A retired doctor received a prestigious award Thursday for helping to save a stranger's life after a shooting in downtown Vancouver.

Cliff Chase, a former emergency room doctor, was shopping in Yaletown on June 10, 2014, when Gerald Battersby opened fire.

Battersby shot his former landlord and employer in broad daylight, hitting his target in the chest at point-blank range.

Chase saw the victim, Paul Dragan, lying on the pavement and quickly sprung to action.

"You work almost from reflex. It becomes just part of what you do," Chase told CTV News Thursday, recalling the incident.

"I did what I could do, and I don't take a lot of credit for it. Anybody could have done what I did."

He stopped bystanders from performing CPR, saying that pumping Dragan’s heart would only make things worse. Instead, Chase helped him breathe, and used a towel from a nearby coffee shop to stop the flow of blood.

When paramedics arrived, he briefed them on Dragan's condition so they could continue the life-saving efforts he'd started.

"I didn't think he would survive because he was bleeding out, he was pale," Chase said.

But Dragan did survive, largely due to the efforts of the doctor who happened to be in the right place at the right time.

More than two years after the incident, Chase received the Vancouver Police Department's highest award for civilian bravery, the Award of Merit.

"Much like police officers, doctors are never really off duty," the police board said in a statement announcing this year's award winners.

"At any point, in any place, they can be called upon to save a life."

After shooting Dragan, Battersby headed along the seawall to Science World, where there was a gun battle with police that ended with him being shot multiple times by responding officers.

The gunman pleaded guilty in the fall of 2016, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison in October.

With a report from CTV Vancouver's St. John Alexander