Gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, brought a gun to First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs and started shooting at the congregation.
Stephen Willeford, 55, was alerted of the shooting by his daughter. She called him saying there was a man dressed in body armor gunning down church goers during their service.
He immediately took action by grabbing his rifle and engaging the suspect.
WATCH THE INTERVIEW BELOW
Two quick-thinking locals have been hailed as heroes for stopping the man responsible for the worst ever mass shooting in Texas which left 26 dead.
Stephen Willeford, 55, confronted gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, when he was leaving First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, wounding him, before he and Johnnie Langendorff, 27, chased him in a car after he fled.
During the 95mph car chase, Kelley lost control of his vehicle and ran off the road, before shooting himself in the head.
Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said Willeford, a keen biker, had ‘grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect’.
A local resident told DailyMail.com that Willeford, who attends a different church, was first alerted to the shooting when his daughter called him saying there was a man in body armor gunning down church goers during mass.
He grabbed his gun and headed down to confront the gunman.
Willeford was able to make a shot on Kelley, between his body armor, nailing him in his side. According to a local resident Willeford is a plumber with no military experience, but an excellent shot.
At this moment enters hero #2 Johnnie Langendorff, 27, who was going to his girlfriend’s house when the shooting happened.
After getting shot, the coward Kelley dropped his Ruger rifle and fled in his vehicle. Willeford then saw Langendorff, and this is what happened next in the words of Langendorff during a Good Morning America interview:
‘The neighbor with the rifle came to my truck and he opened my door and said, “He shot up the church”, and got in,’ Langendorff revealed. ‘He said, “Chase him” so that’s what I did. I just chased him.’
‘It semeed everybody had headed up to the church. I’m not sure if anybody really realized that he had left and gone that direction.’
‘It was an act now, ask questions later kind of deal,’ he added, saying there was no ‘freakout’ moment for him.
Langendorff’s girlfriend, Summer Caddel, posted on Facebook the pair had ‘jumped in my boyfriend’s truck and they chased that sick b*****d down in pursuit until the cops could catch up. He was able to run the shooter off of the road on 539!’
As they approached a sharp curve in the road, near the 307 and 539, he said Kelley appeared to lose control and his car swerved off the road.
‘That’s when I put the truck in park,’ he said. ‘The other gentleman jumped out, and had his rifle on him. He didn’t move after that.’
Kelley was already dead when they found him inside his vehicle having shot himself dead.
Monday, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt told CBS News that, ‘At this time we believe that he had a self-inflicted gunshot wound.’
Neither Langendorff nor Willeford were injured.
Director Martin confirmed that police had found Kelley dead, saying that: ‘We are not sure if it was self inflicted or if he was shot by a local resident.’
Cops also found multiple weapons and possible explosives in the vehicle.
Caddel said she was ‘beyond thankful that my boyfriend chased that sick ass down before he did anymore damage.’
Langendorff, of Seguin, Texas, worked at NAPA Auto Parts, according to his Facebook page which has been swamped with words of praise from people hailing him as a hero for his part in taking down Kelley.