Marcus Weldon Pays the Price: Defensive Gun Use of the Day

Would you still have a job after thirty days in the cooler? Would you still have a home after losing a month’s income? Would friends and loved ones stand by you when facing a murder rap? Would that “for better or for worse” vow really be fulfilled when legal bills mount, and your name is dragged through the mud in the media?

And what if the agony doesn’t end after thirty days, but drags on for months…for a year…for more?

When I looked into the sad eyes of the older-beyond-his-years man across the table from me at Detroit’s Dime Store restaurant, those questions flooded my mind. He had nearly lost his life because he wanted to help a lady in distress, and then nearly lost his freedom and his good name due to the politics of the moment.

His name is Marcus Weldon. He is 28 years old, and in 2014, he used a gun to save lives.

On the night of December 20, 2014, Marcus was working in downtown Detroit. Although he spent his days working as a lighting engineer for one Motown’s hotel casinos (a good job with solid benefits for someone without a four-year degree,) he moonlighted doing promotional events for a company that supplied high quality alcoholic beverages to Detroit’s well-heeled.

Christmas was only a few days away, so for this event he dressed as Santa Claus, accompanied by a cohort of young women dressed in skimpy “Mrs. Claus” costumes. A few hours’ work hamming it up as St. Nick, handing out presents and hanging out with beautiful ladies for $300? Not a bad gig.

As he was heading home for the night (past midnight, befitting a party highlighting fine champagne cognac,) he received a call from Erica Johnson, one of the “Mrs. Claus” ladies from the party. She had a flat tire, and was stuck at the Speedway gas station on Jefferson Avenue downtown. Could he help?

Detroit can be a hard city. You can be in an area of wealth and prosperity and walk to one of poverty and desperation faster than you can say “Vous sortez du secteur Américain.”

One of the first rules newcomers to Motown learn is: don’t go to a gas station after dark. While that rule contains more wisdom than literal truth, Marcus was a lifelong resident and it didn’t feel right to let a young lady fend for herself on the streets after hours. He turned around.

He was still wearing the Santa Claus suit. Maybe Chivalry isn’t dead after all.

“After I got to the gas station, I was trying to get Erica’s tire situated,” Marcus recounts. “I was kneeling by the side of the car, checking it out.”

It definitely had a leak. While he was fiddling with the tire, Erica walked up to the counter, apparently to get a snack or a drink. 29-year-old Omar Pady, who had just driven up in his own car, approached her.

Erica (whom the gas station clerk would describe as “light-skinned…pretty”) was still wearing her Mrs. Claus outfit, too. She apparently caught Pady’s attention; he made a pass at her. Erica rebuffed him, but Pady got more aggressive. He shoved her. “Hey, back off!” she yelled.

Marcus came up to investigate. “What’s going on?” he demanded. The other man had bloodshot eyes and looked to be under the influence of something. (Alcohol, Marcus says, per a later medical report.) The two exchanged words, got in each other’s faces. Got a little physical. When Pady shoved Marcus, he started backing away, feeling a cold, heavy lump of steel shift in his belt as he did so.

It was a Springfield XDM, chambered for .40 S&W, carried Mexican-style. (“I had a holster for it at one point, but it broke,” he says with a shrug.)

“I’m carrying,” he warned Pady. “Get back.”

“I got something for you!” Pady yelled. The smaller man pivoted and ran to his car, parked a few yards away with the passenger’s side door open. Pady started rooting around underneath his car seat.

“Basically,” Marcus says, “the universal street sign that you’re going for a weapon. I was like, this is it.” Worse, he saw someone else in the driver’s seat of Pady’s car, too. This might be a two-on-one-fight.

Marcus reached under his coats (a thin man, he needed multiple layers to look the part of a jolly old elf,) and drew.

When Pady spun around with a snub-nosed revolver in his hand, Marcus was at the ready.

Marcus fired.

“After the first shot, I paused for a second and heard return fire. Anxiety was just running out of me, I felt like it was a nightmare…. I started pulling the trigger. I didn’t know how many times. Found out later it was four times. I didn’t even know if I’d hit the guy.” He was running on pure adrenaline.

Pady fell to the ground.

“I heard Erica scream — I thought she’d gotten hit, so I ran to see if she was okay.” The woman was unharmed, but it was time to leave. She started running down nearby Larned Street.

“She was hysterical,” Marcus says. He was worried about her, but agreed that getting the hell out of Dodge was smart. He ran after her.

That’s when he heard the screeching tires, and his heart sank. For a terrifying moment, he thought Pady and his companion were coming to run them down in the street like dogs.

The sirens and flashing lights came on. It was Detroit PD. They drew down on Marcus and arrested him.

And that’s when his troubles really began.

Detroit’s finest took Marcus to the Detroit Detention Center, still known by locals by its old name, the Mound Correctional Center. His Santa attire caused much merriment in the eyes of both the jailers and the inmates.

