‘They’re alive because he said something’: Army vet may have saved others during Spokane shooting before he was shot
The Spokesman-Review April 17, 2022
Nathanael Beier yelled for people to get down before a bullet struck him in the head during last weekend’s drive-by shooting outside Lucky’s Irish Pub in downtown Spokane.
His mother, Kym Beier, said that’s the type of person her 31-year-old son is — a “servant” and Army veteran who served in Afghanistan.
“They all said they got down because of Nate, and they feel like, you know, they’re alive because he said something,” she said.
Three people, including Nate Beier, were wounded in the shooting on April 9. Tonya Roberts, 47, was also shot in the head, and Katelyn Corigliano, 29, was shot in the leg and suffered a compound fracture, according to court documents.
Many other bullets fired that early Saturday morning missed.
Kym Beier said Saturday her son was in critical condition. On Friday, Roberts was in serious condition, and Corigliano was not at the hospital, according to Ariana Lake, spokesperson for Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.
Johnathan Love, 29, is charged with three counts of drive-by shooting and three counts of first-degree assault. He is jailed in lieu of $1 million bond as police continue their investigation.
‘We can do something’
A GoFundMe page was created for Nate Beier had raised more than $16,000 of a $100,000 goal as of Sunday morning.
A GoFundMe page was created for Tonya Roberts as well. Over $1,800 has been raised, with a $10,000 goal.
Nearly $15,000 was raised on Katelyn Corigliano’s page, surpassing the $8,000 goal.
Prohibition Gastropub on Monroe Street plans to donate the proceeds of food sales all day Sunday to help with Corigliano’s medical expenses.
Michael Wiley, owner of the restaurant, said they had originally planned to close for Easter brunch because of planned crowds and a lack of staff, but the shooting provided an opportunity to serve the community in another way.
“Maybe there’s another option,” Wiley said. “Maybe we can do something that doesn’t require a tremendous amount of team members.”
So the pub will open at 2 p.m. Sunday with a limited menu that includes only Korean corn dogs made with pancake batter, with poppy seeds and spicy mustard for dipping, and blue cheese fries. Cocktails also will be available, Wiley said.
Though he doesn’t know Corigliano personally, Wiley said bartenders and food service workers are a family in Spokane.
“I think almost everyone that’s in the industry has been a customer of hers over the years,” he said.
Wiley also encouraged residents to contribute to the medical bills for the two other victims of the shooting.
‘A roaring river’ rather than ‘a still pond’
Kym Beier, who lives with her husband on the East Coast, said she received a call at 6:24 a.m. Eastern Time, or about two hours after the April 9 shooting, from a hospital chaplain. She said she figured her son was in an accident, given the early Saturday morning call.
“She just kept saying, ‘This isn’t good, this isn’t good,’ ” Kym Beier said of the chaplain.
The chaplain then told her Nate Beier had been shot, and a doctor said Kym Beier needed to see her son because the prognosis wasn’t good.
Kym Beier said she was shocked. She wished she could teleport to Spokane.
“The day was just kind of surreal,” she said.
She, her husband and their youngest daughter flew west the next day.
She said her son is under general anesthesia, and that brain swelling is his largest obstacle to overcome.
“Even the neurosurgeon said, you know, if he makes it through this swelling, then there’s more they can tell us,” Kym Beier said. “But they’re not optimistic he’s going to make it through.”
“They have wanted us to terminate treatment,” she added. “We have chosen to go on just because if we terminated treatment it’s for sure, and not terminating treatment is a chance.”
Kym Beier said her son, who lives in Spokane, worked at a pizza place and planned to fight fires this summer. Nate Beier, who has an 8-year-old son, attended Spokane Community College with goals of becoming a firefighter.
She said he is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hike and hunt.
She called him a “renaissance guy” who “does everything 2,000 miles per hour.”
“He’s more like a roaring river than he will ever be a still pond,” she said.
The Beier family was stationed at Fairchild Air Force Base when Nate Beier was born. He graduated from White Pass High School in Randle, Wash., 110 miles south of Seattle.
He joined the Army as an infantryman about one year after graduation and returned from Afghanistan because of a knee injury. Besides the physical injury, Kym Beier said her son struggled with post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the military.
“He didn’t come back the same,” she said, adding that his service to his country continued by serving others in the community.
Kym Beier recalled last year when she saw her son come up to her with no shoes on. She said he told her he gave the pair to a homeless person in downtown Spokane.
“There isn’t anything he wouldn’t do,” she said.
Kym Beier said he mowed lawns and shoveled snow without being asked.
“With Nate, all you had to say is, ‘Hey, I need this done,’ and he’d go do it, you know, and sometimes you didn’t even have to ask,” she said.
She said Nate Beier is also the best uncle.
“I have 11 grandkids, and they all loved their Uncle Nate,” she said.
She said he could be a kid with them.
“He just didn’t know how to be a grown-up sometimes,” Kym Beier said.
She thanked the Lucky’s employee, police officers and paramedics who treated her son. She said they performed CPR several times.
“You gave him a chance to fight, and they don’t know how grateful we are,” she said. “That is such a gift to us, you know? If the worst comes, we at least got to say goodbye to him.”
Spokesman-Review reporter Kip Hill contributed to this report.
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