As a Southern Illinois off-duty police officer was visiting a local Walmart, he spotted a violent fugitive that police had been looking for. The officer called for backup, and when police arrived on the scene, the wanted fugitive tried to flee. His attempts were unsuccessful, however. He hit a concrete pillar with his vehicle before hitting several more vehicles in the process, including the police cruisers. Both on-duty officers were injured.
The fugitive, identified as 35-year-old Jason Stringer of Centerville, then made an attempt to run over the off-duty police officer. At that point, the officer pulled his concealed handgun and fired several shots at the perpetrator. One of the shots hit the driver and the off-duty officer was able to jump out of the way of the oncoming vehicle. The driver collapsed and collided with oncoming traffic as well as a traffic median strip about a mile away. Stringer was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police say that Stringer was on the lam for charges including possession of a firearm as a felon and for violently threatening his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. He had fired at least two rounds at the boyfriend and also held a gun to the man’s head. Stringer appeared to be a very violent man intent on harming others. He did a lot of damage before being brought down. If he hadn’t been caught, he’d likely do quite a bit more.
It was the off duty police officer’s smart actions and his gun that were able to save lives. If you don’t have a gun, you can’t use it. It is very important to be a responsible concealed carrier and a law abiding citizen so you can be in charge of your own safety.