AUSTIN, Texas - Jack Wilson arrived at the Governor's Mansion Monday with his family, and with the Governor's Medal of Courage waiting for him. Wilson is the first to be presented with this Texas-sized honor by Gov. Greg Abbott.
"I feel more as a protector than I do a hero,” said Wilson.
Wilson's name is etched on the award for what he did on Dec. 29. After Keith Thomas Kinnunen started shooting in the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Wilson, who leads the church's volunteer security team, ended the rampage with a single shot. The incident, for Wilson, sent a clear message.
"There are no safe havens left, whether it be schools, whether it be churches, there are no safe havens, you have to be prepared for what will come out in front of you at any time,” said Wilson.
During the ceremony at the Mansion, Abbott also remembered the two men who died in the attack, Tony Wallace and Richard White. The pastor of the church Britt Farmer was also presented with a state flag.
The discussion about what happened did not end here at the Governor's Mansion; it's’ expected to continue on at the state legislature.
"I think he is an example of 535, and any Texan who wants to carry to protect their family, to protect friends, other Texans,” said state Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels).
Campbell wrote SB 535 which clarified the law allowing those with a permit to bring guns into houses of worship.
"Texans will protect Texans,” said Campbell.
Last year, state lawmakers also passed several mental health bills to address violence at schools.
"There is no one answer,” said state Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound).
Nelson’s district includes White Settlement. As a member of one of two special committees on mass violence, Nelson said the search for answers will continue.
"I believe, certainly, we shouldn't ever think every person that’s mentally ill is going to kill people, they're not, but there are people who are mentally ill who can harm people and we need to make sure we get them to the resources that they need to have,” said Nelson.
It’s not known how Wilson may factor into future gun debates under the Capitol dome, but he does expect to talk with state officials about how others can adopt the security program he designed for his church.
"Because they've been doing theoretical studies of what can happen and now we've got a real case study,” said Wilson.
Wilson said he will share the medal he got today with his security team. The team, according to Wilson, if they had been closer, could have done the same thing he did.
WATCH THE PRESENTATION CEREMONY BELOW: