Passerby, neighbor chase down Texas church shooting suspect
When Johnnie Langendorff watched two men shooting at each other in front of a Texas church Sunday morning, he had no idea why but after he found out, he acted.
Langendorff had just finished breakfast and was driving past First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, where minutes before a gunman had opened fire inside, killing 26 and wounding at least 20 others.
Another man, armed with a rifle, had come out of his home across the street from the church to chase after Devin Kelley, who jumped into an SUV and took off.
The second man, whom the Daily Mail identified as Stephen Willeford, ran up to Langendorff at the intersection, told him what had happened and said, “we had to get him. So that’s what I did.”
The two drove after Kelley, reaching 95 mph during the chase. Langendorff, 29, managed to call 911 and gave directions.
Langendorff said eventually the gunman, dressed in all black and carrying “a pistol, I don’t know anything more than that,” would crash a pearl-colored Ford Explorer into a ditch about 10 miles from the church.
Kelley, who was court-martialed in 2012 on charges of assaulting his wife and child, according to an Air Force spokeswoman, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police said Kelley was also shot in the leg and the torso from one of the men who pursued him after the shooting.
This undated photo provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows Devin Kelley, the suspect in the shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017. A short time after the shooting, Kelley was found dead in his vehicle. (Texas Department of Public Safety via AP)
“He just hurt so many people. Why wouldn’t you want to take him down?” Langendorff said.
Victims in the church ranged in age from 5 to 72. Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said Kelley’s former in-laws attended services at the church from time to time but weren’t there Sunday.
Langendorff said he never got a look at the suspect and didn’t consider possible consequences of his own actions.
“It was an act now, ask questions later kind of deal,” he said.
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