No one really messed with him on the inside, though. “The way I looked–they thought I was crazy!” Marcus says, laughing.

It’s a rule of thumb that any law-abiding gun owner should expect a little bit of time in custody after a defensive gun use, but Marcus faced some serious problems. The Speedway clerk had called 911, but so had Pady’s companion, a man named Salaf Rifai. Rifai claimed that Pady had just bumped into Erica at the counter, when Marcus had then flown into a rage and shot them both, completely unprovoked.

The optics were against Marcus from the start. Pady was soon on life support at the hospital. Rifai had been wounded by a bullet and appeared on the news with his arm in a sling. Although he and Erica were just coworkers, never involved romantically, the narrative spun up that the Santa Shooter was a jealous lover gone crazy when someone bumped into Mrs. Claus. It was pure gold for social media clickbait writers while everyone was at home for Christmas.

Worse, it was a high-profile incident in a city with a high crime problem whose government was not always friendly to law-abiding gun owners.

“Prosecutors always want to be tough on guns, and this case was prominent because it was a guy dressed as Santa who shot two people at Christmas. It was international news,” says Rick Ector, a Detroit-area firearms expert who testified on Marcus’ behalf at trial.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Indeed, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has called in the past for more regulation on legal gun owners. Last year, she endorsed a law making it a crime to have an unsecured firearm in a home with small children. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also has vowed: “we may not have the resources to get everybody right now, but we do have the resources to go after anyone who chooses to use a gun.” (Police Chief James Craig, who argues that armed citizens reduce crime is the odd man out in local government.)

They charged Marcus with six felonies, including assault with intent to murder and a felony firearm charge.

He was held on $50,000 bond, and although he only needed to present $5,000 in cash, he wasn’t a rich man and needed help to pay it. It wasn’t enough for assistant prosecutor Kelly Casper. She wanted more money.

“Mr. Pady is in the hospital with a machine breathing for him and there is only a 50/50 chance of him coming out of it,” she said. The Court declined her request, but agreed that Marcus was a flight risk, and ordered him to stay at his home under house arrest, his every move monitored by an ankle tracking device.

The fact that Marcus had never had any serious run-ins with the law, and the fact that he’d had a Michigan Concealed Pistol License for years did not seem to weigh heavily on the court.

It was humiliating. He was dismissed from the marketing job. His boss at the Casino was more understanding and held his job open, but since Marcus couldn’t leave home, he was put on leave.

He had no income. He had sole custody of a five-year-old daughter. His nest egg, which he’d worked hard to save, was quickly being spent on rent and food. Plus, he needed to pay for a lawyer, and all of the things needed to prepare for a criminal trial: legal research and writing for motions, private investigators to track down witnesses, fees for expert witnesses, court fees, deposition transcripts, and so on.

The next few months were tough. Although his family and close friends held a press conference to speak out on his behalf with both Erica and his pastor, the Rev. David Allen Bullock, his once-huge circle of friends shrunk dramatically.

People he had once talked to every day stopped calling. Incredibly, some were jealous of the attention he was receiving. Folks he’d hoped would offer some help, or even a kind word, didn’t have time for him.

On the other hand, people he barely started offering help. Unsolicited.

“Strangers will be your biggest supporters in times like this,” Marcus says. “One thing about a stranger, they don’t know you, they’re compassionate about it. They don’t judge your past, they look at it from the perspective of: you need help. So here’s help.” His eyes narrow a little, recalling something.

“Some friends…judge you. Back in 1999 you did something they didn’t like, and they still hold that against you today.”

Marcus also started networking online with the gun rights community. C.J. Grisham of Open Carry Texas quickly became a social media advocate for the young man.

C.J. fiercely defends Marcus to this day.

“The fact that a law-abiding citizen [who] defends himself is suddenly forced into a cage and forced to pay tens of thousands of dollars to an attorney to clear his name is repulsive,” he said in correspondence with me. “Marcus is a good man, a good father and the system was trying to railroad him.”

C.J. started broadcasting the story of Marcus Weldon far and wide. An online fundraising page was set up to help pay for food, housing, and legal bills.

Money started coming in — from gun rights supporters in Texas and elsewhere. The proverbial “old fat white guys” of the gun rights community were showing up to help a young black man from Detroit that they didn’t even know.

It wasn’t a ton of money — maybe five or six thousand in total, a pittance compared to his mounting debt. But it was something. The thought that people around the country cared about his case and wanted to help him in his darkest hour, was huge.

Marcus also got a lot of help from his parents. Both hard workers, they had carefully saved socked away a decent amount of money for their retirement. Mom and Dad were able to cover a lot of expenses when Marcus was flat broke, even though it left their own retirement fund depleted.

He vowed to repay every penny.

