Armed Bystander Helps Las Vegas Mall Cops Corral a Knife-Wielding Thief

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A casual day shopping at the mall can go south quickly when thugs try to stage a holdup by flashing a “large butcher knife.” Lots of mall cops aren’t equipped to handle a threat like that. Fortunately, one of the shoppers at Las Vegas’s Fashion Show Mall, located in the heart of the Strip, was carrying a firearm.

According to . . .

Security officers found the man, later identified as [Letrelle] Calhoun, “flashing a knife” in another area of the mall and detained him while Metro officers arrived, documents said. Officers described the weapon as a “large butcher” knife.

While “flashing” the knife, officers said Calhoun threatened to kill the security officers, lunging at three of them, police said.

That’s when the shopper who was carrying the gun stepped in to help.

A person in the area pulled out a gun, pointing it at Calhoun in the process, police said.

“This gave the security officers the opportunity to disarm Calhoun and place him in hand restraints,” police said.

Calhoun also faces a charge of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, records showed. reports that Calhoun is being held on $5000 bond. That means $500 will spring him, so look for him to be back out on the street of Sin City soon.

All of this brings up an interesting question. Should a concealed carrier step in to help law enforcement officers (or mall cops, in this case) deal with a situation? The concealed carrier certainly seems to have brought the Las Vegas mall incident to a peaceful conclusion, but that might not always be the case. What would you do?

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    • It’s the condescending smirk of a thug who knows he will soon be out of jail… 🙁

      • Exactly. He knows in demonkraut L.V. he will be back out on the street as soon as booking is done. The only drawback is that he, hopefully, won’t get his knife back and will have to go to the 99 store to get another. If I were a betting man, I wouldn’t bet that he won’t get his knife back. Unfortunately, Nevada has been kallyfornikated by kallifornicators who have fled the state they screwed up.

  1. Here in Pennsylvania, “No Guns” signs on private property have the force of law. So, if the mall had such signs posted (many do) and I had somehow ‘not noticed’ them, helping those mall cops would have exposed me to arrest and prosecution. Since the mall chose to preclude firearms and had chosen not to arm its security people, I would likely have moved on, my instinct to help my instinct for self-preservation.

    Stupid malls.

        • It turn out that Moodock is correct and I was inaccurate. ‘No guns’ signs in PA only have the force of law if they are on a property expressed in state statutes as prohibited. ‘No Guns’ signs on private property do not have the force of law but are interpreted by some as meaning you are trespassing if you carry a gun onto the premises. That point is open to dispute.

          My first gun instructor told me incorrectly. Shame on me for never researching it.

          In 7 pages, the court explains that the “to do list” Constitution does not require public servants to protect anyone.
          In a constitutional Republic at the common law, the public servants are delegated by privilege to perform only certain things.
          Protecting people from crime ain’t one of them.
          This being true, “private property” owners have no right to infringe RKBA on their property unless they are willing to be liable for occupants safety from crime.
          Can one right infringe another right?

    • “Here in Pennsylvania, “No Guns” signs on private property have the force of law.”

      Yet another reason to live in Florida…

    • Most states allow “public accomodations” (businesses) to post no guns signs at their option. MOST of those states specifically and in detail require the signs be uniform, and follow a pattern for size, colour, stylem content, mandated by state law. Any signs NOT complying with the state requirements are NOT BINDING. I suspect such non-standard signs are carefully designed to make the pretty please with sugar on top “suggestion” to those will pay heed, and perhaps also to appease their insurance carriers who are ignorant of the requirements of state laws. The little Glock cartoons with the red circle and slash at the bottom of the bank door are of this sort,

      IF you are caught violating such a Pretty Pease sign, you MAY be asked to take your weapon off the premises. If you then refuse you COULD be charged with criminal tresspass. Or not. If you politely agree and leave, yu often may reenter the facility and they cannot search you to assure your :friend” stayed outside.

      In states where mandated forms of signs ARE posted you, in ost states, may ignore them until “made” then you either remove your piece from the premises or can face criminal tresspass charges. In my state many sheriffs will not enforce this IF you have the Mother May I Card and are not acting like a jerk. Just walking along and the butt of your gun momentarily flashes will most counties get ignored. Might “contact” to verify lawful possession..
      BEST practice is to know YOUR state’s laws. Most county sheriff’s offices will gladly provide a pamphlet detailing all firearms laws in your state. Best to keep up with the latest ravesties foised upon us by our perfidious state lawmakers and governors/esses.

