Seventy-four-year-old Bill Badger was in a line of people waiting to greet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords when the gunman - identified at 22-year-old Jared Loughner began the rampage that killed six people and wounded 19, including the congresswoman, who remains in critical condition.
"There was just a series of shots and I heard the shots and my first reaction was a firecracker, they were extremely loud," Badger told CBS affiliate KOLD in Tucson. "He'd already shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords and was shooting the people sitting in the chairs, coming right towards where I was standing. 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."
That sting was a bullet wound. But Badger pressed on.
"The shooting stopped and I raised up and didn't realize it, but he was right beside me. Right in front of me. And I got to my feet and one of the individuals who was there to see her was on the other side of the walkway, you know, right where he was walking and that individual took a folding chair, folded it and hit him on the back of the head and he moved his head forward so much of the blunt of it came right on the shoulders of his back and when they did that his left arm came out and it was my opportunity," Badger told KOLD.
"I grabbed his left arm and started to twist it back and grabbed him on the shoulder with my right hand another individual grabbed his right hand and together we pushed on him and he went right down on the sidewalk."
Badger and the other man pinned the suspect to the ground until police arrived.
"Anytime he would even start to move, I would tighten my grip on his throat, and the other guy would put more pressure on his neck to hold him down," Badger said. "And he'd holler, 'Oh, oh, you're hurting me! Oh, oh,' - like that. And that guy said, 'I don't give a [expletive].'"
Badger was treated at a nearby hospital and expects a full recovery.
After hearing the tale, Badger's wife Sallie said it didn't surprise her at all.
"The only thing that would have surprised me is that if he would not have done this," she told KOLD. "Bill is a man of action."