Police Release Names of Oklahoma Heroes Who Stopped Restaurant Shooter

Juan Carlos Nazario, one of the heroes who stopped the armed attacker at a crowded restaurant in Oklahoma. (Photo: Provided to USA Today by Juan Carlos Nazario)

Oklahoma City police have released the names of the two armed citizens who stopped an active shooter situation last week at a lakeside restaurant.

Police Chief Bo Matthews said during a Friday news conference that Juan Carlos Nazario, 35, and Bryan Whittle, 39, each retrieved a handgun from their vehicles when a 28-year-old man opened fire with a handgun of his own at a crowded restaurant called Louie’s.

“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.”

Nazario said he confronted the suspect in the parking lot and told him multiple times to drop his gun. When the man raised his firearm to shoot into the parking lot, Nazario fired two shots and “he just fell to the ground.”

Three restaurant-goers were shot, but all three are in good condition, Matthews said.

Though police have also credited Whittle with playing a role in the incident, it isn’t yet clear what actions Whittle took. Both men have said they never crossed paths.

“You can say they’re heroes, which is a good thing to say,” Matthews told reporters. “But I think they stopped a very tragic situation from going any further.”

Whittle, during an interview with USA Today, echoed Matthews’ sentiment.

“I just did what needed to be done to stop the threat. Nothing special,” he said. “A lot of people would have done the same given the situation.”

“I just can’t understand being called a hero when someone’s life was taken,” Nazario told USA Today.

When asked whether Nazario or Whittle had a concealed carry license, Matthews brushed the question aside because neither man was carrying when they retrieved their weapons from their vehicles.

Matthews also said they won’t have to worry about facing criminal prosecution.

“They were protecting somebody else’s life,” he said. “I can tell you historically … these guys were protecting somebody else’s life, I would think more than likely they would not be filed on.”

Police are still searching for a possible motive for the shooting. Matthew said the suspect doesn’t appear to have had any connection to the restaurant or anyone who was inside.

SEE ALSO: ‘He’s a hero,’ Illinois Resource Officer Shoots Gunman to Prevent Massacre

“It looks to me like a random event,” Matthews said. “I mean, in an act like this, you would have to assume that he probably had a little bit of a mental illness.”

Subsequent reports have all but confirmed Matthews hunch. The suspect posted a series of disturbing videos on YouTube in the months leading up to the shooting.

In his most recent video, uploaded on April 27, the shooter says his “life is in danger” and that “Satan is after me.”

He describes hearing tapping, cracking and loud booms in his home, and believes that “the devil is after my (expletive) ass.”

He asks for “real people” to contact him because he’s under a “demonic attack.”

“I’m feeling really bad right now,” he said. “I’m super stressed.”

The incident comes two weeks after Republican Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed constitutional carry, and she used the foiled mass murder to underscore the current laws as “effective, appropriate and minimal.”

“I am thankful that under the concealed-carry and open-carry laws that I have signed as governor, two armed citizens had the ability to protect and save the lives of our fellow Oklahomans,” she said Friday. “This is not the time to debate the NRA’s efforts to repeal Oklahoma’s regulations assuring safety and training for those who carry guns. This is a time to offer up prayers to the victims of this tragedy.”

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco.

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • MB June 2, 2018, 9:50 am

    Key words in article: ” each retrieved a handgun from their vehicles ” which means a few possibilities, they have a CCW/LTC but it’s a “gun free zone” so they couldn’t carry, they don’t have a CCW/LTC, or they just don’t carry regularly. I avoid “gun free zones, will not patronize those businesses, I have a Texas LTC, and I carry everywhere I go. They got lucky this time there was only one, if there were two nuts/criminals, they never would have made it to their cars alive.

  • Forestman52 June 1, 2018, 5:23 pm

    Boy, did Gov Mary Fallin spin that answer after vetoing Constitutional carry! Neither gentlemen said they had a Oklahoma SDA license and had to go their vehicles to retrieve their weapons. Perhaps with Constitutional carry tney would have been carrying and may have stopped tne criminal sooner saving more lives. Just say’n.

  • G. O. A. Patriot June 1, 2018, 8:45 am

    The “main stream” liberal media gave this about zero coverage! It’s pathetic how they don’t cover any good guys with guns stopping bad guys with guns but let some deranged lunatic shoot up a bunch of people with an “assault weapon” and it’s all you see on the news for weeks! Freaking hypocrites!

    • Johnny Raygun June 1, 2018, 9:27 am

      The “Main stream” liberal media is no different than the “White Right” media, they are just standing on the other side of the fence. It is called “Agenda first” and not “America first”….. I personally tired of the division that has occurred over the past few years. “A house divided can not stand.

  • srsquidizen June 1, 2018, 8:05 am

    I wonder why this lunatic shooter is the only one you’ve heard practically nothing about on the big 3 networks? These nut jobs usually get extensive coverage so media propagandists can concoct a way to blame 2A supporters for the lunatic having a gun.

    Could this “blackout” be caused by the fact it was brought to an end by armed good guys who aren’t cops? That’s not supposed to happen in mainstream media’s world and they don’t want the minions who feed on their liberal BS to know about it.

  • Andy Buckmichael June 1, 2018, 5:09 am

    These people are real heroes and are not scum cops.

    • MadDog Mike June 2, 2018, 9:56 am

      Buckmichael, what’s your problem with cops. This isn’t the first time you’ve popped off with some stupid ass remark.

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