Thirty-five-year-old Juan Carlos Nazario and 39-year-old Bryan Wittle are credited with saving lives after they intervened in what police believe was a random attack at a restaurant in Oklahoma on Thursday.
The two men went to their cars to retrieve their firearms after a 28-year-old man opened fire at Louie’s Bar & Grill on Lake Hefner. The attacker wounded three people inside the restaurant before being shot and killed by Nazario and Wittle. The victims are currently receiving medical treatment. Police officials said they are all in good condition and expected to survive.
"A man walked into the Louie’s restaurant and opened fire with a gun," the Oklahoma City Police Department said in a series of tweets. "Two people were shot. The incident is under investigation. The shooter’s motive is unknown and his identity is not yet confirmed. The victims are expected to survive."
Jabari Giles, whose daughter and wife were shot by the attacker, thanked the men for confronting and stopping the shooter. "Thank you," Giles told KOCO. "I think he saved some lives tonight. I think it could have been a lot worse."
Police also praised the decisive actions of Nazario and Wittle. Officials said they did not know what would have happened had they not interviened.
"They were able to shoot the suspect and put an end to a very dangerous situation," Oklahoma City Police Captain Bo Mathews told ABC News. "They stopped an incident that was very, very bad."
Bryan Wittle said he wasn't trying to be heroic but merely did what anybody would have done.
"I just did what needed to be done to stop the threat. Nothing special," Wittle told USA Today. "A lot of people would have done the same given the situation."
Juan Carlos Nazario echoed Wittle's sentiments. "Just did what I was trained to do to neutralize the situation," he told KOCO.
The National Rifle Association praised the armed civilians who stopped the attacker and said they hoped it served as a "wake-up call" for Oklahoma's governor to support permitless concealed carry.
"An #ArmedCitizen saved multiple lives last night in #OKC.," the gun rights group tweeted. "We hope this serves as a wake-up call for @GovMaryFallin, who just two weeks ago vetoed a constitutional carry bill. Just another example of how the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."
Published under: Oklahoma