    • The only signs here that have the force of law are the officially designated in law signs prohibiting firearms for a few areas designated in law. But even then, those ‘in charge/owner/officials’ of those areas can selectively allow firearms carry/possession and its not a violation if allowed to do so.

      Here, property owners, outside of those places designated in law, can post their own signs prohibiting all firearms or specific types of firearms. But they do not have force of law behind them and the most they can do is ask you to leave and if you don’t immediately (which means here that you drop everything and walk away then … you don’t finish eating, don’t finish paying for your stuff, don’t try to discuss it with them or complain about it, etc… but you leave immediately) its trespass which is a misdemeanor at most but in this case its usually not a call to police or charged by police unless you give them a hard time about it (e.g. not leaving immediately). Property owners with their own signs posted may selectively allow people to carry firearms and exclude others as they wish or not enforce their prohibition at all or enforce it completely. We have very few places here where property owners post their own signs, heck, except for maybe three places I haven’t seen one in many years.

  2. RE: but that might not always be the case. What would you do?

    Shoot the perp very dead. Give a statement, go home, devour two Texas size cinnamon rolls my sister brought by, take a nap. Get up, watch a movie, go back to bed, get up, go for a run so the sweet rolls wouldn’t stick to my hips:) What else could you do?

  3. RE: but that might not always be the case. What would you do?

    I would like to think that I would help. I also hope I never have to find out.

  4. it all depends on if its lawful to carry
    where im actually carrying at the time
    if its lawful for me to carry there
    ill get involved in somebody elses altercation pretty fast if theres a deadly weapon involved
    and it doesnt appear that its just gang bangers banging on each other
    if its *not* lawful for me to carry there
    im going to wait until my life is at stake to get involved
    but until things change around here
    im not going to go to jail
    just because somebody else didnt make it a priority to protect themself
    or just because the blue city/blue state governance model in effect there
    is denying people their human right
    to defend themselves

    • Unfortunately this applies on my end to the point of it depends on which sheriff has jurisdiction. Anything above Saratoga probably would help Albany and much of the surrounding area…….YOYO

  5. In my W&C class, I was informed that Maryland is a “duty to retreat” state, and as long I or mine have a retreat path, I must retreat. Specifically I was informed I am NOT LEGALLY permitted to come to another’s defense. Legally, jumping into a fight, I would be unable to invoke the affirmative defense of self defense, and likely would end up in the Hagerstown charm school.

        • Meanwhile wasn’t Delaware the last state to end slavery, perform an execution by hanging, and whip a man as part of a sentence?

        • Back when I was a kid almost a century ago, either Delaware or Maryland, the rumor was, allowed one to beat one’s wife with a stick that could pass through her wedding ring. My money is on Maryland, but that would only be nothing larger than 25 cents.

    • @Inactivist

      “In my W&C class, I was informed that Maryland is a “duty to retreat” state, and as long I or mine have a retreat path, I must retreat. Specifically I was informed I am NOT LEGALLY permitted to come to another’s defense. Legally, jumping into a fight, I would be unable to invoke the affirmative defense of self defense, and likely would end up in the Hagerstown charm school.

      Maryland is a Castle Doctrine state and does have a stand-your-ground law and you have no duty to retreat – if you are in your home. But for duty to retreat outside the home what you were told was not ‘complete’. You were given the states ‘required’ ‘check the squares’ ‘simple mind’ story line and your instructor was not legally permitted to deviate from that.

      In Maryland ‘Duty to Retreat’ requires people WHO ARE NOT IN THEIR HOMES to retreat or avoid danger before using deadly force to defend THEMSELVES IF ITS POSSIBLE TO RETREAT SAFELY. That does not prohibit defense of others in or outside your home and that ‘safely’ includes allowing you (doesn’t require, but allows you to make the choice) to not let others to be harmed by the threat you are retreating from or see they are not able to retreat from safely, for example, another is injured already and can’t run away fast enough to escape further harm, elderly on a walker, a child, a person frozen from fear, person in a wheel chair, person can’t flee unless they have to go closer to the threat or be exposed to the threat ability to harm them, etc… and that keeps them from being able to escape safely and even though you may be able to ‘retreat’ safely you can defend them. You are permitted to come to the defense of others if all of the below four are true:

      (1) You actually believed that the person you are defending was in immediate and imminent danger of bodily harm.

