DENVER, Colo. - Seven people were severely injured when a man began firing during a planned Active Shooter drill in an office suite in downtown Denver's Tabor Center. The victims are all currently in stable condition.
With public shootings reaching culturally epidemic heights, such drills have become increasingly common. Public schools, college campuses, military bases and office buildings have all taken to running Active Shooter drills as a way to prepare students and workers for the seemingly inevitable.
The Denver shooter, identified as 33 year old William Thompson, claims he was unaware that a drill was taking place.
According to a statement given by his attorney, Thompson believed he was acting "heroically," and that he was doing his "duty as an American" and as a "champion of the second amendment" by neutralizing what he thought was a real threat to the safety of others.
Though Thompson's Twitter account quickly verifies that he is a supporter of gun rights and of the NRA, there is no evidence that he has any form of firearm training.
Denver Police Chief Barney White told reporters that the drill was running smoothly until Thompson rushed into the office and began firing a semiautomatic handgun at the man he assumed was the real Active Shooter.
Thirty year old Adrian Vasquez, a manager in the office where the shooting took place, is the man Thompson believed to be the threat.
"He came in with his gun drawn. He saw me crouching on the floor and told me to freeze," said Vasquez. "I think he thought I was Arab. Before he started shooting he yelled, 'Allah can't save you now!'"
Astoundingly, Vasquez was not one of the seven people injured during the shooting.
"The suspect fired several times but never hit the man he was apparently aiming for," said Chief White.
Instead he struck several people hiding under desks a few feet from where Vasquez was crouching. He also, in an apparent demonstration of gun-toting bravado, aimed his gun upward and fired several rounds into the ceiling, injuring 3 people on the floor above him.
Denver police are holding Thompson on charges of wreckless endangerment and attempted murder.