guys and gals. Thomas Yoxall, reformed felon and law-abiding gun owner, did what no gun control advocate could ever do to rescue a police officer from certain death or great bodily injury. He pulled his legally owned firearm, interceded to save an innocent life while risking his own, then provided aid to the injured trooper. That makes him our Gun Hero of the Day.

comments

  1. avatar Roymond says:

    Make sure Trump knows about this one — it’s a great argument for changing some law!

    1. avatar DMZ says:

      Unfortunately throughout the campaign Trump has always, always struck me as a hardcore law & order type. So I doubt he’d jump on this cause.

      1. avatar joe2 says:

        Whats not to like from a law and order perspective. The Good Samaritan broke the law, paid for it, got his rights restored, and saved a cop.

        Stop listening to MSM BS about Trump.

        1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

          Exactly. His Cabinet picks are solidly Conservative (not necessarily Republican, mind you.) His ideology is pragmatic. Mattis has already changed Trumps mind on waterboarding, the 20% Mexico tariff will be the next to go. Trump is smart enough to listen to his advisers, unlike He Who Shall Not Be Named (piss be upon him.)

    2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      One ex-con with a gun is a savior one time, so we need to change the law?

      Meanwhile, thousands of ex-cons every day continue their crimimal career with new violent attacks, but that speaks nothing for retaining the law?

      That sort of lopsided, expedient reasoning is typical of what the antis are ridiculed for in here on a daily basis. I guess when somebody wants something, facts and logic get trampled in the process, regardless what side of the issue they’re on.

      1. avatar Stinkeye says:

        “thousands of ex-cons every day continue their crimimal career with new violent attacks, but that speaks nothing for retaining the law?”

        If they’re carrying out violent attacks with firearms (and many, if not most, are), it certainly speaks to the ineffectiveness of the law…

      2. avatar PAJ1988 says:

        We seemed to get along just fine as a nation before “Prohibited” people were a thing.

        We also had a good mechanism in place to restore rights up to the 90s even after it became a thing.

        Go lick statist boot on BARFCOM John In Austin.

      3. avatar Jimmy Chimichanga says:

        Shooter was a thief, not a violent offender.

  2. avatar Geoff PR says:

    “Thankfully for the wounded trooper, Mr. Yoxall had his gun rights restored in 2003.”

    Here’s a ‘what if’ for you; suppose his firearm rights *weren’t* restored.

    Would the state of Arizona been able to *legally* not charge him? Just simply declined to prosecute?

    1. avatar jwm says:

      Without his gun I doubt a man would have stopped to get into the middle of a life and death on the side of the road.

      He might have, but not as likely.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        I wasn’t clear.

        He was still a prohibited person, was in possession, and did the state of Arizona a great favor.

        Using whatever legal gyrations they needed, could the great state of Arizona have *legally* declined to prosecute?

        1. avatar Vhyrus says:

          The district attorney always has discretion in a case at a state level. In many ways the DA is more powerful than the judge. So yes they very well could have declined to prosecute. Even if they did prosecute, the officer involved could simply not show up. Unless he was actually subpoenaed he would not be required to show up to testify.

        2. avatar FedUp says:

          As I understand it, a peon who ignores a subpoena results in an arrest warrant for the peon.
          A cop ignores a subpoena and the prosecution gets a continuance. After 3-4 continuances, the judge gets pissed off and dismisses the charge, but nothing ever happens to the cop. If the cop is also the prosecutor, as in an informal hearing on a traffic ticket, it’s probably dismissed on the first failure.

          (I wouldn’t want to be the cop who failed to appear in a homicide, but for ‘felon in possession’, I don’t think the cop will face any repercussions)

        3. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

          Legally declined to prosecute a firearm felony? Of course they could. Look at Chicago and at the Obama administration. No snark intended at all. The question is could they have made the political decision to decline. In AZ, my guess is “duh!”
          Side note: A “reformed” Denver gang banger, convicted felon (prohibited person) and anti-gang activist shot an active gang banger and paralyzed him. DA charged attempted murder, aggravated assault, etc., AND felon in possession. He pled self defense and testified in his own behalf. The victim refused to testify, jury found him not guilty of attempt murder, assault, guilty of felon in possession. The Dem DA in bright blue Denver dismissed the possession charge in the spirit of the self defense acquittal. I was a bit surprised, but agreed.

      2. avatar adverse4 says:

        Oh, I don’t have a gun, so sorry. Die. But, yes, there are people like that.

        1. avatar jwm says:

          There are people here that have said any number of times that their gun is only to protect themselves and their loved ones. This guy had a gun and a history with the law and he still jumped in.

          In my book that makes him a real hero.

  3. avatar Crowbar says:

    The problem with restoring gun rights to felons is simply that some learn their lessons, some don’t. I agree with the many other people on TTAG who have said that if someone is to dangerous to have their gun rights restored, they shouldn’t be released from prison in the first place. But in our present revolving door justice system, this simply isn’t going to happen.

    1. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

      Many felonies aren’t even unethical much less violent.

      1. avatar rosignol says:

        Yeah.

        For nonviolent offenders, I have no problem at all with full restoration of rights after the sentence is served and restitution paid in full.

        1. avatar Ralph says:

          ^^^^^

          This.

        2. avatar Matt(TX) says:

          again this. Given an avenue out of the cycle of once a felon always a felon, some will do well.

      2. avatar joe2 says:

        You know which one is ethical? The one for drug dealing to your kids.

        1. avatar Roymond says:

          Whose kids should you deal drugs to?

  4. avatar No one of consequence says:

    “Yoxall shot the former Mexican federale in the melon, ending the threat.”

    Wait … The illegal illegally beating on the trooper was former Mexican military? That’s … Interesting.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      Worse. He was a former Mexican cop.

