Texas (The Gaslamp Post) – A police officer is alive today along with residents of a Brown County trailer park, thanks to the heroic actions of a man who refuses to think of himself as a hero.
Police say Charles Ronald Conner, 58, had shot and killed two park residents after an argument over their dog’s having defecated in his yard. He then reportedly went after and shot two dogs, believing that they were the culprits.
The victims, David Michael House, 58, and Iris Valentina Calaci, 57, also residents of the trailer park, had been out walking their dogs on a Sunday afternoon late last month when they ran afoul of Conner. Witnesses say that the two victims had been walking their dogs near Conner’s trailer home when he reportedly came running out of his home, and confronted House over what he believed was the man’s dog using his front yard as a toilet.
After a brief exchanging of words, Conner went back into his home and returned with an assault rifle where he shot House, killing him in the street. He then reportedly chased and gunned down Calaci, shooting her “execution style” according to witnesses, and then went on to hunt down their dogs.
The first police officer to arrive on the scene was immediately met with gunfire from Conner, who had taken position behind a large tree. Sgt. Steven Means of the Early Police Department said his car immediately began taking fire, and that he had to immediately exit his vehicle and take cover behind it.
While all of this was going on, another resident of the trailer park, Mr. Vic Stacy was reportedly watching television in his living room when he heard the shots ring out. He went to his window and saw the officer pinned down and a man firing at him from behind a tree.
Stacy recognized the man as his neighbor Conner, and recalled him being “off the wall”.
After realizing what was going on, Mr. Stacy knew that the police officer would die if he didn’t do something. “I think (Conner) is gonna take (the officer) out if I don’t help him out,” recalled Stacy. “I had a side view of that man the whole time standing there, and I thought, I’m fixin’ to put one in him, if I can.”
That is when Mr. Stacy retrieved his legally owned handgun, took aim at Conner, who was a considerable distance away, and fired off a shot. Although the first one missed Conner and hit the tree, Stacy’s second shot hit Conner in the thigh.
Mr. Stacy estimated his distance to target was 165 yards. He reportedly hit Conner another 3 times from his position.
46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel,
47 and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
48 When the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the ground.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David.
51 Then David ran and stood over the Philistine and took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him and cut off his head with it. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled
1 Samuel 17:46-51 (The battle of David and Goliath)
Conner then reportedly turned his rifle on Stacy and began firing at him. Sgt. Means used this momentary distraction to get clear of his patrol vehicle and took Conner down. He reportedly got 2 shots off at Conner using his AR-15, killing him.
“I thought if I didn’t help this officer, he would have gotten the rest of us,” said Stacy.
Officers arrived on the scene shortly thereafter, and Mr. Stacy immediately put down his gun, so as not to be confused with the criminal. He was placed in handcuffs while police processed the scene but was released with a heart-felt “thank you” after they put together what had happened.
“The citizen that fired these shots did a tremendous job out there,” said Brown County Sheriff Bobby Grubbs. “Had he not had a gun and the presence of mind to do this, we don’t know what the outcome would’ve been.”
Although his neighbors and other Brown County residents are calling him a hero, Mr. Stacy simply states that he’s just an “average workin’ person, trying to help an officer out.”
“I’ve hunted, but I’ve never shot a person,” Stacy said. “It makes you think.”
Stacy said he’s had multiple conversations family since the incident, and they are giving him support. “I’m a Christian, a member of the Baptist church,” Stacy said. After a pause, he added, “I haven’t been in a while, but I think I’ll start going again.
“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ” – C.S. Lewis.