Crime happens everywhere and at any time. It was about four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon when the police received calls about a road rage shooting about ten miles northwest of downtown Nashville, Tennessee. There were a number of witnesses but we don’t have answers from the person who started the incident. We have preliminary police reports from the armed citizen who stopped the armed attack.
Investigators determined that 71-year-old Alden Jones was speeding, driving erratically, and cutting off other drivers as he passed through the nearby neighborhoods of Hermitage and Old Hickory. When he stopped at a stop light, Jones got out of his car and began to beat on the driver’s side window of the car behind him. Some news reports say Jones had a gun with him, while other reports say Jones was using his gun as a club to beat on the other driver’s window.
The driver directly behind this attack shouted for Jones to stop. We don’t know if the second driver was concerned that someone needed help or if he was concerned that the attack would escalate. We know that Jones turned toward the second driver with his gun and advanced toward the second driver. That is when the second driver got out of his car.
The second driver again yelled for Jones to stop and not come any closer. The second driver announced that he was armed. At what was described by police as “a very close distance,” the second driver presented his handgun and shot Jones. At that point, Jones stopped his advance.
The second driver was 36 years old. He said he was immediately concerned for his safety and for the safety of his wife who was sitting in the car as Jones approached. The second driver stayed at the scene and gave a report to the police. The police also took reports from other drivers and passengers at the intersection. It is not clear if other drivers had called the police to report Jones erratic driving before the incident at the stoplight.
Could the second driver have backed away? Perhaps he could. Could his wife have removed her seatbelt, opened her car door and escaped as Jones advanced? That is doubtful.
Is an armed man a threat? Not necessarily. In this case the actions and demeanor of the attacker conveyed his intent to close with the second driver while the attacker had a gun in his hand.
I credit the second driver for using verbal commands as he tried to defuse the situation. We don’t know if the second driver had enough space so he could have simply driven away when Jones attacked the car in front of him. Driving forward past Jones could have been perceived as a threat that would escalate the confrontation. We know we had a man acting erratically as he drove his car, and erratically with a gun in his hand. We know an armed citizen stopped him when he was an immediate, lethal, and unavoidable threat to innocent parties.
Sure, we want to avoid a situation like this one, but I don’t know how. This could happen to any of us.
This story is one of many that go under-reported by the mainstream media because it shows a positive image of a law-abiding gun owner defending their life and their family. It is our responsibility at AmmoLand to report these stories to you. While we will continue to report these stories, groups like the Crime Prevention Research Center, led by Dr. John Lott, are fastidious in studying the use of firearms for self-defense. Stay up to date with all news on self-defense by following CPRC and Ammoland.
About Rob Morse
Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, at Second Call Defense, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob was an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.