Sheer luck may have saved a Montgomery County police officer after a man pointed a gun at his head and pulled the trigger, only for the weapon to not fire.
Officer Matthew Stadulis was responding to a call about a man checking locked cars in Whitemarsh Township Wednesday morning when he came across 20-year-old Reynaldo Figueroa-Ardon, who matched the description, as he walked along Mulberry Lane toward Ridge Pike, according to the criminal complaint.
Figueroa-Ardon kept walking and ignored Stadulis’ commands to stop as the officer exited his patrol vehicle. Stadulis jogged toward Figeroa-Ardon, grabbed his arm and asked him what he was doing in the area, which is when the suspect reached into his waistband, pulled out a handgun, pointed it at Stadulis’ head and pulled the trigger, the court document said.
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Stadulis said he heard at least three clicks before he was able to wrestle Figueroa-Ardon to the ground and disarm him. Once on the ground, Figueroa-Ardon also tried to take Stadulis’ gun from its holster, according to the complaint.
Stadulis was able to keep the suspect down before more officers arrived and were able to handcuff and take him into custody. Figueroa later told police he knew the gun was loaded when he pulled the trigger, the complaint indicates.
“All of us in law enforcement are feeling very blessed right now that the defendant wasn’t able to rack a bullet into the chamber of the stolen gun before he pulled the trigger. Thankfully, the police officer went home to his family after this very dangerous incident,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement.
The gun Figueroa-Ardon used had been taken from a car and reported stolen the day prior, according to the criminal complaint.
Stadulis is a father, husband, brother son and veteran, Whitemarsh Township Police Department Chief Christopher Ward said.
Figueroa-Ardon has been charged with attempting to kill a police officer, attempted aggravated assault, illegal possession of a gun and related charges. It was not immediately clear if he had retained an attorney who could comment on his behalf.