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The recent church shooting in Birmingham, Alabama tragically resulted in three lives lost. It could have been a lot worse but for one hero with a well-placed folding chair:

The Alabama man charged with the shooting and killing of three people Friday showed a prominent black eye in his mugshot after he was struck with a folding chair.

Robert Findlay Smith, age 70, was charged with capital murder for the attack that occurred during a “Boomers Potluck” at St. Stephens Episcopal Church outside Birmingham Thursday evening.

He allegedly shot two 84-year-olds and a 75-year-old victim before another church member in his 70s rushed the gunman and hit him with a folding chair to stop his attack.

This fellow should be grateful. It could have, and arguably should have, been much worse.

Note that it wasn’t just a fortuitous weilding of a folding chair:

“He hit him with a folding chair, wrestling him to the ground, took the gun from him and hit him in the head with his own gun,” the church’s retired pastor, Rev. Doug Carpenter, reportedly described.

The parishioner was then able to disarm Smith, leaving him largely unharmed but with a large bruise and a bloodshot eye, according to the mugshot released by the Jefferson County Jail in Birmingham.

To the hero at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church: We salute you.

To the man with the black eye: You got off easy. You may find the presiding judge in your trial is not so forgiving.

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