MANSFIELD, Texas - The man seeing pulling out a gun at a Mansfield park on Memorial Day tells FOX 4 what happened before the incident and why he chose to do it.
Cell phone video from the confrontation shows the man pointing a gun. He said moments before that, his shirt was ripped and was slapped and pushed around.
He said he feared for his safety and his daughter’s safety and said he’d had enough.
The 29-year-old single dad, who asked FOX 4 not to use his name, has had a license to carry for about four years. He said he's never felt the need to pull his gun until Monday when he feared for his life and his daughter's life.
“He attacked me without even knowing the whole story,” he said.
The man says his 6-year-old daughter was playing at Rose Park in Mansfield when she walked up to him and said another little girl hit her.
“She's like, ‘I want her to tell me sorry,’” he recalled. “And I said, ‘She’s not going to tell you sorry, Lilly. She's slow. She’s special needs. She doesn’t understand what she did was wrong.’”
The dad believes a woman overheard him, didn't like what he said and told the other girl's father, who quickly approached him while he was sitting on a park bench.
“And he said, ‘Did you call my daughter a stupid retard?’ or something like that,” he recalled. “I said, ‘No, I didn’t say anything about your daughter.’”
The dad said he basically ignored the other father, which he believes made him even angrier. About ten minutes later, the other dad’s brother-in-law came up out of a group of family and friends, and things escalated quickly.
“He wouldn’t get out of my face. He raised his hand, backslapped me as hard as he could. My glasses went flying to the ground,” the dad recalled. “After being slapped, pushed around, my shirt being ripped, my face being shoved into a chair, I basically said I’ve had enough. That's when I reached for my weapon, put it straight into his face and he backed away and said, ‘Oh, oh, oh.’ He freaked out, and I said, ‘Back away. Everybody back away.’ That few second video is right after I pulled it.”
The father, who has a license to carry, says he got up from the bench and kept his handgun pointed at the brother-in-law as he slowly backed away.
“The only time my weapon moved from him, from the person who assaulted me, was the people trying to run up on me,” he recalled. “And I said, ‘Everyone, leave me alone!’”
The dad says he holstered his Glock 26 once he felt he was a safe distance away and turned his attention to his daughter, who was visibly shaken.
“I fought for that little girl since the day she was born,” he said. “I wouldn't go anything that would jeopardize her life.”
The dad says his daughter has slept in the bed with him every night since the incident.
Mansfield police say the aggressor fled the park before they arrived. Investigators are looking into a possible suspect, but no arrests have been made.