WYANDOTTE, Mich. – It was a split-second decision made by Brian Gottschalk and Anita Stinson that potentially saved lives after a man walked into a Tim Hortons with a loaded gun.
“When I saw him lay the gun on the table, I just wanted to get his attention and tell him everything was going to be ok,” said Stinson.
“We were talking and he was just rambling on and on and didn’t know what he was saying really,” said Gottschalk.
While Stinson spoke to the man in the calmest way possible as a distraction, Gottschalk was able to grab the gun and safely get it away from the man right before police were able to make it.
“We’re sitting there and then he pulls out of his right pocket a gun and sits the gun down on the table and I just kinda reached over and grabbed it and I had this jacket on and stuffed it in the pocket,” Gottschalk recalls.
The couple had just left church and ended up at the coffee shop, just in time to calmly talk the man down. At first, they thought he was having a mental breakdown, but as it turns out, police confirmed the man was under the influence of crystal meth.
“He was panicking and I made him look me in the eye and told him he’s safe and that he could trust me and everything is gonna be ok,” said Stinson.
The man was able to be taken into custody and is now facing several serious charges including felony firearm and carrying a concealed weapon.
“I don’t think I registered the danger until we went to the police department on Friday, two days later and we found out that he was on drugs and that the gun was loaded and that he was a convicted felon,” Stinson insisted.
As a show of gratitude, the Wyandotte police department was able to give the two a few tokens of appreciation.
“It was nothing less than heroic. It was great how they just sprang into action and we don’t know what they could have avoided ‘cause we’ve encountered people under crystal meth before and anything and everything could happen,” said Wyandotte Lieutenant Neil Hunter.
Stinson and Gottschalk both call it divine intervention.
“I had absolutely no fear whatsoever when I saw the gun and I felt like I knew what to do like I had done it before,” Stinson explained.
Gottschalk and Stinson said they hope the man gets the help he needs. They’re also hoping they can pay him a few visits as he goes through the legal process.