Texas shooting: Hero tackled gunman as he left the church
Two heroic locals have been praised for stopping the worst mass shooting in Texas which left at least 27 dead.
Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was leaving First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs after he opened fire on parishioners during mass when Stephen Willeford, 55, confronted him.
Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said Willeford, a keen biker, had ‘grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect.’
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Stephen Willeford, 55, (left) and Johnnie Langendorff (right) have been praised as heroes after they were able to stop Texas gunman Devin Kelley’s rampage
Kelley lost control of his car during the chase which spun off the road (pictured)
Footage from the scene shows Langendorff’s truck, circled, still on the road. He said after Kelley swerved off the road, he’d put his vehicle in park while the neighbor got his gun ready
A local resident told the DailyMail.com that Willeford, who attends a different church, was first alerted to the shooting when his daughter called him saying there was a man in body armor gunning down church goers.
He grabbed his gun and bravely headed down to confront the gunman.
The local said that while Willeford has no military experience, he is an excellent shot, and when he came face to face with Kelley, he didn’t hesitate; he shot in between Kelley’s body armor, hitting him in his side.
Devin Patrick Kelley (pictured left, and in a mugshot from a previous crime) walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, dressed in full combat gear, and began shooting, according to local law enforcement sources
The shooting happened at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs (pictured), where around 50 people usually attend service, according to local reports
The 26-year-old had dropped his Ruger assault rifle and climbed in an SUV to flee the scene.
He said that Kelley had taken a hostage in the passenger seat as he fled.
But another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who had witnessed the confrontation refused to let the shooter get away. Both he and Willeford, a local plumber, jumped in his truck and gave chase.
In a Facebook post, Langendorff’s girlfriend Summer Caddel described how the pair had ‘jumped in my boyfriend’s truck and they chased that sick b*****d down in pursuit until the cops could catch up. He was able to run the shooter off of the road on 539!’
Langendorff told KSAT 12 that he’d been speeding at 95mph, while on the phone to dispatch, while Willeford kept his rifle trained on the gunman’s car.
Langendorff, who pursued the suspect, kissed his girlfriend as he was picked up from the scene where the suspect died near the intersection of FM 539 and Sandy Elm Road in Guadalupe County
Caddel added that Kelley was gunned down with a few feet from her boyfriend (pictured at the scene) by Willeford who had been in a gun battle with the shooter after he left the church
Kelley had opened fire on parishioners during Mass and was attempting to leave the church when Stephen Willeford, 55, (pictured) confronted him
The local said that while Willeford (right) has no military experience, he is an excellent shot, and when he came face to face with Kelley, he didn’t hesitate; he shot in between Kelley’s body armor, hitting him in his side
As they approached a sharp curve in the road, near the 307 and 539, he said Kelley appeared to lose control and his car swerved off the road.
‘That’s when I put the truck in park,’ he said. ‘The other gentleman jumped out, and had his rifle on him. He didn’t move after that.’
Caddel added that Kelley died with a few feet from her boyfriend.
The local, who is familiar with the heroes, said that Willeford made sure the passenger Kelley had taken hostage was on the ground out of the way when they approached the car.
But he claims that Kelley was already dead when they found him, having succumb to blood loss from the gunshot wound he suffered at the church.
‘He was bleeding pretty bad,’ the resident told us of the shooter while he was driving, ‘he didn’t live much longer than that.’
Martin confirmed that police had found Kelley dead, saying that: ‘We are not sure if it was self inflicted or if he was shot by a local resident.’
Cops also found multiple weapons and possible explosives in the vehicle.
In a Facebook post, Langendorff’s girlfriend Summer Caddel (pictured with him) described how the pair had ‘jumped in my boyfriend’s truck and they chased that sick b*****d down in pursuit until the cops could catch up
Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr said that at least 27 people have been killed in the shooting, but the death toll is expected to climb
Neither Langendorff nor Willeford were injured.
Caddel said she was ‘beyond thankful that my boyfriend chased that sick ass down before he did anymore damage.’
Langendorff, of Seguin, Texas, worked at NAPA Auto Parts, according to his Facebook page which has been swamped with words of praise from people hailing him as a hero for his part in taking down Kelley.
Police confirmed during a press conference that at least 27, including the shooter, were killed during the incident.