If It Wasn't For These Heroes, The Texas Church Shooting Could Have Been Worse

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If It Wasn't For These Heroes, The Texas Church Shooting Could Have Been Worse


America was shocked this weekend by the news of another mass shooting, this time in a small church outside of San Antonio, Texas.

The First Baptist Church of Sutherland SpringsAP

Around 11:30 a.m., during Sunday worship, the gunman opened fire on the crowded church, killing at least 26 people and wounding 20 more. But in the aftermath of the shooting an incredible story of heroism has come to light, revealing how two locals managed to chase down the killer before he could do more harm.

Johnnie LangendorffAften Posten

Local man Johnnie Langendorff was driving past the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs on Sunday when he saw the alleged shooter, Devin Kelley, firing at another bystander. Stephen Willeford, a local plumber, had arrived on scene and exchanged gunfire with Kelley, managing to hit him despite the body armor that Kelley was wearing.

"I pulled up on the intersection and I saw the shooter coming from the cars," Langerdorff described, "actually right outside the church his vehicle was parked, doors open, engines open and him and the neighbor across the street and exchanging fire."

When Kelley fled the scene in an SUV, Willeford told Langendorff what had happened inside the church. Soon, the pair were following the gunman in a high speed chase...

As Langendorff remembers, Willeford told him what had happened inside the church and said "'we had to get him,' so that's what I did."

Langendorff's truck, parked near the site of Kelley's crashed SUV.Summer Caddell / Facebook

"We just take pursuit," he told a Fox News station in San Antonio, "we speed over 87 through traffic and hit about 95 going down 539 trying to catch this guy until he eventually lost control on his own and went off in the ditch." During the chase, Langendorff was on the phone guiding police to the gunman's SUV while Willeford kept his rifle aimed at the vehicle.

Police arrived at their location within seven minutes of the crash and found Kelley dead inside his car. So far it's unclear if his death was caused by Willeford's gunshot or by a self-inflicted wound. Despite their dramatic actions, the two unlikely heroes are humble about their actions that day.

Langendorff kisses his girlfriend after the chase had ended.San Antonio Express

"He just hurt so many people. And he just affected so many people's lives, why wouldn't you want to take him down?" Langendorff said. President Trump mentioned the two men during his trip to Japan, saying things could have been "much worse" if there wasn't someone shooting back at the gunman.

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