The gunman who opened fire at a Florida back-to-school cookout filled with more than 100 people — including children — remains hospitalized Tuesday, as the nation’s prominent gun-rights group praised the actions of an armed bystander.
The gunman, who has not been named by Titusville Police, remains at the Holmes Regional Medical Center after being shot in the head, according to Florida Today.
The Titusville Police Department previously said in a news release the man was involved in a fistfight with another person at the Issac Campbell Park and left around 5:20 p.m. on Saturday — only to return with a gun minutes later and start shooting.
A bystander, who was lawfully licensed to carry a firearm, then shot the gunman. Officials have still not released further details about the incident or identified the gunman or bystander.
“We are extremely grateful that nobody else was injured in this incident,” Deputy Chief Todd Hutchinson said in a statement. “This suspect opened fire at a crowded public park. This could have been so much worse.”
The nation’s largest gun rights group, the National Rifle Association, praised the actions of the bystander.
“After a man open fired at the back-to-school event in Titusville, Florida, an armed citizen drew his #firearm and stopped the #shooter,” the NRA said in a tweet. “Thankfully, no-one was injured and this is another example of a good guy with a gun stopping a bad one.”
Stepanie Fayson, whose daughter was at the park at the time, told WFTV the shooting sparked chaos.
“She heard the gunshot and she was running, and she said everybody was running over each other,” Fayson told WFTV.
Titusville Police said the incident remains under investigation, but the bystander won’t face charges because his actions were within the law, according to the preliminary investigation.