One of the two brave gun-owning Texas men who engaged cowardly church shooter Devin P. Kelley on Sunday night spoke to the Associated Press to recount the incident, which included a high-speed chase and a shootout with the now-deceased gunman.
Kelley, dressing in black tactical gear, walked into a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, around 11:30 a.m. local time and indiscriminately murdered at least 26 innocents, including children as young as 18 months and a pregnant mother.
When gunshots were heard, armed men in the Texas area reacted. Stephen Willeford, a 55-year-old local plumber, grabbed his rifle and rushed toward the sounds of gunfire. Soon, a stranger to Willeford named Johnnie Langendorff courageously joined in the pursuit of the suspect.
The Daily Wire reports on what happened next:
While Kelley was armed with a powerful AR-15 and was formerly a military member, Willeford engaged Kelley, getting into a shootout. One witness said that when he came face to face with Kelley, Willeford "didn't hesitate; he shot in between Kelley's body armor, hitting him in his side," the Daily Mail reported.
Wounded, Kelley dropped his Ruger assault rifle and jumped into an SUV to flee.
But another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who works at a nearby auto parts store, had just pulled up the intersection nearest the church and saw the gunfight. After Kelley sped away, "The other gentleman [Willeford] said we needed to pursue [the shooter] because he shot up the church," Langendorff told the San Antonio Express. "So that's what I did. I just acted."
Langendorff, a quick-thinking hero, recalled the incident to the press.
“The gentleman with the rifle came to my truck as the shooter took off and he briefed me quickly on what had just happened and said we had to get him, so that’s what I did,” he said.
“We just take pursuit. We speed over [Highway] 87 through traffic. We hit about 95 [mph] down [Farm Road] 539 trying to catch this guy until he eventually lost control on his own and went off in the ditch,” Langendorff continued.
Then Kelley "just gave up," added the good Samaritan, “He went off in the ditch, hit a hay bale from what I could see, and then he just never moved after that. He didn’t get out. Didn’t try anything.”
Langendorff unsuccessfully tried to lure the gunman out of his car, he explained.
When police officials finally arrived on the scene, Kelly was engaged, but there was no sound of gunfire, per Langendorff.
The good guy with a gun who helped to end the evil and senseless carnage said he reacted without even thinking. “He just hurt so many people and he just affected so many people’s lives. Why wouldn’t you want to take him down?”