Marion J. Wheeler, Jr., rescued Gale M. Ingram from assault, Jacksonville, Alabama, March 24, 1996. Ms. Ingram, 40, returned home to find a man armed with a loaded assault rifle and revolver inside her house. Screaming, she ran out of the house, the man following. He fired at her but missed. Seated in his car in a church parking lot across the street from Ms. Ingram’s house, Wheeler, 44, administrative support manager, heard screaming and the gunshot, then saw Ms. Ingram run to the street and fall. Wheeler went to her, picked her up, and, the assailant approaching and firing the rifle twice at her, carried her into the parking lot, where he placed her between two cars. The assailant continued his approach. Hoping to distract him from Ms. Ingram, Wheeler left cover, went to him, and attempted to reason with him. The assailant walked to the church, Wheeler dogging him. They entered the vestibule, and when the assailant turned, Wheeler lunged at him. As they struggled, others joined in to disarm and subdue the assailant. Police arrived shortly and arrested him. Ms. Ingram was not injured.
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Marion J. Wheeler, Jr., attended Gadsden (Ala.) High School and Gadsden Junior College. He retired from AT&T after 42 years of service and was a member of Southside Baptist Church, where he taught Sunday school. Wheeler was an avid Auburn sports fan.
Wheeler, 67, of Gadsden, died on March 1, 2019. Members of the Whorton Bend Volunteer Fire Department were pallbearers for services.
He was the son Marion J. Wheeler Sr. and Marian Fain Wheeler, and he was married to Karen Wheeler. He was the father of Candy Beck, Ashley Toms, Brett Wheeler and Summer Chapman.
(Edited from an obituary published in The Gadsden Times on March 3, 2019.)