Johnnie Langerdorff, 27, and Stephen Willeford, 55, are being hailed as heroes for stopping Devin Patrick Kelley, the man responsible for the worst ever mass shooting in Texas which left 26 dead.
Willeford confronted Kelley, 26, as he was leaving First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, wounding him, before he and Langendorff chased him as he fled.
Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said Willeford, a keen biker, had ‘grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect’.
Langendorff, of Seguin, Texas, worked at NAPA Auto Parts.
According to CBS, Kelley worked in logistics and supply in the Air Force until he was kicked out for assaulting his wife and their child. Kelley was court-martialled for two counts of assaulting his spouse and kid, and received 12 months ‘confinement’ and a dishonorable discharge in 2014.
Summer Caddel said her boyfriend, Johnnie Langendorff, called her moments after the shooting at First Baptist Church and told her that he saw a gunfight between the shooter and a neighbor, who was returning fire. While on the phone with 911, Langendorff told his girlfriend the chase came to an end near a sharp curve near country roads 307 and 539.
Caddel understood that to mean the Kelley crashed. Moments later law enforcement officers arrived, she said. She also said she has not spoken to her boyfriend in hours and that his phone was taken as evidence. At least 20 people have been killed in the shooting, according to Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt. Many more have been injured, authorities said.
The shooter was killed after a brief chase north into neighboring Guadalupe County, according to Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Robert Murphy. The chase ended when Devin Kelley took his own life.
According to a military spokesman, Kelley served briefly in the Air Force but was court-martialed in 2012. Kelley, a married father of New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio, walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, dressed in black, tactical gear with a ballistics belt and an assault rifle, and began shooting.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said officials were releasing information on the shooting as they confirmed it, including the names of victims, who ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old.
26 people were killed in the Sutherland Springs, making it the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.