||| StevenCrowder | YouTube |||
The hero who stopped the Texas Church Shooter gave his first video interview Monday on Louder With Crowder. Stephen Willeford, a 55-year-old resident of Sutherland Springs, told his story of how upon hearing shots across the street at Sutherland First Baptist Church grabbed his AR-15 and a handful of ammo to confront the shooter.
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Willeford was barefoot when he ran from his home with his AR-15 equipped with an Eotech holo sight to confront deadly church shooter Devin Patrick Kelley, 26.
In the interview, Willeford describes hearing sounds like someone tapping on his window rapidly. His daughter came into the room and told him it sounds like gunfire. He quickly checked outside the kitchen window and confirmed what he thought was gunfire coming from his communities church a block away.
After grabbing a handful of ammo and his AR-15, Willeford ran to the church where he saw Kelley dressed in all black tactical armor and helmet standing next to his running SUV with a handgun. Willeford revealed that although he is a plumber he is also a former shooting range instructor.
His experience with firearms, and what he believes to be divine intervention, allowed him to have the clarity of mind to determine the weak points in the shooter's armor. Willeford described the bullet proof vest as the type with front and rear plates that strap together with Velcro meaning there was no armor covering his sides.
Willeford and the gunman exchanged several shots and the former shooting range instructor landed a shot on target striking Kelley in the side between his armor. The gunman got into his vehicle and took off at high speed leaving Willeford to flag down a concerned citezen who had stopped to call police. He quickly explained what had happened to the driver, Johnnie Langendorff, who unlocked his door and told him to get in.
Together the pair tore off after the shooter keeping the police dispatcher informed of their location along the way. Finally Kelley's SUV wrecked and Willeford got out of Langendorff's vehicle and kept his assault rifle trained on the driver side door of the wrecked vehicle.
Willeford describes how he yelled at the gunman while waiting for police and at one point Kelley yelled back asking, "Where's the police?" Officers arrive within minutes and escort Willeford to safety behind the cover of a squad car while Kelley was arrested.
Willeford's heroic actions likely saved the lives of many more victims as police found several guns and ammunition inside Kelley's SUV. Willeford also said he is afraid to think of what may have happened if he had only had a handgun and not an assault rifle saying it may have been his "funeral" without it.
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