Woman saved from crazed gunman

Canadian Press

Tuesday, Aug 10, 2004

Vancouver — A man who stopped his car to pick up a woman running from a hail of bullets said Tuesday he was only trying to help out.

Don Miller was driving to work early Monday morning when he saw a hysterical woman being targeted by a gunman on the streets of suburban Port Moody.

Mr. Miller said the woman was being shot in the back as she ran across the road and fell.

“The woman was very brave,” he said on Tuesday. “After being shot, she got up and she ran again.”

Mr. Miller opened his passenger door and honked to get her attention. The woman jumped in.

His passenger window was shattered as the gunman continued to fire, but Mr. Miller managed to drive the woman to a nearby ambulance station.

Mr. Miller, the father of two and chief operations officer of a Vancouver law firm, said he acted instinctively.

“The fact was that the woman was being attacked and it wasn't something that anyone should ignore,” he said. “It's happened too often before.”

Police are calling Mr. Miller a hero, and they say three other people acted selflessly during the dramatic ordeal. Two woman acted as a human shield as the woman cowered behind them on the street. Another man tried to distract the gunman and encouraged him to stop shooting.

Police quickly arrived on the scene and the gunman jumped into his truck. After a street chase, he crashed on a busy highway.

As many as four dozen shots were fired during a gun battle that ensued between police and the suspect.

He died in hospital from his injuries, and police have identified him as Antonio Pinheiro, 47, of Surrey, B.C.

Police say Mr. Pinheiro and the 34-year-old woman knew each other. She was in stable condition in hospital Tuesday after undergoing a second operation for multiple gunshot wounds.