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The School Shooting The Media Won’t Report : Daily Witness

The School Shooting The Media Won’t Report

January 11, 2013 | By | 34 Replies More
The School Shooting The Media Won’t Report

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. Whatever his mission, it was the 62-year-old Vietnam veteran’s final drive.

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.”

Riden, reached by phone Monday night, said she could not comment without permission from Sullivan County Director of Schools Jubal Yennie.

Gudger told him to drop his weapon; he demanded she drop hers. Once, he tried, unsuccessfully, to lunge for her gun.

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.

The view from the classroom

At about 9:15 a.m., a shaken voice came over the intercom.

“Code red. Lockdown.”

There was profanity in the background. This was no drill, students realized.

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.

Casey Deel, a 17-year-old senior, was on his way to a doctor’s office when his girlfriend, Alicia Edwards, sent him a text at 9:15 a.m.

“There’s a code red lock down. im scared,” the 16-year-old junior texted from her government class.

“r u serious?” Deel texted back. He skipped his appointment.

In Kayla Nichols’ cosmetology class, students squeezed into a storage room the size of a parking space, and locked the door, the 17-year-old said.

Ryan Kendrick was in algebra class, just off the main office. The 17-year-old senior thought he heard the gunman making threats – about not leaving the building alive and taking others with him – and Gudger urging him to calm down.

Then he heard a volley of gunshots.

Bang-bang-bang-bang-bang.

Kendrick and his friend, Andrew Ray, began to pray.

Landon Sillyman was in his honors biology class, where the teacher had instructed students to put their heads on their desks in the darkened classroom. The 14-year-old freshman estimated the suspense lasted about an hour.

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.

“That’s how close he was,” Anderson said. “We all know this could have been much more dangerous.”

A troubled history

In a file at the Kingsport General Sessions courthouse, there is a handwritten note by a police detective:

“This is the fellow we discussed,” it reads. “He needs a mental eval.”

The note was written in 2001, after Cowan was charged with stalking. According to court records, a newspaper carrier said that twice he followed her as she drove her route.

When she turned, he turned. When she stopped, he stopped.

“At one point, he followed [her] into a driveway and would not let her pull out,” the affidavit reads. “Both instances put [the carrier] in fear as she does not know the defendant.”

The case was later dismissed because a witness did not show up at court.

The same affidavit also recites an incident from the previous year, when Cowan produced a gun at the Kingsport Police Department.

According to court documents, he arrived at the police station in February 2000 to talk with officers about “a problem that has been discussed with him several times in the past.”

Cowan confessed that tucked in the waistband of his blue jeans, he had a loaded .380-caliber Jennings handgun – the same type of gun used in Monday’s standoff. He was convicted of unlawfully carrying a concealed weapon, sentenced to a year of probation and ordered to seek a mental evaluation and counseling.

He did not do either, court records show.

His brother, Rodney Cowan, a janitor at the high school, declined to elaborate Monday evening on his brother’s history or character.

“Right now, I haven’t got a comment,” he said. “We’re just trying to get everything figured out.”

A “textbook” response?

At a Monday afternoon news conference at the Board of Education building in Blountville, Yennie, the director of schools, read from a prepared statement that lauded police, staff and students for following their emergency protocol.

“The students were never in any danger,” he said. “And Carolyn Gudger performed her job admirably to ensure the safety of students and staff.”

Anderson, too, said the school’s protocol worked perfectly. He hailed it “textbook” and “perfect.”

“These officers saved children’s lives today,” Anderson said.

But some students were not reassured.

Camry Collins, a 17-year-old senior, wonders about the effectiveness of the second set of locked doors. She said she does not feel safer despite the outcome of Monday’s intrusion.

“Tomorrow, the same thing could happen again,” she said.

And tomorrow, Carolyn Gudger, Monday’s uncontested hero, won’t be there.

“Gudger is the “bomb-diggity,” Collins said. “She goes out of her way to protect us.”

Gudger and the other two deputies involved in the shooting are on administrative leave as the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation concludes its investigation.

Anderson said they are doing well, considering. Cowan was taken to the hospital by helicopter, where he was pronounced dead at 10:15 a.m.

