Pastor David George of Oakville, Wash., took no pleasure in his role stopping an active killer last week in a local Walmart parking lot. In a televised statement (below), George became visibly emotional while describing how he confronted the would-be mass murderer who had already shot at multiple people and was attempting to steal a car.
“I have, to my understanding, been cleared of any wrongdoing in the matter with regards to my fatally shooting the man who instigated the violence on June 17,” he said through tears.
According to George’s account, he first heard gunshots in the rear of the store while attempting to return an item at the store’s service desk. His wife, daughter, and granddaughter were checking out at the same time with additional items.
Police say the suspect, a 44-year-old man named Tim Day, had already attempted several armed carjackings, fired shots into vehicles, and crashed a stolen car at a nearby intersection. Day fired the shots that George heard in Walmart at an ammunition display case, from which he stole several boxes of ammunition.
As George began moving towards the exit with other store patrons, Day passed him, waving a handgun, and entered the parking lot. George was carrying a concealed firearm, and he followed the man along with another armed citizen.
In his statement, George stressed his extensive firearms and medical training.
“I am a concealed weapons carrier and a permit holder with significant training in the use of firearms and some of the legalities involved in a defensive encounter,” he said. “I was a volunteer firefighter and have also received active shooter training. In addition, I am credentialed range safety officer. I train regularly to be proficient with the firearm that I carry, and I do so in a safe and responsible manner… I was familiar with how I should respond considering my, my family’s, and the public safety.”
George’s training kicked in as he watched Day attempt to steal one car and fire shots into a second, hitting the driver. When Day began to move in the direction George believed his family to be, he left cover and intercepted him. Day entered another car and George shot him.
Day tried to exit the vehicle but soon became incapacitated and fell to the ground. When George realized Day was no longer a threat, he directed the other concealed carry holder to watch him and George began administering first aid on the man Day had shot.
George is an EMT in addition to being a volunteer firefighter and a pastor, and he managed to keep the man alive until he could be airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The man’s family told CBS he is alive but has been paralyzed from the neck down.
George regrets having to kill Day, but he believes he acted in accordance with his duty.
“I acted on Sunday to protect my family and others from the gunman and his display of deadly intent,” he said. “This is in accordance with both my training as an emergency responder and calling as a pastor, husband, father and grandfather.”
“I carry a firearm for the same reason I carry a first-aid bag, hoping never having to use them but always being prepared nonetheless.”