FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE -- Friday marks the 20th anniversary of a dark day in Fairchild Air Force Base history.
In 1994, a gunman went on a rampage killing five people and injuring 22. Friday afternoon, people gathered at Fairchild to remember those killed and injured and to recognize the hero who stopped the gunman.
Retired Staff Sergeant Andrew Brown spoke to dozens of people including several family members of the victims. It was the first time in 10 year that Brown has been to the base.
He remembers the tragic shooting 20 years ago on June 20, 1994.
“As I approached the area, I saw a man with a rifle walking down Graham Road in front of the hospital,” said Brown.
He was a security officer on bike patrol when he heard the calls over the radio. A gunman entered the base hospital searching for two mental health doctors he blamed for his discharge from the military.
Only two minutes had passed when he took the shot.
“From a distance of 70 yard I engaged him. I fired four rounds, two of which hit their mark and ended the killing,” said Brown.
Airman said the gun he was holding has a maximum effective range of only 50 feet. He took the shot at 210 feet.
Though Brown was called a hero, he said there were many heroes among the hospital staff and patients who ushered their loved ones to safety.
“Eva Walsh was 57-years-old. She hid on the floor of the pharmacy under a counter. When 5-year-old James Sigman ran past, she grabbed him and shielded him behind her back as she was shot several times in the leg,” said Brown.
He also spoke of his struggles with dealing with Post Traumatic Depression. Brown is back in Spokane and work for the US Border Patrol.