'I needed to do something': Hero soldier talks about stopping an active shooter by ramming him with his truck

US ArmyUS Army Master Sgt. David Royer.
  • The man who stopped an active shooter on a bridge in Kansas on Wednesday was US Army Master Sgt. David Royer, who’s stationed at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
  • “I knew people’s lives were in danger. I needed to do something,” Royer said Thursday. Local authorities say that his quick reaction saved “countless lives.”
  • After the incident was resolved, Royer went home, mowed the grass, and ate dinner with his family.
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After Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, soldier Master Sgt. David Royer stopped an active shooter on the Centennial Bridge by slamming his truck into the gunman, he went home to mow the lawn and have dinner with his family, he said Thursday.

Royer, a corrections noncommissioned officer with the 705th Military Police Battalion, had left the base on Wednesday and coming up on the bridge when a man with a rifle exited his vehicle and began firing at vehicles in the oncoming lane.

On the phone with his fiancĂ© at the time, Royer told her to call 911. After hanging up, he sprang into action. “I knew people’s lives were in danger. I needed to do something,” he told media Thursday.

“I assessed the situation very quickly, looked around and just took the only action possible that I felt I could take,” he said, adding, “I accelerated my truck as quickly as possible and struck the active shooter and pinned him underneath my truck.”

He said that local law enforcement arrived on the scene within minutes.

Royer admitted that he was “shocked” by the incident, but his military training and adrenaline took over. The active-duty soldier has been in the Army for 15 years and has gone through military police and special reaction team training.

“I took appropriate action and took out the threat as fast as possible,” he said. Royer’s 2014 Chevy Silverado, the first car he ever bought, suffered extensive damage.

“What was a very, very dangerous situation, fortunately, was ended quite quickly,” Leavenworth Police Chief Pat Kitchens said at a briefing Wednesday evening. “Very likely countless lives were saved by the person that intervened.”

“He won’t call himself a hero, but I will,” Kitchens said of the Fort Leavenworth soldier on Thursday. “He saved countless lives.” Only two people, including the shooter, were injured in the incident.

Royer explained that he never imagined an active-shooter situation occurring in traffic but acknowledged that concern about such an event is “always in the back of my mind because of how crazy things are in the world today.”

He said that after the incident he was “calm,” telling reporters that he just wanted to get back home.

“When I got home I just wanted to get everything back to normal – get to my kids, give them a hug, and then I mowed my grass, ate dinner and spent time with my family,” he said.

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