AIRWAY HEIGHTS, Wash. -- A suspected car prowler got more than he bargained for when he unknowingly broke into the car of an Army veteran who had a concealed carry permit.
After serving six years in the Army, combat veteran Jonathan Kiner never thought he would pull his gun on anyone ever again. Kiner and his family went grocery shopping at the Walmart in Airway Heights. They paid and walked out to their SUV and started loading it up. Nothing seemed out-of-the ordinary until Kiner walked over to the driver's side.
"That's when the door popped open and he was sitting in there and everything escalated from there," he explained.
The strange man attempted to bolt from the car but Kiner was able to get a hold of him.
"I said, ‘Do not fight me I don't want to hurt you,’" he said. "But the safety of my family was first and foremost."
He pulled out his registered pistol to subdue the man. He let the suspect know he had a concealed carry permit.
“He tried to struggle a little bit, I got him to the ground and he kind of just balled up into a turtle position and I held him there and held him down," Kiner said.
Airway Heights Police identified the man as Jared Austin. He was arrested and cited for misdemeanor second-degree vehicle prowling. Kiner said he showed police his concealed handgun carry permit and he was free to go.
The entire ordeal stuck with him.
“Unfortunately it brought a lot of bad things back from when I was over in Iraq. We dealt with a lot of people in situations that were like that," Kiner said.
He reached out to the Spokane Veterans Outreach Center for help.
"They were there for me yesterday, they were there for me today, so I thank them very much they are a very good organization," he said.
That is not the only thing Kiner is thankful for looking back at this situation.
"Then, I was also thankful it happened to me and I had the skills and the knowledge to ascertain the situation where I didn't need to use deadly force, there was no reason to," Kiner said.
Kiner encourages people who get concealed carry permits to do as much training as they can. For now, Kiner's gun is back in its holster and he hopes he is never faced with another situation that forces him to pull it again.