Eli Dicken, of Seymour, likely saved many lives when he pulled his gun and shot and killed the Greenwood Park Mall shooter. Yet, in 15 seconds his life changed forever. Another person who made the same kind of decision five years ago, reached out to Dicken this weekend.
In 2017, Kystie Phillips shot and killed a man who was trying to kill a police officer in Ohio County. Both she and Dicken are represented by gun rights attorney Guy Relford, who interviewed Phillips on Saturday’s “Gun Guy” show on WIBC.
“It’s probably one of the most overwhelmingly emotional things that I’ve ever gone through in my life,” said Phillips. “A message to Eli: Thank you for saving the lives of a lot of people that day.”
Phillips said she hopes that Dicken can find peace, because making the split-second decision to shoot someone is tough. The consequences are vast and they come after all is said and done. Though people may want to heap glory on such a person, there’s no glory in pulling that trigger.
“I know that he’s probably gonna go through some emotional months ahead. You bring up the word hero. That was really difficult for me and maybe he finds the same thing,” said Phillips. “As positive as some of those things can sound, sometimes that’s a really difficult thing to absorb because you’re thinking about the fact that someone’s life ended that day. It doesn’t make any difference the circumstance.”
Phillips’ life change in many ways after the shooting incident. She was sued for shooting the man, but that suit was dropped. The incident became central to a new law in Indiana that keeps you from being sued in such a justifiable shooting.
Phillips is a person of faith and says it has taken faith and prayer to get through it.
“It takes a lot of trying to inject positive thoughts into your head so your mind doesn’t go in bad places,” she said.
What happened in Phillips’ life is now five years in the past. Yet, she continues to process it. But, she said she has found some sense of normalcy again.
“For him I just want him to find peace in the fact that normalcy will come again because that’s one thing that I wished for more than anything was just to get back to normal,” she said. “When I talk about that sense of normalcy it’s just to be able to go into a public place and be able to worship in a church.”
Dicken has not yet been interviewed in public about the shooting, preferring to wait until the investigation is over and it is legally sound. Relford has asked for space for Dicken, issuing statements on his behalf.
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