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Security Guard Calmly Takes Down Gunman at New Life Church

This is an amazing article about the security guard who took out the gunman at New Life Church in Colorado Springs yesterday. While the other two guards stood with their guns drawn, frozen, it was Jeanne Assam who calmly took control of the situation and killed the gunman, preventing him from killing countless others. From the Denver Post:

Larry Bourbonnais, a combat-tested Vietnam veteran, said it was the bravest thing he's ever seen.

Bourbonnais, who was among those shot by a gunman Sunday at New Life Church, watched as a security guard, a woman later identified as Jeanne Assam, calmly returned fire and killed the shooter.

"She just started walking toward the gunman firing the whole way," said Bourbonnais, who was shot in the arm. "She was just yelling 'Surrender,' walking and shooting the whole time."

Bourbonnais, 59, had just finished up a hamburger in the cafeteria on the sprawling church campus when he heard gunfire, he recalled.

He headed in the direction of the shots as frightened people ran past him looking to escape to safety.

"Where's the shooter? Where's the shooter?" Bourbonnais kept yelling, he recalled.

Near an entryway in the church, Bourbonnais came upon the gunman and an armed male church security guard who was there with his gun drawn but not firing, he said.

Bourbonnais said he pleaded with the armed guard to give him his weapon.

"Give me your handgun. I've been in combat, and I'm going to take this guy out," Bourbonnais recalled telling the guard. "He kept yelling, 'Get behind me! Get behind me!' He wouldn't hand me his weapon, but he wouldn't do anything."

There was an additional armed security guard there, another man, who also didn't fire, Bourbonnais said.

...Assam, 42, turned a corner with a drawn handgun, walked toward the gunman and yelled "Surrender!" Bourbonnais said.

The gunman pointed a handgun at Assam and fired three shots, Bourbonnais said. She returned fire and just kept walking toward the gunman pressing off round after round.

After the gunman went down, Bourbonnais asked the Assam, a volunteer security guard with the church, how she remained so calm and focused.

Bourbonnais said she replied:

"I was asking the Holy Spirit to guide me the entire time."

Update: Watch the video of Jeanne retelling what happened at a press conference yesterday.


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Comments (30)

Amen.... (Below threshold)


I'll bet the anti-gun/anti-... (Below threshold)

I'll bet the anti-gun/anti-Christian groups are going to have a field day with this one. Think about it, a suspect killed at a church!

Jeanne Assum is a real insp... (Below threshold)

Jeanne Assum is a real inspiration. The way her faith caused her to 'rise tot he occassion' is making me rethink my own petty problems. Check out this blog post:

This is one incredible woma... (Below threshold)

This is one incredible woman, who is also a victim of the monster responsible for so much sorrow in this season of joy. Forever she will carry the scar of taking a human life. The pain in her eyes during her interview is telling of the torment her soul is going through right now.

Logically she certainly knows she is a hero, saved countless lives and there was no other way it could have ended any better. Emotionally she knows a 24 year-old is dead at her hands. As despicable a person as he was and as worthy of his fate he is, one who values life does not take a life without remorse.

I pray for her and all of the families of the victims in this dark hour. I also pray for the gunman's family. And I pray that the gunman is quickly becoming acquainted with hell at this very moment.

Praise the lord and pass ou... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Praise the lord and pass out the weapons.

Gun Control - Hitting what ... (Below threshold)

Gun Control - Hitting what you aim at.

If the Holy Spirit was guiding her in this time of peril, she has no need to be ashamed or tormented.

I hope those other two non-... (Below threshold)

I hope those other two non-security guards have turned in their guns and badges.

Other reports have her list... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Other reports have her listed as a security volunteer, and not a working armed security officer.

So basically, someone with a carry permit dropped this guy.

Other reports have her l... (Below threshold)

Other reports have her listed as a security volunteer, and not a working armed security officer.

So basically, someone with a carry permit dropped this guy.

Correct. She used to be a cop but is now just a citizen who carries legally and was in the right place at the right time. I hope that she doesn't suffer from any PST as she did exactly what was necessary.

So basically, someone... (Below threshold)

So basically, someone with a carry permit dropped this guy.

That's a very important point being carefully ignored by the MSM and many liberal blogs and commentors.

If we were purely logical b... (Below threshold)

If we were purely logical beings I agree she has nothing to be ashamed of or tormented by. But we are also emotional and caring beings. The presence of anguish on her face belies that no matter how strong we are in the face of danger, and how righteous our actions are, those of us who value life are pained by becoming an instrument of death. Regardless of the blessing given by God or society. To be otherwise would be to be as much the monster as the gunman was.

