The father of the man most seriously wounded in a shooting rampage at a shopping mall called his son a hero for drawing a pistol and confronting the gunman before being shot. Brendan "Dan" McKown, 38, was hit twice in the abdomen Sunday, when a gunman opened fire on crowds in the Tacoma Mall before ducking into a store and taking several hostages. The gunman later surrendered and the hostages were released unharmed.
Roger McKown, 63, of Yelm, said his son has been licensed to carry a firearm for years.
"Dan has been one that always believes in protecting other people, and he put his life on the line for other people," he said at a hospital news conference Tuesday.
He said his son encountered the shooter while delivering a bank deposit from the gift store where he works as assistant manager. "He heard the shooting, and before he could ever take a defensive mode or anything, it was right there," Roger McKown said.
Police spokesman Mark Fulghum said detectives don't know if McKown simply brandished his handgun to show the gunman he was armed, or if he was preparing to fire the weapon. Witnesses told the family McKown was shot after he pulled the gun.
Doctors at Tacoma General Hospital believe McKown may have suffered permanent paralysis because of spinal damage, hospital spokesman Todd Kelley said. Five other people wounded in the shooting have been released.
Dominick Maldonado, 20, of Tacoma, pleaded not guilty Monday to assault, kidnapping and firearms charges for Sunday's shooting. He was being held on $2 million bail, reports the AP. I.L.