      (2) Your belief was reasonable.

      (3) You use no more force than was reasonably necessary in light of the threatened or actual force. (e.g. the offender shoves someone, you don’t use a gun … the offender pulls a knife on someone and is close proximity then you brandish and warn … the offender starts to stab or slash someone then you fire.)

      (4) Your purpose in using force was to aid the person you were defending.

      If all four of the above are true, it is an affirmative defense.

      • .40, OK, but in light of the Bruen decision, what are the gun owners of Maryland doing about it?

        • They did immediately challenge their assault weapon ban so they have a 2-3 month lead on our challenge of the safe act. In the end every state has something to work on after Bruen and it will take the better part of a decade to get final rulings on many of them but our kids will have a lot more of what our ancestors did unless we go full commie revolution anyway.

  6. The lesson to learn here:

    Find a different job. “security” is for idiot vigilantes that have no idea what they are actually getting themselves into in the name of protecting someone elses assets.

  7. I wasn’t concealed carrying, but, I stepped in all the same. A crazy was crazing out on the interstate. Cars pulled over. I approached the crazy, and persuaded him to move over onto the berm, then into the grass. Cop arrived. Cop had the disadvantage of approaching over low ground, the crazy had the high ground. Not much the cop could do about it, vehicles were blocking other approaches to the crazy. I positioned myself behind the crazy, on the high ground. Cop proceeded to talk the crazy into submitting to arrest. But, I was perfectly prepared to jump-kick the crazy in the back of the head if things started going wrong for the cop.

    Yes, before anyone asks, I was much younger, much healthier, and much stronger all those years ago. If I didn’t kill the silly bastard, he would have been going to the hospital for awhile. I wouldn’t attempt the same thing today. Instead, I’d just shoot the crazy.

    Fortunately, my intervention after the cop arrived was unnecessary, but it got a big ‘thank you’ from the cop before he departed.

    • Absolutely correct and it has been so for quite some time. I left 12 years ago and I should have fled sooner.

    • Yep. It was part of the Union side in 1861. And Baltimore was the major slave trading port nd city. As was NYC.

  8. Isn’t this what Mall Cops signed up to do? They are the “professionals” that were hired for the job.

    The shopping venue has a duty to protect shoppers, the shoppers have no duty to protect the “staff”. After a shot is fired the mall owners or merchant company will have nothing to do with or for the bystander who intervened, that will be the closest thing to a thank you.

        • Yes. Any general statement like that is totally fallacious. No one can make a general statement about the law. Even with common law principles brought over from England (or France in the case of Louisiana or Spain in the case of western states) most states have tinkered with the common law so that it no longer is common law. Mark N’s statement is typical of folks who have no knowledge of the law. Even an attorney can’t make a blanket statement about what the “law” is with regard to all 50 states and territories. I would doubt, however that Mark N’s pronouncement even comes close to being the law anywhere. Too many cases involving the safety of customers have resulted in significant jury verdicts for folks who were injured on a shopping mall’s premises for that to hold much water.

        • Tonight’s news carried a story about Target having to pay out big bucks because a couple of people got stabbed in a Target store. Target also had to promise to store their knives better than apparently they had been. So the next time you are in a Target store to shop for a $3.99 paring knife you will probably have to get the clerk to open the locked knife cabinet to show you the knife under careful scrutiny by security on the closed video screen. I missed part of the news clip, so don’t have the complete story. I will see if I can find it on line.

  9. I wouldn’t do it. Drawing a firearm, as a private citizen, on a perp inherently means accepting responsibility for the legal aftermath should he/she force you to pull the trigger. Even if you do everything right and there is security camera footage from
    three different angles, AND you have a dozen eyewitnesses saying you acted fully within the bounds of the law, that still doesn’t mean you can’t be charged and as the saying goes, you might beat the rap but you won’t beat the ride.

    How many of you actually know what it entails to be charged with murder, or at least some variant of unlawful homicide? It’s great to say the moral answer is to help a stranger, but is it really moral to
    bankrupt your family and leave them without you for potentially a year+?

    • Too true. If you know an attorney, ask him what the initial retainer fee would for a case involving illegal use of firearm. All you have to do is look at the Rittenhouse case. The felon he shot is suing him for getting shot after he bonked Rittenhouse with a skateboard. Your homeowner’s insurance does not cover intentional torts. It only covers “accidental” torts. Unless Rittenhouse can prove to the satisfaction of his homeowner’s insurance that he accidentally shot the perp, they will decline coverage. Don’t believe my recitation of what your policy says. I could be wrong. Call your insurance agent and ask him if your homeowner’s policy covers shooting a bad guy. If he says it does, insist on getting a copy of that particular coverage. And given his age, I doubt that Rittenhouse had homeowners insurance anyway.

  10. Carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.
    Without a permit.
    He did not have permission.
    Didnt he know that The Right To Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed didnt mean he can do that without having permission first.
    Wow , what a dumbass.

  11. Having responded in a similar fashion and situation 40+ years ago, i would mind my business these days. My duty is to me and mine. Not worth the legal issues I had to deal with. Took me two years to get my gun back.

      • Standing trial sucked, charges were dismissed, cops pulled my license, court gave it back to me. Arresting officer stole my piece and sold it, had to open a case with Internal Affairs to get it back.

  12. Real copper or rent a copper from the mall, or pribvate nobody, if anyone were under serious threat from a clown with a big knife I’d take action if I could safely do so (not firing with a backdrop of innocents beyond the target). I would try to establish comminicaation with LE, particularly if real and not rented. Let THEM call the scenario. If they tell me to bugger off, I woud not hesitate. But if they said YES please help…. that makes me think if the cop who had come upon a rollover in the median on ! 10 west of Phoenix one night. Cars had stopped, the perp got out of his upside diwn car just as a state patrol unit rolled up. Perp drew, braced in his turnedover car, and began firing on the cop, hitting him. Bystander reacted, drew his own, had a clear shot and clear backdrop, and began firing on the crazy. Took the heat off the cop long enough for him to call for backup and the ambulance. Seem to remember private citizen hit the perp a time or two, kept him down until more backup arrived. He was arrested by the backup cops. Had private guy NOT intervened the outcome most certainly would have been one dead cop and probably some innocents hit once he started unloading in any direction. As I recall the flipped car had been stolen but was not being actively persued at the time of the rollover.

    Each situation is unique and must be assessed live, quickly, and under extreme stress. Know the laws in the jurisdiction where it is coming down, know your capabilities, do the best you can in assessing the situation from the perspective you have. I would FAR rather not find myself in such a kettle of fish….. but were that to happen I’d trust my judgement and assessment and act accordingly.

    • Exactly. What loser spends time and money at the mall? Sorry but I have already decided if and when I have to pull my pistol, it is only to protect myself or my family. Sorry, if others don’t value their own life, it is not my problem. Too bad in todays world it has to be this way.

  13. Everyone has a moral obligation to “Preserve Life”. Even if unarmed, you should act to the best of your ability, whether that’s calling 911 or other action. I wouldn’t want to know that I could have prevented death or injury of an innocent person, but chose not to. Your mileage may vary, just speaking for myself.

    On the other hand, I strongly believe in the saying, “Do unto others, then run”. If I was the concealed carry holder, I would have told security I needed to go to the restroom and just left the scene. Since this guy didn’t discharge his firearm, what’s the big deal, etc.

  14. Buy self defense insurance. In my opinion the best two are CCW Safe and Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network. Be sure to read the fine print because each won’t cover you in some situations.

  15. If I knew the perp was out on $500, no I wouldn’t get involved. The situation could easily go south and I justifiably shoot, wound the turd and he files a lawsuit. Even with self defense insurance it costs me way more than $500 inconvenience. Maybe I hang around and assist if he starts stabbing people, then I’d have clear cut justification to shoot to end the carnage.

