Police continue to search for a motive in what’s being called a “random” attack at an Oklahoma City restaurant. Unfortunately for the gunman, he chose the wrong place at the wrong time to carry out his attack.
Oklahoma City Police on Friday identified the attacker as 28-year-old Alexander Tilghman, who fired a handgun into Louie’s On The Lake Thursday. He struck a 39-year-old woman and two young girls before being shot dead by two bystanders outside who were able to make it to their vehicles amid the chaos to retrieve their guns.
The two men were identified by police as Juan Carlos Nazario, 35, and Bryan Wittle, 39.
“An #ArmedCitizen saved multiple lives last night in #OKC,” the NRA posted Friday on Twitter. “We hope this serves as a wake-up call for @GovMaryFallin, who just two weeks ago vetoed a constitutional carry bill. Just another example of how the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. #2A”
Police Captain Bo Matthews told reporters, “We are very blessed that only three people were shot and didn’t lose their lives.”
In addition to the woman and girls who were hit, police said a man broke his arm while trying to flee the scene, but all four were in good condition as of Friday afternoon.
Matthews said police previously arrested Tilghman as a juvenile in 2003 in a domestic assault and battery case; but since then, they’ve had no interactions with him.
“At this point, it doesn’t look like he knew anybody at the restaurant, he didn’t work at the restaurant and he actually was shooting from outside of the door into the restaurant, so it looks like to me it would be a random event,” Matthews said. He added Tilghman was wearing ear muffs, like ones at shooting ranges, when he showed up at the restaurant late Thursday. “It looks like his mind was made up that he was going to discharge his firearm once he got there,” Matthews said.
Police on Friday were searching Tilghman’s home for any clues to the motive behind the attack.
Matthews said Nazario and Wittle were cooperative with police during interviews after the shooting Thursday. “It doesn’t matter who you are when you take the life of somebody else, even when you are protecting somebody else’s life – this can be a very traumatic event,” he said.
Nazario, a trained security guard, spoke briefly with television station KWTV, saying: “I just did what I was trained to do to neutralize the situation.”
Whittle also briefly spoke with the station, saying he “stopped the threat.”
Matthews said he believes charges will not be filed against either man.