A man who came face-to-face with a gunman at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic Friday said he felt "helpless" as he watched the shooter, who killed three people and injured nine others.
"There were a lot of women in there — very innocent people in there," Ozy Licano, 61, of Manzanola, Colorado, told NBC affiliate KOAA.
Licano had driven some friends to the Colorado Springs clinic and was at a nearby Costco while they waited for their appointment. After about an hour, he drove back to the Planned Parenthood and was waiting in the parking lot, right by the front door, when a shocking sight caught his eye: bullets flying in the clinic's entryway.
A gunman was shooting "down and up," Licano said, shattering the glass door. He panicked.
"I just kind of lost it there. I tried to get out of my car and run. I thought about that, and I said no. I got back in the car, started it, put it in reverse," he said.
The shooter — who police took into custody after a five-hour standoff and was identified as 57-year-old Robert Dear — turned his focus away from the clinic and took aim at Licano as he frantically tried to back up.
"He was looking directly at my face, and he was aiming for my head. I could see it in his eyes," Licano said.
The two stared at each other for about 10 seconds, he said, "and then the shots came through the [car] glass and I started bleeding."
"He could have finished me off there. It was like two seconds between each shot," he said.
Licano didn't know where he was bleeding from. He managed to drive to the neighboring supermarket parking lot, and yelled for help. As bystanders called 911, an off-duty nurse named Jeannine rushed over to Licano and calmed him down.
"She said everything was good, that I just needed to put something on my lip to stop the bleeding, and it did," he said. Licano had suffered cuts from the broken car window shield.
"He was looking directly at my face, and he was aiming for my head. I could see it in his eyes."
Jeannine sat with Licano, encouraging him to take deep breaths and checking his vital signs before he was sent to Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, where he was treated and released.
Afterwards, Licano couldn't stop thinking about the people inside the clinic.
"That's what's bothering me the most. What the other people went through. I can't imagine," he said. " I just felt helpless, that's all. I don't want to feel helpless.*
Authorities have not said what the motive for the shooting was. Among those killed was a police officer, Garrett Swasey, 44.
Another survivor, Kentanya Craion, told TODAY that she and other patients barricaded themselves inside a room in the clinic.
"We grabbed the table, we placed it against the door. We sat there for up to five hours," she said.
In a statement Saturday, President Obama said the shooting was more proof that tighter gun laws are needed.
"This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal," he said. "We have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough."