David George had finished a sermon on Sunday morning (Father’s Day) titled “The Value of MENtoring,” about how much difference an individual can make in the lives of others, before driving with his wife, daughter and granddaughter to the Walmart in nearby Tumwater to make an exchange and purchase some items.
George heard loud bangs from the back of the store. He knew immediately the noises were gunshots.
As witnesses and police would later report, a crime rampage was unfolding. A man was firing a handgun at the store’s locked ammunition case to grab more bullets. He had already carjacked a vehicle that day and attempted to hijack another one, firing shots and wounding people along the way, Tumwater police say. Now he was stocking up on ammunition for more carnage in the store’s parking lot.
As customers fled in fear, the shooter also exited the store and attempted to carjack a new vehicle in the parking lot. When the driver did not comply, the gunman shot him twice. He then went after a second car at the Walmart, barging into the vehicle.
At that point, David George, who is licensed to carry a gun confronted the shooter, drawing his handgun, firing and killing the gunman. he then administered medical aid to the carjacking victim until help arrived.
David George was not identified by police until Wednesday, when he stood in the doorway of the Oakville Assembly of God Church and revealed himself.
The dead carjacker, later identified by police as 44-year-old Tim Day, wasn’t supposed to have a gun. He was a felon who had served several prison sentences for violent crimes. His criminal history, according to the Seattle Times, included domestic violence, felony assault and making death threats. “He appeared to have maybe some mental-health and drug issues and was acting somewhat paranoid,” Laura Wohl, spokeswoman for the Tumwater Police Department, told the Times.
But, police said, he had taken a weapon from his fiancee. He was clearly prepared to shoot more people, police and bystanders would later report.
David George earlier message that Sunday morning seem prophetic, a true case of a clergyman practicing what he preached and getting involved.
David George, as it happens, is no ordinary pastor. He is also an Oakville volunteer firefighter and EMT who happens to be licensed to carry a concealed firearm and is specifically trained to use it against a desperate gun-wielding criminal. A credentialed firing-range safety officer, George said he had received active-shooter training.
He had earlier chosen to stay out of the news and remain anonymous but on Wednesday, at times near tears, his voice quavering with emotion, he told the story of what happened Sunday night in a statement he read to reporters.
“I acted on Sunday to protect my family and others from the gunman and his display of deadly intent. This is in accordance with both my training as an emergency responder and calling as a pastor, husband, father and grandfather,” George said.