A concealed carry permit holder is being hailed as a hero in Arlington, Texas, where his swift actions may have prevented significant loss of life.
On the evening of May 3rd, 2017, 48-year old James Jones entered sports bar Zona Caliente in Arlington, and began yelling incoherently while standing at the bar, according to eyewitness reports. At the time there were roughly a dozen customers and several staff members in the building.
Zona Caliente’s bar manager, Cesar Perez approached Jones to calm him down and find out what it was that he wanted. It was then that Jones pulled his gun and shot Perez, killing him. Perez was 37-years-old.
After witnessing the shooting, a bar patron and concealed carry permit holder pulled his own weapon, approached Jones and shot him. Reportedly, before approaching the suspect, the permit holder instructed his wife to hide.
Once initially shot, Jones continued firing. “After he was struck once, the suspect started shooting at the front door,” Cook said. “We know people were trying to escape, but we’re not sure if he was just trying to harm others.”
While police are not releasing the name of the permit holder, they are referring to him as a hero.
“We’re treating the good guy as sort of a hero,” Arlington police spokesman Christopher Cook said Thursday.
Part of the reason for this is what the police found after they arrived on the scene. In addition to the gun he shot Perez with, Jones was carrying two additional fully loaded guns and two knives.
“Right now, just with the preliminary information we have, it definitely sounds like that individual tried to do the right thing to prevent further loss of life,” said Lt. Christopher Cook with the Arlington Police Department.
As for the assailant, Cook said “We do believe he had the capacity to do much greater harm.”
Some have questioned the legality of the concealed carry owner’s having his gun with him at a bar. However, Zona Caliente is a “blue sign” establishment, or one that allows concealed carry patrons to carry their weapons into the bar.
The permit holder was questioned by police, and then released. Standard procedure dictates that a grand jury be held after such an event, but Arlington police don’t anticipate the concealed carry owner will be charged.