After four months of in-house incarceration, things started to get a little better. The court agreed to let Marcus leave home to go to work at the casino (and a few other places.) Still, that ankle bracelet was an ever-present reminder that he was not a free man. There was a trial looming over his head, and the outcome was still uncertain.

The prosecutor, backed by the resources of the city, pressed the case.

Settlement offers were made: plead guilty and serve no more than one year in prison, probably less with good behavior. Start your life all over again. Stop the debt from building up.

When you’re struggling to put food on the table and pay for a lawyer while under a cloud of suspicion, it’s easy to see why people agree to just cop a plea, even if they’re innocent. The sooner everything’s over, the sooner you can start rebuilding your life. Even Rick Ector calls the prosecutor’s offer a “sweetheart” deal, when you compare it to the typical offers made to the accused.

There was one string attached: Marcus would have to plead guilty to multiple felonies. If he pled guilty, he’d be branded a felon. For life.

His felony convictions would come up on every job application. He’d be barred from ever possessing a gun again — the tool that had just protected his life. What would his family, his friends, his supporters, his daughter think if he said he was guilty?

Marcus turned down the plea deal. He was innocent.

Perhaps the prosecutor wanted a deal because she was nervous about the trial. Although Detroit PD never found Pady’s gun (they “never searched the scene,” Marcus says,) the case was never that solid to begin with, and it had become weaker over time.

Pady had fled to his native Yemen after recovering from his injuries, and wasn’t coming back to testify. The Speedway clerk who witnessed the fight had also disappeared, leaving behind a trail of unanswered messages and disconnected phone calls. Pady’s companion, Rifai, was still around, and would testify at trial, but his credibility was a little suspect.

When the police arrived on the scene, Rifai told them that Pady went back to the car to get a baseball bat. But at a preliminary hearing he recanted, claiming that he wasn’t thinking clearly at the time because of a loss of blood and because he was “so pissed that he [Marcus] would shoot us. I wanted to smash his head.”

And even though there were security cameras all around the gas station, the tape was supposedly unplayable.

He only needed reasonable doubt to avoid a conviction…but would this be enough?

A turning point came when a chance encounter with one of the arresting police officers led to the discovery of a working copy of the security cam footage. Marcus’ attorney, David Cripps, soon had his hands on the tape.

In the video, Marcus is visible in his red Santa suit; Pady is seen running to his car, bending over into the passenger side and springing up and aiming something in the direction of Marcus afterward, then is felled by the hot lead delivered by Marcus’ true aim.

The video isn’t slam-dunk evidence. The quality is poor, it’s a wide angle, and the first part of the confrontation happened in a blind spot.

The judge refused to let any audio into evidence because the Speedway clerk couldn’t be found to testify. Still, the parts that were visible seemed to confirm parts of Marcus’ story. It was another much-needed boost.

By the time the trial started in June of 2016, the government’s case was unraveling. Marcus even took the unorthodox step of testifying on his own behalf. Normally this is a huge risk, and he was warned against it by his attorney, but “all I had to do was tell the truth,” he says. The trial lasted a week. He was on pins and needles.

The jury returned its verdict: Not guilty, on all counts. He was a free man again.

Marcus has since been rebuilding his life. He still works at the casino. He’s been taking classes to get certification to work on industrial refrigeration appliances. He’s thinking about going back earn his Bachelor’s Degree (he currently holds an Associate’s Degree in electrical engineering). Gotta pay the bills after all — the legal fees totaled around $50k. He still needs to pay back his parents.

His heart isn’t quite in his work like it used to be, though. He’s changed.

Marcus now spends time connecting with people to tell his story. He talks about guns, crime, and the justice system whenever possible. He just published a book titled The Santa Shooter: Guilty Until Proven Innocent, which tells the story of how his life was changed by the gun fight and trial.

Marcus has also become active in the gun rights movement, giving the keynote speech at the Michigan Second Amendment March this year, doing interviews at the NRA Convention, and talking at events for Maj Toure’s Black Guns Matter tour, which promotes education about gun rights, training, rights, and self-defense to people in the country’s inner cities.

Last month, he appeared on Let It Rip, a no-holds-barred Detroit news commentary show, debating former Chief of Police Ralph Godbee.

Marcus has a fiercely independent streak. He credits people as diverse as Ron Paul, Malcom Gladwell, Malcom X, and Cornel West with influencing his thought. He also attributes his ability to tough it out in part to his own faith.

“I’m a spiritual person,” Marcus says. “I grew up in a Christian family. I know this was grace,” he says.

“Anything else you want people to take away from this?” I ask.

A slight smile. “De-escalate situations when you can.”

He thinks for another moment.

“I wish I’d had carry insurance. It would’ve made things easier.”

I pay for lunch.

It seems trivial. But it’s the least I could do.

comments

  1. avatar pete says:

    I used to do low end work where open carry was a popular option. I knew you can beat the rap but not the ride, that would have wiped out my quality of life pretty horribly. Not as bad as getting seriousely wounded or killed, but it was enough, overall, to deter me from carrying.

    1. avatar General Mills says:

      What is low end work, if you don’t mind me asking?

      1. avatar pete says:

        NP, I mean low cash flow involved; part time, no experience needed, $0.25 over minimum wage. Watching parking lots, in my case.

  2. avatar former water walker says:

    Really?!? This just sounds like normal ghetto BS. I read it all and even I don’t buy his story(I guess I’m supposed too). Oh well…

    1. avatar pete says:

      Well, best case scenario, the guy did stack the deck against himself, even by his account could have done more to keep things calm. But the fact is Detroit is a circus and I’d say there’s a reasonable doubt that this one guy is guilty, so he should be let go. Might hypothetically be getting away with wrongdoing, but it happens.

      1. avatar Cjstl says:

        He probably could have done something to de-escalate, but I’m sure with the adrenaline pumping and dealing with a drunk, he did the best he could. It’s too bad that the legible copy of the tape took so long to turn up, because I think the fact he didn’t start shooting until the other guy ran to the car and retrieved his own gun shows that he didn’t want to shoot him. How many of is would’ve waited that long to shoot?

      2. avatar Michael Brohl says:

        Are you from Detroit ?

        1. avatar pete says:

          nope

    2. Yeah, I’m not saying he deserved prosecution but this seems like a lifestyle choice that has an element of risk not found in more mainstream occupations.
      The gloss over of this “Hip Hop” culture in the beginning of the article was as opaque as a bottle of Grey Goose.

  3. avatar William says:

    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is a low and despicable person with an extremely low IQ and the morals of a crossing between a Nazi garbage collector and an alley cat.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      Another 1980s affirmative action quota bimbo. See also Barry and Michael

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “…extremely low IQ and the morals of a crossing between a Nazi garbage collector and an alley cat.”

      IE, she will *excel* in politics.

      Based on what I have been hearing about Detroit here in TTAG, I was under the impression core city services were so decimated that the powers-to-be were encouraging citizen self-defense.

      I recall phrases like “We can’t respond to you, you’re on your own” as being typical…

      1. avatar No one of consequence says:

        I remember that too.

        However, this case started at Christmas 2014, and I’m not sure the chief was saying that at that time.

        Plus, and more importantly, it’s not the police chief who decides whether to press charges, it’s the DA’s or prosecutors office. Based on what we know about her, I’m not surprised to hear he was charged, especially given this didn’t happen at home.

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          Unless you’re the FBI Director. Then, just because you’re a former prosecutor, all of a sudden you don’t just investigate crimes, you decide whether someone gets prosecuted.

    3. avatar Aaron says:

      sounds like a lot of the local officials in Detroit, Baltimore, and every other similar city.

  4. avatar Nanashi says:

    This is why you call each and every judicial candidate on the ballot, any competent one would have thrown this case out. They may not be able to anwser political questions (depending on the state) but you can ask them if they own a gun and if they have a concealed carry license, which should weed out most of the crazies.

    1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

      Agree – in most cases, local elections can have so much more effect on your day-to-day life than federal elections.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      Asking about gun ownership and if they have a CCW permit. I like it.

  5. avatar strych9 says:

    Well that sucks.

    I definitely believe it happens though. It happened to me on a much, much smaller scale when the house I was living in was burgled. Cost about $2000 and the the prosecutor dropped the charges out of hand, but fuck man, hearing “The State of [Insert State here] vs. [Insert your name here.]” really, really sucks.

    Calling your parents to ask for lawyer money over a felony charge sucks even worse.

    1. avatar Lotek says:

      He he you said “but fuck” he he

  6. avatar Cjstl says:

    The city and the prosecutor should be forced to pay restitution. The fact that they can railroad someone like that is ridiculous.

    1. avatar Michael Brohl says:

      It happens all across this great country of ours every day.

      1. avatar Ben says:

        Yep, and that’s no excuse. They should pay restitution if he’s found not guilty.

        1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          A loser pays rule, like in civil cases? That’s interesting. You’d have ti consider the unintended consequences, though.

          For example, prosecutors are already evaluated based in part of their conviction ratio. Some prosecutors have been known to conceal exculpatory evidence or even to falsify evidence to get w conviction. Implementing a loser pays rule would add an even greater incentive for them to do whatever it takes to win.

          There is also the whole deal of suing the prosecutors and tying up the matter in court. It could backfire.

        2. avatar Ben says:

          Or they back off and drop charges if they figure out they can’t win it.

        3. avatar N. Georgia says:

          That would’ve been an expensive tab for the tax payers in the OJ Simpson case……

    2. avatar Pwrserge says:

      The prosecutor specifically. Don’t make the tax payers foot the bill for a rabid lefty abusing the law.

