Man Defends Family And Shoppers During Mall Shooting With Concealed Carry Weapon Inside Gun-Free Zone

A man with a legal concealed carry permit used his gun to protect his family and bystanders during an active shooter situation in a gun-free Omaha mall.

“Every indication said our lives were in danger, and I was going to do everything in my power to make sure we got out of there OK,” Scott Tafoya explained.

The shooting occurred Saturday at Westroads Mall, a gun-free zone. Tafoya, who is a legal concealed carry permit holder, says he understood that there may be consequences for him using his firearm. “I knew that if I ever pulled that out, it would truly be a life-and-death situation, and I would deal with the consequences later,” he said.

Tafoya was shopping for a suit in the mall when he heard a commotion and saw shoppers running through the mall. His wife and two daughters were reportedly shopping upstairs when he heard a man shout “shooter,” he then went upstairs to find his family, drawing his firearm.

Tafoya stood guard as shoppers were ushered into the bathrooms to hide. “I was sad. Because I wasn’t expecting to, if it was real I didn’t think I was going to come home,” he said.

When police arrived, Tafoya said he removed the bullets from his gun and walked towards them with his hands raised.

“I unloaded my weapon, I put it back in the holster where it was very visible that the slide was locked open. I put my permit in my hands and my hands above my head.”

Police reportedly allowed him to leave with no charges.

Tafoya says he’s had a concealed carry permit for four years.

“I do not want to be carrying a weapon ever. It’s not comfortable, I don’t like it, I wish there was not a need for it,” he said. “I never, never ever expected to ever touch my gun. But, I’m exceptionally thankful that I had it.”

Two teenaged brothers were arrested in connection with the shooting which left one dead and another injured, NBC 6 News reports.

“The investigation indicates this was an isolated incident and not a random attack,” Omaha police said in a statement.