A man who helped foil a potential church shooting was shot by police in Amarillo, Texas.
According to Chron.com, on the morning of February 14, 35-year-old Joshua Len Jones burst into a building at Faith City Mission and pulled a gun, taking about 100 congregants and church staff hostage.
But as police were en route, churchgoers took matters into their own hands and wrestled Jones to the ground, one of them grabbing his gun. When police arrived, they stumbled upon the churchgoer holding the gun and opened fire. The man, identified as Tony Garces, was hospitalized in stable condition and later released.
“There were other people there. I just took the gun away from him. I got shot. I got the bad part. It’s life.”
When asked if he would do it again, Garces said he’d do it “in a heartbeat.”
From ABC 7:
Garces said he was at Faith City Mission after four years in prison to turn his life around with the drug rehab program. Disarming the gun man gave him the opportunity to prove to himself he had changed.
“If it would have been the old me, I wouldn’t have done what I did,” he said. “It would have been completely different.”
Now, he faces challenges to his recovery.
For doing the right thing, he now has got a huge medical bill, probably a lot of long term physical problems and it needs to be taken care of,” said Jeff Blackburn, Garces’ attorney. “The only reason he’s got those problems is because they shot him.”
When the story began to circulate on social media, many thought it was a good example of how arming teachers to protect students from rampaging gunmen is a bad idea. In sum, if good guy who disarmed a shooter can get shot by police, then the risk of an armed teacher making the same mistake is even greater.
Teachers won’t make this mistake!
— Hal Stewart (@Jocyleanw) February 26, 2018
An armed teacher will meet the same fate one day.
— COB (@justapedn) February 25, 2018
This almost happened at Gabby Giffords shooting as well. Terror layered on terror.
— Amy Sommers 李雅美 (@AmySommers1) February 25, 2018
Police evidently became confused in the heat of the moment despite years of training and experience.
— Focus (@etsage) February 26, 2018
Teachers in Texas are getting 4 days of training before they get to swagger around gun on hip.
— Nina Menon (@Nmenon777) February 26, 2018
And this ladies and gentlemen is why arming teachers is the stupidest idea ever .
— Sherri Stewart (@sstewbean) February 25, 2018
In addition to taking care of his medical bills, Garces told ABC 7 that he hopes the city will invest in training officers better.
“Train them better, man,” he said. “That guy didn’t know what he was doing.”
“I thought it was over. but the cops shot me. The good guys shot me.”
Watch ABC 7’s report on the story below:
Featured image via screen grab