Man injured by active shooter in Leavenworth says he ‘got very lucky’

On May 27, Staff Sergeant Ehran Schooler ducked for cover when the shooting began and then...
On May 27, Staff Sergeant Ehran Schooler ducked for cover when the shooting began and then realized he’d been shot a half an inch away from his spine.(KCTV5 News)
Updated: Jun. 25, 2020 at 9:44 PM CDT
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LEAVENWORTH, KS (KCTV) -- Search warrants reveal what investigators were looking for and what they found while searching the home of a suspected shooter who took aim at drivers on the Centennial Bridge in Leavenworth.

You may remember that a soldier who was driving behind the active shooter stopped him before he could hurt anyone else back on May 27.

On Thursday, KCTV5′s Emily Rittman reviewed court records and spoke to a man who was shot while driving on the bridge about his recovery.

Court records show that investigators seized 29 items while searching Jason Westrem’s property.

They were looking for electronics including computers, journals, possible manifestos, weapons, and receipts for weapons he owned.

While trying to drive through construction traffic, drivers came under attack. Bullets flew and they couldn’t go anywhere fast.

Local army recruiter Staff Sergeant Ehran Schooler ducked for cover inside the vehicle he drove that day.

“Went through my windshield and busted it,” he said. “I told the construction worker to get down and called 911. Next thing I know, there was pressure in my back. Then I started feeling the blood run down.”

He was shot in his back about a half inch from his spine.

Staff Sergeant Schooler is still in disbelief that the bullet somehow curved almost completely around his spine. He is already walking on his own, dealing with nerve damage just four weeks after being shot.

“I would have been paralyzed,” he said.

According to court records, Jason Westrem fired a 9mm handgun from the front seat of his vehicle through his windshield at an unknown target. When he ran out of bullets, he got out of his vehicle went to his trunk and removed an AR-style rifle. He then began firing that AR-style rifle. He hit another car, narrowly missing a child who was inside.

Staff Sergeant Schooler credits Master Sergeant David Royer with saving lives.

KCTV5 News spoke with Master Sergeant Royer of the 705th Military Police Battalion after the attack.

“I just took the only action possible that I thought I could take, and I accelerated my truck, quickly as possible, struck the active shooter, and pinned him underneath my truck,” he said.

Westrem is charged with attempted first-degree murder and eight other counts.

When investigators searched his home, truck, and barn-shaped shed off Venetian Drive in Houston Lake, they found several small white envelopes with spent rounds inside each envelope, a notebook, eight guns, multiple loaded magazines, and various rounds of ammunition. They also found glass pipes, and empty pill bottles with a green leafy substance or suspected marijuana residue inside.

They are examining an iPad for more possible evidence.

While the investigation continues, Staff Sergeant Schooler is thankful for Master Sergeant Royer and the outpouring of support he has received from military and community members.

“Healing really well right now,” he said. “I got very lucky. I’m very blessed.”

“There is a purpose for everybody,” he added. “I’ve got to find mine. I’m just thankful.”