Tragedy and Heroism in Cleveland

Two fathers are dead after the mother’s ex-boyfriend decides to murder her. Both died to save the lives of her and their children. The sequence of events is too long to detail here, so go read the story and then come back.

What can we learn from this horror?

1) The police will not be there to protect you.

“Earlier in the day, her ex-boyfriend (Hartline) had come to her house prior to the party,” explained Brian.

There was an allegation of alcohol use when Hartline arrived. Bullard told Hartline to leave.

According to Brian, Bullard called law enforcement. As Hartline left, he allegedly made threats to return and “kill her.”

In spite of being called for a domestic issue, the killer’s alleged intoxication, and the report of a death threat, the police were not able to arrest him or prevent him from coming back armed and ready to kill. Remember, the courts have repeatedly ruled that the police do not have a duty to protect individuals.

2) Carry your gun.

“Mindy went outside to tell him (Hartline) to leave again and saw him reach into a tool box and get a gun. She ran back toward the house warning everyone Hartline had a weapon, telling Simonson to rush the children upstairs for safety,” explained Brian.

At that point, Manz, who was Bullard’s father, confronted Hartline with a handgun. According to Brian, gunfire was exchanged.

Manz had his gun with him, even at a children’s birthday party – you know, where the anti’s claim it’s reckless to carry a gun because there are children around? As this tragedy shows, when children are around is actually one of the most important times to carry, because children are the most important things to protect. Hell, I would risk my life to protect a stranger’s child, much less my own (if I had any). You also don’t know when you are going to need your gun. If you do, then you should be able to avoid needing it by avoiding that place at that time.

3) Having a gun does not guarantee that you will not be hurt or killed.

A wounded Manz, staggered into the doorway and into a laundry room nearby before collapsing.

He tried to stop a killer, a threat to his friends and family. He was wounded seriously enough that he could not continue, while the killer was able to go on killing.

4) The good guys don’t always win, or even survive.

“He came to a bathroom which was locked. He fired blindly through the door. On the other side, Kenny was shielding one of the boys. Kenny was hit several times but he saved his son,” Brian said.

The boy was able to escape to safety.

He saved his son, but later died from his wounds.

5) Never give up.

About that time, Simonson stepped into the bedroom, and according to Brian, “that created enough of a diversion for Bullard to push a portable air conditioner from the window and jump out.”

As she was attempting to get out of the room, Hartline reportedly shot her twice in the legs, but not before firing three more rounds into Simonson.

Already wounded while saving his son, he went to protect his ex-wife, and saved her life as well. He later died at the hospital.

6) Never! Give! Up!

From what the family has learned, Hartline then was going back downstairs to “kill Mindy.”

Manz apparently mustered enough strength to fire two rounds toward Hartline, striking and killing him, Brian said.

“Her dad was still alive. But died after shooting him (Hartline),” said Brian.

He overcame his wounds, and was finally able to stop the bastard from killing again before he died.


This only ended when it did because there was an armed citizen right there when it happened. If this family had been required to wait for the police, as the gun-banners would prefer, there’s no telling how many more would be dead. If this had been in Massachusetts, or another state with “safe storage” laws, they may not have been able to get a gun out of a safe and loaded before being shot. Would he have killed only his ex, only killing anyone who tried to interfere? Would he have killed all the adults there? Would he have killed the children, too? We will never know how many lives were saved because a law-abiding citizen was allowed to carry a gun.

Great tragedy, and great heroism. The killer is where he belongs, due to the efforts of two heroes who gave their lives to protect their family, but a family has lost two fathers – a loss that will haunt them forever.

(h/t Robb Allen at Sharp as a Marble)

[Source: Cleveland Daily Banner – Simonson hailed as hero, Retreived 8/30/10]

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  1. Defense of others « Curses! Foiled Again!

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