St. Paul Truck Park shooting hero shares his story

It is an untold story of heroism and bravery nearly two years in the making. A Twin Cities combat veteran, risking his own life to help thwart one of two gunmen involved in a deadly mass shooting inside the packed Seventh Street Truck Park bar in Saint Paul, October 2021.

"I think my last pounce was when, after he fired the last shot," Luka Lattergrass told FOX 9’s Paul Blume. "But, you know, it was the last shot because I made sure it was his last shot."

The gunfight killed one innocent victim and left a dozen others injured. Lattergrass had not shared his story publicly until sitting down with Blume for an interview Monday. His actions during the shootout emerged when FOX 9 obtained surveillance video from inside the bar.

Lattergrass joined the military after 9/11, serving as an Army medic in Iraq among other deployments and assignments. He explained it was his military training and adrenaline that kicked in when gunfire erupted all around him.

"They had no regard for any human life that day," said Lattergrass. "So, I wanted to make sure that situation was dealt with in a timely manner."

Lattergrass can be seen in the surveillance video in a white #20 Vikings Jeff Gladney jersey. He is a member of the team’s super fan group known as the Vikings World Order. They were together for an annual gathering with Detroit Lions fans at Truck Park earlier in the evening. The two NFL teams were playing in Minnesota that weekend. Fortunately Lattergrass reports, by Sunday at 12:15 a.m. when the shooting broke out, most had already left the bar.

"You know, my life's on the line. They're shooting right at each other. I was right there, near the gunshots, the initial gunshots," recalled Lattergrass.

In the chaos that followed, as some in the crowd rushed out the door, and others hit the floor to protect themselves and others, Lattergrass said his military instincts took over.

"It’s to assess the situation, to see where the immediate danger is coming from," explained Lattergrass, who acknowledges drinking that night.

Lattergrass can be seen crouching, scanning, assessing the danger, and then as soon as he got his opening, Lattergrass pounced on one of the shooters, Terry Brown. He then beats Brown with blows to his head and upper body over and over as others helped to get the gun away from the armed suspect.

"I felt a lot of anger in that moment," admitted Lattergrass. "And I released every ounce of anger I had in me on him because he selfishly, you know, put a lot of people at risk.

Tragically, Marquisha "KiKi" Wiley was killed in the barrage of gunfire. Her family has said, Wiley was out with her boyfriend and brother for a night of fun like so many others in the bar that night. Her life was cut short at the age of 27. A dozen other innocent people were injured.

"It was one of the most horrific moments of Saint Paul's history, the largest, most tragic mass shooting our city has ever experienced," retired Police Chief Todd Axtell told Blume.

Axtell was on the job that night and believes more people could have been hurt or killed if not for the Lattergrass’ actions.

Axtel said, "Luka took it upon himself to wait for that specific moment where he could do something to stop that carnage. And he did just that."

Last week, the second gunman involved in the deadly shootout, Devondre Phillips was sentenced to nearly 29 years in prison. Brown, who was ultimately convicted of Wiley’s murder and several other counts of attempted second-degree murder is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

Meantime, Lattergrass, who after helping disarm Brown, used his medical combat experience to assist the victims inside the bar. He subsequently battled through post-traumatic stress and other issues from the mass shooting and his war experience. Proud to be sober for the last six months, Lattergrass told Blume, he is glad he could do his part but is saddened by the current state of humanity.

"It gives me hope for, you know, other people that are willing to risk their lives to help others," concluded Lattergrass. "But again, it also is discouraging that we need people to be heroes today. We shouldn't have people shooting at each other at an event where there's, you know, hundreds of people."