As yet another community is still in shock and reeling from the senseless shooting that took place at a house of worship, two men are being hailed as heroes for their brave actions that stopped the lone gunman from killing any more innocent people.
26-year-old Devin Kelley arrived at the First Baptist Church of Sunderland Springs, Texas Sunday morning and open fired on the congregation, killing 26 innocent people and injuring dozens more.
Eight members of one family are included in the victims that perished, as well as the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter, and one pregnant woman.
At least one dozen children are included in the death toll.
It could have been more.
Two citizens have described their actions which stopped Kelley from inflicting any more death or destruction on the small town of Sutherland Springs, which is located 21 miles southeast of San Antonio.
Johnny Langendorff was at an intersection near the church when he saw Kelley exchanging fire with a local resident, Stephen Willeford.
“I pulled up on the intersection and I saw the shooter coming from the cars, actually right outside the church his vehicle was parked, doors open, engines open and him and the neighbor across the street and exchanging fire,” Langendorff said.
Willeford, a former National Rifle Association instructor, is presumably the one who shot and killed Kelley. Willeford heard the gunshots and immediately grabbed his rifle and ran toward Kelley.
“He saw me and I saw him,” Willeford said. “I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover. I know I hit him. 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.”
After Kelley got into the truck, Willeford ran over to Langendorff for assistance.
“The shooter got in his truck, the gentlemen 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,” Langendorff said.
When asked about being a hero, Langendorff said, “I did what I thought I needed to do. They said that there’s a shooting. I pursued and I just, just did what I thought was the right thing to do.
“He just hurt so many people and he just affected so many people’s lives, why wouldn’t you want to take him down?”
Watch Johnny Langendorff Describe Chasing The Shooter:
Kelley was found by police dead in his vehicle with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head but according to CNN, Freeman Martin, the regional director of the Texas Department of Safety, said while citing autopsy results that Kelly was shot in the leg and torso by an armed citizen, Willeford.