A good Samaritan who shot a man attacking a deputy has a new gun, courtesy of Shoot Straight in Fort Myers, a U.S. Law Shield of Florida-affiliated facility.
Ken Cohen, manager of the Shoot Straight Fort Myers store, said that Khaled Akkawi, the owner of the Shoot Straight chain of firearms stores and ranges in Florida, set up the donation through the local Lee County Sheriff’s Office.
Cohen said, “Mr. Akkawi told us that the good Samaritan who saved the deputy would be coming in with a high-ranking local law-enforcement representative. In the course of the investigation, the good Samaritan’s firearm was put into evidence after the shooting, and Mr. Akkawi didn’t want the good Samaritan to be without a firearm as a result. So Mr. Akkawi told us that when the man came in, he could have anything he wanted.”
The good Samaritan has no
t been identified. He told local media that he wanted to remain anonymous, but employees at Shoot Straight did meet him. Cohen said the man is proud he could help the deputy, and Cohen described the good Samaritan as very unassuming and very polite.
U.S. Law Shield of Florida Independent Program Attorney James Phillips said that based on the facts that he has seen, he believes that under Florida Statute 790.012, the good Samaritan was absolutely justified in his actions. “The statute allows a person to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes such force is needed to either prevent death or great bodily harm that is imminent to either himself or to another person, in this situation the officer,” Phillips said.
Phillips said, “Also under 790.012, a person is justified in using deadly force if he or she reasonably believes such force is needed to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. In this situation, the forcible felony would have been the attack on the law-enforcement officer.”
Deputies said they are still sorting out the investigation, including trying to learn why the deceased suspect, Edward Strother, tried to escape and then attacked the deputy.
Cohen said, “We didn’t talk about the incident. We thanked the young man for having the courage to help out the deputy. He’s humbled about what happened.”
David Donchecz, Vice President of Texas & U.S. Law Shield, said, “We’re proud to have a relationship with Shoot Straight and Khaled Akkawi. They have a great sense of community service, and this is another example of how they support law-abiding citizens and do the right thing.”
Cohen, 70, said he retired from the Long Beach [New York] police department after 30 years, and he knew that the good Samaritan would not see his firearm for a year or so, at least, while the legal issues were worked through.
“Many of us who work for Shoot Straight have law-enforcement backgrounds, and we know that if a weapon is fired and it strikes another human being, that firearm is going into evidence,” Cohen said. “And we know that it probably won’t be tested quickly, and that it can be six months to two years before a firearm gets returned. Shoot Straight didn’t want this young man to be without his firearm because of his good deed.”
Cohen said that after the good Samaritan came in with a high-ranking Lee County Sheriff’s Office representative, the Shoot Straight staff asked which model he wanted to replace his carry handgun. The man explained that a Springfield XD-S in 40 S&W was what had been taken into evidence, and that he would like to replace it with another XD-S, but in .45 ACP.
“We showed him one, and he took the XD-S .45 with a 3.3-inch barrel, a third mag, a box of carry ammunition, and an inside-the-waistband holster,” Cohen said. “We did the required paperwork and a background check, and we shook hands and he left.”
Cohen pointed out that Shoot Straight goes out of its way to support law enforcement as a company policy.
“We have a program called Shoot Straight Defense, where we have contact with many law-enforcement agencies in southwest Florida,” Cohen said. “We offer special pricing for active-duty law enforcement, retired law enforcement, and military, active and retired. We offer them significant savings on what they choose as their secondary weapons — backup guns and patrol rifles — in addition to the primary weapons they buy through the departments.”
Cohen said he told the man he was a “real hero,” but Cohen added, “I’m sure he’ll have trouble sleeping at night. It changes everyone who’s involved in situations like this, where someone loses a life.”
In addition to the Fort Myers location, Shoot Straight stores are located in Clearwater, Fort Lauderdale, Lakeland, Orlando, Sarasota, Tampa, and West Palm Beach.
The Fort Myers Shoot Straight store is located at:
2418 Colonial Blvd.
Ft. Myers, Florida 33907
Click Here for Directions
Mon-Sat Hours: 10:00am – 9:00pm ET
Sun Hours: 11:00am – 7:00pm ET
by Texas Law Shield Staff