A small-town pastor revealed Wednesday that he had stopped a shooter who went on a rampage this Father’s Day.
The shooter, a convicted felon, had already wounded several as he made his way Sunday to a Walmart in Tumwater, Wash., where he began shooting at customers and anyone who tried to stop him. As customers fled in fear, David George, pastor of the Assembly of God Church in Oakville, Wash., stepped in.
George first made sure his family was safe, then drew his concealed weapon and told the gunman to “drop the gun and show me his hands,” he told reporters later. He then fired, shooting and killing the gunman before rushing to administer first aid to a driver who had been shot in the store parking lot.
The shooter, 44, had served time before for domestic violence, felony assault, and making death threats.
George is no ordinary pastor. The 46-year-old is also an Oakville volunteer firefighter as well as an EMT, and concealed-carry-permit holder who has completed active-shooter training. Just hours before stopping the attacker, George had given a Father’s Day sermon to his congregation in the small town of 700 people, encouraging them to “get involved.”
“I acted on Sunday to protect my family and others from the gunman and his display of deadly intent,” George told reporters from the door of his church on Wednesday. “This is in accordance with both my training as an emergency responder and calling as a pastor, husband, father, and grandfather.”
“The events of last Sunday evening were tragic and shocking from all points of view,” the pastor added. “You need to know that it was not out of shame or regret that I wanted to maintain a small level of anonymity. My intention was and is to maintain the dignity and integrity of my ministry here in Oakville. I did not wish those actions to overshadow the ministry of the church and my service to the community that I love.”