Officer not the first to end a rampage

April 1, 2009 3:04:36 PM PDT
Other Triangle area officers have faced the unthinkable: a gunman on a rampage. Officer Justin Garner is credited with shooting a gunman killing patients and a nurse at a Carthage nursing home this past Sunday. The story brings back unpleasant memories for Assistant Chief Bill Simmons in Fayetteville.

It's been 19 years since Fort Bragg soldier Kenneth French entered Luigi's restaurant in Fayetteville and shot four people to-death. Just like in Carthage, the thing that stopped more killing was the bullet from a police officer's gun.

In August 1993, French was armed with a couple of weapons. Simmons followed him into the restaurant.

"Of course the tables turned over, the chairs turned over. He had a shotgun in his hand. You couldn't hear a sound in the restaurant - none other than the gunshots," Simmons recalled.

Simons says French fired several rounds while he was trying to figure out the soldier's position.

"And of course the gunshots were muffled and you really can't tell where the person is. Which is, I'm sure this young man, this officer in Carthage, he realized that too," said Simmons. "Once I make I contact with him where I actually saw where he was, and he was still armed, and he was still firing, I fired then."

Four people died that day including the restaurant's owners Pete and Ethel Parrous. Simons was honored for his actions and called a hero.

"Well, you don't feel like a hero either. You just feel like you got lucky," Simmons offered.


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