VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Tony Acevedo uses his wheelchair for the three-mile journey to work at the Naval Air Station Oceana commissary multiple times a week.
The U.S. Army veteran was injured in a motorcycle crash back in 2004 and is paralyzed from the knee down. He says he makes the most of every day — most days at work are calm — but he says Saturday was scary.
“I work at the self checkout at the commissary. I didn’t hear anything but people screaming and my supervisor was trying to tell everybody to get to the back,” said Acevedo.
However, Acevedo says he doesn’t run from anything — instead he began helping dozens of others get to safety in the back of the store.
“We’re pushing everyone back to the freezer where the meats are stored. It’s kind of cold, actually very cold, or back to the warehouse storage area,” he said.
As WAVY News has reported, Naval Security Forces say around 3:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon they responded to a call for a suspected domestic violence incident at NAS Oceana.
Authorities encountered the person suspected in the incident in the parking lot of the Oceana commissary,
During that encounter, they shot at the person who was wounded. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening.
Acevedo says the parking lot was full at the time it happened — he even had to help children find safety.
“In front of the store, there was a table with some Girl Scouts, maybe three or four, with their parents selling Girl Scout cookies and the incident happened maybe 50, 70 yards away in the main strip — the main road — so I was concerned about them,” he recalled.
Acevedo says he eventually hid in the freezer with everyone else.
He says they stayed in there for over an hour, and while they were cold, he’s glad no one was injured.
“It was emotional. It was scary because it’s like so close to work. So many people, even myself, could get injured or die because of someone domestic issues and they let it get to them to that level,” he said.
He says he didn’t think twice about helping others. When he woke up Sunday morning to multiple messages thanking him he was surprised.
“Made me appreciate waking up today,” he said with a smile.
NCIS says they will not be releasing any more information and the investigation is ongoing.
Virginia Beach Police are assisting Naval Security Forces with the investigation.
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