“This is not TV; you don’t shoot somebody then go to the local bar and have a drink and talk about it and laugh and go on and do something else,” Anderson said to dozens of teachers, school administrators and students packed into the news conference. “This is very, very – I can see by your faces how traumatic it is for you. You can imagine being that officer in that spot.”

An unusual man

Thomas Cowan’s house, on Mountain View Avenue in Kingsport, is hung with a brand-new American flag and an empty hummingbird feeder. His lived alone with his dog, Radar.

Cowan’s next-door neighbor, Jessica Strom, had heard of a gunman at Sullivan Central on the news, but she never connected it to Cowan.

“Not Tom. No way,” she said in an interview.

When showed a photograph of Cowan released Monday by law enforcement, Strom clutched her head in both hands and said, “Holy crap.” She sank to the ground and discussed what she knew of her “unusual” neighbor.

Cowan often talked about government conspiracy theories, Strom said. He believed the government used electro-magnetic waves to make his dog bark. He only used disposable cell phones because he believed the government was listening in on his conversations, she said.

“He didn’t seem to be crazy,” Strom said. She and her husband “just kind of ignored him,” when he spouted his conspiracy theories. “We let him say his piece and go on.”

Last week, he went to the Dollar General store where Strom works and purchased the American flag, and some household goods.

“Why Central, though?” Strom wondered. She had no answer.

In his newspaper box was an old, yellowed newspaper from Jan. 4, 2007, still wrapped in plastic. The lead story that day was about a fugitive wanted in Pennsylvania who drew a gun on Johnson City police officers.

The headline read, “JC police kill gunman in shootout.”

By Claire Galafaro and Daniel Gilbert

This article originally appeared in Tricities.com

Check out Ivan Kenneally’s new book The Benghazi Report: Leading From Behind, Into Decline.

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Comments (34)

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  1. Sharon Corkren says:

    Why don’t you report that this happened in August 2010? The article makes it look like this happened Monday. I don’t remember it from 2 1/2 years ago but that doesn’t mean the media didn’t report on it then.

  2. Ben King says:

    I couldn’t find any mention of the date this happened… I thought it had happened last Monday perhaps – that is, until reading the one comment that told me when the story was from. Well written story, old news. If you’re trying to connect it to the news regarding gun laws and school shootings, connect it – and then make sure to give the date of the incident!

  3. Carl Robbins says:

    Regardless, the headlines writer is correct in that we don’t remember this shooting which had a happy ending ( far as the public is concerned) because it does not fit the mainstream media’s template that all guns are bad.
    So called journalists distort reality by constantly picking and choosing the stories they feel bolsters their world view and ignore the many examples of where for instance, a law abiding citizen lawfully uses a weapon to stop a crime and or save lives. Their response is typically “It’s not relevant” or to suddenly develop high standards for accepting evidence when they are confronted with their mendacity.
    Traditional patriotic Americans are still finding it hard to accept that with this last re-election of a proven miscreant and anti-US constitution entity, we are in a post collapse period of this nation as it was founded. Moreover, there is nothing remotely visible in terms of future events that are likely to halt let alone reverse the results of a collective national suicide the Us embarked on with earnest in 1965 (Kennedy’s poison pill immigration bill).

    • Diane Comer says:

