KALISPELL, Mont. — William Keck is being called a hero, but if you ask him, he says he doesn't feel like a hero.
Matthew David Hurley was killed during a shootout at Fuel Fitness in Kalispell last Thursday. After Hurley was shot, Keck, a member at Fuel Fitness, jumped into action.
"Growing up, I always wondered what type of man I'd be. Fight or flight," Keck said.
He chose to fight. Keck said he was originally going to his car to get his wallet. As he stepped outside, he heard gunshots. A manager at the gym told him Hurley had been shot. Keck said he ran to his truck and grabbed his firearm. He told the man to stop shooting, but the man fired the gun at Keck. He said he returned fire and struck the suspect.
Once the suspect was on the ground, Keck said he told the man to stay on the ground. The suspect shot two more rounds, one of which hit Keck's thigh. Keck said he grabbed his dog from his truck and went inside the building for medical care.
"The only thing that bothers me traumatically from this event was seeing Matt Hurley on the ground," said Keck. "In the exchange with him [the suspect], I knew he had just killed someone. Who else is he gonna kill?"
Keck said if he had to, he'd do it again. He said preparedness saved his life. "My motto in life is to have it and not need it rather than need it and not have it. I firmly believe in the right to bear arms, and this is an example why," he stated.
Keck emphasized the importance of responsibly using a firearm. He recommended taking courses and being familiar with your weapon.
Finally, Keck wants to say thank you to the Kalispell community. He said the outpouring of appreciation and gratitude is overwhelming.
In a Facebook post, Keck wrote, "I am not a vet [veteran]. I'm just an American Montana man who loves his country and community and was put in a spot where God used me to do what I could. I'm not a hero. I just did what I thought was right."