Stephen Willeford shot and chased the man who killed 26 people in a Texas church on Sunday. He spoke to 40/29 News in an exclusive sit-down interview on Monday.
Willeford was at home when his daughter came into his bedroom to tell him she heard gunshots at the First Baptist Church nearby.
Willeford, a former NRA instructor, got his rifle out of his safe while his daughter looked outside again. She ran back in and told him she saw a man in black tactical gear shooting up 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,” Willeford said.”
Willeford loaded his magazine and ran across the street to the church, not even taking the time to put on shoes. When Willeford saw the gunman, he exchanged gunfire.
“He saw me and I saw him,” Willeford said. “I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover.”
“I know I hit him,” Willeford said. “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.”
The gunman then sped down the highway.
Willeford spotted a pickup truck at a stop sign. He ran to the truck and asked the driver for help.
“That guy just shot up the Baptist church. We need to stop him,” Willeford told the driver.
Willeford and the driver chased the gunman down the highway. On the way, they called 911 to give a description of the gunman’s vehicle and where they were.
Eventually, they caught up to the gunman’s truck. The gunman slowed down before speeding up and hitting a road sign. The gunman’s truck flipped and went down into a ditch.
According to Willeford’s cousin, there’s more.
Via Daily Caller:
When Stephen arrived to the church, Kelley had come outside and seemed to be reloading. Stephen noticed that Kelley was wearing a body armor vest, so he decided to aim for Kelley’s side.
“That’s where he shot him the first time,” Leonard said. “The man dropped the weapon when he was shot and went and forced his way into an SUV and he pushed him into the passenger side.”
“As he was doing that, Stephen shot him again in the neck….and that’s when Stephen shot him a third time in the neck again,” he continued.
They then chased him off the road.