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Patty Hearst Saves Her Captors From Capture!

By Patrick Mondout

On May 16, 1974, Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) members William and Emily Harris entered a sporting goods store in Inglewood, California, with the intent to steal ammunition for the terrorist group. They were apprehended by store security until Patty Hearst and her semi-automatic rifle intervened. 

Patty Hearst had driven the Harrises in a red Volkswagen bus to a Mel's Sporting Goods. The plan was to snatch the ammunition and purchase some goods ($31 worth of clothes, which they paid for) to cover their tracks. As they were leaving, Emily & Bill got into an altercation outside with a security guard, who managed to get a set of handcuffs on one of Bill's hands.

Bill reached for a revolver he had one him but it was knocked out of his hands by the security guard. Hearst emerged from the van and fired an semi-automatic weapon 27 times, taking out the storefront window and allowing all three to escape. Store owner Bill Huett's wife was slightly injured by a ricocheting bullet.

The LAPD knew from the descriptions who was now in town and less than 24 hours later, there would be a televised shootout between the SLA and Los Angeles SWAT teams.




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"Tania" seen holding an automatic weapon in front on an SLA flag in the infamous photograph distributed by the SLA.

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