After Devin Kelley killed more than 20 people in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, two locals with a gun and a truck helped stop him in his tracks.
Kelley, 26, opened fire on churchgoers over the weekend, killing 26 inside of the building. Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, reported that Kelley attempted to flee from the scene after a local Texan engaged him in a gun battle.
Stephen Willeford, 55, was identified as the man who engaged Kelley. Willeford reportedly grabbed his rifle after his daughter informed him of the shooting. Though Kelley was wearing armor, Willeford successfully shot him in a vulnerable spot and wounded him. It was later revealed that Willeford was a plumber who had no military experience.
Kelley fled in his SUV after being wounded. That’s when Willeford ran into local man Johnnie Langendorff.
Langendorff was on his way home when he saw Willeford and Kelley exchanging fire, according to a Facebook post made by Langendorff’s girlfriend, Summer Caddell. Willeford explained the situation, and the men sped off in Langendorff’s truck to follow Kelley. They pursued Kelley until he ran off the road.
Langendorff told KSAT the same story in an interview following the events. He added that he called his girlfriend to tell her that he witnessed the gunfight between Willeford and Kelley. He also contacted her to let her know that the chase ended near a sharp curve close to a country road. Investigators then took his phone away to collect evidence related to the shooting.
Langendorff said that he never saw the shooter’s face; he only saw the exchange of gunfire. He said that Willeford approached his truck and updated him on the situation, and the pair drove off after the shooter.
“He just hurt so many people, and he just affected so many people’s lives. Why wouldn’t you want to take him down?” he asked.