The man being hailed as a hero for shooting — and helping stop — Texas church attacker Devin Kelley spoke out on Monday, revealing the details behind his brave effort to subdue the assailant and crediting God with protecting him.
Stephen Willeford, 55, recounted how he heard gunshots inside First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and made the instantaneous decision to grab his gun and a handful of ammo, run out the door without any shoes on and engage Kelley outside of the house of worship.
“He saw me and I saw him. I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover,” he told KHBS-TV. “I know I hit him. He got into his vehicle, and he fired another couple rounds through his side window.”
Willeford, who is a former NRA instructor, continued, “When the window dropped, I fired another round at him again.”
And it didn’t end there, as Willeford — who became emotional as he said that he had friends inside First Baptist Church — hopped in a vehicle driven by a 27-year-old guy named Johnnie Langendorff, and the two bravely chased Kelley before authorities believe that the gunman took his own life.
But while people are heralding Willeford as a hero, he doesn’t consider himself to be one, crediting God with protecting him during the potentially deadly encounter.
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) November 6, 2017
“I’m no hero. I am not,” he told the outlet. “I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done and I just wish I could have gotten there faster.”
Both Willeford and Langendorff attended a vigil on Monday night for the victims of the shooting, with the two heroes embracing as they remembered the lives of those lost, The Daily Mail reported.