Bar Manager Who Tried to Stop Maine Gunman Was a ‘Hero,’ Says His Father

Joseph Walker, 56, was one of 18 people who were fatally killed Wednesday night during a mass shooting in Maine

<p>JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images</p> Police presence at Schemengees Bar on Oct. 26


Police presence at Schemengees Bar on Oct. 26

A restaurant manager “died as a hero” during Wednesday night’s mass shooting at a Lewiston, Maine, bowling alley and a bar and grille that claimed the lives of 18 people and left 13 wounded.

The deadly rampage began at 6:56 p.m. when suspected gunman Robert Card, 40, opened fire inside at Just-In-Time Recreation, a bowling alley in Lewiston, authorities said.

At 7:08 p.m., Card allegedly drove to Schemengees Bar & Grille, where manager Joseph Walker, 56, was working – and lost his life trying to stop the gunman, his father, Leroy Walker, told Lester Holt of NBC Nightly News.

Related: 18 People Killed, 13 Injured in Maine Mass Shootings, Manhunt for Suspect Ongoing: Governor

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State police told his daughter-in-law that “Joey Walker was shot to death at Schemengee’s — shot to death,” Leroy Walker, told Holt. “Then he went into telling her that he died as a hero because he picked up a butcher knife from somewhere — he has all that stuff near the bar anyways. And he tried to go at the gunman to stop him from shooting anybody else. The gunman shot him twice through the stomach.”

Knowing that his son died trying to stop the gunman didn’t make him feel better.

“It made it worse,” he told Holt. “Yeah, it made it worse.”

Leroy Walker said he learned about the shooting from his younger son.

Related: Man Inside Bowling Alley During Maine Mass Shooting 'Booked It' Down Lane, Hid in Machinery

“I almost fell to my knees,” he told Holt. “I said, ‘Don’t tell me that.’ ”

He still cannot believe his son is gone.

“Joe was a great, great son, a loving husband,” Leroy Walker told MSNBC’s Ana Cabrera. “He had two grandchildren and a stepson... thousands of people loved him,” Leroy Walker said to Cabrera of his son. “What are we gonna do tomorrow, the next day? How are we gonna handle this?”

Card is still at large and is considered armed and extremely dangerous, say authorities.

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