The news is a funny thing sometimes. When something shocking comes out, everyone rushes to get more and more information as quickly as possible. When it comes to active shooter or active gunman situations, that rush for information often runs into the chaos of the situation. We saw that with the Newton, Connecticut shooting where media outlets worldwide put the picture and information of the wrong person up as the gunman only to have egg on their face later.
In Portland, Oregon, that same rush for information had the mainstream media skip past the fact that a concealed carrier confronted an active shooter and caused him to abandon his plans, run for a service corridor and stairway and kill himself as these shooters typically do.
We saw the story, it’s lack of coverage, and knew it was news that needed to get out. Obviously important for concealed carriers / gun owners, we knew the story demonstrated how these situations can be stopped quickly by a determined, well-practiced concealed carrier.
We spoke to Nick Meli, Casey, and Ashley late Sunday and got the full story direct from the people who were there… in that moment with the gunman still active and approaching. While plenty of people want to second guess, or make assumptions, we’re here to bring the full story to light here and putting all facts on the table.
On Tuesday evening Casey and Ashley went to the mall with Casey’s close friend Nick and Ashley’s 4-month-old son Noah. Ashley’s boyfriend (who is also Casey’s brother) works at the mall and the group was waiting for him to get out of a meeting. They had been in the mall for a short while and were heading to the food court to get a bite to eat. Just as the group passed the Macy’s Home Store and came to Morgan Jewelers three gunshots rang out.
What we now know was the beginning of gunman Jacob Tyler Roberts’s shooting spree came as a complete shock to everyone. Nick, holding young Noah at the time, turned to Casey and said, “Are you serious?!?”. Casey’s simple answer? “Yes”. As Ashley told us, Nick tossed Noah to her and drew his concealed carry weapon in a single motion.
Not believing the shots to be real Ashley wondered if it was possible the mall was doing active shooter training, something her boyfriend said they had done in the evenings before. Then a long series of 10-15 gunshots rang out. “Once I saw Casey under the jewelry counter and heard the other shots, I knew it was real,” Ashley told us.