FAIRFIELD, ILLINOIS — As the last state in the country to allow concealed carry, it may have saved the life of permit holder Erick B. Paula, 26, during a confrontation Sunday morning.
Paula, who is black, said he encountered the two men — who are white — at a party earlier in the evening. He said the two had made racial remarks, and he had asked them to stop. The men later confronted Paula on Mount Vernon Road near the Fairfield airport.
When the two men got out of their vehicle, they confronted Paula and wanted to fight. Paula told the two that he did not want to fight, and that he had his concealed carry permit and was armed.
The two men reportedly demanded that Paula hand over his firearm and engage in a fist fight. At this point, the men were about a foot away from Paula and it was at this moment that Paula drew his .22 caliber pistol and fired at the men.
Both men suffered gunshot wounds and drove themselves to the hospital. The two men were identified as Blaze A. Greenwood, 22, of Fairfield and Alex C. Barrowman, 23 of Crest Hill, Illinois.
During an interview, Barrowman told police that he and Greemwood “went looking for Paula for a fist fight.”
After the ordeal, Paula immediately drove to the police station to report what had occurred.
While the investigation is still ongoing, no charges are expected to be filed against Paula, as the incident seems to be a clear-cut case of self-defense.