Late Thursday, an armed citizen killed a suspect who opened fire at an Oklahoma City restaurant. One of the victims, a 12-year-old girl, is recovering from her wounds at a local hospital.
The shooting happened at Louie's Grill & Bar, where the suspected gunman, 28-year-old Alexander Tilgham, opened fire. The 12-year-old girl, her mother and a 14-year-old friend were struck by bullets.
After the shooter tried to flee the scene, two armed citizens snapped into action to help. Police said Bryan Whittle and Juan Carlos Nazario, who did not know each other, saved lives Thursday night.
"I looked over and everyone was running from the back restaurant," Nazario, a 35-year-old father of two, told USA Today. The security guard and former police officer ran back to his vehicle to get his gun. He went into the restaurant and saw Tilghman.
Police in Oklahoma City are investigating the motive for a shooting rampage that happened last night at a lakeside restaurantMay 25, 2018
"I saw people who were wounded and could just see the worry in their eyes," he told USA Today. "I told them I was looking for the gunman and I'm here to help."
Nazario said he saw Tilghman in the parking lot and yelled at him to drop his weapon. When the gunman did not respond, Nazatio fired two shots.
Separately, Whittle also ran to his vehicle to get his weapon. Police did not say what exactly he did to help stop Tilgham.
Both men said they do not feel like heroes.
"I just can't understand being called a hero when someone's life was taken," Nazario told USA Today. "I just did what I had to do. I'm very glad no innocent lives were taken but ultimately, there was a life taken."
According to the Associated Press, the 12-year-old girl is in good condition after she underwent surgery. She was shot in the stomach.
The girl's mother was grazed by bullets and briefly hospitalized. A hospital spokesman did not have new information on the 14-year-old, but police said she was shot in the arm or wrist. Another man broke his arm while trying to flee the scene and is now in good condition.
Oklahoma City Police Capt. Bo Mathews said investigators are still trying to learn the motive behind the shooting, reports the Associated Press. Mathews said Friday there is no obvious connection between Tilghman and the bystanders he wounded. The shooting might have been random, but Mathews said Tilghman wore protective gear when he arrived at the restaurant.
"It looked like his mind was made up that he was going to discharge his firearm once he got there," Mathews said.
Tilghman also had no previous criminal record. His only interaction with police came during a domestic assault and battery call when he was 13.
However, NewsOK reports that Tilghman made disturbing comments on social media. In an April YouTube video, he claims he is under "hardcore demonic attack," says he is in danger and asks "real people" to contact him. Another video shows traffic on Lake Hefner Parkway, with Tilghman claiming Satan is making cars louder.0comments
According to The Guardian, local LGBT advocates in Oklahoma told police Tilghman posted fliers in Oklahoma City to warn of "demons in cloned transexual (sic) bodies," but Mathews did not mention this in his Friday press conference.
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