Many fathers imagine having to go after the person their daughter gets romantically involved with. An image many hope to never have to bring to reality, but one any father worth their salt has no problem doing.
On December 26th, a father in Wood River, IL (roughly 30 minutes north of St. Lois, MO), got the opportunity to show what he would do in the situation.
Awoken around 2:30 am, he found his daughter had been badly beaten by her boyfriend. Calling officers, they had already begun responding to Mildred Street and had learned that she had left to go to her parents. However, as they went to go there, they learned she had left to come back, with her father in a separate vehicle. At 2:49 am, a second report was received, this time of gunshots ringing out a few blocks away.
According to local affiliate Fox 2, KTVI, it was a gruesome but quick scene.
“One neighbor said that after he heard a pop, he stepped outside and saw the older man standing over the younger one, pointing a gun at him. He heard the younger man beg the older man not to shoot him, followed by the older man saying, ‘That’s my daughter! She means everything to me!’ After that, he said he watched as the older man shot the younger one and then waited for police to arrive. He said the older man did not appear severely injured from his vantage point, while he heard the younger man screaming in pain.”
Police identified both shooting victims as the daughter’s father and boyfriend. While names are not currently being released, the Madison County DA’s office is investigating. So far, no charges have been filed in connection with any potential crimes.
KTVI interviewed neighbors Mildred Rulo and Dawn Howard about the shooting. For Rulo, the fact that the two knew each other and that this wasn’t just a random act of violence is somewhat comforting. To her, that would be an indication that it was time to be more careful than she was previously.
For Howard, though, she is troubled about the idea of bringing guns into it. It’s hard to blame a parent. There are five girls in our family, and I can see all of our dads going after a guy. But with a gun? No. Beat him up; don’t shoot him.”
As Rulo seemed to understand and Howard failed to comprehend, beating someone who already severely beat your daughter doesn’t solve the problem. It doesn’t keep someone from coming back. The ever-popular and liberally suggested restraining order is often seen as just another way for a victim to tell the person coming after them that they love them. It also doesn’t stop them from attacking, especially when those orders have no teeth, like in IL.
What the father did here was exactly what a father, uncle, or brother should always do. The only mistake he made is a debatable one. For many, he should have killed the attacker, as that is the one guaranteed way they don’t attack your loved one or another woman again. To many, this is a rough decision and one they simply are uncomfortable with. In their eyes, violence, especially murder, is the wrong answer. They hold steadfast the idea that ‘an eye for an eye’ is inherently the wrong decision.
Thankfully, this father was willing to take the risk of some spineless DA pressing charges, as well as the potential that an overzealous cop could shoot him. Calculating this risk by simply waiting for the police, and not dumping the magazine into the attacker, something that took great restraint, he likely saved himself from either of those options.