      SAY WHAT?, “Carl Robbins”, do you watch FOX fake news 24/7? Your nutty comments sure sound like it. It’s interesting that you call Obama “a miscreant and anti-US constitution entity”, and then don’t mention G.W. BUSH!!! Say there, pal, Bush & Cheney LIED our country into a war (Iraq) that has cost over a TRILLION DOLLARS and 1,000’s of American lives. Is that “OK” with you? Does that kind of behavior match “miscreant?” OR, are you one of those Lush Limpbaugh (draft-dodger), Head-in-Fanny-Hannity, Bill O’Leilly Neo-Nazi Bush lovers? Bet you hate Black people, too. Maybe you are a Plutocrat (millionaire-billionaire), and I’ll bet you voted for Mitt the Twitt. IF you aren’t a millionaire-billionaire—Just a Joe Average, then you must have flunked the 2nd grade. IT WASN’T OBAMA WHO MOVED THE U.S. JOBS TO MEXICO AND CHINA—IT WAS AZZHOLES LIKE MITT the BAIN CAPITAL-ROMNEY TWITT!! But, apparently, like so many FOX lemmings, you spew the same massive lies that they spew 24/7. Bet you are a Birther, too. Like so many Re-Thuglicans, you blame Obama and then ignore the Koch Brothers (estimated to be worth $60 Billion) who are out to destroy our Middle-class and rule the U.S. as Kings. WHO do you think Boner-Boehner is working for? IT SURE ISN’T JOE AVERAGE!! So, I’m sure no amount of REALITY will change your Rat-FOX-Twisted mind, so, IF the Koch Brothers, Adelson and other Plutocrats get their way, people like you will end up in a tent in the woods, eating roadkill, weeds and worms. BUT, you will—ever the lemming—be screaming that it’s Obama’s fault! P.T. Barnum said it all about folks like you and “John Bayer”, “A Sucker is born every minute.” But now, thanks to Rupert “Criminal” Murdock and FOX fake snooze, it’s every nanosecond. So go to the frig. and get some more FOX kool-aid to further cook your already propaganda-drenched brain. Obama won the election LEGALLY—UNLIKE BUSH, whose Daddy rigged the election in FLorida in 2000 with the help of Very Crooked Son, Jeb! Of course, that monstrous crime was OK with you, HUH? AND, SAY, you NRA suckers / fools, you can’t defeat a tank with an AR-15! But, if tanks ever come after you, it won’t be a Democrat in the WH who ordered it—it will be another NIXOID-Shrub-dictator-type Rethuglican–like the Twitt.

      • Would you consider copying and sharing the following on your site ?
        Thank you ! We need to get this information to as many people that want to keep our freedoms as possible.

        YOU WILL ABIDE BY OUR BILL OF RIGHTS.
        The First is for the VOICE OF OUR PEOPLE and WE DEMAND FREEDOM, the SECOND for OUR LIFE, For that we shall hold fiercely and shall keeps such ARMS TO KEEP IT THAT WAY !!
        We the People have the power of the purse and the power of the sword. Usurpers and rouge politicians are trying to destroy the home of the free and the home of the brave.
        Let them try !!
        Molon Labe !
        Anyone that voted for the NDAA should be considered FULL TRAITORS !!!
        WE Are The Oath Keepers and we will keep it that way !

        http://www.molon.us/

        BTW Diane Comer, the man is right. Obama is not a natural citizen as defined in the Constitution that would allow him to ever be a President of this United States. His FATHER WOULD HAVE HAD TO BEEN A CITIZEN OF THIS COUNTRY TO PASS ON THE RIGHTS OF THIS COUNTRY ! Go Watch some of those videos at the link above and verify the information your self. DO NOT TAKE ANYONES WORD !! IT is your duty as an American to make this information as public as possible, Screaming very loud at how far this has been allowed to go. IT IS A FRAUD !!! THE VOTE DOES NOT MATTER IF HE DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT AS DEFINED IN THE CONSTITUTION VERY CLEARLY ! BIDEN doesn’t even get the title and it then goes to Mr. John Boehner and it is his duty to press these charges and to again take control away from the false government and RETURN IT RIGHTFULLY TO THE PEOPLES !!!

        • Karen Long says:

          Time to get over it. President Obama (and he is our president) was born here in Hawaii. He is a citizen by virtue of the fact that his mother IS a citizen and being born here. This issue has been beaten to death. President Obama was duly elected! The Republican candidate lost! Time yo move on.

        • Emmas Grandma says:

          No, only he had to be born here not his parents. Give it a rest.

          “Section 1 of Article Two of the United States Constitution sets forth the eligibility requirements for serving as president of the United States:

          “No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

          A 2011 Congressional Research Service report stated:

          “The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth”, either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth”. Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.”

          People need to learn how to read.

      • Name calling nutcase.

      • Ray Haroon says:

        You’ve got some serious problems lady. Your cute little name calling rant just shows your own character (or lack there of) and nobody elses. You’re either on drugs, drunk or incredibly stupid….which is it?

      • Ray Haroon says:

        They need to limit your hate to 350 words. Obviously a young little girl with a lot of hate pent up inside. When you grow up….you’ll learn what adults call Civil Discourse. Its where a person can speak their mind without all the mindless childish name calling. You’re a reflection of your parents. Congratulate them for raising such a sweet and SMART little girl.

      • Steve Smith says:

        Rant much?!

      • Robert Teed says:

        Wow! You got every childish name ever said to a republican since 1969 in one long boring rant! Good for you, must make you feel so proud.ROFLOL….

      • Dallas Kirk says:

        http://www.nbcnews.com/id/25546334#.URTGZmf4YUq
        Bush lied did he? Then why are they bringing uranium from Iraq?

      • Diane Comer, are you capable of rational debate? All you do is call names and make groundless accusations.

        For the record: the only “fake news” in the area you speak of came from CBS. Dan Rather provided the Nation with Air Guard memorandum that accused George Bush of missing Drills. The forgeries were so band they were partially exposed by the following day….

      • Sheila Rider says:

        ever heard of yellow cake-it is a WMD and was found in IRAQ. Saddam had already poisoned the Kurds in the northern part of Iraq. It wasn’t Bush who sent jobs overseas, it was Clinton with the signing of NAFTA. As far as the birther questions the Supreme court will decide today if they will hear the full case on Obama using many different identities and social security numbers. Obama did not win the election legally the election boards in both Ohio and florida have record numbers of people being forced into court for voting more than once. A woman in Ohio used other people’s absentee papers to vote 19 different times. Many counties reported a 122% voter turn out which is impossible. Look it up for yourself. You liberals don’t like the truth so you have to attack people and name call because you know you are screaming lies. As far as tanks coming after US citizens, Obama has already killed an amerircan citizen with a drone and has passed his very own law saying he has the right to kill American citizens any where in the world if HE thinks they are terrorist. What happened to due process? Obama has taken away our right to privacy by allowing the police to view our emails without a warrant a violation of the Constitution. Obama had the option to allow the patriot act to expire but not only did he renew it but added to it. so your hero is no hero but a tyrant and a liar. Do your research before you speak it makes you look like an idiot.

    • You are a sick, twisted imbecile who doesn’t even know the meanings of words.

  4. John Bayer says:

    Alas, Mr. Robbins appears all too accurate.

  5. Ak Zero says:

    It amazes me that people do not just google. This story is everywhere. It was reported by the major outlets including most medium and small media outlets.
    Wake up people and do some research before jumping on some idiots bandwagon.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38923637/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/armed-man-fatally-shot-tenn-high-school/#.UPkENo45c20

  6. Robert Glover says:

    We are now in a post-modern United States in which the form of governance that we studied in civics and government classes in high school no longer exists. The trampling of our Constitutional liberties and the shredding of our Bill of Rights began with that cowardly piece of legislative detritus, the USA PATRIOT Act and continued unabated through last year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which allows for the indefinite detention, in military custody of American citizens without charges, without trial and without access to counsel or any sort of a guarantee of a speedy, public trial by a jury of our peers. Moreover, our president has claimed the right to murder American citizens via a missile strike from a Prdator drone, as was done in 2011 with Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Kahn in Yemen. Speaking of drones, 2012’s FAA reauthorization bill directed that agency to allocate civilian airspace to drones, but I’m sure it’s just for our own safety, don’t you? Now, our central government wishes to create its own monopoly on force by gradually disarming the civilian population, via executive fiat and legislative action. There are about 300 million firearms currently in civilian hands across our fruited plain; and there are those of us who will sell further erosion of our inalienable rights, anong with our lives-dearly.

  7. mike tomecek says:

    good article with good detail (question about the dt below):

    First, to the other commentors, the date says “January 11, 2013 “, not 2010. where do you get that it occurred in 2010?

    Second, this story does show that armed guards can help in a situation like this.

