An active duty soldier is being hailed as a hero this week after he stopped a would-be mass shooter dead in his tracks by running him over with his pickup truck on a bridge in Kansas.
Daily Mail reported that the heroic soldier has been identified as Master Sgt David Royer, of Fort Leavenworth, a 34 year-old who has served in the U.S. military for fifteen years.
Leavenworth police Chief Patrick Kitchens said that the incident unfolded on Wednesday morning in on the Centennial Bridge, which connects Kansas and Missouri. He added that one person was injured by the shooter, and that this person was also a soldier.
Royer said on Thursday that he had been on his way home from the appointment when he noticed the car in front of him was stopped on the bridge, with the driver standing outside of it. Royer was talking to his fiancé using bluetooth when he suddenly saw the driver whip out a rifle and open fire.
Royer immediately told his fiancé to call the police and report an active shooter before telling her that he “had to go.”
“I assessed the situation very quickly, looked around and just took the only action possible I thought I could take,” the soldier recounted. “I accelerated my truck as quickly as possible and struck the active shooter and pinned him underneath my truck.”
Royer credited his extensive military training with allowing him to think fast, specifically his active-shooter drills.
“I was shocked that was happening, but the adrenaline took over and with the military training I received I took appropriate action,” he said.
After ensuring that the shooter posed no additional threat, Royer administered first aid to him until first responders arrived. He went on to say that his fiancé had been “panicking” when she heard gunshots, so he called her to tell her he was alright. Despite everything that had happened, Royer continued his day as per usual from there.
“I mowed my grass and ate dinner and spent time with my family,” he said.
Police initially thought this was a road rage incident, but they quickly found that he had been using multiple weapons to fire at vehicles before the attack, making it clear he had been planning a mass shooting.
“The soldier intervened by striking the shooter with his vehicle, causing him to be critically injured, but ending the encounter with the active shooter and likely saving countless lives,” the police chief said. “There doesn’t appear to be a target. The person was simply, randomly firing at vehicles as they passed by.”
Police said that both the shooting victim and the suspect are in serious but stable condition. As for Royer, he said that from this experience, he learned “not to be afraid. Everything would turn out OK.”
When asked if he sees himself as a hero, Royer replied, “There’s people all around the world that would do things like that. I believe there is more good out there than there is bad.”