Forty-six-year-old Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez heard screams in a Home Depot parking lot and saw a man jump into a car with stolen goods. Duva-Rodriguez pulled out her pistol and fired off two rounds into the escape car’s tires, flattening one of them.
What did Tatiana get for assisting in what she deemed a criminal situation? A misdemeanor charge of reckless use of a handgun and a prosecutor calling her actions “disturbing.”
There was no one else in the parking lot and Tatiana is described by her lawyer as a “sharpshooter” with years of experience, but that didn’t matter to the judge Julie Nicholson, who on Wednesday ruled that she be stripped of her conceal-carry permit until 2023 and put on probation for 18 months.
“I tried to help,” Duva-Rodriguez told WJBK after her sentencing on Wednesday. “And I learned my lesson that I will never help anybody again,” she said.
In court she spoke to the judge saying, “I made a decision in a split second, maybe it was not the right one, but I was trying to help.”
Her lawyer, Steven Lyle Schwartz, went even further, telling the Associated Press that, “We need more people like Tatiana Duva-Rodriguez in our society.”
“She’s there to help; saw something happening; thought it was serious; pulled her gun, she didn’t want to hurt anybody,” said Schwartz. “We didn’t know that there were any people in the parking lot, other than this person that was driving away this vehicle. She didn’t shoot it in the air; she didn’t shoot it at the window, at the windshield. She fired at the tires.”
In 2007, just before Obama was elected, there were 4.6 million concealed carry permit holders. Today that number has almost tripled to 12.8 million. A recent Gallup poll found that 56 percent of Americans believe the country would be significantly safer if more people carried a firearm on them.