An attempted robbery Thursday morning in Venice, Missouri, left one suspect dead and another with serious injuries after a 70-year-old Vietnam veteran from St. Louis pulled his own gun and shot them both.
Billy Dickerson, 19 years old, died instantly after being struck in the head by one the veteran’s bullets.
“He feared for his own life,” Madison County (Illinois) State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons told KDSK-TV. “He feared for the life of his friend and just took decisive action in that moment.”
The veteran was dropping off a friend in the “200-block of Abbott Street.” Madison County State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said, “Two individuals rolled up next to [the veteran and his friend] in a vehicle, asked for directions, and when they had their attention, took out a firearm.” When the veteran saw the gun, he reacted by pulling his own weapon and opening fire, according to KSDK,
The veteran killed 19-year-old Billy Dickerson and hospitalized 23-year-old Perry Richardson.
Gibbons pointed out that both suspects were “wanted for other violent crimes” and suggested the veteran’s actions would bring “closure” to cases police had been trying to solve.
He also stressed that the veteran had a concealed carry permit and that armed citizens carry guns in the event of such an incident. Fox 2 quoted Gibbons saying, “The Courts have consistently recognized the right of a law-abiding citizen to carry a concealed weapon for the purpose of self-defense. This incident yesterday morning is the exact situation where the necessity for this right becomes crystal clear.”
Gibbons said the veteran’s actions should be a warning to all criminals planning to target would-be victims in Metro East. “You could end up staring down the barrel of a gun.”