Shooting on Thun Trail

I’m a little uneasy with a story about a bicycle rider being attacked by three young men while riding on Thun Trail near Reading.  It seems he shot one of the attackers in the neck killing him and he shot the other and the last one was picked up by police and taken to a detention center.

At first glance this seems like a story that seems like the good guys are winning, ( the 65 year old bike rider).   On second glance though, I’m a little worried about an 11 am scuffle ending in the death of a teen.

I know that the older man was released and the shooting is being considered self-defense but I’m still a little worried because we don’t know who the older guy is?  And something I read on a gun forum online suggested that the 911 folks had trouble with the language of the caller calling in the incident.  Which might be because the older guy didn’t have a cell phone and had to get someone else in the vicinity to call it in….so he had a gun but no cell phone.  And he was attacked  but then he had no trouble accessing his gun to shoot a kid in the neck.

Of course that is possible…but honestly I’m not really thrilled with the idea that citizens can shoot each other on bike trails or walking trails in PA.  I hate that teens would harass a rider on the trail…but I’m wondering what made them do it?

Maybe things worked out for the best…or maybe there is more to this story that we won’t ever find out about.  In the meantime I’m not going to get too excited one way or the other.







9 thoughts on “Shooting on Thun Trail”

  1. These thugs had already assaulted 2 other people that day according to a news report I read. They had cut school and were looking to make an easy score, figuring an older person wouldn’t resist. The one who died had a criminal record (at age 16!), was on probation and electronic monitoring. You ask me, he got what he deserved!

    1. Hi PL,

      I believe I saw some of the 16 year old’s criminal background. What you see as a thug, I saw as a young man who was truant a couple of times and who got into physical confrontations with others a few times. One arrest can have multiple charges and I think if you carefully look at his record you’ll see that happened.

      I’m not against the shooter taking care of himself, but I’m also not for the kind of vigilantism that we seem to be supporting as a society. I don’t like the idea that there are young people out attacking people, but at the same time I don’t like imagining being on a public trail where it’s okay to shoot people.

      Besides, I’ve seen stories that the bicyclist was the third victim that day, but that makes no sense at all. If anything he was the third accuser, and not the third victim. As far as we know he was the only named victim of this perpetrator.

      And oh yeah… Remember that innocent until proven guilty aspect of our legal system? What happened to that?

      Your “thug” wasn’t a murderer. He was an aggressive teen. I respect your right to have an opinion but you’ll have to respect mine- I don’t like thinking of a young man with a bullet in his chest.


      1. We are not talking about “citizens shooting eachother”. It’s about a man who acted in SELF-DEFENSE against immenent serious bodily injury or death. That’s what the authorities determined, that’s why he was not charged. He could have been killed. What part of self-defense do you not understand. Don’t be concerned that law-abiding people are legally carrying firearms. Be concerned that the criminals might kill you, unless someone is around to use lethal force (when absolutely necessary) to save your life.

      2. And another thing Ms. Mogallant – you’re critical of the fact that the man was carrying a gun instead of a cell phone. Wise up. It only takes moments for someone who is properly trianed with a firearm (or pepper spray) to draw it from her purse or holster and stop a deadly threat. Had the man not been carrying a defensive weapon but instead tried to dial 911, he might have been dead well before the police even got the dispatch (ever try reporting a crime on 911 – they ask 20 questions first) and they certainly wouldn’t have arrived in time to apprehend the criminals.

      3. Well Steve,
        Does your spleen feel better now that you’ve unleashed yourself? I certainly hope so. You are welcome to share your opinions here. And since that is my policy, I’m going to trust that you, as my guest will allow me the same personal freedom. I’m not going to retract what I said in the past just because you don’t like what I had to say. I am sorry if that enrages you, but I wrote what I thought when I thought it and I’m not wiling to be pushed around by anyone who show up “late to the party” to vent.

        You are making quite a few assumptions about the facts and in addition, quite frankly, I don’t like your tone. People aren’t divided into groups with solid upstanding citizens on one side and criminals on the other. All of us are subject to fits of rage, but I imagine that is something you already know. Fits of rage worry me much more than having guns used in public areas by detached, trained, and certified authorities.

        Furthermore, I worry enormously about citizens’ rights, so don’t go assuming I’m all for S.W.A.T teams controlling society. I would just prefer that we moved forward as intelligent beings and not backward into our swashbuckling, high noon-ish ways.

        It’s okay if you disagree with me. I’m not taking any of your personal rights away! I’m opening a conversation and I really appreciate your input even though as I’ve said I didn’t like the tone.

        Ms. Mo Gallant

  2. I’ve rode on that part of the trail, and it’s secluded. That’s part of the problem. While the volunteer trailkeepers do a great job of kepping the trail as bike-friendly as possible, obviously they can’t prevent something of this magnitude but they need to make it look like a TRAIL instead of an off-road sanctuary for undesirables. If they can do that, everybody will be better off.

  3. Dear mogallant:
    Sorry if I came off as having a hostile tone. That wasn’t intended. I suppose I was just being a bit overdramatic trying to emphazise my point. That is, you really shouldn’t be concerned with law abiding people carrying firearms on the trail. They do so for self defense. They are normally trained in safety with regard to their firearms. And by definition, they will do you or the general public no harm..

    1. Hi Steve,

      Your feelings and opinions are welcome here, just don’t mind if I comment on attitude if I detect it. I appreciate your point of view and I’m not afraid to share it with our fellow readers. I’m not the kind of person who pretends to be right at all times. I’m just sharing some thoughts and that is why I genuinely appreciate folks like you who contribute their own views.

      Thanks again.

      1. Thanks for your response to mine.

        So, even though I inadvertantly resurrected a somewhat dated topic on this blog, I guess now that Mr. Costas said what he did about guns on last week’s Sunday Night Football, our conversation here has become relevant, again, to very recent events.
        While I do not agree with Mr. Costas, I do appreciate his where he was coming from. In addition, if I understand what you were getting at in our exchange, both you and Mr. Costas make the same point. That is, with guns in the hands of even (seemingly) law abiding people, there is too much of a temptation for rage to turn into a deadly confrontation. I could certainly debate that proposition with Mr. Costas or anyone else. So, if you’d like to have an intelligent conversation about that particular point, let me know.

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