ARMED CITIZEN CAPTURES COP-KILLER. Like so much of what he does, gun guru Massad Ayoob’s Tweet caught my full and immediate attention. The link took me to chattanoogan.com. Here’s the meat of the matter. “Two eyewitnesses gave graphic testimony on Wednesday morning about the April 2 slaying of veteran Chattanooga Police Sgt. Tim Chapin on Old Bird’s Mill Road in Brainerd. A nearby resident told of being outside at a yard sale when he heard gunfire and then he watched a gunbattle between Sgt. Chapin and Colorado parolee Jesse Mathews. Harlan Murray [above] said he then went inside his house, got a gun, and held Matthews at gunpoint until police soon arrived and handcuffed him.” Over at his blog, Mas reckons we got us a hero . . .
Kudos to Brother Murray, more living proof of why I’ve always felt the law-abiding armed citizen and the police are natural allies. I’ve already suggested to a friend on CPD that the cops chip in to buy Mr. Murray a larger caliber handgun.
Note: Massad Ayoob is a former cop. Throughout his adult life, fighting crime and/or defending oneself against it has been his raison d’etre. My perspective is slightly different. I am not now nor have I ever been in law enforcement. My number one priority: self-preservation. Not society. Not my neighbors. Myself and my family. So . . .
I don’t think Mr. Murray should have inserted himself into this life-and-death struggle. Matthews did not pose a direct threat to Mr. Murray or his family. He could have simply observed the ex-con and helped the police auger in. And then been a good witness; which is no small thing.
Murray’s actions put himself in mortal peril. If he’d been shot and killed, he would have left his family bereaved. For what? To bring a man to justice he didn’t know?
My take: engaging Matthews was a selfish act. I understand if you don’t agree. But before you dismiss me as anti-social and amoral, let’s hit rewind on this story.
Mr. Murray said he then told family members and a customer at the yard sale to get inside the house they had rented a month earlier at 109 Old Bird’s Mill Road. He said he went inside himself and retrieved a 22 revolver.
He returned to the road and confronted the man who had shot the police officer, aiming the gun at him and telling him, “Get down.” He said the man, who did not have a gun in his hands, did not comply even after he told him a second time. He said he directed, “Get down now.” He said the man then knelt down.
The witness said he held a gun on the man until a police officer soon ran up and handcuffed the man.
He said when the officer turned the man over he noticed that he was wearing a bullet-proof vest.
If the .22-wielding Murray’d been dispatched by Matthews, would he have been a hero or a schmuck?