The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in Missippi. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.
The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC: http://www.vpc.org/contact.htm.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Alex Deaton PENDING
Date: February 22, 2017 – March 1, 2017
People Killed: 2
Circumstances: On February 22, 2017, concealed handgun permit holder Alex Deaton, 28, allegedly strangled his ex-girlfriend, Heather Robinson, 30, in her home in Rankin County, Mississippi. The next day, February 23, 2017, Deaton drove to Neshoba County, Mississippi and allegedly shot and killed Brenda Pinter, 69, inside Dixon Baptist Church. He then allegedly drove back to Rankin County where he shot and injured a jogger from his car. From there, he fled west in his vehicle, and was spotted in Oklahoma before allegedly kidnapping a couple at gunpoint in New Mexico on February 28, forcing them into the trunk of their car. The couple escaped the trunk but the male victim was shot and wounded. Deaton then allegedly held the female victim at gunpoint and forced her to enter a residence with him, where he requested the residents’ keys to their vehicle. Deaton and the woman left in a stolen van, although the woman was able to escape. Deaton then returned to the original scene of the kidnapping and got back into the couple’s car. Deaton eventually abandoned the stolen car in a convenience store parking lot in Kansas. Deaton entered the store and shot clerk Riley Juel, 19, at point-blank range after demanding his car keys. Juel survived. Deaton drove off in Juel’s car and Kansas law enforcement pursued him, eventually ending the chase with a tactical vehicle intervention on the morning of March 1, 2017. Deaton was arrested and charged with murder in the deaths of Robinson and Pinter, attempted first-degree murder in the shooting of Juel, and aggravated assault in the shooting of the jogger in Mississippi. He faces additional charges in New Mexico and Kansas.
UPDATE: On July 7, 2017, Alex Deaton pleaded guilty to attempted first degree murder and aggravated robbery in Kansas.
Source: “Alex Deaton pleads guilty to attempted first-degree murder, aggravated robbery in Kansas,” wjtv.com, July 7, 2017; “Alex Deaton scheduled in court in Kansas on Friday,” www.msnewsnow.com, March 6, 2017; “Accused Mississippi killer to face Kansas judge,” www.clarionledger.com, March 6, 2017; “Sheriff says suspect at center of manhunt ‘appears to have snapped’,” wmbfnews.com, February 27, 2017.
Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Mark Caudill SHOT AND KILLED DURING INCIDENT
Date: February 16, 2011
People Killed: 2 (including permit holder)
Circumstances: On February 16, 2011, concealed handgun permit Mark Caudill, 33, illegally brought his 40 caliber handgun into the Elbow Room Lounge, where he was “showing it off.” At approximately 12:25 AM, Daniel Paul Copple, 43, arrived at the bar. Copple, who in the previous hour had been in an altercation at another bar and had hit a pedestrian with his truck, was returning to the nearby Gilmer Inn, where he was staying. According to witnesses, Caudill pulled his gun when Copple began acting “erratic.” Copple disarmed Caudill and then allegedly shot him multiple times with his own (Caudill’s) handgun, killing him. Another bar patron, James “Bennet” Mann, 42, was allegedly shot at least three times by Copple when he tried to intervene. Mann later died at a local hospital. Copple was charged with two counts of murder as well as one count of aggravated assault resulting from his having hit the pedestrian, who was treated and released. As Copple sat in the back of a police cruiser following his arrest, he stated “at least three times” that he had acted in self-defense.
UPDATE: Daniel Paul Copple was convicted of two counts of murder and sentenced to two consecutive life sentences, as well as an additional 15 years for aggravated assault for hitting a pedestrian with his truck.
Source: “Man appeals murder convictions,” wapt.com, March 21, 2013; “Lucerne Valley Man charged in Mississippi Double Homicide,” WCBI, April 8, 2011; “Case against Elbow Room murder suspect headed to grand jury,” Commercial Dispatch, April 7, 2011.