TODAY   |  December 20, 2013

Man who took down bus gunman: ‘It was pure instinct’

Casey Borgen talks to TODAY about his brave actions after a man boarded a city bus in Seattle and pointed a gun at him, spurring him to grab the gun and pin the man down with the help of other passengers until authorities arrived.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> happy friday. we're back at 7:42 with a man involved in a dramatic scene we first showed you on thursday.

>> you probably remember this video. he was minding his own business on a seattle bus when a man walked up and pointed a gun in his face. he jumped up and grabbed the weapon and soon other riders helped subdue the suspect. well, casey morgan is with us exclusively. good to have you.

>> good to have you here.

>> a lot of people can relate to someone sitting on the bus zoning out on their phone buchlt when a guy comes up to you and point ace gun in your face, you leapt into action without even thinking about it. it seemed like all instinct.

>> you can say that. i had my head phones on and my phone on and i just looked up and saw the gun and a lot of people thought it was a conscious action to try and take him down but it was something just pure instinct and i recall thinking as it was happening that this is a bad idea.

>> but your body was still just going through the motions and once that happened it was one of those things where it had to be carried to the logical conclusion.

>> what were you listening to? was anything motivating this?

>> i don't think so.

>> we think about being heroic like this. looking back again would you have done the same thing again?

>> no. i have thought about the idea of being mugged for a phone. it's like you can take my phone. but in the moment with no real understanding of why a gun was being pointed at me, something came over me and i didn't have any sort of thoughts about doing a good deed or anything. but the people that did that jumped in, those are the people that really -- they had the choice and they chose to help.

>> it might have been a different outcome if you had been left there by yourself.

>> did you surprise yourself kind of?

>> yes. i mean, i don't think i would have imagined myself doing this. i'm fairly mild mannered. no training or anything like that. when i think about rationally i wouldn't have taken the actions. one thing lead to another.

>> what was the reaction from your friends and family?

>> disbelief. i don't think anyone thinks of me that way. i surprised my wife. she looked at me --

>> my hero.

>> i bet she thought it was kind of cool.

>> i'm not sure what's going to come out.

>> now that she sees your cat-like reflexes.

>> i suppose so.

>> what about you? just back on the bus?

>> yeah, next day. i don't think it's anything that changes my daily routine and it's something that doesn't happen very often. i don't think not riding the bus is the answer.

>> yeah, but now would be perps watching this, looking at you, you're good to go. they're not messing with you.

>> would you do the same thing if you could do it over?

>> probably not. it's easier to think that things turned out