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U.S. soldier saves ‘countless lives’ after stopping active shooter with his truck

Kansas soldier drives into active shooter, saves lives
Master Sgt. David Royer drove into a gunman who was shooting motorists on the Centennial Bridge that connects Kansas and Missouri on Wednesday. Leavenworth police Chief Pat Kitchens says many lives were saved on the bridge thanks to Royer.

An American soldier is being hailed as a hero after stopping an active shooting with his truck.

A gunman reportedly opened fire on Centennial Bridge, which connects Missouri and Kansas, on Wednesday. In a press conference that day, Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said “countless” people were saved because of one man’s bravery.

Master Sgt. David Royer, 34, was stuck in traffic while crossing the bridge, speaking to his fiancée Haley Siela on the phone.

“I heard eight or nine gunshots,” Siela told Fox4 Kansas City. “I was so scared because I didn’t know how this was going to turn out.”

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Siela hung up to call 911 while Royer used his military training to put an end to the shooting.

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“I accelerated my truck as quickly as possible and struck the active shooter and pinned him under my truck,” he said, adding that he then got out of his truck to make sure the suspect was disarmed and alright.

Footage captured by witness Austin Menzel and verified by Storyful shows the scene filled with first responders. Royer’s totalled white truck can be seen next to the suspect’s black car.

“Most people in my situation would have done the same thing,” Royer told media during a news conference in Fort Leavenworth. “There was nothing else I could do.”

“I knew people’s lives were in danger. I needed to do something. My military training kicked in,” he continued. “So, I took action as I saw appropriate, and I just knew I had to do something.”

Though Royer doesn’t think of himself as a hero, Kitchens certainly does.

“Let’s be absolutely crystal clear: his actions were heroic,” Kitchens said in the press conference. “His actions were extraordinary, and he should be commended for that.”

According to KSHB-TV, police said the suspected shooter was a 37-year-old Missouri man armed with at least a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle and was believed to be shooting randomly at cars.

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Another active-duty soldier suffered a non-life-threatening injury during the attack, the station reports.

The suspected shooter is currently hospitalized, Fox4 says. Leavenworth County District Attorney Todd Thompson says his office will announce the suspect’s charges on Friday.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca