A man recently opened fire on a crowd of people outside a funeral home in Florida, resulting in an armed bystander firing on the shooter and wounding him. The shooter and a bystander were wounded in the exchange.
The Bradenton Police Department (of Bradenton, Fla.) responded to a shooting that broke out in the parking lot of the Shannon Funeral Home on September 5, according to ABC Action News.
The incident occurred at about 9:30 p.m. following a funeral service. The alleged shooter, Sean Phillips, opened fire into a crowd of people in the parking lot of the funeral home.
As Phillips fired (allegedly) into the crowd, an unnamed 35-year-old man drew a handgun and returned fire at Phillips, striking him several times and striking a 13-year-old girl near Phillips.
The Shannon Funeral Home has several residential units above it, and both Phillips and the girl are occupants, according to the Bradenton Herald.
Phillips and the girl were taken to the hospital. The girl was released the next day to recover at home, while Phillips remained in the hospital. Phillips was arrested for two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and with being a felon in possession of a dangerous weapon.
The 35-year-old shooter is not being charged.
Funeral Shootings Are Not Uncommon, Often Gang-Related
While it would seem to be one of the few sacred things left, funeral shootings are absolutely a thing. Often, they are gang-related or related to criminal activity, especially as an act of retaliation. See, for instance, this news report from earlier this year:
Funerals can absolutely be targets. The Sunday Truce from “The Wire” might have been real at some point in time, but the reality is nothing is off-limits in the criminal underworld.
There’s no confirmation that that was the cause of the shooting at the Shannon Funeral Home in Florida, but given the circumstances (firing on a crowd of people, shooter a felon in possession), it would be fair to assume that it was a distinct possibility.