A gunman who opened fire at an Oklahoma restaurant Thursday evening was confronted by two people who saw what was happening, got their guns and shot him dead, police said.
The suspected gunman, who police identified as 28-year-old Alexander Tilghman, planted himself outside the door to Louie’s Grill & Bar in Oklahoma City at about 6:30 p.m. local time. He began firing a handgun into the restaurant. Three people, including two juveniles, were wounded, according to police. A fourth person fell and broke his arm when the shooting started.
The gunman turned to flee and was confronted by two armed men outside, Carlos Nazario, 35 and Bryan Wittle, 39.
Police say the two men had arrived at the restaurant separately, and saw the man open fire. They went and got handguns they each had stored in the trunks of their vehicles. The men then shot and killed the gunman, according to police, who gave no further details.
Capt. Bo Mathews of the Oklahoma City Police Department confirmed that all three men had used handguns, and said investigators had no idea why the gunman targeted the restaurant or what he was planning to do afterward.
When asked by reporters whether he thought the two men were heroes, Mathews said, “I consider them two people who stopped an incident that was very tragic. I mean, you can say they’re heroes, which is a very good thing to say. … Heroes is a great terminology. I just say they were two people who stopped a very tragic situation from going any further.”
The National Rifle Association praised Wittle and Nazario, touting its long-held slogan in a tweet: “the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun a good guy with a gun #2A.” It also called the incident a “wake-up call” for Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin.
The Republican governor recently vetoed a state bill that would have allowed adults to carry a firearm without training or a permit. The bill had widespread support among lawmakers in Oklahoma, already considered a gun-friendly place. About a dozen other states have passed so-called constitutional carry laws.
In a statement, Fallin explained why she vetoed the measure, saying, “The firearms laws we currently have in place are effective, appropriate and minimal, and serve to reassure our citizens that people who are carrying handguns in this state are qualified to do so.”