Veteran uses military training to stop bank robber

June 3, 2011 1:54:09 PM PDT
An Iraq War veteran used his military training to stop a bank robber. The frightening ordeal was all caught on bank surveillance video.

The robber, who was wearing a green t-shirt and was armed with a gun, stormed the bank and demanded money.

Staff Sergeant Peoples and his two boys can be seen in the background. But as Peoples told George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America ? they initially thought it was all a joke.

"The gunner saw my kids laughing and it drew a lot of attention to them. So my instincts took over," Peoples said.

Peoples' fatherly instinct and military training then kicked in. He immediately created a makeshift barrier between the gunman and his children who are just four and six years old. He then positioned himself in the line of fire.

"I'd rather take a bullet any day before letting one of the beautiful boys get hurt," Peoples also said in his Good Morning America interview.

The gunman then took off in a bag filled with cash. But the dramatic ordeal did not end there. Peoples then followed the suspect.

"So my whole mission was to get this guy before he could hurt anyone else. I f I could buy police any time ? that's what I was going to do," Peoples described.

Peoples then climbed into his white van and sped across the parking lot until he reached the suspect's getaway car. The gunman then pointed a gun right at him.

"I fully expected to take two shots when he didn't do that, he came to the back door and tried to hijack the van," said Peoples.

That is when it all came to a dramatic end. This morning, he re-enacted the heart-pumping scene with George Stephanopoulos where he slammed the gunman to the ground.

That is when Sarasota police arrived and arrested Matthew Rogers. Peoples received a commendation for his bravery ? but he's still trying to help his boys work through his frightening ordeal.

"I'm trying to put this in perspective for my boys - especially my six-year-old. He takes it hard when I get deployed and every time I go, I tell him I'm going to fight the bad guys," said Peoples.

To watch the full report from GMA this morning, go to