- ‘If I didn’t have my gun, everyone in the house would have died’
A bullet tore through Raul Mendez’s left eye amid a deadly rampage at a Fourth of July party in Arizona this summer, covering his face with blood and rendering him unconscious.
But Mendez told Fox News that with God’s help, he soon opened his eyes amid screaming from other partygoers — and then he got up, pulled out his concealed handgun, and fatally shot the suspect before he could kill or wound any more people.
“If I didn’t have my gun, everyone in the house would have died,” Mendez said in a National Rifle Association video about the incident. “The news vans would’ve been front and center. But because I did, you never even heard about it.”
What are the details?
On the evening of July 3, Mendez, his two daughters, and his wife — who was seven months pregnant — gathered with friends and other families at a home in the city of Surprise for a party featuring food and fireworks, Fox News said.
A neighbor of the man hosting the party had joined the festivities despite not being close friends with anyone present, Mendez told the cable network — and police later identified that neighbor as 46-year-old Jason Hunt, saying he opened fire unprovoked at the gathering, according to the Arizona Republic.
Mendez told Fox News that Hunt and other party attendees were eating in the kitchen when Hunt pulled out a gun and began firing, sending everyone fleeing.
“My back was turned,” Mendez recounted to the cable network. “I heard the first gunshot, and that’s what made me kind of turn my head. … But by the time I even was able to look and see what was going on, a bullet already had struck the side of my face.”
Mendez was shot in front of his wife, who rushed to his side and believed he was dead due to the amount of blood covering his face, Fox News noted.
She then grabbed their two daughters and put them into a room deeper in the house, barricading them and other children inside, the cable network said.
“She barricaded the door with the dresser. There were three other children in there, not including my two daughters. A total of five kids. She … throws them in the closet, throws clothes over them. Tells them, ‘Be quiet. Do not make a peep if you hear loud noises in this room,’” Mendez told Fox News in regard to his wife’s actions.
Mendez said two other women began fighting the suspect and were screaming for Mendez, as they knew he had a concealed weapon, the cable network explained.
“By the glory of God or the adrenaline and just everything — just the will to live and the will to protect my family — I was able to hear those pleas, those yells for help,” Mendez recalled to Fox News. “I heard my name. And I was able to get up.”
With that, Mendez pulled out his own gun and shot the suspect four times in the chest, the cable network said.
Two of Mendez’s friends — Conrradito Ochoa Navarro, 41, and Carl Dinora, 38 — were killed, while four others, including Mendez, were seriously wounded, Fox News noted.
Police said Mendez and others were acting in self-defense and in defense of innocent individuals, the cable network said, citing a KTAR-TV report.
No motive has been announced in the case, Fox News said, adding that the Sunrise police department didn’t immediately respond to the cable network’s requests for case updates.
What happened afterward?
Besides losing his left eye and his sense of smell, Mendez also suffered a fractured jaw and a torn eardrum, Fox News said, adding that he spent a week in the hospital and is scheduled for more surgeries.
But Mendez also is speaking out about the importance of the Second Amendment and how law-abiding, armed Americans can help stop shootings before they claim more lives, the cable network said.
“This world is unpredictable. And honestly, at the end of the day, the people that want to ban guns, they’re only banning it from good people, not criminals,” he told Fox News. “Because again, there [are] no gun laws for criminals.”
What’s more, Mendez has since purchased two additional handguns for his family members to train with, saying they are “more ready to confront [evil] with equal force now than ever,” Fox News noted.
Mendez — a lifetime NRA member — lauded the Second Amendment and denounced the media for not covering his story as part of the NRA video, the cable network said.
Source: Dave Urbanski, TheBlaze.com