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Jeanne Assam: Me, Gunman and God

Armen Hareyan's picture

Jeanne Assam says "It was just me, the gunman, and God." Colorado church security guard stops shooting spree.

She calmly drew her weapon and shot him.
And she credits the Holy Spirit for guiding her.

Jeanne Assam, who is being hailed as a hero, served as a volunteer, armed security guard at New Life Christian Church in Colorado Springs, CO when the shots rang out.

The shooter, Matthew Murray, had as many as a thousand rounds of ammunition for his assault rifle. With at least a thousands of people still in the common areas after the second service and smoke devices ignited, he could have killed many many more than the two who did die.

But Jean Assam stood in his way.

"I identified myself, I engaged him and then I took him down," she said at the press conference. "I didn't run away. I didnt' think for a minute to run away. I knew I was the one given the assignment to stop this thing."

Red Letter Believers are people who are not afraid to take let their faith motivate them, encourage them and empower them to do difficult things.

For Jeanne Assam -- taking another man's life was the biggest assignment of her life.

So how about your job? When God asks you to walk across the room to speak up for Him, to right a wrong, to offer a hand, to be a person of faith -- remember this courageous woman who was not afraid to let God use her.

"I was weak, but God made me strong. I am honored that God chose me." - By

A segment of today's press conference from New Life Church that covers questions about Jeanne Assam

Question: Can you tell us more about your security person who shot the

Yes. She she is highly trained, and is a volunteer member of our church and, simply, her role is to provide security and she did her job yesterday and she is a real hero. When the shots were fired, she rushed toward the scene and encountered the attacker in the hallway. He never got more than 50 feet inside our building. There could have been a great loss of life yesterday, and she probably saved over a hundred lives. He had enough ammunition on him to cause a lot of damage, and she rushed toward the attacker and took him down in the hallway.

The woman who was our security volunteer was purposely stationed in the center of our rotunda yesterday because of the shooting in Denver. Because we took extra precautions, we saved a lot of lives yesterday. We have had a plan in place here for many years, before I ever came as senior pastor, for situations like this. And for a group of volunteers to be able to pull off an evacuation plan the way they did yesterday was supernatural and unbelievable.

Question: Was the security officer stationed where she normally would be

I don't know where she is normally stationed--she is often near me, but takes assignments wherever needed. She is a volunteer--this is a person that comes to our church and is a worshiper here. We have two services--so she sits in one service and worships, and then serves in the second service as security many times.

Question: Was she an off-duty police officer?
No, but she does have law enforcement background.

Question: Was she uniformed?
No, she was plain-clothes.

Question: Was the gun used her weapon or the church's weapon?
No, we don't own weapons. It was her personal weapon that she was licensed to carry.


Submitted by David Broer (not verified) on
I just want to say that Jeanne Assam deserves a medal. What she did was heroic and she saved many lives that day by taking the gunman out. And it makes me proud that she finished the job. My heartfelt condolences go out to the family that were targeted in this tragic event. Thank God for Jeanne's force of will to do what needed to be done at that moment. And thank you Jeanne for public service on that day. Good shooting! DB

Submitted by Laurel B (not verified) on
Hearing Jeanne's account was such a powerful witness! I couldn't help but think of Old Testament Daniel who remained safe and under GOD's protection when thrown in the lions' den.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Jeanne Assam is listed on a Minneapolis-based police watchdog group, "Communities United Against Police Brutality": In 1997, she was briefly suspended for the use of "derogatory language" while on the job.

Submitted by Don (not verified) on
Yea Jeanne! God bless you for doing the right thing. I hope this instance will serve as a wake-up-call to those who would take away the weapons of law abiding citizens...while allowing criminals (who do not obey the law) to carry theirs.

Submitted by binky corpuscle (not verified) on
...between situations where psychotic gunmen meet armed resistance, vs. situations where psychotic gunmen are guaranteed not to be challenged in gun free zones, such as malls and schools? The pastor estimates that 50 to 100 people could have lost their lives in this event. Why did that not happen? Is it that hard for our lawmakers and the general population to figure this out? Gun laws do nothing more than ensure that the bad guys are the only ones with the guns. Is this really what we want; the bad guys running around with all the dangerous hardware while the good guys having no way to defend themselves against the wolves? Why does our government stack the deck against us at times? Could it be they fear us more than they care about our safety? Kudos to this woman. The media keeps calling her a "security guard", but in reality, she's just an average person who was protecting the church and people she holds dear. Everyone's right to do just that should always be respected.

Submitted by Gabriele (not verified) on
I am very happy that this gunman was taken down. It also shows that teachers and employees of schools should not be forbidden to carry guns. Many people are licensed to carry a gun. If there were allowed to carry them on a school campus where they work, we would have mourned less deaths this year. The recent shootings again prove that psychiatric "medication" are medication which leads to death. Most shooters if not all were under psychiatric "supervision". We need to stand up for our right to live in a safe place WITHOUT psychiatric pills and in accordance with the constitution where we are allowed to carry guns.

Submitted by Chris USCG (not verified) on
Glad to have someone like this on my religion. Good job, she truly is a her.

Submitted by Joe Abrahamson (not verified) on
Very proud of this lady and what she has done. Thank God for putting her where she was and giving her the courage to stand up to this killer. Many, many people will have a Christmas this year because of her actions and I pray for the two young ladies and their Father who were shot. We need many more like her in our lives. JA

Submitted by Michael Sathyadass (not verified) on
To introdce myself my name is Michael from Bangalore (India) As we read in 2 cor 10 :4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. For what Jeanne has done maybe an act of bravery...but as we look at the gunman,who was haunted with voices could have found Jesus at that time ....answer me this question why did the worshipers ran away when the the gunman started his ruthless killing ???We as christians should think about this ....I morn for those who lost they loved ones...

Submitted by Rod Sulllivan (not verified) on
Concealed handguns save lives. Jeanne Assam will never get the recognition she deserves nationwide, but the fact is that she put herself in harm's way to save the lives of other people. The same lack of recognition occurred at Appalachian School of Law on January 16, 2002. A Nigerian exchange student at the law school, in academic trouble, shot and killed two law professors (I teach. I can empathize) and one student. Have you even heard the names of Tracy Bridges, Mikael Gross, Ted Besen or Todd Ross? Probably not. Here is what they did: " the first sound of gunfire, fellow students Tracy Bridges and Mikael Gross, unbeknownst to each other, ran to their vehicles to fetch their personally-owned firearms.....Bridges and Gross approached Odighizuwa from different angles, with Bridges yelling at Odighizuwa to drop his gun. Odighizuwa then dropped his firearm and was subdued by several other unarmed students, including Ted Besen and Todd Ross..." If there had been just one armed brave professor at Virgina Tech, or one armed teacher at Columbine High School, the results would different. The police can't protect you. They can fill out reports after you are dead. The can kill your attacker. They can even jail him and see that he is prosecuted--but they can't protect you. If you think they can, okay. Nobody is asking you to carry a firearm. But, please let me protect myself, my wonderful wife, and my children. If the need arises, I'll protect you too as well.

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