Crime

‘It’s a good day to die.’ Man pulls gun on couple wearing MAGA caps at Kentucky Sam’s Club

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A Tennessee man was charged after pulling a gun on a man and women and flipping them off at a Bowling Green Sam’s Club for wearing “Make America Great Again” caps, according to police.

Police were summoned to the Sam’s Club around 4:40 p.m. Saturday when multiple callers said a man pulled a gun on a man and woman, according to an arrest citation. Callers said the suspect told the female, ‘It’s a good day to die, b****.’”

James Phillips told police that he walked past the couple who were wearing the hats — with President Donald Trump’s MAGA catchphrase — inside the store and “flipped them off solely for wearing the hats,” according to Phillips’ arrest citation.

“I have as much right to wear that hat and support my country and my president as he has not to,” the victim, Terry Pierce, told WBKO.

Phillips, 59, told police he had walked away when he was approached by Pierce, according to court records. Phillips said Pierce came up from behind and put his hands on Phillips, but video surveillance did not confirm Phillips’ account, according to the citation.

Surveillance footage showed the victim came up behind Phillips, who turned toward Pierce. Pierce then flipped off Phillips and put his hands in Phillips’ face, police said.

Following a verbal argument, Phillips pulled a gun on the man inside the store, multiple witnesses told police.

Pierce told WBKO he told the gun-wielding man, ‘Then pull the trigger. Put the gun down and fight me or pull the trigger. Whichever one you want.’ And he backed up, and he said it again, he said, ‘It’s a good day for you to die.’”

Witnesses and Pierce said Phillips drew his gun, but the weapon could not be seen on surveillance video because Phillips backed out of view of the camera, police said.

Phillips took off toward the parking lot, and Pierce followed him there, he told WBKO.

“I went out the front of the store to confront him again, and that’s when I got him in his car. He couldn’t leave because his mother was in the store. And we were having a verbal altercation outside,” Pierce said.

Police say Phillips had a Glock .40 caliber with a round chambered, and it was in his back pocket with two additional magazines in a cargo pocket. Phillips, of Cottontown, Tenn., was charged with wanton endangerment and placed in the Warren County Detention Center. Phillips has a concealed carry permit in Tennessee, court records say.

No one was injured in the incident.

Mike Stunson covers breaking news and real-time news for the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kentucky.com. He is a 2011 Western Kentucky University graduate who has previously worked at the Paducah Sun and Madisonville Messenger as a sports reporter.
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