TUMWATER — David George, an Oakville pastor and previously long-time leader of the New Life Assembly of God Church in Ilwaco and president of the Rotary Club of SW Pacific County Peninsula, spoke out last week about his role in stopping a deadly attack on June 17 outside the Tumwater Walmart.
George, who has a concealed carry firearms permit and was trained as a volunteer firefighter to respond to active-shooter situations, shot and killed Tim O. Day, 44, of McCleary, who was shooting at unarmed civilians while attempting to hijack cars.
George was a deeply involved member of the Long Beach Peninsula community from about 2003 through 2013.
“I am grieved that the shooter’s reckless actions endangered numerous individuals and demanded he be stopped before doing more harm,” George said in an emotional statement broadcast on regional television news stations.
Day died from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, the Seattle Times reported.
Day’s ex-wife, Marcy Daarud, told radio station KNKX-NPR that Day was a felon who had a history of mental illness made worse by meth use. His use of the drug made him paranoid, she said.
“Usually it’s like somebody’s after him with guns,” Daarud said. “He always thinks that somebody’s after him and they’re going to get him. … I tried so hard to tell the courts not to let him out, that he would hurt somebody.”
After stopping the shooter, George, an emergency medical technician, provided first aid to gunshot victim Rickey Fievez, 48, nearby in the parking lot. The Times said June 24 that Fievez remains in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center and is paralyzed from the neck down.
Fievez was imprisoned much of the past several years on drug-related charges, but had recently found success in his job and in spending time with his grandchildren, the Times reported.
George teared up as described how a family trip to Walmart to make an exchange ended up in him having to fatally shoot the armed attacker.
He said he immediately recognized sounds he heard as gunshots and responded in accordance with his training.
“I was concerned for my own family and I sought to find them and exit the building. My daughter, recognizing the gunshots, also gathered her daughter quickly to exit the building. I did not see my wife at that time, so I continued to look for her and stayed in the building as people began to realize the situation and run out of the building.…
“It was at this point the gunman came past me, waving and pointing his gun as he exited the building. I followed carefully along with another citizen carrying a firearm, unaware of what the shooter would do next or where he would do it. The gunman attempted to get a car, and when he failed, he moved to another, screaming at the driver. He then shot two times into the driver’s side of the vehicle. When the driver would not or could not respond to his threats, he began to travel in the direction that I thought my family to be.
“It was at this point that I left cover and moved to intercept the gunman. When the gunman began threatening another person for the use of their car, I moved in order to have a safe shot at the gunman. He entered the vehicle, which I considered to be an even bigger threat, and I fired to stop the shooter. After being hit, the gunman tried to exit the vehicle and fell to the ground. I moved to clear the gunman, yelling to him to drop the gun and show me his hands. I determined the gunman was incapacitated and unable to respond to me at that time.
“It was then that I heard somebody associated with the previous gunshot victim yelling for help that her friend or husband had been shot. I directed the other armed citizen to remain with the gunman and I retrieved my jump-bag/first-aid kit from my nearby vehicle in order to render aid to the previous gunshot victim.”
George emphasized more than once that he acted in as cautious and careful a manner as circumstances allowed.
“I am proficient with use of the firearm I carry and trained appropriately to use it in a defensive setting. I carry a firearm for the same reason I carry a first-aid bag — hoping never having to use them but always being prepared nonetheless. I acted on Sunday to protect my family and others from the gunman and his display of obvious deadly intent,” he said.
George’s heroism came as no surprise to his friends on the Long Beach Peninsula. Commenting on Facebook, Keleigh Schwartz said, “You continue to be one of the people I admire most in this world and I grieve with you as you move through this chapter of life.”
Watch George’s statement at tinyurl.com/David-George-Statement.