On Sunday, a tragedy occurred in Sutherland Springs, Texas. A 26-year-old gunman walked into First Baptist Church and opened fire, killing 26 people and injuring dozens more.
Luckily, a local man came to the rescue when he confronted the attacker. Stephen Willeford used his own gun and returned fire on the gunman. Eventually, the gunman fled the scene.
An eyewitness and friend of Willeford said, "Our neighbor, he's a very good guy, a very big Christian, he’s the nicest man on the planet, he’ll do anything for anyone around here. We’ve known him for years. He’s childhood friends with my dad. He … came with his [gun], and he took cover behind a car, and he shot the guy, I’m not sure if it was inside the church or the guy was coming out, but if it wasn’t for him, the guy wouldn’t have stopped..."
According to reports, the shooter actually dropped his weapon after being shot by Willeford. Now, the "Good Samaritan" is being called a hero for taking brave action and for the number of lives that he may have saved.
Willeford, a former National Rifle Association instructor, is now speaking out about the tragedy. He said that his daughter had initially alerted him about the shooting at the nearby church.
He said, "I kept hearing the shots, one after another, very rapid shots- just 'Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!'- and I knew every one of those represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren't just random shots."
Willeford loaded his rifle and ran across the street barefoot. There, he exchanged fire with the gunman.
"He saw me and I saw him," he said. "I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover. I know I hit him. He got into his vehicle, and he fired another couple rounds through his side window. When the window dropped, I fired another round at him again."
Next, another person drove by and Willeford asked to get in his car and chase after the shooter. After they caught up with him, the shooter's vehicle was flipped and he was found dead.
Willeford admitted that he was "scared to death." He said that his main focus, however, was on the victims of the tragic situation.
He said, "I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done." He continued to say that he is not a hero.
Please continue praying for the families of the victims of this horrific tragedy. In recent news, VP Mike Pence just took bold action for these victims.