A Good Samaritan with a rifle exchanged gunfire with the South Texas church shooter and managed to hit him twice while chasing after him with another Good Samaritan.
Stephen Willeford is sharing his account of what happened. The Sutherland Springs resident came face to face with the church shooter and says it was terrifying.
Willeford is a plumber who lives down the street from the church. When he heard the gunshots, he quickly grabbed his rifle and rushed over to the church.
When Willeford got to there, he saw Devon Patrick Kelley dressed in black, wearing a tactical helmet and holding a pistol. He says they locked eyes and began shooting at each other.
Eventually, Kelley took off in his SUV. Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff chased after him. A short distance away, Kelley was found in his SUV dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Willeford’s emotions are still raw. He called the whole event surreal.
"Those people at that church, they're friends of mine. They're family. And every time I heard a shot, I knew that it probably represented a life,” he recalled. “I was scared to death — I was. I was scared for me. I was scared for every one of them, and I was scared for my own family that just lived less than a block away. I'm no hero. I am not. I think God my Lord protected me and gave me skills to do what needed to be done. And I just wish I could have got there faster, but I didn't know what was happening."
Investigators say at least two of Willeford's shots hit their mark, striking Kelley in the torso and leg as he left the church after the shootings.
Kenneth Leonard lives in North Texas and is Willeford's cousin. He says he's very proud of his cousin's actions and most certainly calls him a hero. He says Willeford is an avid shooter and is still shaken by what happened.