When Rick left a friend’s house on the outskirts of Cincinnati, Ohio, it was late and all he could think about was getting home so he could get in bed and rest up for another day of work. He was a bit groggy, so on the way he stopped at a gas station in the city to get a coffee and hopefully energize himself.

He went into the station and when he came out, he noticed a woman by herself parked by the curb with a flat. He walked over to see if she needed assistance changing the tire and began helping after she said “yes.”

As he helped, two men exited a car in the gas station parking lot and walked toward Rick while speaking in a language he could not understand. He continued to work on the tire, but turned his body to the side so he could keep an eye on the two men as well. He said he had a sneaky suspicion that he was about to get jumped.

Suddenly, the men closed in, but they were not after Rick — they wanted the woman.

Rick quickly stepped between the men and the woman and warned them that he was armed. He had a concealed carry permit and his handgun on him.

The men were not convinced at first, so Rick reassured them that he was armed and that he would act to defend himself and the woman he had stopped to help. At that point, the men began walking toward the car with one going to the passenger side and one to the driver’s as if they were going to get in and leave. But leaving was not in the cards. Rick realized that when one of the men grabbed a gun out of the car and came running back toward him.

Rick drew his handgun and opened fire, striking the man in the stomach. The man fell back onto the concrete and Rick heard a shot ring out. He believes the guy had his finger on the trigger and the jolt of his body slamming onto the concrete cause him to fire a round into the sky.

The gas station attendant said the guy fired two shots, which would mean he fired one due to the impact of hitting the concrete and then another due to being bewildered. After all, he was now on his back with a 9mm slug in his stomach.

The situation escalated quickly. Rick saw the second man moving around in the car and fired again, striking him without knowing that he had.

The man then leaped from the car and ran to a dumpster. Rick did not know whether his intentions were to get rid of something or to recover it. Perhaps the second man was getting a gun.

Rick began to run in a path perpendicular to the man — an angle that would bring the two face to face upon reaching the suspects’ car. That is when Rick realized he had hit the suspect with an earlier shot, and the suspect was, in fact, taking something to dumpster to get rid of it. The suspect was anticipating being taken into custody.

The fight was over. Both suspects survived, and neither Rick nor the woman were wounded.

Rick said he was carrying the same gun he had been carrying for six years. He said that it was always the gun he took to range; the gun he practiced with again and again just in case a night like that occurred.

He was rattled, but believes his familiarity with the gun helped him keep his wits about him.

When police arrived, both of the suspects were arrested and Rick was taken for questioning as well. But the eye witness account by the gas station attendant and surveillance video of the incident supported Rick’s description of events and he was released.

Having the gun saved his life and the life of the woman he stopped to help, as well.