      1. avatar Swarf says:

        Pretty much guaranteed to bash somebody’s noggin in to the pavement at some point.

  5. avatar JDC says:

    Federale= Federal Police

    1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

      They’re thugs for the President, unlike local Policia who are thugs for the Cartels or the Patrons.

    2. avatar FedUp says:

      Federale all too often = cartel thug.

      Take the percentage of DEA agents that are seriously bent, and multiply it by 10 or 20 to get the percentage of federales who are working for a major cartel.

      If the federale is in Arizona and not on a family vacation, I’d give him about a 90% cartel thug rating.
      If he’s trying to kill an Arizona trooper, I’d make it 99%.

  6. avatar Kendahl says:

    Whether it’s wise to restore a convicted felon’s rights depends on many factors. Was his felony a crime of violence? Did he have a long criminal record building up to the felony? How long has it been since the end of his sentence and/or parole? Restoring rights is a good idea if the crime was a one-time, non-violent offense and he has maintained a clean record for several years afterward.

    1. avatar Joe in San Antonio says:

      There should be a rigorous process about restoring rights, not blanket legislation.

  7. avatar former water walker says:

    Works for me. And for the cop in peril. I have a nearly 40 year old son who is an extremely non-violent felon. He wandered in a psychotic daze into a house and got charged with a crime. IF he cared he should get his rights back.

  8. avatar Barry Luke says:

    Lhstr, thank God he got his rights back. Makes me look at this another way, wow! God bless him and his family. Another winner. Be careful out there.

  9. avatar JoshuaS says:

    Interesting note, even in California, self-defense or defense of another is considered justification for a felon to be in active possession of a firearm, since the right of defense is prior. I believe the first case that established that involved a guest who had a record at a party retrieving the host’s handgun, after wheeling a handicapped man into the bedroom to protect him from an attack upon the party. It is also a defense against other charges (like unlawful carry)

    But if defense is prior and more fundamental, you would think that at least there should be a reasonable way to lawfully have the means of defense more ready, rather than relying on dumb luck….

    1. avatar jwm says:

      In CA it’s legal to take your weapon, permit or not, into the street in defense of another.

      1. avatar Wzrd says:

        I Thought Maryland was following CA’s lead into the liberal wasteland of gun rights. But apparently that’s one privilege my home state did away with before yours. I don’t know how long it has been since the current carry law implementation, but even with a carry permit here, you only have the right to defend yourself. You have a DUTY to retreat if possible & are unable to use a gun to protect anyone else. In the class I was told a jury probably wouldn’t convict if you were defending members of your family, but it’s still against the law & you will likely be charged. So in this case we would’ve been expected to call the police & standby & watch this officer get his head caved in. & only if we were “working” could we have the gun with us anyway. Also we can only pull our gun at the last possible second when threatened with bodily harm by a deadly weapon & only when firing it is required. Otherwise if we pull our gun & gave orders to the “federale” without shooting, it would be brandishing which is a crime. So yeah, MD sucks almost as much as CA, & in some ways worse.

  10. avatar Wood says:

    Please stop using the left’s redefined language. Illegal alien would be the correct term. I’m not interested in the semantics of grammar; just definitions. An alien being someone who is not a citizen, and might be here legally or not legally. In this case it is presumed the alien is in the country illegally, therefore illegal alien is the correct legal term.

    We are in a war of words, where using different words can change opinions and policies and rob us of freedom. See the works of George Orwell.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      This. So much this.

      “Undocumented immigrant” is truly an Orwellian term, especially when one considers how Mexico treats illegals found within their borders.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        Mexico now exempts transients from the draconian illegal alien laws, I believe.
        Oh, you’re going to Yankeeland? Enjoy your trip!

    2. avatar doesky2 says:

      Yes indeed… but I think the more accurate term is MoF’ing GD Illegal Alien.

      1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

        I know more than a few illegal aliens. While I have no problem with that phrase, I must say that the ones I deal with daily are working schlubs just like me and I would never refer to them with profanity. Maybe call one “pinche”, but that’s about it.

      2. avatar Roymond says:

        That’s a particular subset. There are also conniving but dependable illegal aliens, as well as friendly and helpful ones.

        I met one of a particular kind once: his mother was here legally, but had gotten sick. He got word in Mexico, and snuck in to come help her. Once she was well, he headed south to sneak back out.

    3. avatar Swarf says:

      That’s why the author put the term in scare quotes– “Undocumented immigrant”. To sarcastically draw attention to what he considers a bullshit term. Like ‘the wheels of “justice”‘ or ‘John Boch’s “journalism”‘.

      Don’t worry, Boch is definitely on your side.

  11. avatar Paul Hurst says:

    FAKE NEWS

    He was NOT a convicted felon, that charged was DROPPED and he was convicted of a MD. Judge set that aside after successful probation.

  12. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

    seems ironic that a migrant harvester would get shot in the melon.

    cabesa. sesos. now i want a taco de lengua.

  13. avatar Mikial says:

    Just do the right thing as your heart and conscience tells you to.

  14. avatar Postol Front says:

    The gun control nuts fail to understand one very plain truth. Gun violence doesn’t come from guns, it comes from people. And until we stop teaching violence, as a way of life, it will continue. And they go after guns as an easy scapegoat, because they don’t want to have to alter their own behavior. Like giving up their obsession with abortion. You can’t teach death and murder as a RIGHT, and expect anything else! You might just as well pour gasoline on the floor of your house, light it on fire, and then try to legislate it’s behavior. You can’t legislate the behavior of fire, any more than you can counter the life long exposure to the culture of violence and death in our society, by gun control legislation. Until we have PEOPLE control, the problem will persist!

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