TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - "I looked up and I saw his eyes and they were like green. They were staring right at me," says James Gray, Jr.
Gray remembers the night well, when he tried to stop Lee Boyd Malvo after the shooting at the ABC Beverages store on Zelda Road--one of the first shootings leading to the D.C. sniper attacks.
The shooting left Claudine Parker dead. She was an employee there.
"And he stared for about thirty seconds," adds Gray.
Gray says he chased the suspect and then came face to face with the killer.
"I didn't plan to get any closer. I was trying to keep an eye on him so I could tell police what direction he went in."
And even though Malvo got away that night, there's one thing he forgot.
"There was something he threw down..and I really thought it was money--a money bag from a robbery. So after I got up and I saw this lieutenant, female, I told her he threw something down right back there."
That something was what police say broke the case.
Gray says Malvo dropped a magazine.
"I went down and we looked for it and we found it and I said that's it right there...whatever it is. And she picked it up and says it's a magazine."
Police say without Gray's watchful eye, the case may never have been solved.
"Our prints got connected with their prints that they had in Washington D.C. And one of our detectives called me in Atlanta and said 'you're not going to believe this. It looks like our case in Montgomery is connected to one in Washington.' I said, 'you gotta be kidding me,'" says Former Montgomery Police Chief, John Wilson.
Officials called Gray to testify in court. He says it was easy to pinpoint Malvo.
"I identified him. Once I did that, they had a pretty clear cut case."
But Gray says even that wasn't enough for him. He wishes he could have done more.
"I feel like if I could have made better contact with Malvo, could have kept up with him, I could have saved all those lives."