News of tragedy broke across the country Sunday when a deranged gunman opened fire at a small church in rural Sutherland Springs, Texas. Details of the heroes involved in the pursuit of the killer have also emerged.
As The Daily Caller reported, CNN’s John Berman interviewed Johnnie Langendorff, one of the two heroes involved in the shooting and pursuit of the killer, Devin Kelley. Langendorff used his truck to pursue Kelley, with Stephen Willeford aiming his rifle from the passenger seat, to put a stop to the deadliest shooting in Texas history.
After Kelley opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, hero Stephen Willeford used his own rifle to confront Kelley. Willeford shot Kelley in the leg and the torso, despite ballistic body armor worn by Kelley. The injury caused the killer to flee in his vehicle.
Langendorff happened to be driving down the road when he came upon Willeford, who flagged him down asking for a ride to pursue Kelley. The chase spanned approximately eight miles and lasted 12-15 minutes. Langendorff weaved through traffic at high speeds while Willeford kept his rifle affixed on Kelley’s car. The heroes managed to feed information to 911 during the chase.
When asked what went through his mind that caused him to chase Kelley, Langendorff replied: “Nothing — get him.” When prompted to elaborate, he simply said: “Because that’s what you do. You chase the bad guy.”
“I had to make sure he was caught,” Langendorff said of Kelley. He noted that he didn’t hesitate when Willeford warned, “you may have to use your truck to get him off the road.” The hero duo was committed to putting an end to Kelley’s devastation — no matter the consequences.
He then gave credit to his hero passenger. “From what I know, he was just taking a nap and heard the gunshots and reacted.” He continued, “He’s very much a hero–he acted quicker than he could think as well … He did absolutely the right thing which was try and take him down on the scene.”
“Grabbed his gun before he grabbed his shoes,” Berman noted of Willeford.
Before the chase, Willeford, a former National Rifle Association instructor, fired at Kelley, who had dropped his AR-15 rifle to wield one of his handguns. The two engaged in a firefight. Upon being struck twice, Kelley retreated to his vehicle and fled. He was only stopped once he crashed into a field and was found unresponsive. Officials said Kelley shot himself in the head after phoning his father to say he wasn’t going to make it.
Just hours after the tragedy, Democrats were politicizing the massacre by calling for gun control. They criticized American citizens’ possession of “assault rifles,” somehow implying that a ban might stop incidents such as these, and last month’s Las Vegas shooting, from occurring.
However, this narrative is largely flawed.
The hero of the Texas church shooting grabbed his gun first to stop a bad guy with a gun. Is it necessary for good guys to have guns to stop bad guys with guns?
The Democrats’ narrative fails to consider that most gun deaths in America are committed by handguns, not rifles at all. Additionally, the AR-15 rifle that Democrats consider an “assault rifle” is the same rifle used by Stephen Willeford to stop Devin Kelley.
Willeford credited his firearm skills and God for guiding and protecting him in the confrontation that ultimately put a stop to further loss of life at Kelley’s hands. It’s uncertain what would have occurred had Willeford and Langendorff not been in the right place at that crucial moment. Two heroes — one with a gun — prevented an even greater loss of life, no matter how much Democrats want to refute it.