'Christmas miracle' prevents would-be rampage at Fort Worth pharmacy

'Christmas miracle' prevents would-be rampage at Fort Worth pharmacy

FORT WORTH -- Sometimes it's better to be lucky, especially when a disgruntled ex-employee is aiming a pistol at his former colleagues.

It's a scenario that played out for real just four days before Christmas at a popular Near Southside business, according to Fort Worth police. 

"It's absolutely a Christmas miracle," said Lt. Brent Halford. "If there had been a magazine in that gun, it would've been very bad for those four families."

Halford was the first man on scene December 21, when a robbery in progress call at Hall's Specialty Pharmacy came across the radio.

The veteran cop quickly realized what was unfolding along Pennsylvania Avenue, though, was something else entirely.

"Unfortunately, sometimes desperate people do desperate things," said Halford.

Shortly before the call, Halford said an employee of the pharmacy was fired.

That's when the man, 33-year-old Corey Echard, walked out to his car, retrieved a Glock pistol, and strolled back into the pharmacy.

"It's an area not much bigger than my police car," said Halford. "He chambered, pointed [the gun] at other employees and started pulling the trigger."

But police say as Echard pulled the gun out, it somehow caught on the fabric of his hoodie sweatshirt and triggered the magazine to accidentally fall out.

That's the part of the story officers still can't believe.

"The release on it actually goes the other direction. For it to snag is really rare. I've carried the same gun for 20 years and never dropped the magazine getting it out." said Halford.

As seconds ticked by, he said shocked employees finally realized the gun wasn't working. 

They sprinted out of the business, as Echard tried to reload before fleeing himself.

That's when Halford and a flurry of officers descended on the scene.

"We knew he was still close by," said the lieutenant. "He's on foot. He's desperate. There is no good outcome we can expect from this."

The man was eventually found a couple of blocks away after shooting himself. He later died at the hospital, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office. 

"I asked the employees who did he point the gun at? They all raised their hands," said Halford. "He was pulling the trigger [...] the fact that there weren't four other funerals is a miracle, or that an officer was shot."

WFAA reached out for comment from the store shortly after the incident, and again on Monday, but has yet to hear back.

No one was else was hurt. 

 

© 2018 WFAA-TV


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