Horrifying Easter Church Shooting Ends With Dad Shot & Son in Custody

This Just In 10

churchIt's safe to say a gunman was the last thing the folks at a church in Ashtabula, Ohio were expecting on Easter Sunday. The church shooting has rocked the nation in no small part because a dad was shot by his son in a place of worship on a sacred day. But even as police try to determine why things went down the way they did on Sunday afternoon at the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ, it's the how that reveals the temperature of a nation.

Cops say the 150-some parishioners were leaving the church when Reshad Riddle appeared, screaming about God and Allah, with a gun in his hand. The men, women, and children had little time to prepare. So they did the only thing they could.

They dove for cover.

An associate pastor grabbed people and shoved them into the bathroom. He dove beneath the baptismal font. Others ducked under the pews.

What was initially reported as a mass shooting ended with just one fatality -- Riddle's 52-year-old father, Richard Riddle.

This is what happens in America. When a gun is brandished, people in America react with fear. We have become, if not accustomed to shootings, at least highly aware of gun violence. We act first, think later.

In part, it is human nature.

The people in the Hiawatha Church of God in Christ didn't wait to find out if Reshad Riddle was a threat. Their fight or flight response kicked in, and they fled as best they could, taking immediate cover.

Natural? Of course. But it's also a sign of where we are as a nation. As much as the right tries to insist that guns do not kill people, that guns are safe and useful, we know better. We SEE what guns do every time we turn on the news.

Guns killed 20 kids in an elementary school. Guns turned a night out at the movies into a nightmare.

And a gun turned the sanctity of a house of worship on a sacred day into mass chaos.

We don't respond to guns with smiles and applause in America. We respond to guns by grabbing as many people as possible and shoving them into a bathroom to keep them safe. We respond to guns by diving for cover.

What is your first instinct when you see a gun?


Image via lifecreations/Flickr

crime, death, guns


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miche... micheledo

My first reaction? Look at who is holding it and how they are holding it . That is what would determine my reaction.

nonmember avatar guest 235

People would have reacted in fear if he held a knife, a bomb, a bow and arrow. Do you really think someone would have waited to ask him whats up if he had held a different type of weapon???? You people and your gun hype.

Jennifer Gatti Whorton

Blah blah blah. "The right" says this, but "we" know better. Yeah, sure. What garbage. You libs know better then everyone, right? Keep living in fantasy land. I'll live in the real world, thanks.

bills... billsfan1104

A person is dead, and you already start the gun control crap. The father is not even buried yet, and you already want guns taken away

Serab... Serabelle

You say the act first like it's a bad thing? Guns don't kill, crazy people use guns to kill. Big difference. If someone came into a room I was in shouting and holding a weapon of any sort, my reaction would be to get away and bring as many people with me as I could .that is normal and the correct action, , getting out of the way so no one gets hurt. What would you have liked them to do? Also, if he was yelling about Allah, then it sounds like he may be a home grown terrorist, not just your run of the mill psycho. Totally different situation than someone Willy nilly shooting up a school. Just as horrific, but different

Carme... Carmen8706

If I see a gun sitting on a table or in a display case, then I'm not going to run for cover. If I see a gun in a person's hands and it's pointing at me, then yeah, I'm going to run. This article made no sense.

nonmember avatar dontworryabotit

"many shall be deceived". The deceivers don't like guns cause it's the only form of arms there is to stop tyranny and oppression by those who themselves use guns, by those who are suppose to protect the constitution, rather, they're traitors, sellouts, they belong to the UN, congress has promulagated the biggest scam in histroy by selling out the constitution for the "nwo", which is a traitor and deceiver. Congress and the president have sold out this nation for their "nwo", through the "UN", which has no authority in this country. You want to find out who sold out America? Look at congress, go to their files and demand they release their deceptions so people will know exactly what their "government" has done to them. Traitors are ruining this country for they're "love of money".

lalab... lalaboosh

Ummm, people did those things. They USED guns, but guns didn't snap, guns didn't find targets, guns didn't make plans to kill. We do not have a gun problem, we have a societal problem. If we ban guns while ignoring these issues no problems will be solved. I am fully against banning guns, and I'm a 'liberal.' It's not black and white, right vs. left..

MissA... MissAlly89

Stop letting the f***ing Arabs in!

nonmember avatar Lisa Noell

GUNS did NOT kill these people...A human being holding the gun killed these people!! A GUN can not be shot till someone chooses to pull the triger!!!!! I have owened guns to hunt with and in my years hunting....neither one of my guns killed anyone because a gun itself can not fire itself!!!!

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