A father and son are being hailed as heroes after they pinned down a gunman threatening a mother in a minivan loaded with children. The incident took place on Saturday night in Orlando, Florida, following the Monster Jam.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that Gary Richie and his 35-year-old son Jacob were leaving the Monster Jam in Orlando on Saturday night when they saw a man with a shotgun approaching a minivan. The driver of the minivan, Shelley Mae Moore, said she was side-swiped by a passing Ford truck. Following the accident, Moore got out of her vehicle to flag down the Ford truck. However, as she approached the truck to discuss the accident, the driver, 21-year-old Stephen Page, pointed a handgun at her. As the driver pointed the handgun, the passenger in the truck, 21-year-old Cory Gathings, exited the truck with a shotgun.
Richie was watching the scene unfold before his eyes. Instead of waiting for police to arrive, Richie jumped into action. The Daily Mail reports that Gary Richie, who is a retired police officer, rushed Gathings and pinned him against the truck. Richie then called for his son’s help in disarming the man. Richie’s son, Jacob, grabbed the shotgun from Gathings.
Meanwhile, the driver of the truck, Stephen Page, was still arguing with a passenger in the minivan. Police arrived shortly after and Richie’s son lifted the shotgun over his head as a form of surrender. However, police shouted for Richie to drop the gun, so he did. However, by this time Page was no longer arguing and began to reach for the shotgun. Jacob was able to knock Page to the ground so that police could approach and make the arrest.
Richie notes that if Page had picked up the shotgun, things could have gone differently.
“If [Page] had’ve gotten that shotgun and stood up with all those police officers with guns drawn, he might’ve been the lone target.”
Though Richie knows charging a man with a shotgun is probably not the smartest idea, he says he did it anyway because there were kids inside the van.
“If I didn’t do something, something bad could’ve happened. It might not have been the smartest thing, charging a man with a shotgun. But there were a lot of people around. There were kids in that van.”
Both Gathings and Page were arrested at the scene and charged with aggravated assault.
[Image Credit: Mugshots of Page and Gathings following arrest]