    BUT

    IT definitely adds weight to a strong ban on assault style of weapons. If he had such an weapon, he wd have outgunned the guard and may hv caused a lot more havoc.

    another lesson from this story – people found in possession of illegal firearms need MUCH stronger consequences that one yr probation. This is the grounds of the saying ‘if you take away our guns, only the bad guys will have guns.’ – it is because there is nothing but wrist slaps. If there were consequences like 20-30-40 years in prison , no parole (not kidding), there wd be a lot less ‘bad buys’ using guns to do their thing since the consequences wd be so severe.

    the only bad guys with weapons wd be the crazies. now this guy was more a crazy vs a pro criminal. but under this scenario, he ‘d be in prison (or an appropriate mental institution if certifiably nuts) now from the 2000 incident.

    • Ben Filley says:

      i disagree. you said it yourself, gang member have the guns. isnt there already a gun ban of some sort in chicago? i very well may be wron,g im not from there, but i thought there was. which simply proves that it doesnt matter if you ban them, they just get them anyway. criminals dont exactly abide by the law. and if you DO make a mandatory minimum of say 10+ years, there will simply be more dead witnesses and cops. know why? because for some people, 10 years is no different than a life sentence. had an acquantance who was facing 6 years because he pulled a pistol on someone during a fight. didnt use it, but he still was facing 6 years. legally obtained yata yata. he hung himself. and to reply to the person saying “assault weapons” should be banned because he would have gunned people down, he didnt fire his weapon. not once. it was a suicide, not attempted murder. probably wanted to pull the fire alarm to get the kids out so they WOULDNT be caught in the crossfire. i know its only speculation, but why else would he have left a 3 year old newspaper in his mailbox with the cover story of a school shooter gunned down by police? he was simply making sure he died. he could have shot himself, but thats not always a guaranteed kill. multiple officers firing into your body, pretty much guaranteed your going to die. just my opinion.

      • Ben Filley says:

        and he didnt have an illegal weapon, he illegally carried it into a police station. no different than carrying into the post office. just to clarify. so having stricter laws regarding illegal guns wouldnt have mattered, the gun was legal, the place of possession was not. also, it was a pistol.

        • Sheila Rider says:

          You are right Ben. Chicago does have a gun ban in place and the highest murder rate in the country next to Washington DC, which also has a gun ban in place, yet declared the most violent city in the country. Those gun bans really work dont they? What we need is more regulations in place for people presenting with mental illness. But under current regulations the police cannot arrest or have them taken for evaluation unless they break the law, hurt themselves, or hurt or kill someone else. too little too late. The guy that shot Gabby Gifford was known to be mentally ill and was told by the college psychologist to not return to the school until he sought mental healthcare. If the school would have the option to contact the police who could have taken action the people he killed and harmed could have been saved from this experience. But no, common sense legislation has no business in our government they would rather punish the law abiding citizen than act responsibly.

    • My Name says:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sullivan_Central_High_School

      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sullivan_Central_High_School

      A simple Google search will find many links to the story from 2010

  8. mike tomecek says:

    looks like the commentors were right. this incident took place in 2010. a quick google search of the principle shows she is now married. one reason we havent heard about this incident is that there are WAY WAY TOO MANY gun violence incidents. Where I live in Chicago, there are hundreds a yr. I read all the time of kids getting shot in the cross fire – mostly in gang neighborhoods. It happens like everyday. So there is just so much of it and this is why this might have been just another gun stat / story.

    This then brings us another lesson – if there are too many gun deaths to even report them and distinguish them, then we have way too many guns in our society.

    lesson – more restrictions at gun sale. waiting period, for sure. no buying at gun show or private sales. all guns registered. stronger penalties.

    http://www2.wjhl.com/news/2012/dec/14/raw-video-full-interview-with-principal-68293-vi-44461/

  9. mike tomecek says:

    I like the double locked doors, too. One thing I wonder – how is it that this school had dbl locked doors and a armed guard? is this typical at High schools? realize this was 2010 before CT , but after JOnesboro, AR and columbine.

  10. Paul Snyder says:

    I am a police officer, don’t know why the female officer didn’t shoot the gun man on first contact.
    This officer needs some serious retraining or maybe she is in the wrong field of work.

    • toni chavez says:

      You sound like one of two things, an officer who is maybe too gun happy, or just bashing on the woman because you Think you can do better, as you read an article over two years later. Were you in this situation? Of course anyone can read this and say “Jeez why didn’t she shoot him in the 10 ft enclosed doorway after the principal ran” stop and think about that. Did you actually take time to read more then this article? Have a good look at the picture, I’m sure you can see the ramifications if she would have shot. As an officer you know you don’t shoot on first contact, nor is that what is enforced in training, maybe you are the one who is in the wrong field of work. Scary to think of you out there with a gun.

      • timothy ruffrage says:

        Toni your an idiot. First looking at the picture, yes she would be in the right for opening fire on him. Second, you might want to learn when an officer has the right to shoot. Yes there are times you shoot on first contact. Maybe you should educate yourself before running your mouth. and as a former officer who HAS been in situations like this, I KNOW what i’m talking about.

  11. I don’t live far from where this happened when it happened. About 30 minutes… We have armed Sherrif Dep.’s in our schools and have for a number of years. We don’t have very many problems because of this. My children feel safer and they also help out with disipline problems. Our schools practice lockdowns several times a year. I know that our middle school has a security system in place that you have to buzz in and the office can see you through the camera. You have to tell them who you are and what you need before they will let you in. I pray in the mornings, but really don’t worry too much the rest of the day because I know things are being taken care of.

  12. Spencer Hancock says:

    People save themselves and other often but you don’t usually read about it in the national news. The NRA has a page in it’s Freedom First magazine called “armed citizen” that tells of people using firearms to protect themselves and their families or friends from criminals. The articles are taken from local newspapers around the country.

  13. David Jones says:

    Sheriff Anderson states that deputy Gudger “made a tactical move” in letting Cowan engage her in a “moving standoff” so as to provide a more “contained space” as she retreated to the interior of the building. I read that as code for deputy Gudger didn’t have the guts to engage in a deadly force incident when the circumstances clearly were justified. Two minutes is an exceptional response time by Lt. Williams and deputy Matney,however, if Cowan had shot Gudger as the photo indicates he had opportunity to do, those two minutes would have allowed time for numerous additional casualties. In short, Cowan should have been dropped at the door! A firearm is of little use to a law enforcement officer when they are afraid to use it!

  14. Marc Masnor says:

    “IT definitely adds weight to a strong ban on assault style of weapons. If he had such an weapon, he wd have outgunned the guard and may hv caused a lot more havoc.”

    I liked what you had to say, except the “conclusions” above. A rifle was not used, so why jump on the so called “assault weapon” ban band wagon. You speculated on a situation that didn’t occur and then form conclusions. I would suggest another possibility, that if a rifle had been seen by the armed staff, that there would not have been a stand off. The incident would have ended at the entrance doors.

    He was disturbed and was a danger to himself and to others. The lack of care was the problem. He shouldn’t have had a weapon. He should have been treated and monitored or institutionalized. The actions of the dangerously mentally ill show the need for significant improvements in mental health care – not gun bans that would be unconstitutional and impact lawful gun owners.

  15. James Juarez says:

    people, I have read almost all of your comments. And have good news for all. Everyone of you have made at least one statement that was correct. And the rest of your comments were made in anger. And rightly so, our government has removed many of our rights as a citizen of this country. Having done so without a care what “We The People” (you remember them, the people our goverment “works for” not the other way around)thought about it. I have been telling anyone that will listen, that “United We Stand, Divided We Fall” is not just a slogan or catch phrase. We need to stand united right now. As a nation! The political machine has gotten so far out of hand it’s not even funny. The right to kill American citizens when ever, where ever they decide. Now they want to take away our right to bear arms. Not everybody believes the media driven rhetoric that has the masses in an uproar. Anually more people are killed by vehicles than by guns. Why don’t they want to outlaw cars? If your going to vote to outlaw one alledged evil. Then let’s get rid of all evil’s at the same time. Or we can remain the “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”. I am pleading with all of America, GET AHOLD OF YOURSELVES!!!! Quit listening to the evening news, take the time to make up your own mind. And for your own sake, make an informed decision for a change. One that will not affect your children or your grand chldren in an adverse way. Everybody now………. This Land My Land, This Land is Your Land…..good night and peace unto you.
    James

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