I’ve read your blog for some time now and have been an avid shooter and firearms enthusiast my entire life. I have my own business as a firearms instructor, worked in the firearms industry for about 4-years, and come from a very pro-2nd Amendment family. I am contacting you in order to give you a little more information on the [PA] Turnpike shooting that wasn’t in the news. My fiancé is Danny Crouse’s daughter so the past week or two has been very hectic with funeral arrangements, helping the family get through this, etc. Due to this, I have just now had a chance to read through the articles that I have missed and I happened across the one regarding the turnpike. I know that you usually post a “gun hero of the day” post and this may be something to consider . . .
We found that Danny was able break free of his restraints that Mr. Brigg’s had forced Danny’s female co-worker to apply to him. While Briggs was restraining her, Danny was able to confront him, effectively taking his handgun from him. Briggs then retreated and Danny immediately ventured outside with his coworker in order to get to the emergency phone in the toll booth. She was making emergency calls as Danny was guarding her with the handgun he took from Briggs.
The van then pulled up that was contracted by the state in order to pick up money from all the tolls in the morning and Danny warned the older security guard inside the van that there was a robbery in progress and to draw his firearm. Immediately after, Briggs returned with an AR and apparently hid in the tree line and opened fire on the van, killing the security guard.
As Danny went to assist the fallen guard, he was shot once through the shoulder, severing an artery near his heart. We were later told by a trooper that attended the viewing that Briggs AR had been illegally modified to select fire, though as you and I both know, this wouldn’t have changed the outcome.
I don’t know how much of this detail you would want to publish, if any at all, but Danny left this world how he lived…he was always trying to help someone in need. He was also a gun-guy…not quite as rabid as I, but him and I shared many long conversations regarding firearms freedom’s, concealed carry, and the need for firearms of all types to be possessed by citizens of this country. Another note, he was a PA CCW holder and was unable to carry at the tolls due to job restrictions…This entire situation may have ended a lot sooner if he had been equipped to defend himself and his coworkers from the start.
Danny never sought fame or recognition when he helped someone, he did things out of the goodness of his heart in order to help those that needed it most, but I consider him my personal hero. He saved lives with his actions and I would only hope that I could act in the same manner if, god forbid, anything similar would ever happen to me.
Thank you for your time.