    3. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      Cases like this demonstrate why qualified immunity laws need to be rewritten (at the least) or eliminated altogether.

      1. avatar Aaron says:

        qualified immunity is a scam that gets abused frequently.

  7. avatar FedUp says:

    I can explain this story in two words: Kym Worthless.

    (yes, Kym Worthless hates gun owners. She thinks we all belong in prison because we own guns)

    1. avatar TrueBornSonofLiberty says:

      Not until people like Kim become victims of seriously violent crime, will they have a change of heart. For the sake of all the good people in Detroit, the sooner horrific violence is visited upon her, the better.

      1. Won’t change a thing. She’ll still consider herself one of the “anointed ones,” and therefore exempt from her own animosity toward rights.

  8. avatar DDay says:

    God bless Marcus Weldon. I’m glad the jury saw the truth, pathetic the gov’t put him through that.

  9. avatar Jeff K says:

    Got USCCA insurance a month after my CCW. Just like all insurance, you hope you never need it, but if you do……………….

    1. avatar Luke Yarasheski says:

      Has anybody on here sactually had to use carry insurance? And if so was it worth it? Or did they pull the typical “that’s not covered under your policy” sleaze ball insurance company horse shit? I have been looking at it for a while but i can’t justify burning money for no reason right now

      1. avatar MamaLiberty says:

        Not “insurance.” It is not possible, nor “legal” for any company to offer actual “insurance” for this. But the ACLDN is so much better anyway.

        Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network – https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/
        • Attorney and legal expenses paid after a self-defense incident, including–

        –Fee deposit paid to your attorney immediately after self defense for representation during questioning and other vital defense services.

        –Bail assistance: The Network provides up to $25,000 to post bail on behalf of a member who has used force in self defense.

        –Grants of further funding for legal defense expenses after justifiable self defense if criminally charged or sued in civil court.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          ‘It is not possible, nor “legal” for any company to offer actual “insurance” for this.’

          a) How is this not insurance?
          b) What’s wrong with this country that it’s illegal to purchase this type of insurance but illegal to not buy another type?

        2. avatar MamaLiberty says:

          I can’t remember just now where I read the idea that it would be “illegal” to offer actual insurance policies for self defense, so I can’t answer that. I’ll go on looking. Should have bookmarked it then.

          Armed Citizens Network is NOT “insurance.” It is a membership benefits plan.

          But here’s the deal: https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/index.php/learn/307-buyers-guide

          Whether you like the insurance model, the pre-paid legal plans, or a membership benefits provider, you should ask one last question. Be sure the plan you sign on to covers ALL ACTS OF SELF DEFENSE, not just shooting someone. Most companies limit their coverage to shootings only. That exempts the majority of self-defense acts.

        3. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          These plans are not insurance in the sense that you experience a covered loss and they compensate you for that loss. Tge reason is that it is illegal to provide insurance for an illegal act. For example, a drug dealer can’t get worker’s comp coverage. A getaway driver can’t get auto insurance for that activity.

          These programs are “insurance” in a vernacular sense, that they offer some servicess contingent on some events, but they do not pat you money to compensate you for having taken actions yourself.

          As for which program is best, some are clearly superior to others, but you really need to look at what each one offers and what your likely circumstances are. We prefer Texas Law Shield.

        4. avatar Dave M says:

          Texas Law Shield is OK, I prefer USCCA. Ironically the NRA plan is one of the worst. I do a lot of research on stuff and the USCCA seems to actually come thru for it’s members in real life.

      2. avatar Dave M says:

        The USCCA insurance is what I would call reasonable; if you are that strapped for money I bet there is something that you spend money on that you could easily cut out or cut back on to ‘pay’ for the USCCA insurance. They have testimonials from actual customers who really needed their protection and resources; one guy only belonged about a week; coverage starts the same day you sign up. This Mon May 15th; Tues, tomorrow night the USCCA us having another live broadcast, check it out. This coverage could save your ass more than just about any other insurance you may have; even civil suits are included if you live in a commie state with CD & SYG.

  10. avatar AFGus says:

    This is why I’ve had defensive shooters insurance since I obtained a CCH Permit and started carrying as a part of my daily life. You just never know when a situation like this will happen, and the Justice System is not always fair. If you have a carry permit and go armed in your daily life, I highly recommend that you obtain shooters insurance. You may never have to use it, but if you do, you will be very glad that you had it.

  11. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    Just curious what happened to Ms. Johnson’s testimony. She would have corroborated most if not all of Mr. Weldon’s testimony and should have been enough to at least cast a huge cloud of reasonable doubt on the prosecutor’s case. Even in Detroit. The local PD not doing their job doesn’t surprise me though.

  12. avatar deepdive68 says:

    From what I have seen and heard about this over time I too think he was railroaded and maliciously prosecuted by an agenda driven prosecutor. This has been off my radar for a while though. Very glad to read that he was found not guilty on all charges. It is a damnable thing what happened to him though. I wish him the best in getting on with and rebuilding his life and finances.

