A 61-year-old man opened fire outside of a mall in Glendale, Ariz., shooting at two shoplifting suspects that he claims also brandished weapons and posed a threat to him, his wife, and a security officer. Initial reports of the incident, which took place at Glendale's Arrowhead Towne Mall three days ago, claimed that a woman had pulled a gun from her purse and fired at mall employees, but Mervin Brewer recently spoke to local news team 3TV explaining that he was the one to fire the shots.
While recounting his story, Brewer remained calm and straightforward. He explained that he was parked outside the mall’s Sears store and waiting for his wife when he saw a man and a woman exit the store while being followed by a security guard.
“The security guard came to confront [the suspects]. The guy pulled out a gun and pointed a gun at him, and my wife was standing there. For her well-being as well as the safety of the security kid, I had my gun; I told him to ‘freeze.’ She turned, pointed the gun, and I shot,” Brewer said.
The suspects fled on motorcycles, which were eventually found by police at a nearby apartment complex. The authorities searched the apartment complex but were unsuccessful in their attempts to apprehend the shoplifting suspects. It was unclear whether or not any of Brewer’s shots struck the suspects, but no other individuals were injured in the incident.
Gun control supporters will inevitably frame this incident as a fact that shootings at malls, schools and other public locations are becoming increasingly commonplace. Second amendment supporters will inevitably claim that Brewer’s ability to carry his own weapon may have saved lives due to his intervention. In this scenario, both sides are correct. As long as shootings like these continue to exist, however, there’s a problem somewhere.
Despite the controversy that public shootings such as these bring to communities, Brewer believes without a doubt that he will not be punished, even if he faces charges for firing his weapon.
“It was self-defense for the safety of my wife and the security guard. Without a doubt, I was justified,” Brewer said.