COLUMBIA, MO. ( — A local man is being hailed as a hero today for not shooting anyone despite living in an area with a shopping mall, two schools, a movie theater, an IRS office and a former workplace.

No one was shot here, despite this being a mall.

Officials said the man, whose name they are withholding, also resides near several churches, a major university, a grocery store, an airport and City Hall, yet has somehow not opened fire.

“There are a lot of people in this city who are alive today because this man chose not to shoot at them, even though he wouldn’t have had to go far to find a place do it,” said Columbia Deputy Mayor Franklin Smart. “On behalf of everyone, we thank him and hope others follow his lead by also not shooting people.”

Smart said the man’s restraint was particularly notable given not only the proximity of such targets, but because he “clearly could” go on a killing spree given that his profile fits the shooter archetype: he drinks alcohol, likes video games, watches action movies, dislikes paying taxes, distrusts government, is sometimes frustrated at work and, most tellingly, is both male and American..
“Obviously, on paper, he should have shot up something by now,” said Smart. “I mean, the man has been approached by strangers. He has seen teenagers walking in his neighborhood. He was even stuck at a traffic light behind a woman who was texting while driving!”

That he didn’t turn violent in these moments is a testament to the man’s character, said his boss, Kelly Wilmington.

“One day I got on his case for turning in a report late, and I almost immediately regretted it,” she said. “When he left my office, I remember thinking, ‘Well, this is it. There’s a gun shop just down the street. He’s probably in there right now buying a .38.’”

But the man didn’t shoot his boss or any of his co-workers. Instead, he later apologized to Wilmington and even brought her a coffee.

What causes him to hold back? Speaking from his home, where he has never shot a family member despite the occasional disagreement, the man credited his discipline to “not really thinking about hurting anyone, at least not with a gun. Jesus.”

Smart said he hopes the man continues to not shoot, and to that end he said Columbia will do its part by demolishing the city’s malls, schools, theaters, government buildings, hospitals, public transportation, businesses, private homes and apartments.

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