Neighbors - including one who fired back at gunman during shooting spree, praised for saving victim
DETROIT (FOX 2) - A resident told FOX 2 that the gunman on a random shooting spree was intent on killing his elderly neighbor and he had to intervene to save his life.
"I looked out the window and I could see the suspect shooting down the street and then I heard four or five shots and my neighbor crying for help," said the man.
This Detroiter, who did not want to be identified, may very well be one of the reasons his neighbor is still alive after the shooting rampage Sunday morning.
"It was serious, he was being gunned down. Literally being gunned down," the resident said.
The man grabbed his firearm, raced to his front door, and engaged the gunman as he bared down on his neighbor John Palik — the retired military veteran who was nearly killed as he walked his dog Sunday.
"I called out the shooter to let him know my presence and I said why are you shooting," the good Samaritan said.
All while the suspect was still armed. Other neighbors sprang into action to help Palik as the suspect ran off.
"I realized like he had a gun wound in his leg so we just ran in the house, got a belt, tourniquet it," said Chris Smith.
"While me and a couple other neighbors were on a phone with 911 giving them the information and everything," said Tonya Stoudamire. "We were just doing what we're supposed to do - looking out for each other."
Palik was one of four victims the suspect targeted, as he killed three of them—including Lari Ploszewski-Brisco, Chayne lee and a woman who has yet to be identified.
"It’s frightening. it’s frightening," said Frank Knight. "Sometimes I ride the bus, but one of the people he shot and killed was waiting on the bus."
The shooting prompted many in the area of northwest Detroit to go on lockdown as city and federal authorities pulled all stops to get the suspect off the street.
Sources say the suspect’s aunt gave him up - tipping off police to his whereabouts.
Knight lives on the same street where the suspect was taken into custody
"I really didn’t know anything about it, until we came outside and the police were everywhere," he said.
Detroit police is crediting technology and the community with helping them take the suspect into custody.
Related: 76-year-old man, dog survive after being shot during random Detroit shooting spree
For those who helped the lone survivor – they see no heroism in their actions.
"It was great to see everyone come out to help," said Smith. "Everyone calling the police, everyone coming out to help, that is what community is about."
"I’m not trying to be a hero about it, it was not a heroic moment," the neighbor who shot back said. "It was just to save a neighbor who was obviously being shot at."
Mayor Mike Duggan says Sunday’s rampage shows why the shot spotter program needs to be expanded. Had it been up and running in the area where the first shooting occurred, officers would’ve been able to respond, find him and prevent the others that followed. He said it is a reason the program needs to be expanded.