Veteran shot in attempt to rescue woman at Wal-Mart

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SHAWNEE, Kan. (WDAF) -- New details reveal more information on the deadly shooting outside a Shawnee Wal-Mart Sunday. One suspect was killed in the incident, but another is reportedly still on the run after police released a man they thought was involved.

FOX 4's Robert Townsend has more on the investigation.

When a woman with a baby was attacked in the parking lot by two men, two bystanders came to her rescue. When it was all over, the woman was left with head injuries, one bystander -- an Iraq War veteran -- was shot and critically wounded, and one suspect was shot dead.

Family members of that heroic veteran did not want to appear on camera, but told FOX 4 they're not surprised he stepped in to help.

"My son is just a wonderful guy. He'd help anybody because that's just his nature. I"m not surprised at all," said the man's mom, who lives in Oregon.

FOX 4 has learned the Good Samaritan is 33 years old, now working as a landscaper, and has a 15-year-old step-daughter.

They said the man joined the Air Force shortly after 9/11. They said he made his mom proud in his six years in the service in which he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

"He would've helped anybody," his mother said. "It wouldn't have mattered if they were old, or white, black, whatever. He would've done it for anybody."

Shawnee police said the 33-year-old veteran put his life on the line for the woman. Investigators said he ran to her rescue when he heard heard scream after being attacked from behind. That's when he was shot multiple times.

The veteran's mother recounted the first phone call she received informing her of the incident.

"The first phone call was that he was shot in the face and dying," she said. She was later relieved to learn that he had survived, despite wounds to his face and chest.

"We know parts of his left nostril was blown off and his face and upper left chest area are wounded," the man's father told FOX 4.

His mother said even with his injuries, the man was still concerned for the woman and her child.

"He was more concerned about how the baby was, and the woman," she explained.

Police said a second man, who's from Desoto, also ran to try to help the woman. He shot one of the suspects, killing him. That Good Samaritan was also injured, but he was treated and released from the hospital.

The other attacker ran from the scene.

That 33-year-old man is reportedly still in serious condition. Police are still searching for that second suspect.

The woman told police she did not know either of the suspects and there is no word yet why the suspects attacked her.

Wal-Mart issued the following statement regarding the incident:

"We're incredibly upset by the things that took place yesterday. Our immediate focus is always the safety of our customers and associates. We're working with police to help them as they continue to investigate and our hearts go out to those involved."

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