News and Commentary

TRUMP: ‘Fortunately, Somebody Else Had A Gun…’

President Trump, as he often does, bluntly assessed the mass shooting that occurred at a Texas church on Sunday.

“Fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction,” Trump said Monday. “Otherwise it would have been — as bad it was, it would have been much worse.”

Speaking at a joint press conference in Tokyo, Japan, alongside Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said the shooter was “a very deranged individual.” And he said the shooting that left 26 dead and 20 wounded was caused by a “mental health problem,” and not guns.

“Mental health is your problem here,” he said. “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries.”

“But this isn’t a guns situation. I mean, we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it. … This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very, very sad event.”

Authorities have begun to piece together what happened, and from eyewitness reports, say two men were instrumental is stopping the massacre.

When Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, walked out of the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where he had just opened fire on parishioners during mass, Stephen Willeford, 55, a local plumber, spotted him. Willeford lives near the church, and when he heard shooting, he grabbed his rifle and rushed over.

Kelley, a former military member, was armed with a powerful AR-15, and Willeford engaged him, 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.

Another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who works at a nearby auto parts store, had just pulled up to the intersection nearest the church and saw the gunfight. Willeford jumped into the truck and the two sped after Kelley, reaching speeds of nearly 100 mph.

Langendorff told KSAT 12 that at a sharp curve, Kelley appeared to lose control and his car swerved off the road.

A local resident told the Daily Mail that Kelley was already dead when they found him, “having succumbed to blood loss from the gunshot wound he suffered at the church.”

“He was bleeding pretty bad,” the resident said of the shooter while he was driving. “He didn’t live much longer than that.”

But Reuters reports that the gunman died of a self-inflicted gun shot.

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