Arizona Shooting: Hero Bill Badger Speaks Out

A January 9, 2011, file photo shows Bill Badger, one of the 13 people wounded in a shooting the previous day at an event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Arizona.
Arizona Shooting: Hero Bill Badger Speaks Out
Bill Badger (KPHO)

TUCSON, Ariz. (CBS/KPHO) Many know the name Jared Loughner, the suspect in the Arizona shooting rampage that left six dead and wounded more than a dozen others including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, but few may know Bill Badger, who helped subdue the gunman.

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Badger, a 74-year-old retired Army Colonel, described what happened.

"He'd already shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and was shooting the people sitting in the chairs, coming right towards where I was standing," Badger told CBS affiliate KPHO.

"Everybody was hitting the sidewalk and I turned to my left and started to drop and I felt the stinging in the back of my head."

Badger was hit - a bullet grazed the back of his head, but that didn't stop him.

"The shooting stopped and I raised up and didn't realize it, but, he was right beside me," he said.

That's when Badger, along with another man on the shooter's other side, made a heroic move and tackled the gunman, who was trying to reload his 9mm handgun.

"I had a hold of his throat and the guy on the other side had his knee right on the back of his neck, and every time he would struggle I would squeeze his throat and the guy would put pressure on the back of his neck," Badger told KPHO.

Only after police arrived and cuffed the Loughner did Badger have a chance to call home to his wife Sallie.

Many are calling Badger a hero, but Sallie said she's still just calling him her husband.

"I don't even know if its bravery as much as it's, my husband is a very, very good person," she said.