Justin Pearson is licensed to carry a concealed handgun. Like many gun owners, Pearson sees his license as more than a piece of paper. He carries daily and had his gun with him when he witnessed a kidnapping. Without hesitation, Pearson stepped in, drew his gun, and stopped the crime.
The incident occurred outside his Las Vegas home on Oct. 5.
“We heard this real loud noise outside,” Pearson, 36, told the Las Vegas Review Journal. “I opened up the door, and this big BMW goes flying by — 60 mph in a 25 mph zone. I dialed 911 immediately.”
While he was talking to the 911 operator, Pearson stepped outside. “He had lost control of the car and almost went into a house at the end of the street,” Pearson said.
The car had stopped, so he walked down the street to get the license plat number. The BMW parked in front of a neighbor’s yard. There, in the yard, was a six-year-old boy.
“About 50 yards in front of me, the driver grabs this young child and starts stuffing him in the car,” Pearson said.
“‘Holy crap, he just took a child, and he’s trying to stuff him into the car!’” Pearson told the 911 operator.
“He was a very big dude, and I’m not a menacing person by any means,” Pearson said. “I don’t think I could have physically stopped the guy. It would have been super ugly if it was just me versus him.”
It wasn’t. Pearson, as the LVJR notes, was carrying an Heckler & Koch VP9, a 9mm handgun. “I carry a concealed firearm everywhere I go,” Pearson told the paper. “I lifted up my shirt and put my hand on my gun.”
“‘Hey, stop!’ I said, real loud. He turned and looked at me. There was just enough of a delay for the kid to get out of the car. I know he saw the firearm.”
The VP9 is a compact pistol, but large enough to make an impression. The man saw the gun, still holstered, and changed his mind about the kidnapping. He fled.
“Police wouldn’t arrive for 17 minutes,” the Review Journal writes.
“If I didn’t have a firearm, I don’t think there’s much I could have done,” Pearson said.
The kidnapper was apprehended. It was the boy’s estranged father.
This is the second time Pearson has stopped a crime without firing his gun. “Many years ago, I was carrying and a guy pulled a knife on a friend of mine,” Pearson said. “I quickly drew my firearm, and the kid ran away.”