And, yes, the other guards should be stripped of their weapons. They've demonstrated that they are as big a threat with them as an active shooter since they would have allowed themselves to be shot and their weapons used against other innocents. They certainly didn't protect anyone in the face of danger and they are now a danger to everyone around them if they are armed in a future event.

Mike:Putting a fam... (Below threshold)


Putting a family pet down is traumatic and guilt inducing to some. Putting down this scum may induce survivor's guilt, post-trauma fear (my GOD I could have been killed) but guilt, though does occur to some in this situation, is not a necessary component of being a human.

Matt, Epador:I'll ... (Below threshold)

Matt, Epador:

I'll bet you a year's salary Jeanne Assam is pained by having to have to take a life, even under these circumstances. If you caught even part of her interview she sent her prayers to the family of the gunman. She is a devout Christian, opposed to abortion because it ends life. I'll even give you odds, say 100-1.

It is easy to write what you write, and in my anger and rage as a non-participant I'm guilty of expressing the same things. But when you know and have intimate contact with the people involved in these things, from police to military, the normal ones know they did right but can't help but feel terrible afterwards. Only the psychopaths get off on it.

Likely seasonal holiday dep... (Below threshold)

Likely seasonal holiday depression is driving mentally unstable persons towards violence such as these church shootings, the mall shooting, and the Clinton office hostage incident. Mentally ill people, and especially those who abuse drugs, often tend towards paranoid thinking and blaming others, not themself for their own problems.

On the other hand, my mind remains clear because I do not drink, smoke or use any drugs of any type, including prescription. I'm coping with the devastating recent death of both parents, my dog and my oldest cat in the last few months. I have massive estate legal problems. I have problems with the rental homes. I have huge repair headaches with the home I'm living in. I likely will not have any gifts or even a Christmas this year, because my family is dead. With a clear head you can cope with massive problems, but those who abuse drugs cannot. It makes a huge difference.

Matt, Epador:Her C... (Below threshold)

Matt, Epador:

Her Christmas season will forever more be a reminder of this event. It will tint this time of year until her last breath. Do you think she'll be more likely to toast and revel in her bravery of the day, or reflect on it and pray for the dead, including the gunman with sadness that he never knew or welcomed God into his life. It will probably be magnified during the holidays for her as she reaches old age and reflects on her life.

I, for one, would not want to trade places with her and carry that burden just to get the acclaim that comes with being a hero. If I were in her shoes on Sunday, rest assured I would have done the same thing and not cowered like the two other guards. It is the carrying of the burden after it ends that also makes her a victim. And would make me one.

It is the media that public... (Below threshold)

It is the media that publicizes and pities the murderers that produces copycats. If they gave no notoriety or infamy to them, quit trying to find a deeper understanding of them that generates compassion for the murderers and society chose to shame and scorn them by spitting on the graves of the murderers you'll see this stuff become a rarity instead of a phenomenon.

When I heard this today, my... (Below threshold)

When I heard this today, my first reaction was to think of the Virginia Tech massacre, and contrast the two in my mind. But regardless of outcome, both were incredible tragedies, and lots of families still need our prayers.

Thank God she was there, ar... (Below threshold)

Thank God she was there, armed, and with a cool enough head to do what the male security guards could not.

Our news media needs to take some responsibility and begin treating these perpetrators differently: no pictures, no reading of suicide notes or "manifestos" or rants on their web pages. The names will be a matter of public record, of course, but there is no need to repeat them every time a story on the case is run. Substitute "pathetic loser" for the name.

Not all of these evil people are motivated by the potential for fame, but that does seem to be a factor in many of the cases. Why else kill a bunch of strangers? To whatever extent the prospect of news coverage might inspire them, we should be seeking to eliminate that. "The public's right to know" isn't much of a reason - the public gains nothing from knowing the history and seeing the picture of a perp who is already dead, for instance.

Right on, Jim. What's miss... (Below threshold)

Right on, Jim. What's missing from this generation is the proper public shame and scorn. Public floggings have their value. I'm not talking literal stuff like in Islamic countries, but casting a load of humiliation in our attitudes towards wrong-doers instead of signing them to book deals would be a start. And banishing the memory or mention of evil-doers to hell would be another good step.

Hooson:"On the... (Below threshold)


"On the other hand, my mind remains clear because I do not drink, smoke or use any drugs of any type, including prescription. I'm coping with the devastating recent death of both parents, my dog and my oldest cat in the last few months. I have massive estate legal problems. I have problems with the rental homes. I have huge repair headaches with the home I'm living in. I likely will not have any gifts or even a Christmas this year, because my family is dead."

