A hero civilian used his gun and skills to stop the madman shooting innocent people at a Texas Church. Stephen Willeford is a former NRA firearms instructor who heard shots fired…
The man who ended the carnage at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX, has been hailed as a hero for his quick and forceful response in the face of the tragedy that was unfolding before his eyes. In addition to being a good guy with a gun, Stephen Willeford had something else on his side, he knew how to use it.
He had the skills to shoot quickly and confidently and to hit what he was aiming at. In addition to being a “good Samaritan” who responded to the emergency situation, Willeford is also a former National Rifle Association instructor.
Willeford insisted in a Monday interview that he’s no hero but there’s little doubt his actions saved lives, both at the Church and when the suspect ended his attempt to escape due to injuries inflicted by Mr. Willeford and a self-inflicted shot to the head.
Willeford said, “I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done, and I just wish I could have gotten there faster.” He said it was his daughter who initially told him that there were gunshots being fired at the Church. He said he grabbed his gun from its safe and ran across the street to the Church, not even taking time to put on his shoes.
He describes what happened next, saying, “He saw me and I saw him,” as he stood behind a pickup truck for protection. Authorities credit Willeford with striking the shooter twice in the exchange. The perpetrator, Devin Kelley, fled the scene after being hit and eventually veered off the road and into a ditch with Willeford and another civilian in pursuit.
The other civilian, Johnnie Langendorf, also a local resident, was stopped at an intersection in front of the Church when he heard gunfire and was approached by Willeford, told what was going on and the two of them gave pursuit. They notified police of his whereabouts both during the chase and after he had come to a stop.
“I know I hit him,” said Willeford, “He got into his vehicle, and he fired another couple rounds through his side window. When the window dropped, I fired another round at him again.”
Willeford, a plumber by trade, said he was “scared to death. I was. I was scared for me and for every one of them. And I was scared for my own family that lived less than a block away.” His family has lived in the community for four generations.
He added, “All I want to stress today is that the people in that church, they’re friends of mine. They’re family. And every time I heard a shot, I knew that that probably represented a life.” What would a gun-grabbing Democrat have done in that situation? Cowered in their home and waited for the police to come. That’s what they’d have all of us and our families forced to do, cower defenseless before a raging, hate-filled madman.
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