Armed church members stopped a developing mass shooting almost as quickly as it started in a Texas church on Sunday. Two congregants were shot before several men in attendance rose up and put the murderer down with at least one well-placed shot to his head.
Altogether, three were shot and all three died, including the would-be mass murderer.
Jeoff Williams, Texas DPS director, praised the rapid reactions of the armed church members at the service who saved countless lives. “The citizens who were inside that church undoubtedly saved 242 other parishioners, and that might get swept aside,” he said. “It was miraculous. The true heroes in all this are the people who were sitting in those pews today and responded, the immediate responders … it was truly heroic.”
Britt Farmer, senior minister at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, near Ft. Worth, told reporters he was thankful that his congregants had the wherewithal to defend themselves. “We lost two great men today, but it could have been a lot worse,” the pastor said. “I’m thankful our government has allowed us the opportunity to protect ourselves.”
Texas DPS Director Joeff Williams: “The citizens who were inside that church undoubtedly saved 242 other parishioners”; “it was miraculous … true heroes” pic.twitter.com/Mdj9N86tgj
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 30, 2019
The church service was being livestreamed. Video shows that shortly after communion wrapped up, the coat-wearing gunman rose up from his pew, turned toward the back of the church and pulled out what appears to be a shotgun from under the coat. He fired twice at two men and they went down.
Immediately, another man at the back of the church who has been identified as Jack Wilson, a former reserve deputy sheriff and longtime owner of a firearms training academy, calmly returned fire from a distance of approximately 30 feet, and with a single shot killed the gunman.
It was all over within seconds. Yet at that point, video imagery shows a total of four or five armed church members advancing on the shooter, ready to engage as necessary.
The incident is shown here in the following tweet without editing … be warned that it is graphic …
Video from today’s attempted mass shooting in a Texas church
1 innocent person was killed, but thankfully an armed citizen shot and killed the murderer before he could do more harm pic.twitter.com/48vkDFegcM
— Rogan O’Handley ?? (@DC_Draino) December 29, 2019
Those responding within the sanctuary were part of the church’s volunteer security team, according to the Daily Mail.
“There was a security team inside the church and they eliminated the threat,” said City Police Chief J.P. Bevering.
“The heroism today is unparalleled. This team responded quickly and within six seconds, the shooting was over’, said Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who also credited the state’s gun laws.
Names of the victims and the shooter have not been released, but FBI agent Matthew DeSarno said that the gunman was “relatively transient” but had roots in the area, and that he has a record of multiple arrests. His motive for the church attack remains under investigation.
“Our hearts go out to the victims and families of those killed in the evil act of violence that occurred at the West Freeway Church of Christ,” said Gov. Greg Abbott in a statement. “Places of worship are meant to be sacred, and I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life.”
To no one’s surprise, gun grabbers came out of the woodwork in short order and made fools of themselves, including Beto O’Rourke who somehow saw the heroic actions by church members as a failure …
The shooter was stopped within three seconds, preventing further carnage, by a law abiding citizen carrying a firearm. He is a hero. You are a moron. https://t.co/lRjTnWHkMM
— Katie Pavlich (@KatiePavlich) December 30, 2019
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