A small town in Texas was rocked on Sunday when a gunman walked into the First Baptist Church and opened fire on people as they prayed to God. The gunman, who was dressed in black tactical gear, killed 26 and injured 20.
According to numerous reports, the shooter’s activity was captured on video recordings from inside the church. The video has not been released.
Reportedly, the gunman, who is identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, has a dark past. He was dishonorably discharged from the U.S. military a few years ago and has a history of assaulting his wife and child.
New reports state that Kelley entered the church and shot people execution-style until he exited the church where he was then confronted by a local man who shot at him. Kelley then took off in an SUV.
The local man jumped into a car with another bystander, Johnnie Langendorff, and they chased Kelley on a highway. Kelley ultimately took his own life by shooting himself.
The Daily Mail is reporting that the man hailed as a hero for confronting Kelley is a sharpshooting plumber with no military background. According to the Daily Mail, the plumber hit the gunman through a gap in his body armor. The hero is plumber Stephen Willeford.
An area resident told the Daily Mail that Willeford, an avid biker who attends another church, learned about the shooting when his daughter called to say a man clad in body armor was shooting worshipers.
Eyewitnesses say that Willeford didn’t hesitate when he came face to face with the suspect – and managed to squeeze off a round that struck the gunman, who had dropped his Ruger AR-15 variant.
The man that then drove Willeford as they chased the fleeing suspect, Johnnie Langendorff, told local reporters: “I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire, the other being a citizen of the community.”
“The shooter of the church had taken off, fled in his vehicle, and the other gentleman came and he said, ‘We need to pursue him,’ that he just shot up the church. So, that’s what I did. I just acted.”
He said he didn’t know who the heroic citizen was at the time.
“He was just a member of the community, and whenever he came to my vehicle in distress with his weapon, he explained very quickly what happened and he got in the truck and I knew it was just time [to go],” he said, KSAT reported.
“So, we were doing about 95 mph, going around traffic and everything,” he added.
“Eventually, he came to kind of a slowdown and after that, we got within just a few feet of him and he got off the road… He just lost control and that’s when I put the vehicle in park… The other gentleman jumped out and had his rifle drawn on him and he didn’t move after that,” he said.
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