    1. avatar DY says:

      As is the case with the MSM media on all things not on the progressive (regressive) side of the debate, you will hear the initial story that makes the lawful carrier sound like a horrible person who should never have a gun, but when they are exonerated, there is no follow up, nor is there any outrage about the railroading that goes on by the elected officials.

      People are gradually being taught that innocent until proven guilty is dangerous, and for safety, we should allow all sorts of infringements on our rights. Don’t believe it? Look at the extreme risk protection orders. Try being a joint custody divorced parent and deal with the schools and medical establishment. No one will ask for proof if the other parent makes a claim that harms the other and keeps them from being on equal footing.

      All part of the agenda, and it’s working.

  13. avatar neiowa says:

    28years old and still hanging out with drunks in bars? Stupid places
    In Detroit? REALLY stupid places
    Past midnight? Stupid time
    Just hang with drunks and hotties? Stupid people

    Yeah sure. Set himself up with stupid.

    1. avatar D Y says:

      A guy should not end up jailed, life destroyed, because he was out at night.

      Unless he is a criminal. I think that means I get to use a liberal cliche: quit blaming the victim.

    2. avatar Markarov says:

      Are you serious?
      Did you not read the article?
      The man was WORKING a Christmas party! Employed!
      I worked in a cigar store in my thirties and what he was doing sounds just like what I was PAID to do on multiple occasions when they hosted cigar dinners and the like.

    3. avatar pete says:

      If he refrained from going out or helping a coworker that would hurt his quality of life too. Not as much as going in the cage for a while, but that doesn’t happen to everyone. Doing the santa thing was probably a winning bet that just went ti… um, belly up. Point being I don’t think it’s fair to blame him for not self-imposing a curfew.

    4. avatar R says:

      So now 28 is TOO OLD to be hanging out in bars? What a bizarre comment, especially coming from someone who I’m sure has been eligible for an AARP membership for years now…

    5. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

      He was working a second gig at a Christmas party, the kind every one of us has attended as a company function many times, trying to support his kid. The shooting had nothing to do with that party and took place elsewhere.

  14. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    It was necessary to make this remark? “a good job with solid benefits for someone without a four-year degree” Really? Imagine that. People without four year degrees have worthwhile and fulfilling careers. Whoda thunk it? Do I need to tell the author where he should stick his elitist nonsense.

    1. avatar Charles5 says:

      How do you get anything elitist out of that?

    2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      Bill Gates and Steve Jobs didn’t do too bad for themselves without a degree.

      It’s getting to the point that a 4 year degree is nothing but a lead weight of debt hanging around your neck. If you’re not getting at least a masters you’d be better off skipping college and becoming a plumber.

      1. avatar Pwrserge says:

        Not quite. The problem is that a bunch of spoiled leftist brats are spending mommy and daddy’s money to get their degrees in underwater basket weaving. You don’t need a masters degree to design industrial machinery. You do, however, need an engineering degree to make sense of what you’re doing.

        1. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          True, there are vocational majors that will pay off, but the pool of grads with liberal arts or generic business degrees is deep and filled with C- students. I’ve had employees that were getting business degrees and unless they take the unrequired accounting classes they can’t even understand the numbers on their paystubs, let alone run a business. It’s basically good for a mid-management job that pays $30K. Waste of money IMHO unless you have a clear-cut idea of what you want to do when you finally grow up.

        2. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

          You’re both right. So much financial aid money is available that virtually anyone can go to college. The schools are slurping up those funds at the public trough and dumbing down degrees so that anyone can get a degree. The result is a sort of counterfeiting of college degrees.

          I don’t mean literally, like with actual counterfeit degrees you can print yourself, but rather a watering down of degree requirements such that the unit of measure “college degree” doesn’t mean as much as it used to. That can be silly majors like ethnic studies, LGBT studies, puppetry, etc., or it can be legitimate fields whose workload has been lightened so the degree is more attainable with less work.

          Going forward, you’ll have to have a Master’s in order to present yourself as someone with the skills formerly associated with a Bachelor’s degree. Your Bachelor’s degree will have to be in a real field with real requirements or else you won’t be prepared for that Master’s program.

          There will always be exceptions for entrepreneurs, entertainers, pro sports, people in sales, some people in I.T., and so forth, but those range from rare to atypical. Ultimately, the future belongs to those who can generate ideas, solve problems, and deliver results. If you can’t do these, then anticipate a miserable subsistence existence in the 21st century.

          Whatever preparation route to take, that’s the world that awaits you.

        3. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          The cost keeps going up while the value keeps going down. Sooner or later the whole system will implode. Most of the students coming out with a non-vocational degree today have an education roughly equal to what my grandparents had coming out of the eighth grade. This is not a trend that can continue indefinitely.

