A parking lot attendant in Atlanta GA was released from jail late last week after shooting a man in the leg on Thanksgiving Day.
According to the man who was shot, 27-year-old Matthew Stevens, he and a friend had just returned from a long night out to find his vehicle booted. Stevens then said he called the booting company twice and waited in the cold for half an hour before Alexander Bland Jr., the employee of Empire Parking Services, arrived to remove the boot.
The two men got into an argument which resulted in Stevens throwing the money for the booting fee on the ground between them.
According to Bland, the two men advanced aggressively and making threats.
Bland reportedly had the door jam of his SUV broken by the two men when they tried to intimidate him.
Lawrence Zimmerman, Bland’s attorney, said:
“He was totally taken by surprise by these gentlemen’s actions and threats,”
Bland, a US Veteran, went to his own vehicle and retrieved a pistol which he attempted to dissuade the men with. But it didn’t work.
“They threatened to take his gun and kept approaching him. That’s when he fired a shot,” Zimmerman said.
Bland fired one bullet which hit Stevens in the leg.
Stevens, who was treated at the hospital and released on crutches, had a different story to what happened that day.
When Bland came out with the pistol, “I was fearing for my life. I put my hands up, saying, ‘Chill! Chill! Chill!’ At first, I didn’t even notice I was shot, but I felt myself limping,” Stevens said.
According to AJC.com the two men then negotiated to have the two boots on the vehicle removed so Stevens could drive himself to the hospital.
Stevens’ attorney Matt Wetherington, who is working to have Boot Law and practices done away with altogether, said,
“We’ve got several incidents where booting companies are showing guns and one instance of a man being shot. This is an ongoing problem. How soon is it before someone is killed?”
Bland turned himself into the police to face charges of simple battery and criminal damage to property, but Zimmerman disagrees with the charges:
“(Bland) has defended this country, defended our freedoms and unfortunately on this night, he was defending himself. It’s not even reckless conduct. It’s justifiable conduct that he did in self-defense, my client was scared for his life.”
While Bland had to return to his vehicle to get his pistol, he may not have had the opportunity to do so. Had he put the pistol in a holster on his body he would obviously been better prepared for the situation.
Keeping a gun on you requires a quality holster for optimal comfort while carrying or it’s not likely you will. Read here for an article about the Top 21 CCW Holsters on the market.
What do you think of Bland’s actions? What do you think about the murky details of this case? Leave us a comment below to let us know.