Peter Gold, a fourth-year medical student at Tulane, was driving down a New Orleans street that morning when he spotted a woman in distress.
It was 4 a.m. and the woman was being dragged into a car against her will by a man in a hooded sweatshirt, according to police.
Gold, 25, slammed on his brakes, hopped out of the car and rushed toward the woman. But by the time he reached her, she was lying on the sidewalk, according to the Advocate. Before he had a chance to call police, the man who had been dragging the woman stepped out of a light-colored sports utility vehicle and pointed a semi-automatic pistol at Gold, police said.
As Gold raised his arms in surrender, his back facing a brick wall, the man pointed the gun at Gold’s head and demanded money, according to the Times-Picayune.
“The victim explained to the suspect, repeatedly, that he did not have any cash,” New Orleans police said in a news release. “The suspect became enraged and shot the victim once in the stomach and attempted to shoot him a second time, but the gun jammed.”
On Sunday, police identified the suspect as Cain.
“We’re going to find you, we’re going to prosecute you, and you’re going to spend the rest of your life behind bars,” New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a news conference Sunday, according to CBS affiliate WWL.
The mayor added: “We know who you are and you need to know that we are going to find you.”
Police said Sunday that anybody harboring Cain will also be arrested and prosecuted.
ABC News reported that Cain “was arrested earlier this month for possession of a stolen cellphone during a carjacking.”
As Gold writhed in pain, police said, Cain attempted to shoot Gold in the head, glancing “furtively over his shoulder, shaking the malfunctioning weapon,” according to the Advocate.
Eventually, the gunman gave up, went back to his car and drove away, leaving his victim bleeding on the sidewalk. The entire heart-pounding incident was captured from above by a private security camera, according to police.
Gold survived the shooting and remains in critical condition, police said Sunday.
The female victim, who was not identified, was treated for minor injuries and released.
Following the release of the chilling surveillance video, police released a second video showing the suspect’s vehicle.
The SUV was recovered early Sunday morning, police said.
Michele Adams, who taught Gold while he was an undergraduate sociology student, told the Advocate that she was shocked by news of the shooting but not surprised to learn that her former student had placed himself in harm’s way to help someone else.
“That is so Peter,” she said, noting that he was the recipient of his department’s “Outstanding Student” award the year he graduated. “He was always engaged, involved with his peers and just an amazing person, so it doesn’t surprise me to hear he was trying to help someone. ‘Selfless’ is what comes to mind.”
She added: “Peter is really one of the nicest people you would ever meet, and he is an amazing student, I’m sure, even in med school.”
Tulane University’s president, Mike Fitts, issued a statement identifying Gold as a fourth-year medical student, according to the Times-Picayune.
“He is an outstanding student who represents the best of Tulane in every possible way,” the statement said.
Lt. Nick Gernon said that if it weren’t for the jammed gun, Gold may have been killed.
“Obviously, the level of violence we saw … is disturbing, and we would hope that will compel someone to come forward and give us the information we need,” he said, according to the Advocate. “We don’t solve these cases without the community’s help, and that’s what we’re asking for here.”
This post, originally published on Nov. 22, has been updated.