Yet another tragedy has struck the USA recently. It was this weekend, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A gunman in tactical gear shot down dozens of people in the First Baptist Church in the town. The man killed 26 people, and injured 20 others. He was later identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, a 26-year-old former airman who had assaulted his own wife and child and was thus discharged from the Air Force. Before supposedly shooting himself, the ex-military man traded gunshots with a civilian man trying to stop him. The shooter was also chased in his car by the good samaritan down the streets of the town.
This hero has finally shared his story with the world.
He is Stephen Willeford, a former instructor for the NRA (National Rifle Association) and he told everything to KHBS/KHOG television in Arkansas. He explained how his daughter had heard the gunshots and rushed to him. In response, he took his rifle and quickly made his way to the source of the rapid gunfire. He didn’t hesitate for a moment, thinking about how many people at the church were his friends and the terrible danger they were all in.
“It was surreal to me”: Stephen Willeford, the man who shot the Texas church gunman, describes his experience https://t.co/DYea03zUpz
— CNN (@CNN) November 7, 2017
He told the interviewer about how Sutherland Springs was one of those small, tight-knit communities where practically everyone knew everyone else and that every shot he heard, had been a shot meant for someone he knew.
Willeford said that he was terrified about his own safety, that of his friends and especially his family which lived less than a block away. The two had the fateful encounter as Kelley was walikng out of the church and their paths finally crossed.
🎅 #StephenWilleford, the man who shot and hunted down the killer in the #TexasChurchMassacre pic.twitter.com/hZGS1OoedE
— Fred (@FredForTrump) November 7, 2017
While he was using a pickup truck as his cover, the Texas hero was able to hit the shooter twice-once in the leg and once in the torso, according to police reports. Willeford himself also knew he had snuck in a shot.
After the criminal entered his vehicle in a desperate attempt to escape, Stephen flagged a passing car and quickly briefed the driver, named Johnnie Langendorff. The man had been on his way to meet his girlfriend but he noticed the gunfight and together with Willeford, they chased the shooter down the streets until the mass murderer shot himself and ended his own life.
These two showed great courage and an incredible sense of justice and action. We’re all in pain over this great tragedy. It has left yet another painful mark in recent history.