Some people call him a hero. But Spend some time with musician Max Brabner and you’ll probably notice his easy-going, amiable qualities first.
Easy going, that is, until he’s pushed too far.
Last weekend, Brabner was walking in the 2000 block of Burgundy while sending a text message to a friend.
“Usually, I try to be a little more self-aware. In this circumstance, I was not paying attention to anybody,” Brabner said in an exclusive interview with WGNO News.
Brabner began paying very close attention when a robber with a shotgun ran up behind him, pumped the gun’s magazine, and stuck the muzzle in the musician’s face. What happened next sparked cheers from people around the city — and beyond — as video of the attack made the rounds on tv and reached viral status online.
“I didn’t get excited for whatever reason,” he says. “The anger kicked in, and I just wanted to beat the tar out of him.”
In an instant, the tables were turned. Brabner grabbed the rifle’s barrel and gained control of the gun. The would-be robber turned and ran.
“He took off. He was so fast. The kid should have a track scholarship somewhere.”
Moments later, the robber returned — with other people — inside of a car and offered to trade the cell phone that Brabner dropped for the rifle he grabbed. Brabner used the gun to smash the back windshield of the car.
Where did he find the courage? The musician gets a little philosophical.
“Life is scary. Death is easy. Sounds kinda out there or whatever, but it’s true,” he told WGNO News while revisiting the scene of the crime.
During the interview, a passer-by called Brabner a hero. Moments later, a group of his friends happened upon the interview scene and used similar words of praise.
But Brabner says he doesn’t feel like a hero.
“I think real heroes are the people that throw themselves in front of moving cars to save little kids and really to do things that are selfless in nature,” he said. “ I was just trying to save my behind.”