USA — Retired Guard Member Helps Subdue Arizona Gunman

RAPID CITY, S.D., Jan. 12, 2011 — A retired South Dako­ta Nation­al Guard offi­cer was one of the bystanders who sub­dued the gun­man who alleged­ly killed six peo­ple and shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gif­fords in Tuc­son, Ariz., Jan. 8.

Bill Bad­ger, 74, a for­mer Army colonel who now lives in the Tuc­son area, tack­led sus­pect Jared Lough­n­er, although Bad­ger him­self was wound­ed by one of the rounds fired dur­ing the shoot­ing.

Bad­ger said his mil­i­tary train­ing took over after he was shot and then faced the sus­pect­ed shoot­er. While liv­ing in Pierre, S.D., from 1965 to 1973, he served in the South Dako­ta Nation­al Guard, fly­ing heli­copters and fixed-wing air­craft. Three of his chil­dren — sons Tim and Brady Bad­ger and daugh­ter Jody Hard­wick — still live in Pierre, and anoth­er, Lon­nie Bad­ger, lives in Sioux Falls, S.D.

The for­mer Guard mem­ber said he com­mu­ni­cates reg­u­lar­ly with Gif­fords and her staff, and he was invit­ed to attend the event the con­gress­woman was hold­ing in a super­mar­ket park­ing lot. He said he was wait­ing to speak with Gif­fords and was talk­ing with oth­er peo­ple when he heard the shots, he said.

Gif­fords, a fed­er­al judge, and a 9‑year-old girl already had been shot when he saw what was hap­pen­ing, Bad­ger said.

“He was just com­ing right down the line. He was­n’t walk­ing. He was just aim­ing and just shoot­ing every­body that was sit­ting in a chair there,” Bad­ger said. “Some of them who were being hit were falling over, and the rest start­ed to hit the pave­ment.”

As he tried to get to the ground, Bad­ger said, he felt “a burn­ing sen­sa­tion” in the back of his head and knew he had been hit by a bul­let. Once he heard the shoot­ing stop, he added, he stood up and saw the sus­pect stand­ing in front of him, going right to left.

As the sus­pect walked past by him, Bad­ger said, some­one hit the alleged assailant with a fold­ing chair. At the same time, he recalled, Bad­ger and anoth­er man grabbed the sus­pect by the arms and shoul­ders, push­ing him to the pave­ment, and kept him there until police arrived.

Dur­ing the take­down, Bad­ger said, he saw the sus­pect try to throw away a small plas­tic bag full of mon­ey and per­son­al iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, Bad­ger said, and he point­ed out the bag to law enforce­ment offi­cers.

Bad­ger, one of 19 peo­ple injured in the shoot­ing, said he did­n’t have time to wor­ry about being killed, and that his mil­i­tary train­ing took over. He stressed that he does­n’t con­sid­er him­self to be a hero, and just did what any­one would have done.

“I have to be the luck­i­est per­son in the world,” he said. “Some indi­vid­ual told me I should go and buy a lot­tery tick­et. I said, ‘I just won the lot­tery by not being killed.’ ” Tim Bad­ger said he and his sib­lings are proud of their father and thank­ful he was not seri­ous­ly hurt.

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

More news and arti­cles can be found on Face­book and Twit­ter.

Fol­low GlobalDefence.net on Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →