Man Who Shot Texas Church Shooter Says Who Really Protected Him
55-year-old Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff are being hailed as heroes for stopping the Texas church shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley. It turns out that Willeword is a former NRA instructor who ran across the street barefoot to grab his gun as soon as he heard the shots ring out. He recalled thinking that with every shot he heard, that those shots represented a single person each that could be killed.
After grabbing his rifle from his safe, he came face to face with Kelley where he says they made eye contact. Willeford took cover and pumped bullets at Kelley, striking him in the leg and torso. Kelley then got into his SUV and tried to flee the scene, but not without chase from good Samaritans who fight back against evil.
Willeford approached a passerby in a pickup truck, Johnnie Langendorff, told him that the SUV was being driven by a guy who just shot up the nearby church and they had to pursue him until he was neutralized. Langendorff immediately agreed, and the two heroes pursued the SUV down the road until it crashed into a pole. Willeford kept his rifle trained on the SUV and the pair commanded Kelley to get out of the car, which he did not.
It turns out that Kelley had turned his fun on himself shortly after calling his father.
Langendorff was on the phone with 911 during the short pursuit keeping them apprised of the situation and police arrived on the scene in about 5 minutes.
Willeford and Langendorff are adamant that they are not heroes, that they were just doing what anyone else would do in that situation - but most others would disagree. They are, indeed, being hailed as heroes.
The Texas department of public safety director, Freeman Martin, praised Willeford and Langendorff as good samaritans that acted in the spirit of law enforcement whose primary goal in a situatoon like this is to neutralize the shooter.
Senator Ted Cruz praised the duo's actions after speaking with local law enforcement. He lauded the ordinary citizens that confronted Kelley.
Neighbors in the small community where the church was located said that Willeford is a known gun enthusiast who would engage in target practice often, was an avid motorcyclist and owned no less than 5 Harley Davidsons. They said that it is no shock that Willeford was up for the task of engaging an active shooter and that their community as a whole is filled with likeminded residents who would have engaged the shooter had they been in the right place at that time.
Willeford has played down his role saying he did not want to be a hero and that he wanted the focus to be on his friends that were in the church, not him. He credits God with protecting him so that he could complete the important task that arose.
Reporters went to Willeford's home for further comment on Monday but nobody answered the door. His door was stacked with food offerings on his porch, which is a southern tradition of thanks and welcome.
Remember folks, a good guy with a gun helped stop a bad guy with a gun.
Here's an interview with Willeford, the NRA hero.