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A terrible situation in Rockledge, Florida could have been much, much worse if not for the quick-thinking of one concealed carry permit holder.

A man armed with a .45-caliber handgun and a lot of ammunition wandered onto an auto repair shop property and began firing in the parking lot Friday afternoon, police said.

The gunman killed one employee and paralyzed a second. That’s when the employees at Schlenker Automotive fought back with equal force, Rockledge police chief Joseph La Sata said.

The man shot and killed an employee in the parking lot, then shot and paralyzed a second employee who had walked outside to investigate the gunfire. At this point, the store’s manager, realizing that something terrible was underway retrieved his own firearm and confronted the shooter. At this point the manager made his way back into the building, and a second employee (also a concealed carry permit holder) engaged the attacker as well.

“The manager, who was a concealed weapons permit holder, came out and engaged in gunfire in the parking lot,” Police chief La Sata said. “The manager fled back inside the building, being chased by the gunman. Another Schlenker employee, who also had concealed weapons permit, engaged in gunfire with the suspect.”

“If not for the brave, quick thinking of the employees at Schlenker, this could have been a lot worse,” La Sata underscored. “Mr. Bailey [the attacker] had multiple magazines on his person. He was intent on doing harm. The employees stepped up.”  

The shooter was not prepared to face resistance and between the two defenders he was unable to mount the attack he had imagined. Police apprehended the attacker on premises after he’d been shot twice and he is now in a nearby hospital being cared for and preparing to spend a long time in prison.

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More importantly, the two law abiding citizens with guns were able to save countless lives, stopping a madman from adding yet another mass shooting incident to America’s recent count.


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