Police gave an update Friday morning to let the public know that two armed citizens, not just one, brought a terrifying shooting at a family restaurant to an end. It all went down Thursday evening in Oklahoma City.
According to police, 28-year-old Alexander Tilghman walked up to a Louie’s Grill & Bar, a popular chain restaurant on the east side of Lake Hefner, USA Today reported. From outside the restaurant, he then pulled out a handgun and appeared to shoot through the front window at random, hitting a family with two children. The eatery erupted into chaos.
39-year-old Natalie Giles, her 12-year-old daughter, and another unnamed girl were mercilessly gunned down but miraculously survived. They, along with another man who slipped and broke his arm during the attack, are all reportedly in good condition after receiving treatment, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Tilghman was then confronted by two armed citizens intent on preventing him from shooting anyone else. Both 39-year-old Bryan Wittle and 35-year-old Juan Carlos Nazario, who didn’t know each other, ran to their vehicles when the attack started, grabbed handguns, and opened fire on Tilghman with deadly accuracy, according to an Oklahoma City Police press conference.
“When they saw this incident breaking out, they were able to go to their vehicles and gather their firearms. And they were able to shoot the suspect and put an end to this very dangerous situation,” and Capt. Bo Mathews explained.
When police arrived, they found Tilghman dead with at least two gunshot wounds in his body.
Asked if he considers Wittle and Nazario to be “heroes,” Matthews replied, “I consider them as two people that stopped an incident that was very tragic. You can say they’re heroes, which is a very good thing to say, but I think they stopped an incident that was very chaotic and we had no idea what [the gunman] was going to do after he left the Louie’s restaurant.”
When interviews, Wittle didn’t seem to think he was a hero, saying, "I just did what needed to be done to stop the threat. Nothing special. A lot of people would have done the same given the situation."
The NRA also praised their actions, tweeting, “An #ArmedCitizen saved multiple lives last night in #OKC. 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. #2A
Louie’s owner, the Hal Smith Restaurant Group, added their thanks, too, writing in a statement, "We are extremely thankful the situation didn't escalate further, and that injuries were not more widespread. However, our hearts are with the wounded during this incident.”
Tilghman’s motive for the shooting is unknown at this time. No connection has yet been drawn between him and the victims. The incident is under investigation.