Seattle, WA: A masked man burst into a 7-Eleven near Seattle early Sunday morning, swinging a hatchet and slicing the store clerk. Before the masked man could seriously hurt anyone, though, a customer who was drinking his morning coffee pulled out a concealed weapon and fatally shot the attacker. Authorities did not name the attacker or the customer, but they did hail the concealed weapon owner as a hero.
“This could have been disastrous,” King County Sheriff Sgt. Cindi West told KIRO7. “Had this guy not shot, who knows what would have happened? We might have a dead clerk right now, and instead we have a dead bad guy.”
The clerk, Kuldeep Singh, suffered minor cuts to his stomach. He, too, thanked the customer for saving his life. “He [was] killing me,” Singh, 58, said of the hatchet-wielding attacker. Singh added that the customer was a “nice guy.”
West said that the incident will be investigated fully but that the 60-year-old customer was currently being considered a Good Samaritan. The “customer, the shooter, is shaken up but from everything that we see right now from the scene – there’s no wrongdoing on his part,” she told King 5. “In fact, he probably saved a life in this case.”
The incident near Burien, Wash., about eight miles south of downtown Seattle, probably will add to the ongoing debate about concealed weapons and their effect on crime.
Concealed-weapon ownership has skyrocketed in recent years as more states have moved to allow it. The percentage of Americans who believe owning a gun will protect them and others also has risen steadily.
There is little consensus on the efficacy of concealed weapons in reducing crime, however. Although supporters of concealed-weapon ownership argue that it discourages crime, some studies have shown it has no effect. Other studies have found it actually increases crime.