A book about people being killed seems warningsincongruous with the holiday season. Yet a book about saving human lives is a natural part of a celebration of human spirit. “Warning Unheeded” by Andy Brown lands squarely in the latter category.

In 1994 at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, a former Airman turned mad dog killer ran wild with an AK47 clone until he was put down by a courageous Air Police officer. Under fire from the crazed rifleman at a distance of 70 yards, Andy Brown coolly dropped him with two 9mm hits from his Beretta M9 pistol, and stopped the murders. In retrospect, many believed that the slain gunman’s growing psychosis had gone without timely treatment or institutionalization, despite accumulated warning signs.

In a close timeframe, a senior pilot with an increasing reputation for recklessness crashed while attempting aerobatics with a B52, killing himself and other USAF personnel. Once again, obvious signals had not been acted upon by those in authority, with tragedy resulting…thus, the title of “Warnings Unheeded.”

In juxtaposing and documenting these two tragic events, Andy downplays his own courage. He presents a dispassionate and even sometimes sympathetic portrait of the men responsible for the deaths of the innocent.  In macrocosm, “Warnings Unheeded” teaches us all graphic, object life lessons.  It is in microcosm, however, that the gun element comes into things.

From President Obama down, anti-gun people have publicly scoffed at the idea of a single armed “good guy or gal” stopping a mass murder, sometimes flatly (and falsely) saying it has never happened.  Au contraire. “Warnings Unheeded” is to my knowledge the fourth book written by someone who shot down a mass murderer and ended the slaughter. Two armed citizens have done so. Read “God, the Gunman, and Me” by Jeanne Assam, the volunteer church security person who cut down the mass killer at a Colorado church, or “Shooting Back: the Right and Duty of Self-Defense” by Charl van Wyk, who alone with his 5-shot .38 revolver ended the mass machine gun and grenade attack on a church by a squad of guerrillas. And don’t forget “They Call Me Ranger Ray” by Ramiro Martinez. He was one of the cops who killed Charles Whiteman atop the Texas Tower in 1966, led to the top of the tower by armed citizen Allen Crum. Martinez states flatly in the book that it was return fire from citizens with rifles on the ground who pinned Whitman down and stopped the killings until he and brother officer Houston McCoy could ascend the tower and fatally shoot the gunman.  “Warnings Unheeded” joins these classic first person accounts of heroism prevailing over mass murderers.

I was deeply honored when Andy asked me to write the foreword for this book. I think you will be moved by it, and educated by it, as much as I was, and so will anyone to whom you give this book for Christmas. “Warnings Unheeded” by Andy Brown is available on Amazon.

Or watch Video Here.


  1. Looks like LTC Holland should have been a fighter pilot. Or, better yet, bought his own private stunt plane. Looking at the video, as the plane goes sideways vertical, and loses lift, I am pretty sure he knew he messed up before he died. There’s enough time to see that the port wing hits the ground, then the B-52 collapses and bursts into flame. He had a good time taking exciting risks for three years, then paid the ultimate price when his luck ran out.

    I remember the Navy had what I consider to be a similar incident maybe fifteen years ago. If I remember correctly, some Japanese students were in a fishing boat. They were going to rendezvous with an American submarine. The sub surfaced in a dramatic, break-out-of-the-water-nose-first, kind of way. The only problem was that it surfaced underneath the fishing boat, instead of alongside it, at a safe distance. Some people were killed. I reckon the pilots on that sub were trying to have fun, and impress the students by making a dramatic appearance.

    I am also guilty of taking risks, and sometimes “living on the edge.” That’s where the fun is. Playing it safe is boring. I guess that is why games are good. The mind can be excited while keeping the body safe.

    Have you ever noticed how some people take great risks in business, and succeed, while others take similar risks, and fail? Bill Gates left Yale because he believed there was a market for small computers, and he wanted to write the software for those computers. IBM believed that most people wouldn’t want a computer in their house. Only nerds would want a computer in their home. The market is King, and determines who succeeds and who fails. Hard work, quality and inspiration mean nothing if the market says, “I don’t want that.”

