The off-duty cop who stopped the “potential” terrorist attack at a Minnesota mall on the same night as the New Jersey and New York terror bombings is a 2nd Amendment enthusiast, gun shop owner and NRA instructor.
Avon Police Chief Corey Nellis told MPR News the fact that Falconer happened to be shopping there and carrying a weapon was nothing less than “divine intervention,” adding:
“If I was going to ask anybody to fire live rounds in a crowded mall I would trust his abilities next to anybody’s.
Clearly, he’s a hero. He was the right person, at the right place, at the right time.”
The attacker, dressed in a security guard outfit, was identified by Minnesota Somali community leaders as Dahir Adan.
— Tim Johnson (@SaukGuy) September 18, 2016
Though police are not yet calling this a terror attack, ISIS news outlets are taking responsibility.
— Sue Halena (@SueHalena) September 18, 2016
Rules on bringing a gun on private property appear to be murky.
The mall has rules restricting firearms on its private property — making it a gun-free zone. But law enforcement officers whose training is in good standing may carry weapons, and Minnesota law allows people with permitted guns to carry openly or concealed.
Bearing Arms reports that Falconer, in addition to his part-time police job, is a tactical weapons trainer and competition shooter.
You would close his company. pic.twitter.com/wzFVCUneHq
— Bob Owens (@bob_owens) September 19, 2016
His bio at The Tactical Advantage gun shop, range, and training facility he founded explains some of his background:
“Jason has been a member of the United States Practical Shooters Association (USPSA) as well as a local club, St. Cloud Area Practical Shooters Association (SCAPSA) for many years. He competes at the SCAPSA outdoor range in matches and league competitions year-round, and has attained several league championships in various divisions. Jason is an avid three-gun competitor and has been privileged to participate on shooting squads at various 3-gun and tactical shotgun matches with professional shooters such as James Casanova, Rob Romero, Mark Harnish, Janson Jensen, Mark Miller, and Dave Neth.”
St. Cloud Police Chief William Blair Anderson said that Falconer did everything right:
“None of us ever want to have to do that but that’s what we’re here for, and Officer Falconer’s actions were swift and direct, and in my opinion appropriate.”
Police say Falconer shot the suspect when he lunged at him with the knife. Then, after the suspect was knocked down, he tried to get back up several times, resulting in Falconer shooting him again and leaving the suspect dead.
Falconer has made gun training a lifelong ambition. According to his bio:
“Jason … continued education and training has been a strong personal interest of his. As a result, he has attended some of the best firearms training schools in the United States. His goal is to teach individuals the mindset, knowledge and skills needed to be successful with firearms in order to secure their personal safety or that of their family; at home or in public. As a firearm training professional, he continuously researches and develops new curriculum and training methods to make the experience for his students the best they can get.”
Independent Journal Review attempted to get in touch with Officer Falconer for comment, but his co-worker told us he was busy meeting with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton.
Whatever the motive of the attack, police say lives were saved because of Falconer’s actions. In other words, it sure paid off that Falconer brought a gun to the knife fight on Saturday night.