Concealed Carrier Stops Knife Attack in Church Parking Lot

Sometimes, a good guy with a gun doesn't have to fire a shot to stop someone intent on hurting innocent people—like an unidentified church employee who fended off a man threatening to kill a woman in Boulder, Colorado.

Heriberto Haro-Luna confronted his recently estranged wife just before 6 a.m. in the Sacred Heart of Jesus church parking lot last week.

A church employee was walking to his car as the confrontation took place and watched closely, because he knew the 41-year-old victim, according to this story from

The confrontation went from verbal to physical as Haro-Luna, who was said to be drunk, grabbed the woman by the neck and threatened to slit her throat, the story says.

"He was familiar with the woman as a regular parishioner on Thursday evenings," said Det. Sgt. Jim MacPherson of the Boulder Police Department. "He saw (Haro-Luna) put his arm around her neck. She had actually started saying her prayers. She thought she was going to die right there."

The church employee walked forward and presented his concealed handgun, for which he has a permit. When Haro-Luna saw the gun, he fled the parking lot and was captured soon after by police, who subdued him with a Taser.

Haro-Luna was charged with arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, and felony menacing. He's being held on $200,000 bond until official charges are filed.

At some point during the confrontation, the victim had been stabbed in the abdomen and was taken to the hospital for emergency surgery. Police said she is recovering and "doing well."

"I've talked to a number of these (CCW) permit holders, and some of them have said that's specifically why they did it,"said Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle. "They were motivated by church shootings that have happened in the past."

Neither the victim nor her rescuer have been identified by police.

More than 6,000 CCW permits have been issued in Boulder County, which entitled their possessors to carry anywhere except schools, public buildings with screening services, and buildings such as airports in which federal law prohibits guns, like airports.

There is no prohibition on carrying a gun in a church in Colorado.

Pelle said he has no problem with responsible citizens armed in churches, and said, "Unless you have a screening procedure in the church, there's no way to prohibit someone with malcontent from bringing a gun in, anyway."