FORT WORTH, TX. 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 sputhside 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 police officer quickly realized that something else entirely was unfolding along Pennsylvania Avenue.
“Unfortunately, sometimes desperate people do desperate things,” said Halford.
Shortly before the call, Halford said an employee of the pharmacy was fired. Then 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.”
Police say that as Echard pulled the gun out, it somehow caught on the fabric of his hoodie sweatshirt and triggered the magazine release. Unknown to Echard in the moment, the magazine had 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 the seconds ticked by, he said, the 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.”
Corey Echard 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.