On November 5, a gunman, who has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Kelley, entered the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, shortly after the 11 a.m. service began and opened fire.
The suspect, who used to be in the U.S. Air Force, killed at least 26 parishioners and injured at least 10 others. Initial reports say that between 12 and 14 of those injured or killed in the attack were children.
According to The Washington Post, Kelley entered the church dressed in all black and was protected by the body armor he was wearing. The fact that he was wearing body armor has led some people to believe he didn’t want to die.
When Kelley attempted to flee the church, two men, 55-year-old Stephen Willeford and 27-year-old Johnnie Langendorff, engaged him, the Daily Mail reports.Stephen Willeford/Facebook/Johnnie Langendorff/Facebook
According to reports, Willeford is not a member of the church, but learned about the attack after his daughter notified him. He was the first to confront Kelley.
The Daily Mail reports that Willeford, a plumber with a sharp shot, shot Kelley in the side of his abdomen, between his body armor. Willeford allegedly wounded Kelley with his rifle before the suspected gunman jumped in a car and drove off.
Willeford then saw Langendorff in his truck and jumped in, at which point the pair pursued Kelley — Langendorff was at one point pushing 95 miles-per-hour — and were able to run Kelley off the road.
According to KSAT, Langendorff said that Willeford kept his gun on Kelley the entire time. Summer Caddell, Langendorff’s girlfriend, detailed the chase on her Facebook following the incident:
As many have already heard, where I live in Sutherland Springs, there was a mass shooting at the local church this morning. My boyfriend, Johnnie Langendorff, was on his way home to me as all of the shooting was happening. He made a heroic move as this was going down. Him and the neighbor that returned fire jumped in my boyfriend’s truck and they chased that sick bastard down in pursuit until the cops could catch up. He was able to run the shooter off of the road on 539!
Johnnie is safe as the shooter was shot dead within feet from him! Wilson county has taken his phone as evidence so you will not be able to get a hold of him, he calls me off of others phones when he can. He will be tied up all night with this tragedy. My heart is so broken from this disaster! Pray[er]s! Scary and hard to believe this happened within miles of my home!
You can see how involved Johnnie has been in this in the middle of the scene with his truck in the center. Again Johnnie is safe and I’m just awaiting for future phone calls from him and when he can come home. […] I am beyond thankful that my boyfriend chased that sick ass down before he did anymore damage.
However, while Summer suggested that Kelley was gunned down, authorities believe that he took his own life before they arrived.
The shooter’s motive is currently unknown.