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True Stories of Armed Self-Defense for January, 2001

by Robert A Waters
Author, The Best Defense: True Stories of Intended Victims Who Defended Themselves with a Firearm

February 1, 2001


This past month brought numerous reminders of why many Americans own guns. But these stories were nowhere to be seen on ABC, CBS, CNN, or NBC. They weren't news to editors of the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the Los Angeles Times.

Overlooked by the mainstream media, these accounts show how lives are saved when law-abiding citizens own firearms.

Forty-five home invasions occurred in Chattanooga, Tennessee between October, 2000 and January, 2001. But on the night of January 12, the home invasions came to an abrupt end. Two masked gunmen burst through the door of Tiffany Bibbs's home. When the mother, who was holding her baby, attempted to dial 911, one of the robbers knocked the phone out of her hands. Then the assailants forced the four occupants of the house to give up their money and jewelry. As they were leaving, one of the intruders snatched Bibbs's baby from her arms and ran outside. Gerald Lamar Beverly, a visitor in the home, grabbed a handgun and followed the robbers. The assailant placed the baby on the porch and began shooting at Beverly. The visitor returned fire. When police arrived, Beverly and an armed neighbor were standing over the body of Mica Kaba Townsend. Beverly was not charged. There have been no more home invasions reported in Chattanooga since January 12.

On January 11, in Atlanta, Christopher Quilling and his girlfriend were relaxing at home when three armed men kicked down the back door and entered. As the intruders attempted to rob the couple, Quilling's Rotweiller attacked one of the gunmen. This gave the homeowner time to retrieve his own 9mm semiautomatic pistol. In a furious gunbattle, one robber was killed and a second was taken to a local hospital where he was listed in critical condition. Quilling, who was shot in the leg, was released from the hospital the same night. Police ruled the shooting self-defense.

On January 16, Cumberland County, North Carolina restaurant owner Spiro Poulos shot two armed robbers. Wearing ski masks, they entered his pizzaria and held a pistol to his head. When the men demanded money, Poulos pulled his own gun and fired four times. One of the robbers was hit, and the other fled. The business owner, according to police, acted in self-defense.

On January 19, a grotesque series of events ended the life of an Akron, Ohio armed robber. Saleh Husein, owner of Kelly's Mini Mart, was working the counter when David Id-Deen entered the store, pulled a gun, and ordered the business owner to "freeze." Husein, whose brother had been murdered by a robber a year before, retrieved his own handgun and blasted four shots at Id-Deen, grazing his head. The robber panicked, dropped his weapon, and fled. Running into the street outside the store, Id-Deen was struck by an oncoming car and died of a broken neck. Husein was not charged.

In other cases, an armed man in Houston was shot and killed while attempting to rob a car stereo shop; the manager of a bar in Phoenix shot and killed one of four robbers; a homeowner in Portsmouth, Virginia shot a teenager who tried to break into his home; a store clerk in Tulsa, Oklahoma killed an armed robber; and a Phoenix father shot and killed a man who forced his way into the home.

And so it goes.

On January 26, a Merrillville, Indiana man used his handgun to save himself and his wife. His daughter's boyfriend, upset because the parents intended to move to Texas, threatened Thor Moody and his wife with a semiautomatic pistol. The Moodys ran to their bedroom and slammed the door shut. When the teen began shooting through the door, Moody grabbed a handgun and returned fire, driving the boyfriend from the house. The teen was quickly arrested. Thor Moody was treated for a minor wound to the arm and released from the hospital that night. No charges were filed against Moody.

On the afternoon of January 27, Johnny Tyson, attempted to rob Lin's Super Market in Savannah, Georgia. Tyson struck store owner Xiao Ming Lin in the face with a brick, knocking him to the floor. The robber then jumped the counter and attempted to open the cash drawer. Lin's son, also working at the store, drew a .38-caliber revolver and opened fire, killing Tyson. Major Willie Lovett of the Savannah Police Department refused to file charges against the owner's son. "People have the right to protect their property and themselves," he said.

On January 28, at 3:30 a.m., a teenager entered the business office of the Spenard Motel in Anchorage, Alaska. Holding a gun to the head of the clerk, he demanded money. The robber became agitated when he didn't get the amount he wanted. The clerk, thinking he would be killed by the gunman, pulled his own handgun and shot the robber five times. The clerk was not charged. The same could not be said for the robber.

These are just a few cases of armed self-defense that went unreported by the mainstream media in January, 2001. Because of this shameful neglect, many Americans have a distorted view of guns. The media will never convince people of their fairness and objectivity until they begin to cover these stories.

Mr. Waters is the author of The Best Defense: True Stories of Intended Victims Who Defended Themselves with a Firearm. Read other articles from him at