Family: Bouncer risked life to save others during shooting that killed local police officer

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AKRON, Ohio - The parents of David Wokaty, 34, say they are not surprised that he would have risked his own life to help save others.

Wokaty was the bouncer at Papa Don's Pub in Akron on Sunday when police say Kenan Ivery, 35, was asked to leave, but returned with a gun.

"He probably never even gave his own safety a thought. He was there to stop a problem in whatever manner it took to stop a problem," said his mother Chris Wokaty.

"He knew that they had to get that individual out of there and he did what he knew he had to do. Nobody expected the final outcome," said his father, David Wokaty.

Also in the pub was Justin Winebrenner, 32, an off-duty police officer.

In attempting to remove the threat, Winebrenner was fatally shot.

Wokaty and four others were also shot and wounded.

Akron Police Chief James Nice has described the actions of Wokaty and others at the bar who reacted to the threat as heroic.

"What he did along with the police officer and whoever else was in there at the time does not surprise me at all," said his father.

"There was a guy with a gun and they didn't even think. I know they didn't even think. They just reacted," he added.

Wokaty suffered serious injuries for which he remains hospitalized making what his parents describe as a slow recovery.

In spite of his own serious injuries, the Wokatys say their son's thoughts are with the officer and friend he lost.

"We had to tell him twice about officer Winebrenner because he knew him and they were friends," said his father explaining that because of the medication their son is on he may not have understood what they were telling him.

"We had told him the first day and we had to tell him again yesterday and he was beside himself I mean that is where his thoughts are right now," he added.

The Wokatys say Officer Winebrenner's fiance has spent time with them at the hospital, checking on David's recovery.

"She stayed (with us) and waited for David to be released from surgery and made sure he was still with us and she actually came back later that same day through all her grief to check on him again and to praise him," said his father, adding "our heart goes out to her. A little girl is not going to have a father."

The Wokatys say their son did what he had to do and is not looking for credit.

They believe if he had to do it all over again he would not hesitate to do the same thing and they feel he absolutely can be called a hero.

"You know he's my son, so I might be a little bit biased but anyone who stood up to a person holding a gun to me is a hero, if it helps protect and save other people so yeah, I would say he was a hero," said his mother.‚Äč

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