Hero bartender fights off shooter, honored with Lifesaving Award by Flagler sheriff

David Ghiloni helped subdue accused Palm Coast shooter in November

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Flagler County Sheriff Rick Staly awarded 23-year-old David Ghiloni with a Lifesaving Award after Ghiloni fought off a shooter last month at Smiles Nite Club.

Ghiloni told News 6 that his uncle owns the bar. He stepped in as a bartender for the past year to help.

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He made it clear he does not care for the praise. The bartender said he did what was necessary.

30-year-old Connor Anderson is the accused shooter in the case.

Connor Anderson (Flagler County Sheriff's Office)

Ghiloni said Anderson was a regular customer.

“He seemed like a nice guy, and he always was until that one night,” Ghiloni said.

Flagler County deputies said that on a Sunday night at the bar, Anderson became angry when he couldn’t find his keys.

“He was just so hot headed, he was just looking for trouble,” Ghiloni said.

According to deputies, Anderson left the bar and came back with a gun.

When Anderson walked back in, he put a woman in a headlock.

Bravely, Ghiloni hopped over the bar and lunged toward suspect to protect the woman along with a group of patrons.

“I wasn’t afraid because I didn’t know he had the gun,” Ghiloni said. “I found out he had the gun, and that’s when it became a serious situation.”

Deputies said Anderson fired at least six times, but no one was hurt.

“My thoughts were just: ‘Secure the gun,’” Ghiloni said.

The bartender said he pushed Anderson up against the window so that he couldn’t fire at anyone.

Then the group was able to tackle the shooter before he ran outside and into the woods.

Anderson was later cornered by deputies and arrested.

“It could’ve went way south,” Ghiloni said.

As Ghiloni is set to move to New York, Staly presented him with the FCSO LIfe Saving Award before he left the area, FCSO said in a release.

According to the sheriff’s office, further Lifesaving Awards will be presented at another awards ceremony scheduled for Jan. 26.

The accused shooter is still in the Flagler County Jail being held on a $542,000 bond. Anderson faces charges of shooting in a building, aggravated assault, improper exhibition of a firearm, using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and battery.

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Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.