Friday, July 10, 2009

Jeanne Speaks to Firearms Coalition

When a gunman went on a spree at New Life Church back in December of 2007, security guard Jeanne Assam stepped in and took down the shooter before he could take any more church members' lives.

Assam has only spoken a few times in public about what happened that day. Thursday night she told her story to members of the Pikes Peak Firearms Coalition. She says a lot of what happened that day hasn't been told.

She says she actually wasn’t even supposed to be working on that Sunday as a security guard at New Life. She planned to take the day off, then she had a vision.

"I had a vision of a gunman coming into the church," she said.

What she says she saw came true, and she just happened to be in the right place when gunman Matthew Murray walked in and started firing.

“All of a sudden I heard the crash of shots from a high powered rifle," Jeanne said.

The spree was already deadly in the parking lot. She says Murray must have fired off at least 40 rounds once he got inside the church. "He didn't hit anyone, it's a miracle.”

She says she knew she had to stop him. "I asked God to be with me and to protect me and He did, otherwise I would have been dead, I would have been killed."

Jeanne says she sprinted down the hallway where the gunman was shooting, she remembers somehow staying calm and fearless. "I'm going to kill him, he's not going to kill me," she said.

She took cover until the perfect moment, then she says she fired off 10 rounds. "Our bullets crossed mid-air, I hit him and knocked him off his feet."

A standing ovation from her audience confirms her act was heroic and for members of PPFC, who are dedicated to protecting the second amendment, Jeanne's is a story they've been waiting to hear.

Jeanne says she has had the opportunity to meet Matthew Murray's family and they are now friends, all very forgiving about what happened. Jeanne is also writing a book about that day.