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St. Helens man hailed as hero after shooting

Jacob Jones, a Scappoose High grad, credits martial arts tactics with takedown of gunman


COURTNEY VAUGHN - Jacob Jones, pictured here with 6-year-old son Ethan, took down a gunman in his St. Helens neighborhood on Friday, March 27. Jones is being lauded by police and his family for his actions that day.

While children enjoyed a spring break day outside at around 3:30 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 71-year-old Robert Goin, agitated by a teenaged neighbor, began arguing with the young man. It escalated, catching the attention of 75- year-old neighbor Albert Schneider, who intervened on behalf of the teen.

Schneider’s presence reportedly only fueled Goin’s anger. Goin allegedly reached for a .22 caliber pistol and shot Schneider at close range in the stomach, sending him to the ground with life-threatening injuries.

By that time, at the behest of his wife, Jacob Jones was bolting out of his home, barefooted, to see what the arguing was about a few doors down from his home. When he arrived, he found Schneider on the ground, bleeding, with a pistol in his hand.

Schneider had managed to wrangle Goin’s weapon away, but was clenching it, unable to get up.

Jones moved quickly.

“He gave me the gun,” Jones, 35, said of Schneider. “I took the clip out of the gun and I kind of looked at it and noticed it was a .22. The neighbor’s garage was open, so I walked up to the garage and I set it down.”

Jones said he was still trying to make sense of the situation when the teen neighbor, who Jones estimated to be about 18, told him Goin was crazy.

Jones noticed Goin headed for his garage to retrieve something from the trunk of his vehicle.

“At this point I realized what was going on,” Jones said.

Neighbors alerted Jones that Goin was going for another gun.

That’s when Jones confronted the gunman.

“That’s when I charged at him,” he recalled. “At that point, he was getting the gun out of the bag. When I got to him, I kind of grabbed the gun out of his hands. I didn’t go straight at him, I was actually at him at an angle. I was able to grab it, snatch it right out of his hand, and I threw the gun back, and it flew back onto the sidewalk.”

Jones said he noticed Goin going toward the gun.

“It was seconds, and that’s when I was like, ‘Nope, I’m taking this guy down,’” he said.

Jones said he used martial arts techniques to keep Goin detained until police arrived.

“I grabbed him and kind of locked up his wrist and elbow and I stepped in front of him and swooped his legs out and took him down to the ground, and then I just did like you see the police officers do and I put his hand behind his back,” Jones recounted. “He tried reaching his other arm up at me and I grabbed that arm back and put it behind his back and just held him.”

As Goin was restrained on the ground, Jones said he asked the man why he would threaten and shoot at someone.

“He said, ‘I had to do something. Something had to be done,’” Jones said.

Jones suspects Goin was determined to kill someone that day. He said previous residents of the Oakwood Drive neighborhood warned him about Goin, saying he was easily agitated and known to yell at others.

Jones, a Scappoose High School graduate, said he never had personal experiences with Goin, but had heard about incidents of Goin fighting with neighbors over noise disruptions or kids playing in his yard.

“The neighbors that used to live here, they told us to kind of stay away from the guy,” Jones said. “Anything would set this guy off, is what I was told.”

Family and police credit Jones with disabling Goin and possibly saving lives that day.

“We appreciated what he did,” St. Helens Police Chief Terry Moss said. “The selflessness that he demonstrated that night. Most people at just the thought of something that dangerous protect themselves by locking themselves in their homes and protecting their families and getting away from it. This guy went out looking for an opportunity to intervene and ended up minimizing the injuries.”

Schneider remains hospitalized but is expected to recover, police say. Moss also acknowledged Schneider’s role in the incident, crediting him with being the first to step up on behalf of the teen.

Witnesses, including Jones’ wife, Amanda, said at the time the bullet was fired, children were playing outside. The Jones family’s 1-year-old daughter, Adison, was outside in her stroller. That’s when Amanda rushed for her daughter and called for her husband.

Goin remains in custody without bail. The Jones family said things have been quiet since that day, but they fear what will happen if Goin does get released.

“We’d probably have to move,” Amanda said. She and her husband’s mother, Debbie Jones, both called her husband’s actions that day “heroic.”

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