Stephen Willeford, the man who chased and shot the Sutherland Springs shooter, got emotional recalling the moment he exchanged gunfire with Devin Patrick Kelley. Watch his emotional interview here.
Stephen Willeford insists he’s not a hero, saying that he was “scared to death” when he chased down and exchanged gunfire with David Patrick Kelley. The Sutherland Springs, Texas resident opened up to KHBS/KHOG television in Arkansas about the harrowing moment his daughter told him that she heard gunfire at the First Baptist Church down the street, and he knew that he needed to help the churchgoers — including several friends — who were being gunned down as they prayed. Stephen got his rifle out of his safe, he said, loaded it, and ran out of the house, not even stopping to put on his shoes.
“I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done. 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. I was scared to death, I was,” Stephen told the TV station, breaking down in tears. “I was scared for me. I was scared for every one of them and I was scared for my own family that lived less than a block away.”
Stephen described the standoff with the gunman that ultimately stopped his rampage. “He saw me and I saw him,” Stephen said. “I was standing behind a pickup truck for cover. I know I hit him,” Stephen 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 jumped in his car and sped off. Stephen got the help of a pickup truck driver, and they chased after him in a high-speed pursuit. David’s car reportedly hit a road sign and flipped over, landing in a ditch, according to KHBS/KHOG. Stephen said he approached the truck and yelled “get out of the truck, get out of the truck,” but got no response. David was dead, reportedly of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to law enforcement.
Twenty-six people died in the Sutherland Springs church shooting, including children, the elderly, and a pregnant woman. Another 20 people were injured by the shooter. Sutherland Springs is a small community; the shooting affected 4% of the town’s population.
HollywoodLifers, even if Stephen doesn’t, do you consider him a hero? Let us know.