  2. 1966 was a different era. Back then (as you can see from photographs taken the day of the Texas Tower shooting) at least a few citizens had their deer rifles in their pickups (probably hanging on racks in the back window) and thought nothing of pulling them out and engaging someone who was killing other citizens. This was Texas after all and those shooting back were probably WWII vets who had done that sort of thing only a few years earlier.

    What would be the reaction of law enforcement today if a few similar citizens pulled their AR rifles from the trunk of their car and engaged? I’m betting the reaction would be much different.

    I’m not trying to start anything or advance an agenda, I’m just wondering what others think might happen.

  3. MichaelJT,

    Sadly, I bet those citizens, trying to help out by employing their AR-15s, would probably get shot by responding officers. After all, the officers are responding to the scene of a shooting, and they see a guy with a scary black rifle. It may help to keep an orange hunting cap close to our guns. I don’t think many bad guys would wear an orange hat while committing a crime. If I was a police officer, and saw a civilian with a gun, and an orange hat, I think I would at least pause to see if that civilian was really a threat.

    It may be that our police officers are receiving enough training in “shoot/don’t shoot” scenarios, so they wouldn’t fire at the good guy. Who knows? Too many variables, plus Murphy’s Law.

  4. Andy Brown was a bona fide hero two plus decades ago in 1994 when he wielded his issued Beretta M9 9mm pistol skillfully to take down a psychotic, rampaging active shooter 70 yards distant. Andy is still that bona fide hero today in 2016.

    I am saddened that Andy’s post-justified shooting life was a really hellish one that he did not deserve. Truly, in our “civilized”,”evolved”, “modern” society, no good deed done with a good person’s gun goes unpunished inside and outside civil and criminal courts of law.

    Let’s all purchase and read copies of Andy’s book to educate ourselves about the harsh realities associated with Andy’s lawful use of a handgun to stop a berserk murderer in his tracks and thereby save the lives of innocents in the process.

  5. Roger Willco: there is some chance that Bud Holland was interfered with by the guest co-pilot. I just don’t believe Holland would get the aircraft in an inverting stall like that, even if some sort of engine malfunction occurred. Still, Holland was clearly habitually pushing the envelope and probably should have been grounded for it.
    Andy Brown’s book will be a must read for me. We all could be wearing his kind of shoes at any time.

  6. Those were my exact thoughts Roger Willco, aside from the orange hat.
    I’m thinking the responding officers would ignore the report they got about a shooter at the top of the tower and engage the citizen with the AR on the ground.

  7. Off-topic post (late to the party edition):

    When I posted in the “THANKS!” thread about the popular vote increasing in Clinton’s favor over Trump, my friend Dennis posted that such might not really be the case because “there are large numbers of absentee votes in all states that have not been tallied because they are not counted unless they are enough to change the results of the count, on election day, in each individual state, thus changing that state’s electoral vote assignment. Since absentee voters, historically, heavily favor Republican’s, they would very possibly erase Hillary’s popular vote lead.”

    As it turns out, that is an urban legend and incorrect. All ballots are counted. See this article at Snopes.com:


    Still friends, Dennis: Until stumbling over that article tonight I didn’t know any better, either.

  8. Liberal Dave,

    Touche! I hate it when I am responsible for disseminating false information, and I appreciate being corrected. I don’t wish to repeat false info, so thanks.

    As I recall, this subject goes back to Bush v. Gore and the Florida recount. It was reported that Gore was protesting the intent to count absentee ballots from military personnel stationed overseas, whose ballots had been “lost in transit” and arrived in Florida past the deadline to be counted.

    Still friends.

  9. @ Liberal Dave and Dennis,

    Yes, at this point it looks like Hillary Clinton is winning the total popular vote by about 2.5 million. See this link:


    However, I would point out that this result is ENTIRELY due to the State of California. California has a large population (this one State accounted for about 10% of all votes cast in the entire election) and (because it is so “far out” left-wing) it went for Hillary at a rate of about 2 to 1.

