A man opened fire at a Portland gentleman’s club over the weekend but his plans were cut short by one of the club’s bouncers, believed to be a military veteran with a concealed carry permit.
The shooter, identified as 43-year-old Thomas Elliot Hjelmeland, allegedly fired his weapon inside the Mystic Gentleman’s Club on Saturday night, wounding three people.
“Brian Rizzo, the club’s bouncer, was hit by the gunfire at the front door when the gunman opened fire Saturday night. Patron Gonzalo Zamora-Hernandez, 31, and waitress Nichole Procter, 27, were also wounded,” KGW reports.
John Baer, also a bouncer at the club, said that he witnessed his wounded friend fall to the ground and decided to intervene. He said on the Lars Larson Show Tuesday that he followed the suspect outside and shot him with his pistol.
“By the time I heard the second shot [inside the club] and turned around, my friend was already on the ground,” Baer said.
A DJ who works at the club told KATU-TV that he knows Baer is a “military vet” with a “concealed weapons permit.”
Hjelmeland, who has a criminal history, remains in critical condition at a Portland hospital. If he survives, he will face serious charges following his release from the hospital, police said. One of his victims, Rizzo, reportedly had to be put into a medically-induced coma while he fights for his life.
The suspect was reportedly denied entry into the club earlier in the evening because he was acting belligerent and making racist comments. Workers at the club told police he returned about an hour later armed and wearing a scary Halloween mask.
Baer has not been arrested or charged with a crime for shooting the suspect. He is reportedly cooperating fully with police.