This is how armed citizens use their guns to deal with scumbags who steal what they won’t earn, and who take their lunacy out on society.
From the Bristol Herald Courier (2010)
On Monday morning, Thomas Richard Cowan loaded 13 bullets into two handguns, left his German shepherd chained to the fence and drove eight miles from his home in Kingsport to Sullivan Central High School.
……For about an hour, Cowan’s armed invasion spread panic throughout the school before a burst of officers’ gunfire brought him down. No others were injured.
No one knows why Cowan pointed his Honda in the direction of the Blountville, Tenn., high school, where his brother is a janitor. He is described – in court records and interviews – as a peculiar man with a history of erratic, sometimes criminal, behavior and a deep suspicion of the government.
He parked his car Monday morning in a handicapped space just in front of the school’s main entrance. Second period was just getting under way at 9:10 a.m. when Ashley Thacker, a junior, arrived at the main entrance of her high school. Thacker, 16, had been at a doctor’s appointment and was on her way to a music theory class as she approached the locked doors.
She noticed a man standing in the 10-foot waiting area between the two sets of doors, waiting to be buzzed in. His bald crown was framed with brown hair. He had a mustache, she remembered, and he was holding a cane.
He told her to go on ahead of him. But she never made it through the doors.
Instead, Melanie Riden, principal of Sullivan Central, came striding through the locked doors.
“He pulled out his gun and started pointing it at people,” Thacker said.
Cowan trained a .380-caliber semi-automatic pistol at Riden’s face, said Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson.
Carolyn Gudger, the school resource officer, drew her gun, then shielded the principal’s body with her own.
Thacker remembers Cowan shouting something – possibly including the words “10 years” – but she isn’t sure. She turned and ran out the set of public doors to the mulch pile in the front of the school, and hid behind bushes.
“He might shoot someone,” Thacker remembered thinking. “I just wanted to get out of there.”
Riden fled and Gudger inched back into the school, leading Cowan through the scattered pastel chairs in the empty cafeteria. It was a tactical move, meant to lure the gunman into a more contained place, Anderson said.
Sullivan County dispatch sent out a chilling alert: “Man with a gun at Central High School.”
……Cowan repeated one thing only, Anderson said. That he wanted to pull the fire alarms.
“I don’t know why, we can only speculate about that and I think everyone will speculate why he wanted to pull a fire alarm,” Anderson said. “Either to get the kids out of class or, I don’t know. We don’t know.”
Flattened against the bushes, Ashley Thacker waited two minutes, she thinks. “I didn’t hear anything else, so I thought Officer Gudger had arrested him.”
She was wrong. As she approached the school, two assistant principals opened a window and yelled at her to run away. Crying and shaking, Thacker ran to her car and drove a half-mile to her parents’ business.
……With the announcement, teachers sprang into action – locking doors and papering over windows, turning off the lights and closing window blinds. Students huddled in the corners of classrooms, sitting in the darkness and searching for information with a storm of text messages.
……But it was all over in minutes, Anderson estimated. One hundred and twenty seconds after Cowan drew his gun, two deputies, Lt. Steve Williams and Sam Matney, arrived. They entered through separate doors and met Cowan and Gudger – still in a moving standoff – as they reached a science pod behind the cafeteria. Cowan wavered; he jerked his gun from Gudger to the other deputies then back again. The three officers told him, again, to drop his weapon. He wouldn’t.
So they opened fire. Some students counted five shots, others counted six. Anderson would not say how many rounds hit the gunman.
Cowan fell to the ground, his shoes just feet from door to the library full of teenagers. The pistol in his hand had seven bullets in the magazine and another in the chamber. He had a second handgun in his back pocket, loaded with five rounds.
Ms. Gudger did a hell of a job stopping Cowan from harming the students. The only bad thing was Gudger herself didn’t pop his head like a zit with her firearm. But that’s okay. One less piece of shit breathing precious oxygen.
BTW: Cowan was a regular shitbird on the local police radar, with a lengthy history of threatening behavior.
In 2010, the school shooting that got all the media attention was Columbine, whose school resource officer was equivalent to Barney Fife.
A Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy, Neil Gardner, was assigned to the high school as a full-time uniformed and armed school resource officer. Gardner usually ate lunch with students in the cafeteria, but on April 20 he was eating lunch in his patrol car at the northwest corner of the campus, watching students in the Smokers’ Pit in Clement Park. The security staff at Columbine did not observe the bombs being placed in the cafeteria, since a custodian was replacing the school security video tape as it happened. The bags holding the bombs were first visible on the fresh security tape, but they were not identified as suspicious items. No witness recalled seeing the duffel bags being added to the 400 or so backpacks already in the cafeteria.
……Harris, at the West Entrance, immediately fired his rifle at Gardner, who was sixty yards away. Gardner returned fire with his service pistol. He was not wearing his prescription eyeglasses, and was unable to hit the shooters. Thus, five minutes after the shooting started, and two minutes after the first radio call, Gardner was engaged in a gun fight with the student shooters. There were already two dead and ten wounded. Harris fired ten shots and Gardner fired four, before Harris ducked back into the building. No one was hit. Gardner reported on his police radio, “Shots in the building. I need someone in the south lot with me.”
If Gardner had been competent and had decent skills, Harris would have been dropped where he stood.
Unfortunately, our nation’s schools have to be transformed into maximum security facilities with armed guards, to ensure the safety of kids who are just trying to get an education. When I read about punks who walk into their schools to shoot fellow students and teachers not because they’ve been bullied, but because they hate society in general, the first thing I ask is, “Where are the parents?” If they’re not paying attention to their kid’s behavior and keeping tabs on them and the kinds of friends they hang with, then the community suffers the consequences when the little spawn decides to take out their teenaged angst by going on a bloody rampage. In which case, I’m all for pumping as many bullets into their asses as they used to commit their atrocities.