The Man Who Shot The Sutherland Springs Suspect Gives An Emotional Interview: ‘I Was Scared To Death’

News Editor
11.07.17 8 Comments

When Devin Patrick Kelley began shooting parishioners at a Sutherland Springs church on Sunday, a neighbor heard the gunfire and felt no choice but to respond. For two days, witness Johnnie Langendorff told CNN about how the neighbor hopped into Langendorff’s vehicle, and they chased Kelley down country roads at 95mph before — as authorities now know — Kelley killed himself with a self-inflicted gunshot after the neighbor had shot him twice. The identity of the neighbor remained secret, although Langendorff remarked that the man was “barefooted” in his haste to respond. Now the neighbor, Stephen Willeford, has come forward to speak with a local ABC News affiliate about the violence that transpired.

In the above video, a teary-eyed Willeford discussed the “surreal” nature of the chase while admitting that he was “scared to death.” He continues to elaborate on that note while insisting that he’s not a hero:

“I was scared for me, and I was scared for every one of them, and I was scared for my own family that lived just less than a block away … I am no hero, I am not … I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done.”

In the below clip, Willeford describes how he heard the massacre taking place and how he exchanged fire with the the gunman outside the church:

“I kept hearing the shots, one after another, very rapid shots — just ‘pop pop pop pop’ and I knew every one of those shots represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren’t just random shots … He saw me and I saw him. 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.”

After Kelley fled the scene, Willeford spotted Langendorff driving near the church and asked him to help apprehend the gunman before he could take lives elsewhere. During the chase, they called 911 before Kelley’s vehicle stopped, and Willeford found him dead inside the SUV.

In other developments, authorities who have viewed video footage from within the church say that Kelley clearly didn’t plan on leaving survivors. “He came there to kill everybody in that building. Period,” one source told ABC News. The Daily Beast adds that Kelley patrolled up and down aisles while shooting people who hid within pews. According to Sheriff Joe Tackitt who spoke with the Beast, Kelley “just walked down the center aisle, turned around, and my understanding was, shooting on his way back out.”

(Via Associated Press, ABC News & Daily Beast)

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