During the terror that was the August 4 shooting in the Oregon District, the shooter was found and stopped in roughly 30 seconds. In that time he killed nine people and injured 27 outside of Ned Peppers Bar.
Yet had he got inside the establishment it could’ve been so much worse, as he was armed with enough ammunition to fire 250 rounds.
It was the effort of responding officers in the entertainment district, Sgt. William C. Knight, Officer Brian Rolfes, Officer Jeremy Campbell, Officer Vincent Carter, Officer Ryan Nabel and Officer David Denlinger that stopped even more bloodshed from occurring.
These men rushed toward the shooter and the danger as others fled and took him down at the crucial moment.
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The officers did their job well, and it deserves to be mentioned when one lone security guard ignored the danger during the Parkland shootings in 2018. They are getting commended for their efforts on social media and on the streets.
During his visit on August 7, President Trump met the officers and took a photo, and gifted them presidential challenge coins.
Because of this, a change.org petition was started on August 6 to bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor the office can give, to the aforementioned officers for their “meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States.”
Another person earning praise is Jeremy Ganger, a former independent pro-wrestler and bouncer working at Ned Peppers that night.
When the shooter made his way to the bar, Ganger went out of his way to guide people inside, sometimes physically pushing them in until he stood in the doorway as the only thing blocking the shooter from entering.
“My job’s the door,” he said in an interview with ABC News. “I protect the customers and my guys that work there as well, all the staff members, so when I saw the chance to step up and help do my job, my part, that’s all it was. My job.”
Additionally, he stated: “I would’ve died before that guy came in [to the bar].”
Ganger only suffered a mild injury from shrapnel in his leg. He has already gone back to work, trying to get back to normalcy. It was also announced that he would be the cover model of the 2020 Dudes of Dayton Calander, a charity group.
Heroism can be measured in many ways. One inspiring Daytonian is Annette Gibson-Strong, a local woman maintaining the memorial site of the deceased.
Since the shooting, she visits the site every morning and every night, cleaning up trash and cigarette butts, watering the flowers and lighting candles. She was present at the Sunday vigil, chanting “Do something” at Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
She was also present during the protests on the afternoon of August 7, shouting messages of support, maintaining the flowers and keeping morale up when facing hateful rhetoric.
When the dust settles in the Oregon District, these individuals and several other unnamed citizens will stand out as heroes that did their part to help their fellow man and keep Dayton strong in the face of evil.