Black Friday can get pretty crazy. You’ve got hundreds of normally sane people jostling against each other for the latest toy or smart phone. You always hear stories of people getting trampled to death, so it’s no surprise that the holidays can make people a bit defensive. One shopper was forced to bring his gun to bear when a confrontation broke out with another shopper.
According to San Antonio Express-News, the fight started over a place in line. Alejandro Alex, 35, allegedly punched 33-year-old Jose Alonzo Salame in the face and then took Salame’s place in line. It is currently unclear who provoked the fight – some eyewitnesses claim that Salame had behaved rudely.
Regardless of who started it, Salame finished it. The concealed carrier drew his 9mm semiautomatic handgun. Some eyewitnesses reported that Salame pointed the gun at Alex, but the official police report states that Salame simply pointed it at the ground.
Roger Rivera, a shopper who witnessed the event, said that everyone scattered, “tumbling over things, dropping boxes. It kind of went a little crazy in there.” Rivera had his kids fall flat to the ground as the shoppers waited for the police to arrive. Salame reportedly stood around and kept his gun pointed at the floor.
Alex also wasn’t interested in provoking Salame. The man ran and hid behind a refrigerator before fleeing the store.
Police eventually arrived and diffused the scene. Somewhat surprisingly, they got behind Salame. “(Salame) was within his rights,” said Officer Matthew Porter of the San Antonio police. They did not arrest Salame or press any charges, stating that he did not break any laws by displaying the weapon.
Still, Salame was given a store voucher and asked to leave. Salame complied, and it was back to business as usual for the rest of the shoppers.
This instance of self-defense is sure to provoke a bit of controversy. It’s easy to pull a gun against somebody who’s attacking you in your own home, but drawing a weapon against somebody in the middle of a crowded shopping center is much more dangerous. We’re not saying that it isn’t justified, we’re just pointing out how dangerous it would be to open fire in a place like that.
What’re your thoughts about Salame’s actions? Is it acceptable to draw your weapon as long as you are within your right to do so? Or does the presence of bystanders affect your willingness to pull the trigger?