On Saturday, a 19-year-old armed with an AR-15-type weapon attacked the Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego. The loon had written a manifesto prior to his murderous assault, which you can read more about here.
He was chased away partly by a Border Patrol agent, but there was another man who first took it upon himself to stop the crime by any means necessary.
And now 51-year-old Oscar Stewart is telling his story.
The Daily Caller spoke to the veteran who cut a would-be mass murder short.
Right after the assailant’s first shots, Oscar went charging after him. The former Iraq combat soldier started yelling — so loud, in fact, that a priest at a nearby church heard him.
“Get down! You mother******! I’m going to kill you!”
He was going on pure adrenaline:
[Oscar] told The Daily Caller…he doesn’t remember any conscious thought from the moment he heard the gun shots until it was all over — he just acted on instinct to stop the shooter and prevent him from leaving so he couldn’t hurt more people somewhere else. The Iraq combat veteran said his military training kicked in.
And it worked. The shooter got spooked:
“I heard gunshots, and everybody got up and started trying to get out the back door, so I — for whatever reason — I didn’t do that. I ran the other way. I ran towards the gun shots. … I knew I had to be within five feet of this guy so his rifle couldn’t get to me. So I ran immediately toward him, and I yelled as loud as I could. And he was scared. I scared the hell out of him. … Looking back, it was kind of a crazy idea to do, but I did it.”
I might be way off, but I’m imagining Han Solo chasing the stormtroopers in A New Hope:
Oscar ran the teen out of the church:
“When I came around the corner into the lobby area, I saw the individual with a gun, and he fired two rounds. And I yelled at him and I must have yelled very loud, and he looked at me, and I must have had a really mean look on my face or something, because he immediately dropped his weapon and turned and ran. And then I gave chase.”
Enter Hero #2, the Border Patrol agent:
Stewart said he chased him all the way out to his car, and began pounding on it — the shooter had managed to lock himself in. When Stewart saw him reach for a rifle, he punched the side of the car as hard as he could, intending to figure out a way to drag him out of the car — that’s when a Border Patrol agent who attends the synagogue came running out to the parking lot, yelling for Stewart to get down because he had a gun.
Stewart says this man may have saved his life, and pointed to his use of a civilian gun — he was off-duty and was apparently handed the weapon by someone else on the scene — as evidence that gun control isn’t the answer to these kinds of tragedies. “It takes a good guy with a gun to stop a bad guy with a gun,” he told the Caller.
The BP agent shot up the vehicle, but the shooter got away. The two men reported the license plate number to the police.
Horrifically, 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye had been murdered inside the church (learn more about her in the video here). Oscar says she’s the one who should be praised:
Stewart considers her the real hero. Eyewitnesses said she jumped in front of the rabbi to save his life.
“I don’t know if I consciously made the choice to potentially sacrifice myself,” he added. “But I did. And this lady, she stood and she jumped in front of the shooter and she saved the rabbi’s life. When somebody said I was a hero, I’m like, she was a hero. I just did it instinctively, like an animal. There was no conscious decision. I just did it.”
There are heroes among us. And sometimes, circumstance allows them to leap into action. Perhaps you’re a hero, too, and you don’t yet know; your day has yet to come. For Oscar Stewart and an agent of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, that day came Saturday. Thanks to them.
And to you, in advance.
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