Retired Det. Rich Gundacker is now a patrol sergeant for UNC Charlotte police and disarmed the shooter on the day of the attack.
When the gunman opened fire, a student named Riley Howell attempted to stop him and shielded other students with his body.
Howell was killed, but his brave actions allowed Gundacker to grab the shooter's weapon.
His efforts were noted by Police Commissioner James O'Neill on Thursday morning.
When a gunman opened fire at UNC Charlotte, student Riley Howell saved lives by taking the fight to him. Tragically, Riley was killed. But his efforts allowed UNC Sgt. Rich Gundacker (retired NYPD ESU) time to arrive & disarm the shooter. These heroes deserve enormous thx/praise. pic.twitter.com/1xxcWt7IzL— Commissioner O'Neill (@NYPDONeill) May 2, 2019
"Once they leave the NYPD, it's still with them," O'Neill said. "I'm really proud that he was able to do that and stop the shooter from killing more people."
Gundacker, trained by ESU, retired from the NYPD in 2015 after 20 years on the force.
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