A pastor in Tumwater, Washington, is now being hailed as a hero after he shot and killed a man who went on a shooting rampage at a local Walmart where at least two people were left injured on Sunday.
Police told KOMO News that Tim Day, 44, the man who was shot dead by the pastor, may have been experiencing paranoia when he went on his rampage.
"At this point we're not sure what his motive was," Laura Wohl of Tumwater Police told KOMO News. "There are some indications that he may have been experiencing a little bit of paranoia and wasn't sure whether his car and his situation were safe."
Wohl did not immediately respond to calls made by The Christian Post seeking to verify the identity of the pastor on Wednesday, but KOMO News said he is also a paramedic who wants to keep his identity private for now.
Jesse Zamora, a 37-year-old licensed gun-owner, told The Olympian that he was inside the Walmart shopping with his wife when he heard what sounded like two gunshots. Minutes later, people were running in the store with some screaming "shooter," Zamora said.
He soon saw Day running with his gun in the air and he told his wife to run. Tumwater police said after Day entered the store he went to the sporting goods section and fired shots at an ammunition display case, took ammunition and left the store.
Zamora said he pulled his handgun at this point. He was soon joined by the 47-year-old Oakville pastor who asked if he was armed and when Zamora replied "yes," the pastor said, "let's go" and they went outside to confront Day after they saw him trying to carjack a vehicle in the parking lot.
A 48-year-old man who was driving that car was shot twice by Day and remains in critical condition.
Zamora said the pastor confronted day and "he said something along the lines of 'Put your gun down.'"
He later heard gunshots and watched Day die. He said based on Day's behavior, he believes he would have shot more people if he was not stopped.
"Thank God for a concealed weapons permit state we live in and those two men were carrying at the time," Milton Mathis, a customer, told KOMO News. "We get a bad rap in this state about the 'open carry' law and concealed weapons permit, but that day it prevailed and somebody's life was saved."
Tyler Fievez, whose father, Rickey, was shot twice when Day tried to steal his car, said he's grateful for the pastor's intervention.
"I want to tell him thank you and I would like to shake his hand and meet him," Fievez said. "That bystander is a hero. That guy could have killed both my parents plus plenty more people."
Tyler's mother, Melinda Hill, a Walmart employee, was in the car with his father during the attack and was hurt by flying glass. A manager at the store which was closed for two days after the shooting told CP that they had no comment on the shooting.
Rickey Fievez is now paralyzed as a result of being shot and had to undergo spinal surgery at Harborview Medical Center on Tuesday.
"Of what we've heard the bullets are still inside of him," Tyler said. "They're going to look for that in his surgery too. To see if they can take them out. Bullet fragments went into his spine so that's why he's paralyzed from the neck down."
Police said Day was a felon who has spent several stints in prison and shouldn't have had a gun. He took one from his fiancée before going on his shooting spree.
It's unclear if his fiancée will be charged as she was not required by law to keep her guns locked up, KOMO News said.