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City Council Honors Man For Heroism In SMUD Shooting

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) - It’s a memory John Bigwood will never forget.

“I looked at Jim and said, ‘you’re not going to shoot me,” said Bigwood.

In February, Bigwood came face-to-face with an armed gunman after a confrontation between two men led to a shooting at the SMUD building.

The gunman had already shot and killed one person, Jerome Votaw. He was Bigwood’s best friend.

“Could I have done something to prevent it? I don’t think so,” said Bigwood.

Votaw and Bigwood were best friends for more than 20 years. So seeing a man threatening to kill more people was a good enough reason for him to step in and save lives, even if it meant risking his own.

“I grew up respecting life, I couldn’t let someone try to take another life,” said Bigwood.

That’s why the Sacramento City Council is honoring his quick thinking and heroic actions. It was a brave move that saved others in the building from a gunman who wasn’t afraid to open fire.

Bigwood calmed the gunman, who later shot and killed himself when police arrived at the scene.

“You don’t have to be a sports hero or Hollywood star; you just have to do the right thing,” said Sacramento City Council Member Steve Cohn.

“A lot of people would expect that from police cause we signed up for that, so he deserves a huge pat on the back,” said Andrew Pettit of the Sacramento Police Department.

Although Bigwood appreciates the recognition, he says he doesn’t want to be labeled as a hero.

“I don’t think of myself that way. How can I possibly see myself as a hero when two people died?” said Bigwood.

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