Note: This article may contain commentary reflecting the author's opinion.

On the evening of July 3rd, a shooting broke out in Surprise, Arizona, at a 4th of July celebration in a suburban neighborhood. Three individuals were killed during the altercation, and four others were injured. Family man Raul Mendez attended the gathering with his two daughters and pregnant wife where they were supposed to celebrate the fourth of July, according to Fox News. 

While attending the gathering, Mendez heard shots ring out, only to realize that he himself had been hit in the head. “My back was turned. I heard the first gunshot and that’s what made me, kind of turn my head … But by the time I even was able to look and see what was going on, a bullet already had struck the side of my face,” Mendez told Fox News exclusively. 

Mendez’s wife quickly approached Mendez believing he was dead due to the severity of the injury. Afterward, she grabbed the children that were attending the party and fled for safety, believing he was gone, according to Fox News.

Mendez then heard screams for help; quickly, Mendez, who was still severely injured, grabbed his concealed gun and headed towards the ongoing altercation in an effort to stop the massacre. 

“By the glory of God or the adrenaline and just everything, just the will to live and the will to protect my family, I was able to hear those pleas, those yells for help. I heard my name. And I was able to get up,” Mendez said. Mendez was able to shoot and kill the man who opened fire on the party, who was later identified as Jason Hunt, stopping the massacre from continuing. 

Sadly, two innocent party-goers were killed by Hunt before Mendez was able to stop him; however, without his handgun, the damage could have been far worse. 

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Mendez recovered in the hospital following the incident. However, he has permanent damage to his hearing, sight, and smell, according to Fox, and has many more surgeries ahead of him.

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The avid gun rights supporter created a video with the National Rifle Association following the tragic incident in support of gun rights in America. “I’d rather look like this than be lying dead next to my family,” Mendez explained in the video. 

“This right here is the only reason we’re alive,” he said while pulling out his firearm. “No one ever told my story, and we all know why. If I didn’t have my gun, everyone in that house would have died. The news vans would have been front and center, but because I did, you never even heard about it,” Mendez argued. 

While this incident was tragic, it would have been far worse if it wasn’t for Raul Mendez and his bravery. Mendez’s story serves as another example of why the 2nd amendment is so important.

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