Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Montana Resident Detained Despite Using Firearm for Self-Defense in School Zone: Family Faces Assault and Attempted Arson

Locked up for defending his family home, Gabriel Metcalf remains in a Montana jail without bail. His residence in Billings is situated near Broadwater Elementary School. Armed with a single-shot shotgun and a camera, Gabriel was on the lookout after several threatening incidents involving him and his elderly mother, Vivian. They had a protection order against their ex-neighbor, David Lee Carpenter, who had allegedly made multiple threats against them.

The filing specifies various alarming statements and actions from Carpenter and another individual who resided with him in a nearby rental home. The document includes accusations of verbal abuse, racial slurs, and explicit threats, including a threat of arson.

Vivian and Gabriel reported experiencing emotional harm and increased symptoms of PTSD due to the ongoing harassment. Despite police intervention, they claim that the response has been inadequate and that the threats have continued.

In an unsettling event, both mother and son accuse Carpenter of attempting to endanger their lives through fire. They describe Carpenter positioning machinery and combustibles near their property line, allegedly in an attempt to set fire to them. Fortunately, the attempt failed, and law enforcement was notified, although Vivian was dissatisfied with the police investigation.

In 2022, a decade-long protection order was secured against Carpenter. However, Vivian claims Carpenter continued to violate the restraining order, which eventually led to his arrest on July 31, 2023. Even so, he was released on bail without a mandated ankle monitor, despite a previous conviction for assault against Gabriel Metcalf.

Starting on August 2, 2023, Gabriel began to keep watch at the front of his home with his shotgun and camera to document any potential violations by Carpenter. Yet, his actions led to his arrest, despite the ongoing threats against him and his mother.

Critics of restraining orders argue that they are mere pieces of paper that don't guarantee safety. Gabriel's case serves as a flashpoint in ongoing debates around the efficacy of legal orders of protection.

A fundraising site has been established by Gabriel's mother to assist with the family's legal expenses and to champion their Second Amendment rights, given the circumstances that led to Gabriel's pretrial detention.

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