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A Massacre We Didn't Hear About

by J. Neil Schulman

Author, Stopping Power: Why 70 Million Americans Own Guns & Self Control Not Gun Control

Webmaster, The World Wide Web Gun Defense Clock

The following article appeared in the January 1, 1992 Los Angeles Times.

This is the story you saw on the evening news:

Now here's a story you probably didn't see: My account of Thomas Glenn Terry's actions in this article was based on an Alabama newspaper account. I later interviewed Terry for a weekly radio program I was hosting and discovered that the account was mistaken on several points. Postal clerk Terry was finishing a late-night dinner with his wife when the robbers came in and took over the restaurant. Terry hid his .45 Colt Government Model under his sweater, not seeing any immediate opportunity to use it. Terry's wife was captured with the other customers and herded off to the cooler, where one of the robbers proceeded to collect wallets and jewelry.

Terry did not hide under a table; he had separated himself from the other customers and managed to get to a back door in the Shoney's to see if it was open so he could escape and call the police. The door was chained shut. At that point one of the robbers discovered him and when the robber drew on him, Terry pulled his own handgun from under his sweater and returned fire, incapacitating this robber, who ultimately survived. The second robber heard the exchange of gunfire and also drew on Terry; it was the gun fight between Terry and this second robber which resulted in the robber running out to the parking lot, where he died from his wounds. It was at this point that Terry told the store manager to phone the police, informing them that an armed customer was present; Terry then proceeded to the cooler and released his wife and the other customers.

Both robbers whom Terry shot had previous armed robberies on their record, and one had murdered a motel clerk just a few days earlier. A third robber escaped as soon as Terry exchanged gunfire with the first robber.

The only national media outlet to cover this incident as news, just two months after the Killeen restaurant massacre, was the Christian Science Monitor. -JNS