Illinois man armed with AR-15 stops attack against neighbor

An Illinois man armed with an AR-15 rifle stopped an attack against his neighbor at his apartment complex Monday, WGN reported.

Dave Thomas of Oswego Township said he saw one of his neighbors being attacked with a knife during an argument, police said. Thomas ran into his house, fetched his rifle and returned, ordering the attacker to stop.

“I poked my head out the door. There was a pool of blood, blood was everywhere in the hall,” Thomas told WGN. “There was still a confrontation going on, there were about three or four people involved at this point.

“So I ran back into my house and grabbed my AR-15. I grabbed the AR-15 over my handgun -- bigger gun, I think a little more of an intimidation factor. Definitely played a part in him actually stopping.”

The suspect left the area but was later captured by police, WGN reported. The stabbing victim was taken to the hospital.

Police said Thomas has a valid firearm owner's identification card and a concealed carry permit, WGN reported.

>> Florida school shooting survivors return to campus

The AR-15 has been at the center of a gun control debate in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a Florida high school on Feb. 14 that left 17 people dead, including 14 students. The attacker used an AR-15, police said. Nikolas Cruz, 19, has been charged in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Thomas said the AR-15 was his “weapon of choice” for home protection.

“It's light, it's maneuverable. If you train and know how to use it properly, it's not dangerous,” Thomas told WGN.

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