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The Armed Citizen® | Colorado

The Armed Citizen® | Colorado

Colorado is a state steeped in patriotism. Nicknamed the Centennial State after its founding in 1876, its majestic vistas became the inspiration for the song “America the Beautiful” less than two decades later. Today the state is home to the Air Force Academy, consistently ranks high in voter turnout, and is home to an estimated 1.7 million gun owners—many of whom aren’t afraid to take up arms in defense of themselves and others, as the following accounts show. 

A woman and her male companion were traveling in a vehicle in Bellvue, Colo., when they got into an altercation. After the woman pulled the vehicle over and attempted to call 911, the man followed her and stabbed her. A passerby noticed the scene, retrieved a firearm and held the attacker at gunpoint until police could arrive. (KUSA, Denver, Colo., 6/4/2016; Coloradoan, Fort Collins, Colo., 6/4/2016)

A soldier was staying at a hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo. when a man came up to his door and asked to check the plumbing. The soldier let the man into his room, but once inside, the man drew a knife and attempted to rob him. The soldier responded by retrieving a gun and forcing the criminal to the ground. (KSHB, Kansas City, Mo., 12/1/2015)

Jeremy Strong was at home with his wife and son when his wife alerted him to someone attempting to break into their house. Strong retrieved a gun, went to investigate, and discovered a man who had broken through one of the home’s windows. Strong aimed his firearm at the intruder, ordered him to the ground and held him at gunpoint until police could arrive. Police later determined that the man was likely high on methamphetamines at the time of the disturbance. A charitable man, Strong has not pressed charges against the criminal despite the damage, explaining that the man needs help. (KKTV, Colorado Springs, Colo., 5/23/2013)

A robber armed with a knife approached a man in his car at the Power Wash car wash in Colorado Springs, Colo. and demanded money. The driver feigned reaching for his wallet, but retrieved a pistol. Upon seeing the pistol, the criminal fled the scene. Police have noted that the driver was lawfully carrying the firearm. (The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo., 6/1/2011)

Two armed criminals entered G&E Liquor in Aurora, Colo. and attempted to rob the store. The clerk noticed the men as they entered, retrieved a gun and pointed it at the criminals, causing them to flee. The clerk is no stranger to crime—three years earlier he was held at gunpoint during a robbery, at which point he resolved to arm himself. Undeterred in their goal of robbing a liquor store, the two criminals traveled a short distance down the road and attempted to rob another Aurora, Colo. liquor store. As in the first incident, the clerk was armed, but this time the clerk fired at the robbers, striking both and ending the crime spree. (KDVR, Denver, Colo., 9/23/2010) 

Two burglars attempted to break into a house in Denver, Colo., but were met by an armed homeowner. The homeowner fired at the criminals, killing one and causing the other to flee. Police were already in the homeowner’s neighborhood responding to what could be a related burglary call and rushed to the scene, capturing the surviving burglar. The homeowner has not been charged in the incident. (KUSA, Denver, Colo., 5/24/2010) 

"I just didn't hesitate," Cody Buckler explained while recalling an armed invasion of his home. He awoke to the sound of strange voices in the living room. Peering down the hall, he saw two masked men toting handguns. His girlfriend's young daughter confronted one of the men, who claimed to be a police officer. Buckler quickly returned to the bedroom for his 12-gauge shotgun. Police say he proceeded to the living room, spotted one of the suspects holding his television, and promptly shot him. That suspect fled, but his accomplice charged up the stairs. Buckler shot him, too, causing him to retreat to the basement and exit via a window. The suspects were found seeking treatment for gunshot wounds at the hospital. (The Gazette, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1/22/2008) 

It's a story not even anti-gun media outlets could ignore. Matthew Murray allegedly wrote online, "All I want to do is kill and injure as many [Christians] … as I can." Police say he made good on his word, first by killing two young students at a missionary training center outside Denver. His next target was a gathering of 7,000 people in and around the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colo. With a rifle and a backpack full of ammunition, Murray entered the church and opened fire, killing two sisters. One man yelled to distract the gunman and was shot in the arm. That's when volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam, who has a concealed-carry permit and once worked in law enforcement, yelled, "Surrender!" Armed with a handgun, she walked toward Murray and shot him several times. "It seemed like it was me, the gunman and God," Assam recalls. With his twisted plan foiled, the immobilized gunman killed himself. (Associated Press, 12/11/2007) 

According to police, a 54-year-old burglar with a violent and lengthy criminal record dating back to 1969 decided to strike again. The man—whose rap sheet includes aggravated assault with a knife, aggravated robbery, felony menacing and drug charges—entered the home of a local schoolteacher by removing an air-conditioning unit from a window. The homeowner shot the intruder in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun, killing him. (The Denver Post, Denver, Colo., 7/20/2006)

A woman shot and injured a gunman in her yard early one Sunday, cutting short his assault on her and her children. Jaquie Creazzo and her three daughters were forced to flee their home after smoke from a car fire billowed into the house. Once they were outside, Justin Michael Getz came screaming toward the wheelchair-bound woman and her family, firing two handguns at them. "He was loaded for bears," Creazzo said. Her daughters and two nearby firefighters ducked for cover from the erratic gunfire, but Creazzo drew her own gun and fired several shots, hitting her attacker in the leg. Getz was the ex-boyfriend of Creazzo's eldest child, and, according to Creazzo, had threatened to kill the family two days earlier when the girl refused to see him again. "I'm certain if I hadn't responded, none of us would be here today," Creazzo said of the incident. "He had made threats to kill each and every one of us." (The Denver Post, Denver, Colo., 11/23/2001)