Larry Bourbonnais, a combat-tested Vietnam veteran, said it was the bravest thing he’s ever seen.
Bourbonnais, who was among those shot by a gunman Sunday at New Life Church, watched as a security guard, a woman later identified as Jeanne Assam, calmly returned fire and killed the shooter.
“She just started walking toward the gunman firing the whole way,” said Bourbonnais, who was shot in the arm. “She was just yelling ‘Surrender,’ walking and shooting the whole time.”
Bourbonnais, 59, was chowing down in the church cafeteria when he heard the shots. He headed in the direction of the gunfire, asking “where’s the shooter?”, as people ran past him.
Near an entryway in the church, Bourbonnais came upon the gunman and an armed male church security guard who was there with his gun drawn but not firing, he said.
Bourbonnais said he pleaded with the armed guard to give him his weapon.
But the guard just hollered at Bourbonnais to get behind him.
He wouldn’t hand me his weapon, but he wouldn’t do anything.”
Armed guard #2 was no better:
There was an additional armed security guard there, another man, who also didn’t fire, Bourbonnais said.
A couple of damn wimps!
Bourbonnais yelled at the gunman to draw his attention, he said.
“First, I called him ‘Coward’ then I called him ‘S—head’ ” Bourbonnais said. “I probably shouldn’t have been saying that in church.”
No, indeed, it only attracted the shooter’s attention:
That’s when the shooter pointed one of his guns at Bourbonnais and fired, he said.
Bourbonnais ducked behind a hollow, decorative pillar and was hit in the arm by a bullet and fragments of the pillar.
Enter our heroine:
Assam turned a corner with a drawn handgun, walked toward the gunman and yelled “Surrender!” Bourbonnais said.
The gunman pointed a handgun at Assam and fired three shots, Bourbonnais said. She returned fire and just kept walking toward the gunman pressing off round after round.
After the gunman went down, Bourbonnais asked Assam, a volunteer security guard with the church, how she remained so calm and focused.
Bourbonnais said she replied:
“I was asking the Holy Spirit to guide me the entire time.”
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