Location: Von Maur (Omaha)/ Macy's (Portland)
Shooter: Robert Hawkins, 19/ Jacob Roberts, 22
Victims: 15, including shooter (8 bystanders died)/ 4, including shooter (3 bystanders died)
Other with injuries: 20/ 1 (not from being shot)
Weapon: Rifle, stolen/ Rifle, stolen
In the Von Maur incident, eight bystanders were killed - six employees and two customers - in the time before police arrived and secured the scene. In a memorial interview, one of those officers (Omaha Police Sgt. Jeff Baker) is quoted as saying that every officer there that day regrets not being able to intervene "more quickly."
In the Macy's shooting, someone there was able to intervene. Former mall security guard Nick Meli, 22, happened to be shopping that day. Meli also happened to be armed, which is legal there. Meli trained his gun on the shooter. Meli saw he did not have a clear shot, and never fired. However, it turned out he did not have to. The shooter saw Meli and fled. He ran to a lower level to hide. The next person he shot was himself.
Clearly, the presence of responsible, armed citizens can save lives. Police response times not only vary, but are typically inevitable. Imagine being at the mall yourself that day, perhaps with your children, as many were at each of the two malls. Imagine being at the mercy of an armed gunman, with no one to assist. Now imagine someone is there who can assist. Quick intervention may make the difference between life and death.