Most fathers know that protecting their family ranks as one of their most important duties. And many are forced to go to extreme lengths to do so.
In honor of Father’s Day this Sunday, here are seven times over the past few years when fathers protected their families with firearms.
The father of a 2-year-old girl did what he could to protect his child. When he and his daughter were sightseeing together at an area lake one afternoon, they were approached by a man wielding a knife. The man demanded money. The father immediately thwarted the robbery attempt when he pulled out his concealed firearm, prompting the man to flee in a van. No shots were fired and no injuries were reported. (Idaho Press-Tribune, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 6/23/14)
Jason Bagley was home with his two young daughters when he heard someone inside his house. In an effort to protect his children, Bagley grabbed his Glock 19 and confronted the two intruders, who had already begun to ransack the home. Bagley fired four rounds, causing the intruders to flee through the back door. They managed to get away with a cell phone and two MacBooks. “You can’t replace my kids,” Bagley said. “All I was thinking about was my kids’ protection.” (WSB-TV, South Fulton County, Ga., 3/8/14)
John Hunt was outside washing his car with his two sons around 7 p.m. when they were approached by two armed men. One of the men put his gun to the neck of Hunt’s son, Marcus, and said, “You know what time it is.” Marcus ran into a nearby yard and the suspect followed him, taking a necklace and a large amount of cash. He then fired a shot at Marcus. Meanwhile, Hunt had gone inside and retrieved his 9 mm handgun. Hunt quickly returned to the scene and fired at both suspects, striking one in the chest and the other in the thigh. After being treated, both men were arrested and are now facing charges of first-degree robbery. (The Buffalo News, Buffalo, N.Y., 7/30/13)
A father was at home in Houston, Texas, with his wife, four children and the children’s uncle when three armed home invaders entered the apartment. As the uncle was surrendering to the criminals, the father retrieved a gun and fired at the intruders, killing two and causing the third to flee. Police have questioned the armed citizen, but have made clear to a local media outlet that they believe the father acted within his rights. In the aftermath of the shooting, the family of the armed father showed their support, with his son telling reporters that his father is a “great hero.” (KTRK, Houston, Texas, 7/1/13)
A father and daughter were at their home in San Bernardino, Calif., when the daughter was confronted by a home invader. Upon seeing the intruder, the daughter screamed for help, at which point the criminal grabbed her. The father heard the screams, retrieved a gun, and went to his daughter’s aid. When the father arrived in the room with his daughter and the home invader, the intruder attempted to attack him, to which the father responded by shooting the criminal and ending the attack. (The Press-Enterprise, San Bernardino, Calif., 6/16/13)
Lee Heng, 63, was asleep when two suspects allegedly scaled the wall and entered Heng’s second-story apartment through the bathroom window. Heng woke to the sound of his 14-year-old son screaming. Realizing his son was in danger, Heng jumped out of bed and grabbed his gun. The armed intruders confronted Heng, and a struggle ensued. Heng fired several shots, which caused the men to flee. One suspect suffered fatal gunshot wounds and the second suspect was reportedly still at large. It’s believed that the suspects were attempting to rob the jewelry store Heng runs on the first floor of his home. (TheBlaze.com, Philadelphia, Pa., 4/1/13)
While at home with his wife and daughter, a homeowner prepared to go outside to investigate a sudden power outage. His wife asked him to carry his firearm with him as a precaution. As he opened the front door to step outside, three men charged him in an attempt to gain entry. The homeowner pushed his wife aside as he fell backward and fired at the intruders. His daughter, a student in her early 20s, hid in another room and called police. One of the three home invaders suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was listed in serious condition. The remaining two suspects managed to escape. The homeowner and his family were not seriously injured. (Sun Sentinel, Miramar, Fla., 10/2/12)