A gunman opened fire inside a crowded Oklahoma City restaurant on Thursday evening.
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Three people were shot and wounded by the gunman before he was shot dead by two bystanders in the parking lot, police said.
The victims included two young girls, whose identities were not made public, and a 39-year-old woman, Natalie Giles, Oklahoma City police said. A fourth person suffered a broken arm when he fell running away from the gunfire, police said.
The incident took place around 6:30 p.m. CT at Louie's on the Lake, a pub along Lake Hefner when police say 28-year-old Alexander Tilghman of Oklahoma City stood in the doorway and started shooting.
After allegedly firing several times from the pub's entrance, Tilghman was fatally shot outside by two bystanders: Juan Carlos Nazario and Bryan Whittle, who had grabbed handguns from their vehicles, Oklahoma City Police Department Capt. Bo Mathews said on Friday.
"They stopped an incident that was very, very bad," Mathews said. "We had no idea what he was going to do after he left Louie's restaurant."
Juan Carlos Nazario and Bryan Whittle, the two heroes, did not know each other and arrived at the scene separately, Mathews said.
“I was just there enjoying the lake scenery and heard shots," Nazario told NBC News. "At that point, I zoned out and had to take action. Just glad no innocent bystanders' lives were taken, and unfortunately, a life was lost, but he had a choice to drop the weapon and chose otherwise."
Whittle told USA Today he "just did what needed to be done to stop the threat. Nothing special."
"A lot of people would have done the same given the situation," Whittle said.
Oklahoma requires a license for handguns to be carried, either openly or concealed. Two weeks ago, the state's Republican governor, Mary Fallin, vetoed a bill that would allow adults to carry guns without a permit or training.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">May 25, 2018 / 9:19 am: Official news release regarding last night's shooting at Lake Hefner. Press conference will be carried live on our Facebook page at 11:30 this morning. <a href="https://t.co/i06ytafSlz">pic.twitter.com/i06ytafSlz</a></p>— Oklahoma City Police (@OKCPD) <a href="https://twitter.com/OKCPD/status/1000018794209796097?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 25, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Mathews, of the Oklahoma City police, said he did not expect Nazario and Whittle to be charged for the fatal shooting.
Officials say the gunman's motive is unknown at this time but said they have no reason to suspect terrorism.
Tilghman had not been on local authorities' radar for over a decade. Mathews said the last contact police had with him was in 2003, when he was arrested as a 13-year-old juvenile for assault and battery. No additional details were provided about that incident.
A YouTube account that apparently belonged to Tilghman painted a picture of a disturbed and paranoid individual.
In a video last month posted to the account — Tilghman, using the username Yahweh Rules2 — insisted he was under "hardcore demonic attack" and gave out his phone number, pleading for some "real people" to contact him.
"My life is in danger and stuff, so I hope to hear from you guys, some real people, soon," he said, looking straight at the camera while sitting on a couch.
Gunman’s Video -
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The final video on the account was posted three weeks ago and shows a squirrel at the zoo that Tilghman said was "a demon" that was "following me everywhere."
Gunman’s Video -
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Witnesses to the restaurant shooting said Tilghman was wearing protective ear muffs and shooting glasses, the kind typically worn to a shooting range, according to Mathews.
"So it looked like he had made his mind up that he was going to discharge his firearm when he got there," Mathews said.
Police provided very little detail about those injured by Tilghman. Dennis Will, the father of victim Natalie Will and grandfather of another victim, told NBC affiliate KFOR in Oklahoma that Natalie was there for a birthday celebration for her daughter.
“It was beyond shock,” he said by phone from his home state of Tennessee of his reaction to the shooting. “I was supposed to go, but wasn’t able to make it.”
Police described the scene in the restaurant as chaotic as diners ran for their lives. More than 100 witnesses inside the restaurant were interviewed as part of the investigation.
Hal Smith Restaurants, the owner of Louie's on the Lake, said the restaurant would be closed on Friday.
"We are extremely thankful the situation didn’t escalate further, and that injuries were not more widespread," the Norman, Oklahoma-based restaurant group said in a statement, adding that "our hearts are with the wounded during this incident."
This is exactly why we can’t allow our Second Amendment to be stripped like parts from a car. We law abiding citizens have the right to defend ourselves.
The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon.
The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans.
The Constitution doesn’t create that right – it ensures that the government can’t take it away. Our Founding Fathers knew, and our Supreme Court has upheld, that the Second Amendment’s purpose is to guarantee our right to defend ourselves and our families.
It’s been said that the Second Amendment is America’s first freedom. That’s because the Right to Keep and Bear Arms protects all our other rights.
The proper use of self-defense has to do with wisdom and understanding. In Luke 22:36, Jesus tells His disciples, “If you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak & buy one.” He knew that now was the time when His followers would be threatened, and He upheld their right to self-defense.
<b>By: Lexy </b>
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It is bad enough when the kids that do these things… But to find that there were clear signs prior that they needed help & ignored really is the problem.
Very informative article.
Excellent article. The answer to these shootings isn't gun control. Armed citizens were able to end the situation and save lives!
It's terrible that the shooter was clearly suffering with mental illness. Gun control is not the solution to insane or evil people. I'm so glad that people were there who had the means to stop it.
Unbelievable that in America people can just walk into a place and just start shooting. We need to get psychiatric help for liberals, they are too radicalized. This is not by accident. The Progressive left movement is very dangerous. It emboldens their cult followers to commit crimes with little to no consequences. Look at the example of what the Obama Administration did. They were their own little terrorist group. Obama has stated on many occasions, he wants to train more of our youth for his radical movement. We need to get back to God, and pride in our Country. We need human interaction that will bring back the decency lacking in the Liberal culture. Until then, theses shootings are likely to continue. Excellent article!
Great article! Stories like this are important and show exactly why we must never let our 2A rights to be taken away.
Two heroes and a tormented man.
Author weaves emotions of thankfulness and sadness., well done.
Thank God no one was killed except the shooter, those two are heros and what we need to put a end to this insanity. The more things that happen where the bad guy gets stopped, the more they might think twice about doing crazy crap like this. The bad guys have no idea now who might be armed and who just might shoot them. It's a total shame that you half to be armed to go out to eat!