Jemel Roberson was a security guard at Manny’s Blue Room, a bar in Robbins, Illinois. Patrons there got drunk and were asked to leave and, although they initially did so, they then returned and started shooting. Roberson was armed. He returned fire and eventually apprehended one of the shooters. Then, the Midlothian Police Department arrived. Patrons told the police that Roberson was a security guard at the bar.
Four people were injured in the shooting but will survive. A fifth was shot and killed. The fifth was Jemel Roberson. He was, by every imaginable measure, the platonic ideal of the NRA’s “Good Guy With A Gun” argument. The police killed him anyway. His heroism had not mattered in the end.
Meanwhile, all of the following people survived their encounters with the police:
- Fred Hopkins Jr. He shot seven police officers, killing one of them. He was apprehended alive.
- Robert Bowers. He killed eleven worshippers at Pittsburgh’s Tree Of Life synagogue. He was apprehended alive.
- Travis Reinking. He killed four people at a Nashville Waffle House. He was apprehended alive.
- Gregory Bush. He killed two people at a Kroger near Louisville. He was apprehended alive.
- Dimitros Pagourtzis. He killed ten people at a Houston school. He was apprehended alive.
The police are capable, in other words, of not shooting, or at least, it would sure seem like it. They choose not to in certain cases. Roberson’s mistake was not being one of those certain cases.