Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Colorado Heroes

One was an unarmed Vietnam veteran who exposed himself to fire from the Colorado shooter, while the other was an armed volunteer security guard who risked her own life to confront the violent shooter, who had already killed four other people in two separate incidents.

Together, they saved hundreds of people at the New Life Church.
Bourbannais was behind a pillar at the time, deciding what to do next.

“The only thing I could think to do was walk out from the pillar so the gunman would see me,” he said. “He was a man in black, but he sure wasn’t Johnny Cash.

“So I yelled, ‘Coward!’ stood out, and our eyes met and he lifted his rifle, fired, and I took a few fragments – very minor – in my left forearm.”

Bourbannais stepped behind the pillar again and repeated his demand that the security guard give him a gun so he could take the shooter out. When he got no response, Bourbannais stepped out from behind the pillar to confront Murray again.

At that point, another security guard, 42-year-old Jeanne Assam, arrived with her gun drawn. Unlike the male guard, she was using hers.

“They were engaged in a firefight. He was firing. She was firing,” Bourbannais said. “And she was completely exposed. I was in Vietnam for 14 months in combat, and it’s the bravest thing I’ve ever witnessed. She kept yelling, ‘Surrender,’ and returned fire the complete time.”

Bourbannais walked parallel to her toward Murray as Assam shot him.

“As he slumped down and his head tilted, I said to her, ‘That’s the calmest, bravest thing I‘ve ever seen. How did you do it?’ “ he said. “She said ‘I was praying and asking the Holy Spirit the entire time to guide me.’ ”

Vieira asked Bourbannais if he realized that he could have been killed.

“I figured my chances were 30 percent,” he said, as calm as if he were describing a trip to the corner store.
Larry Bourbannais and Jeanne Assam are heroes.

Thank you.

Your fellow congregants thank you for putting your lives on the line to save hundreds of others from injury or death at the hands of Matthew Murray.

Had they waited for the police to arrive, the carnage would have been unimaginable as Murray had hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Instead, their quick thinking averted the loss of even more life.

A report indicates that the shooter died of a self inflicted gunshot wound after being hit four times by Assam. This doesn't diminish the heroism of Bourbannais or Assam because without their confrontation with Murray, he would have continued his shooting rampage until he was either cornered and killed or he ran out of bullets.

No comments: