BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Less than 48 hours after a violent shootout inside the Stadium Ultralounge nightclub on Florida Boulevard, a Baton Rouge serviceman is being called a hero for stepping up to save his friend's life.
In a Facebook post, family and friends are praising Tauris Moton’s brave actions after he escaped the gunfire overnight Friday but went back inside the club to help his friend, Sage, who had been shot.
In an exclusive interview with WAFB's Scottie Hunter, Moton said he does not remember much when the gunfire started but after he ran out of the club. and noticed his friend was not with him, he raced back inside to help. Once inside, he found his friend on the ground, shot in the side and losing a lot of blood.
“I just blanked out and once I came back in focus, I just jumped up and ran out,” he said. “I knew I had to do something to help and I just didn’t want my friend to die.”
Moton has served in the United States Army for about eight years but never thought he would be forced to put his training into action quite like this.
“I ran back in to make sure he was okay and that’s when I saw him on the ground,” he added. While he kept pressure on the gunshot, Moton says in that moment, he was scared for his life. As the shooting spilled into the parking lot and bullets flew everywhere, he just remembers praying. “I was just praying that he was alright and I was praying that as they were shooting outside no more bullets came inside and hit me or him,” he said.
What he remembers most about the terrifying ordeal are the unmistakable screams and panic that broke out. The videos from that night, he says are nothing compared to being there.
"It was crazy and unexpected," he added. "It all happened so fast. I just heard the gunshots and I heard people screaming."
He says he tried to remain calm by talking his friend through the pain while they waited for emergency crews.
"He was saying it hurts but I was saying it's got to hurt. I've got to keep pressure on it to stop you from bleeding because I don't want you to bleed out," he recalled. "He was saying he just didn't want his mom to see him like that so I had to just make sure that he went back to his mom."
It was a promise he was determined to keep to his friend, even if it meant putting his safety above his own.
"I was the most help he had at the moment so I felt like I had to do it," he added.
His bravery is now being praised online and many in the Baton Rouge community and beyond are calling him a hero. In true heroic fashion though, he says he does not deserve the recognition.
"I guess if that's what you want to call it, yeah. I mean I don't feel like a hero, I just feel like I was doing what I had to do," he said. "I feel like any decent human being should have at least did the same thing or tried to help him."
He says he and his friend are both lucky to be alive and he is just thankful that he was in the right place at the right time to help.
Moton's mother, Patrice Jackson, tells WAFB that she is extremely grateful that her son was able to help out but also remain safe.
"I'm just so proud of my son and I'm thankful for the courage that he had to go back and help someone else," Jackson said. "I just pray for our community because we need it. Life is too short and we are losing too many of our kids to senseless violence."
Moton says his friend was listed in critical condition early Saturday morning but that he is now expected to survive.