A woman has hailed her boyfriend as a “real-life hero” after he was shot at from point-blank range when using his body as a human shield to protect her and her young son.
Gareth Lane, 35, narrowly avoided being hit by a crazed gunman moments after getting off a bus with Jen, 35, and her four-year-old son Rio.
Jen, of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, said: “I have been asking him about commitment but then he stands in front of a bullet for me!
“I just want to shout it out from the rooftops – who needs Spider-Man when I’ve got my own real-life hero.”
The gunman began to behave aggressively towards Jen during a bus journey from Sheffield into the countryside, where the family were planning on having a picnic.
But when Gareth, Jen and Rio got off the bus, the man shot at Gareth – who bravely leapt in front of his family in a bid to protect them.
The gunman fled and then hijacked a car at gunpoint and forced the driver to take him to Sheffield city centre.
Speaking about the horrific ordeal, Gareth said: “I don’t think I’m going to have to marry Jen to prove my loyalty any more. My only concern was the safety of Jen and Rio.
“The man was being quite aggressive towards Jen during the journey – and I told him he should stop.
Gareth, Jen and Rio (SWNS)
“When we got off the bus, he got off behind me and when I turned round he had pulled a gun out.
“I must have been four feet away from him when he fired. I don’t know how but he must have missed.
“I think it was a real gun because the cartridge was still smoking for a while on the ground afterwards. “Then he pulled a knife out. I went to grab a dry stone from the wall and my plan was to hit him with it, but then he just legged it. “The police later told me that he then went and hijacked a car at gunpoint.” Gareth added: “I’m still a little bit shaken up. Rio seems OK; he said he enjoyed his ride in the police car. “We will have to keep an eye on him.” Gareth, who wants the gunman to get help, said: “I’m quite pleased to still be alive and kicking – but this man obviously needs some help. “I think he must have some sort of mental health issues and it goes to show the effect of the cuts to mental health services. “I’m positive that if there had been mental health provisions in place that these sort of things might not happen.” Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call police on 101.