By Nina Mandell New York Daily News
The hero police credit with saving the lives of at least three people after a gunman opened fire in a Seattle cafe was following through with a promise he made after his brother died in the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Lawrence Adams, 56, told police that he vowed to “never hide under the table” if he ever faced a deadly threat.
The story was first reported by the Seattle Times.
More than a decade after his brother, Stephen, was killed in the attacks, Adams kept his promise when Ian Stawicki opened fire at Cafe Racer.
“I just threw the frigging stool at him, legs first,” he told police. “My brother died in the World Trade Center. I promised myself, (if something like this ever happened) I would never hide under a table.”
Stawicki was armed with two .45 caliber handguns when he opened fire at the cafe, killing four people.
A second shooting, which police believe is linked to Stawicki, left one woman dead.
Police believe there could have been more victims at the cafe if it weren’t for Adams’ heroic actions.
“The hero picked up a stool and threw it at the suspect. Hit him. Picked up another stool, as the suspect is shooting and now pointing (a gun) at him and hits him with another stool,” Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel told The Associated Press. “During that time, two or possibly three people made their escape. He saved three lives.”
Adams told police he had been getting his morning coffee at the cafe for the last few years and was sipping on it when Stawicki came in around 11 a.m.
He told police that the shooting began after an employee asked Stawicki to leave the coffee shop.
Adamssaid he looked down at his phone when he heard “pop, pop and people scrambling.”
“I couldn’t make sense of it,” he said. “I didn’t expect the gun to be that quiet. I thought ‘this is really happening’.”
The heroic cafe customer said that he was mourning over the loss of his friends who were killed in the horrific incident.
A cafe employee who was wounded in the shooting and called 911 for help.
“He’s the hero,”Adams said.
Stawicki later shot and killed himself.