Two major shootouts in which the good guy used an "AK-47" have hit the news since Thanksgiving. (Note: The term "AK-47" is common shorthand for all AK pattern rifles in the media, and we're not sure exactly what types of rifles were involved.)
The Fix or Cell Burglary
Our first story takes place in mid-November, less than three months ago, in Dayton, OH.
Cell phone stores are now a growing target of burglary and armed robbery in Dayton. With each pocket-sized cell phone worth up to $1,000, a successful haul makes it easy to walk away with compact merchandise that is difficult to trace, and easy to sell.
After three break-ins, Adam Seaton, owner of the Fix Or Cell Now store in Dayton, had enough. When his store security system alerted him to a fourth late night burglary, he was already nearby, and his AK pattern rifle was in the car.
Surveillance video captured two men breaking through the outer glass window and attempting to get past the metal barrier erected over the windows. The two men climbed out of the broken window as Seaton showed up. The burglars then drew handguns and began to fire at Seaton, which prompted him to return fire with his AK in a chaotic shootout.
The men managed to take cover, jump in their vehicle and flee, with Seaton pursuing. Seaton dialed 911 and alerted authorities to the situation, updating police on the position of the car ahead of him. Just as the dispatcher was encouraging him not to pursue the suspects, they began firing at his vehicle. Seaton backed off - wisely - and decided to let the police handle the situation. You can read more about the story here.
The Houston "OK Corral" Affair
The second story finds a 20-year-old good guy holding off five home invaders with his rifle. The incident was widely reported to have involved more shots fired than the OK Corral.
On January 19, a homeowner in Houston was awakened by two armed and masked men breaking into his house at 1am. They ordered him to retrieve cash for them. The victim pretended to reach for a stash of money, but instead pulled out his AK pattern rifle and began firing. The two suspects tried to flee, firing behind them as they ran. The homeowner pursued.
When he emerged from the home, one of the suspects was already dying on the front lawn, while the other was jumping into a car -- a getaway car that held three other armed robbers. Judging by the pile of bullet casings in the front yard, they were also armed.
The shootout was unprecedented in the area. Every single home invader was hit. The homeowner was not wounded.
The car managed to pull off, but crashed not far away.
In the end, one robber died in the front yard, another was found dead in the abandoned car. A third was found nearby and died at the hospital. The two others were wounded and face multiple charges in the incident. Here's a news video from the morning after.