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Hero soldier saves 'countless lives' after running over attempted mass shooter with his pickup truck

Master Sergeant David Royer acted on instinct, saving dozens of people. The gunman was in serious condition but has since stabilized.

Hero soldier saves 'countless lives' after running over attempted mass shooter with his pickup truck
Image Source: Sean Murphy / Getty Images

Late Wednesday morning, a gunman began firing shots into traffic on the Centennial Bridge in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. Luckily, on-duty Master Sergeant David Royer was sitting in his truck at the scene of the gunfire. Thinking on his feet, he drove his truck into the active shooter, trapping him under the vehicle. Royer has since been praised as a hero. According to For Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens, his quick thinking saved "countless lives," CNN reports. The gunman wounded one victim. Both the gunman and the victim were in serious condition when first rushed to Kansas City hospitals but have since stabilized.

 



 

Royer was sitting in his truck and having a conversation with his fiancee via speakerphone when the incident took place. There was heavy traffic on the Centennial Bridge owing to ongoing construction work. He spotted a man outside of his car and saw him pull up a rifle. The soldier explained, "As I was talking to her, the man pulled up a rifle and started aiming... and began to shoot off some rounds. I assessed the situation very quickly, looked around, and took the only action possible that I felt I could take." He asked his fiancee to call 911 and immediately hung up the phone. Then, he drove his truck into the active shooter.

 



 

He said, "I accelerated my truck as quickly as possible and struck the active shooter and pinned him underneath my truck." After plowing into the gunman, Royer got out of his truck but did not immediately see the shooter. After walking around, he noticed the rifle on the ground. He said, "I assumed he was not a threat anymore." He later discovered that the gunman was trapped underneath his vehicle. Royer tried to assess his condition as he waited for local law enforcement authorities to arrive. In the meantime, some motorists thanked Royer for springing into action and potentially saving dozens of lives.

 



 

After inspecting the scene of the crime, it was discovered that the gunman fired at least seven bullets through the window of a Ford Taurus. Two other cars were also shot. Another Fort Leavenworth soldier, who was in one of those vehicles, was wounded. Initial reports claimed that the active shooter was part of a case of road rage. However, there was reportedly no one target. Kitchens stated, "As the investigation unfolded, we learned this was an active shooter with multiple weapons on the bridge firing at cars with no particular association." The shooter had both a handgun as well as a semiautomatic rifle. A motive is yet to be established.

 



 

At present, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is conducting an investigation in order to determine if the guns were purchased legally. Meanwhile, Master Sergeant Royer has received much praise. Police Chief Kitchens affirmed, "What was a very, very dangerous situation, fortunately, was ended quite quickly and... very likely countless lives were saved by the person who intervened and helped." "Me and another patient just heard some sirens and I was like, 'Wow. That's awful close," April Steinke of Nextcare Urgent Care added. "That's a hero to me." For Royer, the incident was nothing special, he was just performing his duties. He shared, "After the incident was over I was pretty calm. But when I got home I just wanted to get everything back to normal - get to my kids, give them a hug, and then I mowed my grass, ate dinner, and spent time with my family."

 



 

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