Ft. Leavenworth soldier shot on Centennial Bridge describes chaotic scene

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Staff Sgt. Ehran Schooler has a fresh gunshot wound in his back and needs the assistance of a walker to get around. Even so, the 30-year-old Army recruiter considers himself very lucky.

“Nothing’s wrong with me. I got lucky. I’m very lucky to be alive and to be walking,” Schooler told FOX4, “because it missed my spine by a little bit.”

Schooler’s vehicle was in the direct line of fire Wednesday as an accused gunman began firing rounds on the Centennial Bridge in Leavenworth.

“I started seeing bullets flying and everything like that,” Schooler said. “And I was like, ‘Oh crap, this is for real,’ so I got down.”

A bullet entered Schooler’s back on the left side and came out on his right front side. The bullet then lodged into the steering column.

“I knew I was shot in the back. I felt it in my back, and I didn’t move at all because the back’s very sensitive with nerves and spinal injuries and stuff like that,” Schooler said. “So I didn’t move at all until the cops and ambulances came.”

Incredibly, Schooler’s prognosis is promising. He estimates he will be able to exercise in a couple of weeks.

The first thing he’d like to do, when he’s able, is to have a drink with Master Sgt. David Royer, the man who ran over the suspected shooter, ending the nightmare on the bridge.

“He reached out to me yesterday. We talked for quite a bit,” Schooler said. “He said he’s not a hero, but he is to me, and many more people, he’s a hero.”

The suspected shooter, 37-year-old Jason R. Westrem, is now facing nine charges, including attempted murder, which could carry a 50-year sentence if convicted. 

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