This past week has been a dark one for Killeen, Texas after a brazen shooting in the mall Tuesday evening, which was full of people doing their holiday shopping. My heart truly hurts for our entire community when something like this happens, and I can't imagine what I'd have done in that situation, especially if I'd been there with my family.

Thankfully, an employee at the mall went with his first instinct - to protect the people in his store.

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Meet Deleon Collins, a Killeen, Texas Hero

KCEN-TV interviewed Deleon Collins the day after the shooting after hearing about his bravery.

Collins is an employee at the Killeen Mall, and as others were running to the back of Pro Image Sports to escape, Collins was running in the direction of the gunshots.

Why? Because, he says, he has siblings, and his natural instinct to protect them kicked in at that moment and compelled him to protect the customers who were fleeing. If the gunman was going to come after them, he was going to have to come through the store's gate and Deleon.

"Give Me The Stick!"

In the video, below, you can Deleon shout, "Hey, give me the stick!". My first thought was that he talking about a gun, as if he was going to shoot back or at protect customers with a weapon. Then I realized this young man was smarter than the average bear, and he meant to grab the stick that would allow him to close the shop's gate, which could prevent anyone chasing after the people he was trying to protect.

Good Thinking, Deleon

I personally want to say God bless you, young man. Your first instinct was to protect the people around you in a way that was clever, but also could have put you in the line of fire. I'm so grateful you weren't hurt, and that you didn't even hesitate to do what you thought would save lives.

Your bravery and quick thinking should not go unnoticed, so we want to say thank you for being #KilleenStrong!

The Killeen Mall Shooting Suspect Is Still On The Loose

While we commend Deleon's bravery, police are still searching for the coward who fired the shots in the first place.

If you have any information that might help police find the suspect, please contact Bell County Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477),, or via the free P3Tips app. Information leading to an arrest could earn you a $1,000 cash reward.

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