Leavenworth, Kansas – A Fort Leavenworth soldier applied exceptional quick thinking when a gunman pulled out a rifle and a handgun and started shooting at passing cars on the Centennial Bridge. MSG Royer rammed his Chevy truck into the shooter, thereby stopping the event and saving numerous lives. One soldier was wounded in the incident prior to MSG Royer’s action, and is recouperating at the hospital. The incident occurred at around 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
Fort Leavenworth Soldier Averts Tragedy
Master Sergeant David Royer was on the phone with his fiance as he was waiting in traffic on the Centennial Bridge over the Missouri River. One lane had been closed due to construction, which backed up traffic. Suddenly, a man ahead of him pulled out a rifle and a handgun, exited his car and started randomly shooting. When he ascertained what was happening, MSG Royer stepped on the gas pedal and drove directly into the man, critically injuring him…and stopping the shooter from his intended goal.
“There was an active-duty soldier assigned to Ft. Leavenworth waiting in traffic behind the event, saw the event unfold, determined it was an active shooter and intervened by striking the shooter with his vehicle, causing him to be critically injured, ending the encounter with the active shooter and likely saving countless lives.” Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens
In the initial calls to police about shots fired, the report was thought to be about road rage.
“Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens said they initially received a multiple shots fired call around 11 a.m. from the bridge and believed the case to be road rage. But after further investigation, police found it was an active shooter situation with a suspect randomly firing at vehicles passing by with a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle.
“This was an active shooter with multiple weapons on the bridge, firing at cars with no particular association,” Kitchens said.
At least seven bullets flew through the window of a Ford Taurus. Two other cars were shot. Investigators said a Fort Leavenworth soldier, who was in one of those vehicles, was wounded.
The suspect is from Platte County, Missouri.
MSG Royer doesn’t think he’s a hero (sounds familiar) but he is definitely one who saw what was happening and took action.
“Most people in my situation would have done the same thing. 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.” MSG Royer
Royer has been an active duty soldier for 15 years. But would “most people” have done what he did? Or would they have cowered under their dashboard?
“Let’s be crystal clear, his actions yesterday were absolutely heroic. He saved countless lives. There were people on that bridge that were innocent bystanders just traveling, there were KDOT workers on that bridge. He saved all of those people’s lives. His actions are extraordinary.” Chief Patrick Kitchens
The soldier's fiance was talking to him on the phone when she says she heard eight or nine gunshots through the phone's speaker. https://t.co/laEEyMZaOs
— FOX4 News (@fox4kc) May 28, 2020
1 injured in a shooting near KS-92 in Leavenworth, Kansas https://t.co/cisRJWlGXE
— GVAU (@GunVAupdates) May 28, 2020
Lost in all the national news…Greater tragedy averted in Leavenworth Kansas
Soldier hailed a 'hero' for stopping active shooter – News – PrattTribune – Pratt, KS – Pratt, KS https://t.co/O7N8k5dtWL
— Dufus Rigamaroll (@DufusRigamaroll) May 29, 2020
Ultimately, when police arrived, they found one gunshot victim, and the suspect under a car. Both were transported to the hospital for treatment, and both are said to be in serious condition, but stable. Police were tracing the guns to see if they were purchased legally.
Featured photo: Twitter