  16. Hey, dacian, the DUNDERHEAD & MINOR Miner49er, what was that you were saying about gun owners don’t stop crime or mass murder?

  17. “On the other hand, I strongly believe in the saying, “Do unto others, then run”. If I was the concealed carry holder, I would have told security I needed to go to the restroom and just left the scene.“

    Sure. You’d be on a dozen cameras… fixed surveillance and bystander cell phones. There’d definitely be a knock at your door later on.

    All this seems like an exercise in futility. Until most of us are actually standing in the situation, it’s unlikely many of us could say how we’d react.

    Even cops and the military-trained often react either slowly or counter to proper training when actually confronted with an unexpected, real, life-threatening situation coming out of the blue. I consider anyone waving a big knife around in the marketplace as a real life-threatening situation.

    And on top of it all, one must consider the state in which the situation occurs. We’re pretty well off in Iowa; across the Mississippi in Illinois would be another story. The sad thing, either way, would be when a person who could affect a quick remedy would be afraid to act. As pointed out elsewhere here, a shot need not be fired in the vast majority of cases where a defensive firearm is presented.

    Personally, I’m more afraid of being in the area with a person who’d either claim to look forward to such a situation, or broadcast that they’d ignore, or not act at all if they were able to assist. But then again, I don’t believe it’s all that predictable.

  18. Personally, I would be very hesitant to draw a firearm in a situation like this one, unless I was the person potentially being “lunged at” with the knife.

    I would not trust law enforcement, at any level, in any state, to be reasonable about my choice of “brandishing” the weapon in that situation. I wouldn’t really trust them even if I WAS the one being threatened with the knife.

    Law enforcement in the United States is corrupt from top-to-bottom, and is as big a threat to one’s freedom and rights as the criminal class, if not bigger. The leadership of LEO organizations (if not the rank and file) have been against allowing the populace to defend itself for decades. They fight, and have fought every single effort to let people defend themselves, from mace, to stun guns, to batons, to actual firearms.

    My general presumption is that there would be some liberal prosecutor in almost any jurisdiction in the US that would love nothing better than to grind his political axe, and raise his visibility for future electoral ambitions by going after a person for “brandishing a weapon in the presence of women and children, blah blah blah.”

    So, unless my life, or the life of a loved one is directly threatened? I would not draw a firearm in public.

  19. Frankly, were I present at such an incident, I would clear the scene as rapidly as possible. While this turned out well for the lawfully armed citizen, it clearly could have gone the other way had police arrived and seen him with a gun visible…

    Likewise, a knife attack may not be as mortal (fatal) as a gunshot wound, but they are far more morbid (injurious)…a knife wound can debilitate you for the rest of your life.

    The correct answer is fo so called security at malls, etc, to be properly trained, equipped and armed. And for those with criminal histories to be supervised so they cannot easily commit more mischief.

    • If in one hand and you have an idea of what is in the other? It turned out well because the armed citizen knew what he was doing. Under the law, a knife is considered a deadly weapon, for your edification. Your proper answer is great with one very major problem. No mall is going to arm their security officers and accept the responsibility legally or otherwise. Not with the WOKE nonsense going on in society.
      Your ‘solution’ to supervise those with criminal histories is a violation of the Constitution. Again, just for your edification without a court order of probation or parole.

  20. Washington State is a little different, no duty to retreat. In the above mall situation Mall Security: Just citizens who’s mothers dress them funny. Real LE: You can assist them and be covered by state law as then having the same legal protections as the cops themselves. Retired LE here and I carry under state law that grants me the right, however NOW as joe citizen I would most likely focus on getting my family out as first priority. Times have changed in WA and it is now a commie run state, this state is under a governor and attorney general that are foaming at the mouth anti 2A and got a magazine ban passed last month and are now going after “assault weapons”, citizens be damned.

  21. $5,000 bail!? For assault with a deadly weapon? Such BS. All 10 of his baby-mama’s can pitch in and he’ll be out in 48 hours.

    • Sorry, he probably walked right after being booked. Remember, Vegas has turned into a deep blue city. The days of when the mob controlled crime in Vegas are long gone. When the mob controlled Vegas, if the present perp pulled a knife like that he would have his error explained to him as he was given a ride out into the desert by a couple of Good Fellas.


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