A man who put his life on the line for his country is now being called a hero for stopping a potential shooting massacre outside a high school football game.
The incident happened Friday night in the parking lot of a Tennessee high school. Authorities say 300 to 400 people were gathered there following a homecoming game when a 16-year-old boy opened fire.
As chaos broke out and people scrambled in fear, police say Patrick Shields jumped into action.
“I can hear just a bunch of kids hollering and screaming,” the Army veteran recalled. “And at that point, I heard something go ‘pap.'”
When he realized what was happening, he says the one thought that came to mind was getting the weapon away from the gunman.
The shooter continued firing into the crowd. But when he got close enough, Shields grabbed him and was able to disarm him.
“I tackled him up on the fence right there and grabbed that hand with the weapon in it,” Shields said. “And we fell to the ground and the weapon came out of his hand.”
Assistant Brownsville Police Chief Kelvin Evans ran over when he heard the shots, and found Shields subduing the gunman.
Despite the praise he’s getting, Shields, who served in the Army for 22 years and is currently a National Guardsman, says he doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“I was just trying to diffuse the problem,” he said.
Two people were shot but are expected to make full recoveries.
The shooter’s identity has not been released because he’s a minor. Police are asking the district attorney to try him as an adult.