Master Sgt. David Royer, a soldier stationed at Fort Leavenworth, was sitting in traffic when shots were fired on the Centennial Bridge

By Gabrielle Chung
May 28, 2020 07:10 PM
Master Sgt. David Royer

A soldier stationed at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas is being hailed a hero after stopping an active shooter with his car.

The incident occurred on Wednesday morning on the Centennial Bridge when a man armed "with multiple weapons" began "firing at cars with no particular association," Leavenworth Police Chief Patrick Kitchens said in a press conference.

A soldier — later identified as Master Sgt. David Royer — was sitting in traffic in a vehicle behind the suspects when shots erupted on the bridge, which connects Kansas and Missouri, according to Kitchens.

"I didn't know what was going on when I pulled up. I was talking to my fiancée on my Bluetooth speaker in my truck and, as I was talking to her, the man pulled out a rifle and started aiming towards eastbound across the river ... and began to shoot," Royer, 34, told reporters on Thursday.

Royer said he immediately told his fiancée to call 911 before taking "the only action possible I could take": driving his Chevrolet Silverado forward to hit the gunman.

“I wasn’t necessarily frightened,” Royer remembered. “I was shocked that it was happening and the adrenaline took over and, with the military training that I’ve received, I took appropriate action and took out the threat as fast as possible."

The soldier was able to pin the shooter down under the car until police arrived on scene, according to Kitchens.

The shooter and another motorist who was injured in the shooting were taken to a nearby hospital in "serious but stable condition," the chief said.

"What was a very, very dangerous situation fortunately was ended quite quickly and ... very likely countless lives were saved by the person who intervened and helped," Kitchens told reporters.

Police have not released the identity of the shooter, though Kitchens said that the suspect resides in Platte County.

“I don’t necessarily myself feel like I’m a hero,” Royer said on Thursday. “I feel as if most people in my situation would have done the same thing. There was nothing I else I could do.”