WalMart Shooting Heroes Honored

There was no lack of heroes the morning of October 29 as a gunman, later identified as a disgruntled employee, opened fire inside the WalMart store on KIetzke Lane seriously wounding three and injuring another.

What happened over the next few hours tested the bravery and training of police officers and civilians.

"When you get a call like this through dispatch rather than most people that would run away from gunfights, these guys actually ran through the back door and tried to secure the scene," said Deputy Chief Mike Whan.

Wednesday they were all honored, introduced before the city council, their actions described, receiving a standing ovation and congratulations from all.

The incident eventually drew personnel from several agencies, but the initial response was from Reno police officers who arrived literally within a minute.

One was singled out today and given RPD's Medal of Meritorious Service for risking his life to save another.

Sgt. Jim Stegmaier aided a severely wounded WalMart manager, protecting him as both were just three feet from the gunman lurking behind a wooden door.

"He obviously knew we were outside because we were giving directions to others," said Stegmaier. "He had to make a decision to stay in there or come out. Luckily he stayed."

There were civilian heroes as well who stayed behind as others fled to help the wounded. One of them was WalMart employee April Carr, a private in the Army National Guard, who drew upon her military training that morning.

"You never leave fallen comrade behind. You stay there and get them out."

John Dennis Gillane surrendered after hours of negotiation and is now facing a number of charges including three counts of attempted murder.

The injured are recovering from their wounds, but without the actions of these people the outcome might have been much worse.


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