Armed Citizens Shoot, Kill Crazed Gunman Outside Restaurant

A peaceful evening in a restaurant turned deadly when a crazed gunman killed three people before armed citizens stopped the attack with their weapons.
Armed Citizens Shoot, Kill Crazed Gunman Outside Restaurant

Lake Hefner is a peaceful, outdoor recreation area in northwestern Oklahoma City with 17 miles of shoreline. It’s a place where families go to get away from city life and enjoy some genuine interaction with nature and visit local shops and restaurants.

It was a warm evening in late May and hungry patrons packed the dining area at Louie’s On The Lake, a local bar and grill. Unbeknownst to those present, a crazed man had hidden himself among the trees near the restaurant. As a mother and her young daughter approached the entrance, the man opened fire.

According to Oklahoma’s News 4, KFOR-TV, Natalie Will and Syniah Giles (age 12) were both injured. Wills, fortunately, was only grazed by a bullet, but Syniah was hit near her tailbone and required surgery. KFOR-TV later identified another young woman, Alex Speegle (age 15), who was hit in the collar bone and right arm. All survived their injuries and are recovering.

Panic erupted in the restaurant and others were injured as they tried to exit or hide. Ron Benton, who witnessed the shooting, told News 4, “It sounded like, you know, any kind of restaurant noise, a rack of plates crashing. It was just noise, glass breaking. But it was followed by a ‘pop, pop, pop’ sound, and a wall of people started making their way to the floor and making their way around to the backside of the bar.”

At this point, Benton saw the shooter walking away. He then noticed an armed citizen and pointed out the shooter to him. A second armed citizen also approached the suspect. Benton continued, “They were really screaming. They were like, ‘Stop! Stop! Stop! Please! Put the gun down! Please put the gun down!’ And I was pointing at him, I was like ‘Down! Put it down! Put it down!’ and they wound up exchanging fire.”

The shooter, 28-year-old Alexander Tilghman, died in the exchange. The Chicago Tribune reported that the only other interaction police had with Tilghman was several years prior, during a domestic assault and battery call where he allegedly punched his mother several times in a dispute involving a vacuum cleaner.

The two armed citizens, Juan Carlos Nazario and Bryan Whittle were not injured. Capt. Bo Mathews of the Oklahoma City Police Department told the Associated Press, “They were able to shoot the suspect and put an end to a very dangerous situation.”

Bob Doggett, whose family was in the area, told KFOR-TV, “I haven’t been able to process it all yet. Thank goodness there was someone there, a guest, that had a gun and took care of the situation. So we are just really thankful of that person.”

Whittle, a National Guardsman, told The Oklahoman he did not consider himself a hero, “I just feel like I’m just an average guy who had the right tool to help at the right time.”

Nazario, a security guard and former law enforcement officer, expressed similar feelings, telling USA Today, “I just did what I had to do. I’m very glad no innocent lives were taken but ultimately, there was a life taken (Tilghman’s).”

By mid-June both men had been cleared of any charges by the local District Attorney.

Featured image: iStock


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.