Sometimes the gods smile on you. As when they demonstrate that most armed bad guys have very little experience with the guns they carry. The gods certainly seem to have regarded Ed Jones of Omaha with favor last fall.
“I want you to know that the only reason I wasn’t hurt was because they missed,” Jones told a judge Friday. “They fired shots at me. They missed every time.”
Mr. Jones didn’t. He was working at a tobacco store when two armed men walked in. It was clear they weren’t there to pick up at tin of Sutliff Private Stock or a couple of My Father El Centurions.
Jones ran out the back door and around the front of the building where he, armed with a gun, encountered Velazquez and Rodriguez. Both 18-year-olds opened fire.
With the two shooting at him, he did the only thing he could.
Jones returned fire, hitting 18-year-old Jose Mario Velazquez, who later died at a hospital. The other teen in the robbery, York Rodriguez, was arrested, as was the driver, Luis Vargas Aguilar.
Shooter Rodriguez has since taken a plea deal and is awaiting sentencing. This week, the justice system put the driver away for a good long time.
Friday, Douglas County District Judge Duane Dougherty sentenced Aguilar, 19, to 18 to 24 years in prison. The term, which is cut in half under state sentencing guidelines, means Aguilar must serve nine years before he’s eligible for parole and 12 years before release. Aguilar had faced up to 50 years in prison after pleading no contest to a robbery charge.
Dougherty said Jones had little choice other than to do what he did. The judge said he couldn’t comprehend the terror that went through Jones’ mind — and the anxiety that lingers.
“He’ll be tore up for the rest of his life,” Dougherty said. “I can’t imagine how he gets through his thoughts every day, trying to do what he can to get back to a normal life.”
That’s no doubt been extremely difficult. The only thing worse would have been not coming home to his family ever again.
Jones said he thinks every day about the encounter and how he was nearly taken from his loved ones, including four children.
“It kind of goes without saying this was extremely devastating for myself and my family,” Jones said. “I was convinced I was going to be killed that day.
The “good guy with a gun” narrative is a myth meant to scare people into buying guns for self-defense.
— Giffords (@GiffordsCourage) July 6, 2018