A Hero in Tacoma
Brendan "Dan" McKown was delivering a bank deposit for Excalibur Cutlery, a mall gift store, when gunshots scattered shoppers at noon in Tacoma. Dan McKown was an armed CCW holder. Witnesses state that McKown stood about 20 feet from the gunman when he faced him and drew his own pistol before being shot. Whether he spoke to the gunman is unknown. "Our understanding is that Dan drew his weapon and confronted the gunman," his stepmother, Beverly McKown, said during a news conference Tuesday at Tacoma General Hospital. “Dan is always one who believed in protecting people and he put his life on the line for other people,” McKown's father said. “His actions and the actions of others like him may have prevented additional casualties by confronting the aggression and possibly changing the gunman’s action early in the conflict.”
McKown, 38, was shot twice in the abdomen and has been on life support, said hospital spokesman Todd Kelley. The two bullets severely damaged McKown's intestines and abdominal muscles, but doctors were able to repair the damage. Tragically, McKown also suffered injury to his spinal cord. A second surgery to remove bullet and bone fragments from his spinal canal was successful, Kelley stated, but the bullets caused "significant nerve damage that will likely result in permanent paralysis." McKown was being brought out of a medically induced coma Tuesday. The other shooting victims were treated at hospitals and released. A longtime friend of McKown's who talked with witnesses after the shooting said McKown always carried a gun. "He's always been worried about the way society is going, and for him, carrying a handgun was less for himself than for others," Syrus Corbin said. McKown "has always had a fear of being there when someone flips out and just starts shooting people, and I'll be damned if it didn't happen to him." Employees of the Kits Camera store, where McKown fell, cared for him for more than an hour before he could be rushed to the hospital. He was conscious, they said, but were unsure if he said anything.
The McKowns, of Yelm, Thurston County, described their bachelor son as a look-alike of late-night TV host Conan O'Brien, with a great sense of humor, a passion for photography and a deep Christian faith. They said that while they are worried he may be paralyzed for life, they are certain McKown's faith will sustain him. The Dan McKown Medical Fund, set up to help offset McKown's expenses, has been established through the Bank of America. Donations may be made at any Bank of America branch, the family said. The account number is 83799 577. The family would also like to encourage people to go to their local blood bank and donate blood in Dan McKown's name.
The McKowns, who are active in prison ministries in part because McKown's father spent some time behind bars years ago for his own "bad choices," said they have been praying nonstop for their son and for Maldonado. "We are not angry," said Beverly McKown. "We are praying for Dan and we are praying for this boy. God is a healer."
Many, including myself, will argue whether Brendan McKown's decision to take on a rifleman while armed only with a handgun was a wise decision. What is inarguable is that it was a courageous decision. Brendan "Dan" McKown, thank you. Your actions are a credit to CCW holders everywhere.
Update on Dan McKown