And we all need to know this? Why?

CLUE: We don't, it does nothing for your credibility on the issue at hand and once again makes you to be a pompous ass you apparently enjoy putting on display.

However, look on the bright side, you still have a cheap assed Chinese scooter made in a non-union shop and likely made with slave/child labor. You "gave" those laborers a "merry christmas" via your patronage.

Ahhhh, C'mon marc.... (Below threshold)

Ahhhh, C'mon marc.

That's a cheap shot and you know it.

Great job Ms. Jeanne Assam.... (Below threshold)
Steve Lanser:

Great job Ms. Jeanne Assam.

I wish we had a lot more Jeanne Assams around.
Maybe these azz-wipe punks will think twice before shooting people.

Good Job Jeanne.

There's no doubt in my mind... (Below threshold)

There's no doubt in my mind that this was traumatic for her as well and an 'atta girl' without concern for that fact cheapens her act of true heroism. I'm not saying that is the intent of some of the comments here, but true heroism hits some of us in spite of so many factors. Fear is the biggest one. Something deep inside her welled up and pushed aside that fear just long enough to complete a necessary task. And believe it or not - it was to her detriment for the benefit of others, because this will bother her for a long time.

"I hope those other two non... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

"I hope those other two non-security guards have turned in their guns and badges."

Which sort of reinforces the point I made in another thread about citizens needing to be armed, willing and capable of ending the threat. Just because someone has a gun doesn't mean they're going to mount a banzai charge towards the shooter.

I'm not willing to condemn the other guards without more info - and I'd be reluctant to do so anyway since they're untrained volunteers. The ex-military guy had to wade upstream through fleeing people, so it's entirely possible the guards weren't firing because of innocents in the line of fire. Thankfully, one guard had a clean line of fire and the will to act.

The two people who advanced/wanted to advance on the shooter are an ex-police officer and an ex-military man. They'd been there before. I know we'll all claim we'd have been charging the guy, but until we're there we'll never know for sure.

If I'm ever in CO Springs I want to buy her the biggest steak in town. Cheers, Jeanne!

Civil Disobedience: "Praise... (Below threshold)

Civil Disobedience: "Praise the lord and pass out the weapons."

Yes "Civil", if only that horrible security guard did not have a gun, how much nicer your day would be then.

Civil is always very disappointed when an anti-Christian is gunned down before killing even more innocents.

Drago, I think you may be c... (Below threshold)

Drago, I think you may be confusing "Civil Disobedience" with "Civil Behavior".

I believe Oyster is right a... (Below threshold)

I believe Oyster is right about the mixup. And for the record, it's no longer a concern -- "civil behavior" pissed all over the Pearl Harbor thread, so I introduced him/her/it to Olaf The Troll God's Hammer. He/she/it won't be bothering us any more, and civil disobedience has a monopoly on the "civil" moniker.


"I'll bet the anti-gun/anti... (Below threshold)

"I'll bet the anti-gun/anti-Christian groups are going to have a field day with this one. Think about it, a suspect killed at a church!"

Inasmuch as several of the umbrella groups founded by the Joyce Foundation will attempt to portray this as another reason the country needs strict regulation of all firearms it will blow back on them because:

1. Jeanne Assam had a concealed carry permit and the background training to know what to do in the situation. She wasn't the only armed civilian there even though the other two individuals that were failed to stop the criminal.

2. She prevented a tragedy much greater than was possible from happening unlike two other very recent incidents where there were large numbers of individuals in a 'Gun Free Zone' that died because of political correctness or as I like to state "Logic Failure".

3. The gunman was already breaking the law, in a church no less. One of those 'sanctuaries' as the leftist's so proudly spout when one of their pet causes is hanging out in one to escape justice. Imagine the lurid headlines had it been in a mosque.

She did what had to be done and stopped a potential tragedy on a previously unheard of scale. She reversed the situation by demonstrating what one person can do in a time of crisis with a firearm.

For the record, the gunman ... (Below threshold)

For the record, the gunman killed himself. He was shot by the guard, but she didn't kill him.

As more facts are coming ou... (Below threshold)

As more facts are coming out it would appear that the gunman fired the shot that killed himself. But Assam firing at him, possibly wounding him without a doubt showed him the end was near and the gig was up causing him to turn his gun on himself instead of others. I think hell is pretty warm this time of year and I'm glad he's toasty there instead of some jail cell taxpayers would be paying for.






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