EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - “I wouldn’t have put my gun back in my holster that’s for sure. The individual wouldn’t have got the gun pointed toward my wife to take another shot,” says VFW shooting victim, Paul Glover.
The man shot at the VFW Sunday in Evansville shares chilling details about how he and his wife worked side by side to keep the suspect out of the Post. We met with the couple at the hospital where he is set for surgery Tuesday evening, hoping to regain feeling in his left leg.
Police say John Burghardt fired several shots, one hitting Paul in the abdomen.
An argument between two old friends turned enemies escalated to an active shooter situation, and Paul got caught in the middle of it. He recalled suspect Burghardt’s threat.
“I’m going to leave go home get something come back here and take care of this. I know the man too well. I kind of knew what it meant,” says Paul.
Paul and another man grabbed their guns, zoned in on protecting the Post. Paul’s wife Stacey Glover locked all the doors.
When Burghardt returned with his gun they called police.
“As I went to open up the door... the door got snatched out of my hand,” says Paul.
That is when Paul faced Burghardt again. Paul already had his gun at his side.
“I didn’t see no pistol. He said, ‘Get out of my way. I’m coming in.’ And I said, ‘I’m not moving. You’re not coming in this building,’” says Paul.
But the moment Paul reholstered his gun, Burghardt showed his. That is when Burghardt allegedly shot Paul.
Next, he turned the gun toward Stacey.
“He had the gun pointed at me and I heard the click. Thank God it misfired,” says Stacey.
Seven minutes passed between the first 911 call and police taking over.
“I was numb. I don’t ever want to relive it. But I relive it every day since,” says Stacey.
“The only thing going through my head was protecting the individuals inside because it’s hard telling what this individual would have done. We’re lucky,” says Paul.
Lucky two rounds misfired. Lucky no one else was hurt. Lucky, Paul says, to be alive.
“It saved more lives. It almost cost me mine, but it didn’t,” says Paul.
Paul and Stacey say they will return to the VFW.
We are hearing from VFW State Headquarters for the first time since Sunday’s shooting. Hundreds were inside for Bingo night.
“We want the VFW and all Veterans organizations that should be a safe place to be,” says VFW State Headquarters Quarter Master, Troy King.
King tells us nothing is expected to change as incidents like this do not happen very often at VFW Posts. Bingo night is set to resume as usual on Thursday.
King tells us the VFW Post on Wabash Avenue is one of the largest in the state. With more than one thousand members, King is sad that one person puts a black eye on the organization.
They are encouraging all Posts to take threats like the one Burghardt allegedly made to shoot another man be taken seriously. He says he is proud of the way witnesses stepped in.
“We’re all veterans, and we’re veterans of foreign wars. We’ve been there and done that and we’re not going to let people bully other people around, and most of us that have been on the battle field, we’ve stood in line of fire. It’s reaction for us. We’ve been trained to step up and stop the threat,” says King.