A heroic act from a local citizen saved lives Sunday when a man dressed in black body armor opened fire on a church. Stephen Willeford is a local plumber and when he heard that there was a shooter at the church he raced to the scene with his rifle.
Willeford has no background in the military and works as a full-time plumber but that didn't stop him from rushing into the face of danger if it meant saving lives and stopping the mass murderer.
Church shooter Kelley, 26, and Willeford exchanged gunfire, ultimately Willeford struck the shooter in between his body armor causing him to drop his rifle and flee.
After the exchange, Kelley dropped his Ruger AR55 and fled in his vehicle. That is when Johnnie Langendorff, another local citizen, pulled up in time to witness the two exchanging gunfire. Willeford quickly explained what happened to Langendorff and hopped in his truck.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/fca46da83801053619244c743176836832ad0d1a34ec0d5c7004fe4967793204.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: ABC 12</span>
"I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire, the other being a citizen of the community," Langendorff said.
He continued, "The shooter of the church had taken off, fled in his vehicle, and the other gentleman came and he said, ‘We need to pursue him,’ that he just shot up the church. So that’s what I did. I just acted." He described the harrowing chase saying, "we were doing about 95 mph, going around traffic and everything."
The pair pursued the shooter for 8 miles reaching speeds of 95 mph before Kelley finally lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a ditch, presumably from loss of blood or a self-inflicted killing shot.
"Eventually he came to kind of a slowdown and after that, we got within just a few feet of him and he got off the road … He just lost control and that’s whenever I put the vehicle in park … The other gentleman jumped out and had his rifle drawn on him and he didn’t move after that," Langendorff said.
Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt confirmed Kelley killed himself after wrecking the vehicle, the authorities found him dead upon arrival. Langendorff described pulling up to the wrecked vehicle and Willeford getting out to hold the driver at gunpoint. "He was bleeding pretty bad," he said.
If not for the heroic actions of this plumber and local resident, the shooter may have killed everyone in that church or more. It is good to know there are everyday people out there willing to stand up to deranged mass murderers and risk their own lives to stop them.
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