Saturday, December 15, 2012

UPDATED: "I Knew If I Fired And Missed, I Could Hit Them," Good Guy With Gun WAS At Clackamas Town Center Shooting

"I know after he saw me I think that the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.'

Nick Meli was a guy was shopping at Clackamas Town Center where he used to pull duty as a security guard the night a crazed gunman opened fire and killed two people and wounded another. The 22 year old trained his gun on him when he realized that he might hit innocents. He told KGW:
"He was working on his rifle," said Meli. "He kept pulling the charging handle and hitting the side."

The break in gunfire allowed Meli to pull out his own gun, but he never took his eyes off the shooter.

"As I was going down to pull, I saw someone in the back of the Charlotte move, and I knew if I fired and missed, I could hit them," he said.

Meli took cover inside a nearby store. He never pulled the trigger. He stands by that decision.

"I'm not beating myself up cause I didn't shoot him," said Meli. "I know after he saw me, I think the last shot he fired was the one he used on himself.
He wants to be a cop. I'd say he certainly has the temperament for it.

Here's what's on Nick's Facebook page that he posted last August.


  1. so. .. he didn't shoot... because he was afraid he'd miss?

    then he shouldn't be carrying.

    that he pulled a weapon is meaningless. that he failed to use it is cowardess.

    don't pull it if you won't use it. don't carry it if you can't hit what you're aiming at. there's zero heroics here.

  2. Hi Just,

    Let me gently disagree with you a little bit here. Had he been on duty as either a cop or security guard, I think your critcism might be vald, but he was off duty with others at the mall.

    No details have been released and there is no mention of distances in the article at which he would have fired, a critical consideration.

    His dilema would have been, what if his rifle hadn't malfunctioned and he was actively shooting people? For me, at that point, the need to kill him outweighs the risk of a possible missed shot. They're no longer innocent bystanders, but victims waiting to be shot. The calculus of combat is unforgiving in this respect. Anyone who carries a firearm will need to make that decision for themselves.

    I've carried a gun at work and off duty for about 28 years and think about it often..the what ifs. I know that my skills make shooting beyond about 15 yards less than 100%..and that's without the chaos and adrenaline surge he faced. Hitting a moving target is a lot harder than a stationary paper target on a shooting range.

    But your right about Nick needing to think about those issues, I'm sure he is now. Hopefully, his presence is what caused this guy to kill himself rather than more innocents.