Tampa strip club security guard Manuel Anthony “Manny” Resto, 54, was working business-as-usual on early Sunday morning. However, by around 1:15 A.M., everything changed: a potential shooter armed with a fully loaded 9 mm handgun attempted to enter the club. Resto, a former wrestler known as the “Puerto Rican Punisher,” sprung to action — saving the club’s attendees from a potential mass shooting.

The video shows the Puerto Rican security guard’s heroic act

As you can see in the surveillance video posted by Tampa’s Police Department, Resto and several others were outside the Mons Venus entrance when Michael Rudman, 44, attempted to enter the strip club. Rudman was armed with a handgun, held a flashlight in his other hand, and was wearing a devil mask. He also had the words ““kill” and “darkk one” written on his arms.

Still, before seeing the gun, the security guard first thought it could be a “trick or gag” by a friend. He explained, “I’ve worked security for 30 years. I know a lot of bouncers. I thought it was one of my friends playing a trick on me.” However, once Resto saw the gun, he prepared to “fight for [his] life.”

Resto now recalls, “I decided that he was not going to enter the club and hurt anybody… I wasn’t going to let this happen. I was not going to let him win.” And that’s exactly what happened: the former wrestler fought off Rudman and got a hold of the gun after it fell on the floor. The security guard pointed the gun at the potential shooter, but later explained he had “no intention” of shooting. “I just wanted to scare him and get him on the ground.”

At that point, Rudman fights back again, but you can see how Resto finally has some backup from other guards. The security guard said he had been hit on the head several times at that point, and was losing consciousness.

Police later found two loaded magazines in the potential shooter’s pocket

Fellow security guard Danny Baham was inside the strip when he heard a loudspeaker announcement calling him outside. As Resto now puts it, he needed the help, as the gunman “kept coming back up like he was the Undertaker or Michael Myers… it was all quiet, silent, deadly.”

Baham and one more guard helped Resto finally pin down the gunman for good. At one point, the gun fired a shot towards the club’s entrance, but no one was hurt. The craziest part of all? The altercation only lasted around one minute, but for the guards, it felt like hours. Resto later explained, “I couldn’t believe that was that fast.”

Once Rudman was detained, Tampa Police Chief Lee Bercaw explains they found two loaded magazines in his pocket. Police also found nine knives, two holsters, and loose ammunition is his truck.

Even more, the potential shooter had a criminal past. He had previously been charged with domestic violence, battery, reckless driving and a DUI. Rudman also had a risk protection order against him from Pinellas County. According to Tampa Bay Times, his track record also includes “multiple cases of stalking.”

The Police Chief explained the guards “saved dozens of lives” that day

At this point, the 44-year-old gunman is jailed in Hillsborough County with no bond. Rudman faces charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, battery and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He also faces charges in connection to “purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm” while under a risk protection order.

Resto and the other guards acted as heroes that night, saving the 200 people that were inside the strip club at the time. Police are immensely grateful to them, with Police Chief Bercaw describing: “There is no question that the security guards who disarmed this suspect saved dozens of lives through their heroic acts, and I am thankful that our officers were able to take this individual into custody before he had the chance to carry out whatever he had planned.”

Talking about Resto and Baham, the Police Chief asserted: “We’re all thankful for their heroism… I have no doubt that had they not stepped in, many lives would have been lost.”

He even pointed to the tragic 2016 mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, which killed 49 people. Bercaw asked, “Could they have prevented something like that? I definitely think so… And we’re grateful that they stood up. These are two great heroes who need to be recognized.”

While the Tampa police department does not know Rudman’s motive, they are investigating the case to “get a better understanding of what led up to this thwarted incident.”