Amid a Plague of Shootings, Bystanders Become Heroes
Mike Wright was the manager of the Luca Pizza di Roma in a Greenwood, Ind., shopping mall in July 2022 when a gunman emerged from a bathroom and opened fire, killing three people before he was fatally shot by an armed bystander, Elisjsha Dicken, who was carrying his 9-millimeter handgun.
Mr. Wright praised Mr. Dicken as a “hero citizen” who saved lives but said those, like himself, who had survived were still changed. “It’s nothing you ever expect to go through, but now we live in a heinous world,” he said. He added: “Since then, I watch my back more. You never know when someone is going to pop up.”
Guy A. Relford, an Indiana lawyer who focuses on Second Amendment issues, represents Mr. Dickens. Mr. Relford said the effect on those hailed as heroes can be intense, too.
“Generally, from representing people in his situation, it’s a profound thing and a tough situation to deal with,” he said. “Any person who values human life is going to be affected by making that decision.”
Americans have increasingly turned to active shooter training to learn strategies for surviving an attack. In Odessa, Texas, on Tuesday evening, a small group of residents gathered at the Odessa Police Department for a session on how to react if confronted by a gunman.
The session opened with a graphic showing the increase in mass shootings across the United States, from the early 2000s to now.
Cpl. Steven LeSueur told participants it takes about three minutes for the police to respond to a shooting. What happens in those minutes can mean the difference between life, injury, or death, he said, and if people decide to fight, they need to be prepared.