        4. avatar NYC2AZ says:

          “Most of the students coming out with a non-vocational degree today have an education roughly equal to what my grandparents had coming out of the eighth grade. This is not a trend that can continue indefinitely.”

          But it can still get a whole hell of a lot worse before any positive changes happen. We still haven’t put Brawndo on crops yet, so there’s that morsel of optimism.

  15. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

    He was arguably at fault because he introduced the threat of ballistic force into the equation by announcing he was armed before there was an actual threat of death or grevious bodily harm. There are a lot of pro Second Amendment states where he would be deemed the aggressor. The lesson here is never say gun until you actually need the gun.

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      I was thinking that too. Don’t announce that you have a gu n, that’s like saying you know karate and you’re hands are legally considered lethal weapons in 7 states. It begs the drunk aggressor to call you out for BS. And while Mexican carrying to boot. You’re libel to find yourself rolling around on the ground fighting for control of your own gat. Still, stupid not criminal (IMHO).

      1. avatar D Y says:

        You should instead shoot anyone that grabs you with no warning?

        Being armed, it is perfectly acceptable to consider someone touching you a threat to your safety. I don’t think many consider this, and why cops shoot (and should) those that wrestle with them.

        Obviously state laws are going to differ, can’t comment on that, but anyone that puts hands on you while carrying, might discover you have the weapon, or may somehow already know, and go for it.

        I don’t think we go down that route.

        1. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

          While I am all in favor of permitless carry your comment highlights my concern. There will be people walking around who do not know their States rules of engagement when comes to the use of force lethal or otherwise. This is going to lead to trouble. Perhaps instruction on the states laws should be added to simething like drivers ed so as everyone know what the law is.

        2. avatar D Y says:

          I hate that we can’t respond to comments past a certain point.

          The problem with any of these sorts of laws is that they generally rely on an “arbitrary” standard, which is perception of the person doing the shooting towards the threat. I would assume it’s nearly universal that the “reasonable” standard still applies. Increasingly(?), what is reasonable to a gun owner is unreasonable to others in society.

          It’s reasonable for me to believe that my safety is in danger if I’m carrying and someone grabs me in a context I perceive as violent. Whether the cop, the prosecutor, or jury believes that or not is another story. I don’t think there is any way they could cover every possible event in a specific law. Thinks such as castle doctrine, whether you can shoot to stop harm to others, etc. probably are specified by law (if applicable) in most states that still have any freedom.

        3. avatar uncommon_sense says:

          D Y,

          Being armed, it is perfectly acceptable to consider someone touching you a threat to your safety.

          Entirely correct.

          Also entirely correct: someone touching you often does NOT constitute a credible, imminent threat of grievous bodily harm … the legal standard that justifies lethal force.

        4. avatar Pwrserge says:

          “Credible, imminent threat of grievous bodily harm” is not an exclusive universal standard. For example, in Illinoisistan, you are justified in using lethal force to stop any forcible felony. (One of the few things that is good about the laws in Illinoisistan.)

        5. avatar Gov. William J. Le Petomane says:

          There is such a thing as a ‘defensive display of a weapon’. IF de-escalation doesn’t work, and you feel the need to make an aggressor aware of your weapon, by all means draw, but there’s no rule that says you have to shoot. Having a g un pointed at your face and hearing the words ‘back off’ shouted at you can be a sobering experience.

        6. avatar D Y says:

          If I’m arguing with a guy, I consider him a threat, I believe he knows I have a gun, and he grabs me “credible, imminent threat of grievous bodily harm” seems to be a given. But those who don’t understand self-defense have no clue about how much of a threat there can be when someone gets close to you, and those are the ones you ultimately may have to convince.

        7. avatar tdiinva (now in wisconsin) says:

          Serge:

          In Wisconsin you can shoot anybody who is committing any felony in your house so I guess if somebody writes me a $10000 bad check while sitting at my dining room table I can blast him. /sarc

  16. avatar Louis says:

    Yemen, one of the countries the left insists we can’t stop more refugees from coming.

    1. avatar cjstl says:

      A drunk Muslim male sees an attractive Western woman and decides to take what he wants. Ask anyone in Europe whether that story sounds familiar. This situation highlights the difference between us and them. In Europe, you might get a beating if the men aren’t too scared of government retribution. But mess with our women here, and we’ll shoot you in your freaking face.

  17. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Horrible.
    So…Erica single?

    1. avatar NYC2AZ says:

      And is the Mrs. Claus outfit still in her closet? Asking for a friend.

  18. avatar Jim Macklin says:

    The FIRST 911 call is assumed to be from the victim.

    “Secure the crime scene” is often not done by police when they arrive. Witnesses only count if they are known and available.
    There are ways to cover, NRA has CARRY GUARD and USCCA has coverage too. IF you can afford it, joining one or even both isn’t a bad idea.

