When police responded to a shooting at an Illinois sports bar, the bloody scene could have been far worse.
A gun-wielding man rushed into the crowded Peoria eatery and fired at his ex-wife and her boyfriend over the weekend. Before he could go on to target other patrons, including nearby guests celebrating a high school reunion, an off-duty federal agent drew his handgun and fatally shot the gunman.
All three individuals ultimately died from their injuries; however, the incident could have easily escalated into a much deadlier situation.
“After a brief moment inside the bar,” East Peoria Police Chief Dick Ganschow said, the gunman “pulled out a weapon and shot a female and a male.”
Police are now looking at security footage of the shooting, which occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday at the Fifth Quarter Sports Bar and Pizzeria. Witnesses confirmed the shooter was the female victim’s ex-husband.
According to reports, 33-year-old Lori Moore filed for divorce from Jason Moore more than a year ago. The divorce was finalized in May 2013. Jason Moore was pronounced dead at the scene, while his ex-wife died about an hour later at a nearby hospital.
The third individual, an unnamed local man, died of a gunshot wound to the head just minutes after Lori Moore was pronounced dead.
As restaurants across American continue to ban firearms on their premises, the inherent danger of gun-free zones has become an increasingly common topic of discussion. When fast food chain Jack in the Box banned guns from its locations, for example, a sudden spike in gun-related crimes were reported.
Fortunately for the patrons at this bar, a law enforcement officer was prepared.
For those eating at restaurants like Chipotle or stopping at a Starbucks for a cup of coffee, new policies preclude law-abiding gun owners from entering with their weapons. Therefore, unless an officer happens to be in the same location during a shooting spree, customers will be at the mercy of a maniac who, by definition, has no regard for the gun ban in effect.
Photo credit: Thomas Salazar (Flickr)
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom