Thomas Autry was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1992 after serving in Operation Desert Storm and now works as a waiter at the Midtown Jocks & Jills. Around 11 p.m. Monday when he was walking to his girlfriend’s place after work, he was approached by five thugs in a Cadillac. He tried to run and yelled for help, but when they caught up with him, they had a shotgun and a .380 pistol, and he had gotten out a knife. He kicked the shotgun, stabbed one guy, and fatally stabbed a 17-year-old girl who jumped on him.
The thugs ran back to the Caddy and drove to Atlanta Medical Center where they were arrested. They have been linked to a lot of pedestrian robberies in Midtown and Virginia Highlands. “One of these guys confessed to me that they were robbing people all week long,” APD Detective Danny Stephens said.
This story goes to show there are exceptions to the “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” rule, although had he been carrying a .45 on the hip instead of a pocket knife in a backpack, he might have saved the state quite a bit of money. I’m glad to see he won’t be charged.
Autrey denies being a hero, saying, “The heroes are those guys out there fighting for us every day and not getting respect,” referring to our soldiers in Iraq and elsewhere. “That [killing the attacker] wasn’t admirable, it was fight or flight and I tried the flight.” I say he’s right about the soldiers in Iraq, but that doesn’t mean he’s not one too. Who knows how many more people they would have robbed or killed before being caught if it weren’t for him?
Perhaps when these (surviving) criminals get out prison, they’ll have the good sense to move their act to New York, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, or somewhere else their intended victims aren’t allowed to defend themselves.