Hero Cop Disarms Assailant

A true hero cop takes effective but non-lethal action.


Portraying cops as heroes is sometimes unrealistic, not because cops are villains but because they, just like the rest of us, have a right to not be heroes. A cop who gets a gun pointed at him has no more calling to let himself get shot in order to prevent the death of a shooter than anyone else does. Cops are married. Cops have children. None of those spouses or children—or the parents of the police officers—want their loved one to die in the line of duty.

So here is a story about a real hero cop—someone who went above and beyond the call of duty. It was reported by the Dallas Morning News: “Dallas officer credited with disarming suspect who allegedly tried to shoot him, liquor store clerks.”

Officer Richard Stewart, a seven-year veteran of the department, said he was running a little late to work when he drove by a Love Field area liquor store and noticed in the corner of his eye a fight outside. Stewart, who works in plain clothes, pulled into the parking lot to try to figure out what was going on.

“I really didn’t want to get out if I didn’t have to,” Stewart said Wednesday. “Very quickly, I figured out it was a possible robbery and the guy had a gun.”

The suspect was fighting with two clerks at the store in the 1600 block of Storey Lane. Stewart heard the man tell the clerks that he was going to shoot them. The clerks had chased the suspect after he allegedly stole Tequila.

Stewart tried to intervene. He said he pushed the gun downward and struggled with the suspect for about five minutes.

At one point, the suspect pointed his revolver at Stewart. The officer said he managed to lodge his finger between the trigger guard and the trigger, preventing the suspect from firing. Stewart said the man still tried to shoot him in the head. Eventually, Stewart also used his hand to release the revolver’s cylinder and empty out the bullets.

Stewart, who has three children, one of whom was born in October, said he didn’t have time to be afraid of what might happen.

“I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to die today,’” Stewart said.

Stewart said he has been in a few similar past confrontations with armed suspects. But he said he doesn’t know if he’d be able to repeat his actions if he could.

Think if you were Stewart’s wife with those three children. Would you want him to be earning medals or would you want him to be playing it safe? I think if I were her I’d be telling him that he needs to be using his gun more and getting in hand to hand struggles with armed assailants less. I’d be reminding him of three children who need to not become orphans.

This man is a true hero.

Thanks to Reason.com for linking the story.