“I Needed to do Something:” Army Soldier Stops Armed Gunman on Kansas/Missouri Bridge
A U.S. Army soldier driving across a bridge between Kansas and Missouri likely saved lives when he neutralized an armed, active shooter with his vehicle on Wednesday.
Leavenworth, Kansas Police Chief Patrick Kitchens said that Master Sergeant David Royer’s actions on the Centennial Bridge were “absolutely heroic.”
Royer, who is stationed at Fort Leavenworth, recounted the incident during a press conference outside the installation on Thursday. He had been driving across the bridge when he saw a man firing a rifle at oncoming traffic in a random fashion. Police initially suspected that the man was engaging in road-rage style violence, but authorities now believe the unnamed man was indiscriminately firing upon vehicles crossing the bridge.
“As the investigation unfolded, we learned this was an active shooter with multiple weapons on the bridge firing at cars with no particular association,” recounted the police chief.
“I knew people’s lives were in danger. I needed to do something. My military training kicked in. So, I took action as I saw appropriate, and I just knew I had to do something,” stated Royer during his remarks at Leavenworth on Thursday.
Royer states that he rammed into the shooter with his truck, pinning the gunman under his vehicle. The man wasn’t killed, and Kansas authorities are expected to announce criminal charges against the suspect within a few days.
Multiple cars had been shot by the gunman, and one individual- also an active-duty soldier at Fort Leavenworth- was injured. Royer is comparing the incident to some of his military experiences in high-stress environments, including a service assignment to Guatanamo Bay earlier in his career.