(INDIANAPOLIS) - A man died early Saturday morning after a shooting at a Denny's on the northwest side of Indianapolis, according to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officials.
Jay Hermacinski of WISH TV reports that the victim has been identified as 46-year-old Mario Wilson. Wilson was a retired 22-year veteran of the United States Army.
Wilson's friend was the one who tackled and held onto the suspect until police arrived.
"As soon as I heard the shots I ran out the door and I saw Mario and the guy together. I grabbed the guy and took him to the ground," said Carl Smith.
Police responded to the Denny's located at 8808 N. Michigan St. around 5:45 a.m. to the report of a person shot.
Officers say Wilson was inside of the restaurant with friends when a verbal disagreement began with the suspect, 26-year-old Leonard Bond.
Officers say Bond left the restaurant and attempted to get Wilson to come outside by banging on the window where Wilson was sitting.
Bond began walking back into the Denny's. Wilson met him at the front door, where he was shot by Bond, according to a release.
Smith says he had only known Mario Wilson for a year or so. But the two became close and treated each other like family.
It was that strong bond of friendship that propelled Smith towards the gunfire instead of searching for safety.
"I knew my friend was out there and he would have done the same for me. Everyone ask me why did I go out there? It's because I love my friend. I knew I put myself in jeopardy. It is what it is. If I hadn't gone out there, he might have gotten away and I would have felt bad," said Smith.
Smith says Wilson loved to watch sports, especially the Chicago Bears.
He says he has no idea what set the gunman off.
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