Stephen Willeford, one of two men who confronted the shooter that killed 26 Sunday at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, used an AR-style rifle, authorities confirmed Monday.
The shooter, Devin Kelley, used an AR-556 rifle, which he purchased in April 2016, CNN reports. Willeford’s own firearm matched Kelley’s round for round.
“As in with all active shooter situations, the number one goal of law enforcement is to neutralize the shooter,” Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety said at a press conference Monday. “In this situation we had two good Samaritans that did that for law enforcement. This call went out as an active shooter call.”
“Law enforcement was responding, so we know that a local resident that lives across the street from the church heard what was going on,” Martin continued. “He armed himself with an AR assault rifle and engaged the suspect. They engaged in gunfire here at the church. We know that the suspect was shot, when he dropped his assault rifle and jumped in his Ford Expedition and fled the scene.”
Willeford, a plumber with no military experience, shot Kelley at the church, officials said, and when Kelley fled, Willeford flagged down another nearby resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who chased Kelley at almost 100 miles per hour in his truck.
The incident ended when Kelley’s truck crashed and was found lifeless in his vehicle.