  19. avatar gargoil says:

    just goes to show you: DO NOT EVER PLEA. usually that are offering a plea deal because they KNOW they will lose at trail.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      Plea deals are a completely normal course of business in criminal justice, even with rock-steady cases. Putting on a trial is huge amount of money, and the government wants to avoid it, plain and simple.

      Now I’m not saying you should take a plea if you’re innocent… but I’ve seen some unfortunate souls overestimate their chances in front of a judge because they were offered a standard “make this easy on me” deal 😉

  20. avatar jimmy james says:

    If the trial had gone on for weeks or months, a juror could have faced the same dilemma. The criminal justice and courts system is broken, period. Not sure it ever worked like it should. Pull jury duty over some BS drunk driving appeal where the judge instructs the jury to give no more credence to police testimony than the plaintiff who showed up in court wearing a tee shirt and 5 days worth of beard. Miss a day of work and pay for that BS? R U kidding me? Get seated on a month long murder trial and see if you can make $12 a day plus parking pay your rent, car payment, etc. Yeah it sucks this guy had to go thru the s#it he did but it sucked almost as much to be on his jury. Trust me.

  21. avatar Oliver says:

    If he was an off duty cop, then yes he would still have his house, his job and his family intact. He’d also get free counseling, a good lawyer from the union, a sympathetic jury and a promotion after the dust, swiftly, settled. That’s the fact Jack. A black citizen working a regular job? He’s lucky the Detroit PD didn’t ventilate him and Mrs. Claus on sight. He should count his blessings that he’s not on a ventilator. ‘Merica! F-Yeah!

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      You forgot the extra month of paid vacation (administrated leave) while the incident is reviewed.

  22. avatar Mike says:

    I think the real lesson here is: don’t white knight for women who aren’t familially related to you. It’s not worth the risk.

    1. avatar D Y says:

      We don’t have reason to exist as a society if people aren’t willing to help others.

      1. avatar Hannibal says:

        He helped himself right into a prison cell. If she had called AAA none of this would have happened.

        1. avatar D Y says:

          I think community is a noble cause.

          God forbid someones mother or daughter ends up in this sort of situation.

          The guy was there to help with a car issue, not because she was being harassed.

          If we want to throw blame around, we blame the guy who harassed an innocent person, got physical with someone else, then went and got a gun out of the car having knowledge the other guy might well have been armed, instead of getting into the car and driving away.

          Legal guy with gun kills scumbag, and is eventually exonerated. Nothing else in this story really matters. He wasn’t involved in an illegal act, therefore personal opinion of his being in that location is moot.

  23. avatar Hannibal says:

    Yeah sorry, this goes beyond something as simple as ‘helping a lady in distress.’ This was nonsense over a scantily clad girl in a gas station at night. Something tells me ‘Santa’ thought he was real gangsta with his .40 and escorting sexy elves around town. So two guys measuring dicks gets (slightly) physical. Our ‘hero’ then threatened the other gun by declaring to be armed- WHY? The other guy goes to his car to get his own gun. And why wouldn’t he? A guy he had just been in a physical altercation with had just said he had a gun! He’s dead so we don’t hear his side of the story- maybe his was the defensive gun use.

    Let’s review:
    1) Be wary of jobs involving delivering alcohol and scantily clad women in general
    2) Gun legal insurance might be good, but AAA might have saved more trouble here
    3) If you find yourself in such a situation at the counter, don’t escalate things by getting in a dick-measuring contest. Have the girl go out to the car and lock her self in there. Then try and leaver yourself and ideally call the cops if some drunk follows you
    4) Don’t tell someone you have a gun to try and intimidate them in a scenario that doesn’t threaten deadly force. This is where things went off the rails.

    I think the following NSFW Boondocks clip demonstrates what happened here:

  24. avatar Matt says:

    Excellent article and very well written! Innocent or guilty this story sheds light on a fear most responsibly armed Americans have and that is… if I use my firearm to defend mine or some other’s innocent life, will I have to fight again for my life against our justice system. Like a good firearm, carry insurance is a good way to be prepared for the unexpected.

  25. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    To be brutally honest, the black residence of Detroit, Baltimore, Chicago, etc., have it much harder than the white suburbs. I’m not saying white people are bad. I’m saying the political corruption in these cities is much worse than in the white suburbs. A black person claiming self-defense has a great deal to over come in these cities. The destruction of the black traditional family is the primary cause of the problems. Even the white city residence mostly don’t live in the worst areas.

    I’m glad there where “outsiders” who believed in Mr. Weldon and helped him. If you carry a gun you will need friends that you don’t even know yet. And you don’t need to shot your gun to get into trouble.

  26. avatar Hunter427 says:

    Nra has its own insurance for members

  27. avatar Mikial says:

    Always have insurance through USCCA or the NRA, or another reputable provider. Always have a 2A friendly attorney.

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