    If one subtracts California from the mix, then Donald Trump won the popular vote in the rest of the U.S. by about 1.6 million votes. You can do the math yourself by clicking on California (on the map) and subtracting their votes from the Grand Total figures.

    To me, this illustrates the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in setting up the electoral college method. This prevents a huge State, like California, from becoming the “tail that wags the dog” and overruling the will of all of the other States. While Liberal Dave would (no doubt) delight in having Liberal California always “call the tune”, I (for one) would be horrified by that prospect! 🙂

    California, because of its huge population, is the richest electoral prize. Hillary harvested all 55 of its electoral votes. That gave her, at one fell stroke, 20% of the number needed to win the Presidency.

    The problem with Hillary was that she was unable to harvest the remaining 80% that she needed from the rest of the U.S. Donald Trump reaped the heartland!

  10. TN_MAN, Liberal Dave,

    In the early aftermath of the election, I ran across an article that broke the results down by county, nationwide. (actually there was two stories, one of which was demonstrably false in favor of Trump)

    The one story that was done by a reputable research entity, stated that the U.S. has some 3,141 counties, of which Clinton won less than 500. Trump won the counties by more than 6 to 1. The real story though was that the counties Hillary did win, represented 2/3 rds of the country’s wealth. This would indicate that the meme that the democrats are the party of the downtrodden is a false narrative.

    I would provide the link, but it appears Google has mysteriously removed it in favor of the dis-proven story, which brings many stories of ridicule of the author, hiding the well researched article.

  11. Many thanks to TN_MAN and Dennis for their highly encouraging clarifications of the vote. Let me boast a little, though, about my previous prediction that both Donald and Hillary would win the election. I am just glad that Ms. Hillary has apparently come out on the losing end regarding the electoral votes. California should be heavily docked for any large number of Democratic votes cast there by the unqualified, anyway.

    The need for the best of security for Donald Trump reminds me of the writings of the California detective Hugh MacDonald, such as “Appointment in Dallas: the final solution to the Assassination of JFK,” where he explained that he was in charge of security for Barry Goldwater during Barry’s presidential campaign. Hugh was one of the all-time great public security figures in our history, and merits being read and emulated. His main claim to fame may be having invented the Identikit. Hugh was the only one I know of who ever mentioned his staff’s interception of a rifleman who was apparently stalking Barry. Hugh’s quiet preservation of Barry can be a reminder that successful security may receive little or no publicity.

  12. Two-gun Steve:

    It would seem obvious to anyone with even a middling amount of aircraft flight knowledge that the command pilot had not practiced that maneuver prior to the crash. Normally, a military aircraft would attempt such at an altitude that would allow recovery from the EXPECTED stall. At that speed, the B-52 does not have enough rudder authority to compensate for a total lack of lift from the wings. With flaps, ailerons, and heavy wing loading from the tight turning circle generating a huge amount of drag, it is bleeding off speed at a tremendous rate. Only an idiot would expect to be able to continue turning for more than a small portion of a circle like that.
    For that matter, I’m not sure the tail could actually handle the stress of attempting that turn at a high enough speed to keep from loosing altitude. Those aircraft had a history of shedding vertical tails, and even with the upgrades, that might not be good enough.

    Being able to get maximum handling capability from a warplane may be the difference between getting the mission done, and dying. Having the desire, but not the ability to work his way up to that lofty level of flying, would appear to be this pilot’s epitaph. Frankly, very few pilots have the skill, ability, or interest, to fly at the limits of the flight envelope of an aircraft. This is usually learned in an incremental fashion, and not in gung-ho attempts to muscle an aircraft into doing things.

  13. Will: I agree that the maneuver looks completely foolish. I don’t see even a SuperCub coming out of that one. Maybe. Just too likely that the turn angles came from from flying-by-committee in the cockpit. Former B-52 pilots might be free to give a good perspective on the situation. The crash was a sad occasion, no matter what.

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