RENO, NV - He didn't think; he just acted. Just two days after the shooting at the CVS store on Plumb Lane, the man who confronted the shooter is speaking out. In an exclusive interview, John Oliveira tells KOLO 8 News Now how he came face-to-face with a gunman.
"If I was to die, that's definitely the way to go, you know helping someone," he said.
However, it wasn't always like that for Oliveira. He says he's now a changed man and he's here to help people.
"I was the guy on the street, running amok back then, doing drugs and I've cleaned my life up."
He was put to the test Sunday night at the CVS store in Shopper's Square where he confronted an armed robber.
"Just when I heard her say help, I had no time to think only react," he said.
Without hesitation, he acted on instinct and charged at the gunman, 42-year-old Royal Shawn Bingaman. He tripped Bingaman and tackled him.
"I jumped on top of him and landed a couple of punches to his face and got him in a choke hold. That's when he put the gun to my chest when we were on the ground and he said, 'I don't want to do this,' that's when I moved the gun to as far left as i could and that's when he fired the gun."
Realizing he had been shot, Oliveira let Bingaman go, remembering he had much more to live for.
"I was a little bit tripped out. I thought of my son and everything i got accomplished," Oliveira said. "I thought why in the hell am I doing this, but it's just my natural instinct. He went in as a predator and left as a prey."
Looking back, Oliveira says he's lucky to be alive, an inch more and the bullet would have pierced his heart. He says he has no regrets, his natural instincts saved someone's life.
"I just reacted, you know. I was looking out for my own safety and everyone else, so I didn't think anything of it and I'd do it again."
Oliveira says he's in great spirits and the only thing that really hurts is his shoulders from working out at the gym before he went inside CVS on Sunday.
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office says Bingaman is from Nampa, ID. He was wanted by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in Pioche, Nevada for narcotic offenses. He had been living in a Reno motel.
Bingaman was able to escape the store, but Reno police weren't too far behind. They caught up to him in front of Cafe Milano at the Peppermill, where witnesses say multiple shots were fired. He was injured and later died in the hospital.