The active-duty Army soldier was waiting in traffic early Wednesday on the Centennial Bridge, which connects Kansas and Missouri, when he witnessed a man firing shots from the span using at least two guns, the Kansas City Star reports.
The 34-year-old soldier from the nearby Army installation then stopped the gunman “by striking the shooter with his vehicle,” Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said.
“What was a very, very dangerous situation fortunately was ended quite quickly,” Kitchen told reporters. “Again, very likely countless lives were saved by the person who intervened.”
It’s unclear why the suspect, of Platte County, Missouri, started firing, but Kitchens said he was armed with at least a handgun and a semi-automatic rifle as he started firing randomly at cars on the bridge after getting out of his vehicle, KSHB reports.
“I heard like nine or 10 shots up there, by then it was rapid-fire,” witness Charlie Jordan told the station. “It was just, ‘bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam.’ Just like fireworks.”
One person was shot during the incident – another active-duty soldier from Fort Leavenworth who appeared to be an unintended target. He was taken to a hospital, where he was listed in serious but stable condition Wednesday, the Kansas City Star reports.
The unidentified soldier who thwarted the suspect was not hurt, but the alleged gunman was hospitalized with serious injuries stemming from the crash, Kitchens said.
The suspect at one point was beneath his vehicle as authorities began to close in, one witness said.
“I’m just glad he was able to get taken down, you know,” Austin Menzel told KSHB. “I’m glad that somebody did something about it, nonetheless an active-duty solider. So congrats to that hero … he did good.”