A gunman who opened fire in a Texas church Sunday expected to find helpless victims — but his rampage was over in seconds thanks to two heroic parishioners.
Live video of the service captured the moment that Jack Wilson and one other worshiper sprang into action to kill the gunman, Fox News reported. The shooter, who has not been named publicly, killed two people before he was taken down.
“The heroism today is unparalleled,” Texas Lt. Gov Dan Patrick (R) said of the incident, according to the Associated Press. “This team responded quickly, and within six seconds the shooting was over.”
Heroes at Sunday service
The shooting occurred around 10 a.m. Sunday at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas. According to Fox, police said that the gunman — who was wearing a disguise that included a fake beard — entered the church, sat in the pews, and then started firing a shotgun into the congregation of some 240 parishioners.
Horrific video from inside the church shows parishioners screaming and ducking for cover before Wilson draws his gun and fires a single shot at the gunman, who drops to the floor. Wilson — who is a small business owner, former sheriff, Trump supporter, and head of the church’s security team — has been praised as a hero for his bravery and quick thinking.
The hero parishioner said that the gunman first shot Richard White, another security guard who responded to the shooting. White was killed, as was Deacon Anton “Tony” Wallace, who was shot dead just after serving communion, according to a local Fox affiliate.
“I ran toward my dad and the last thing I remember is him asking for oxygen and I was just holding him, telling him I loved him and that he was going to make it,” Wallace’s daughter Tiffany told reporters.
The shooter has since been identified, according to NBC News. His motive is unclear, but reports suggest he had a criminal history.
A good guy with a gun
In the hours following the shooting, public officials expressed gratitude for the security guards, who they said prevented the gunman from taking more lives. In a Facebook post, Wilson himself said that he felt he had faced “evil” and asked for prayers for the victims and their families.
“The events at West Freeway Church of Christ put me in a position that I would hope no one would have to be in, but evil exists and I had to take out an active shooter in church,” he wrote, according to Fox. “I’m thankful to GOD that I have been blessed with the ability and desire to serve him in the role of head of security at the church.”
Many Second Amendment advocates have seen Wilson as a prime example of a “good guy with a gun” stopping evil in its tracks, but gun control advocates like Beto O’Rourke have said that the shooting proves, if anything, that more gun control would have somehow helped. The shooting also drew attention to 2020 hopeful Joe Biden’s recent attacks on the Texas concealed carry law that allowed the parishioners to bring their firearms to the church.
But regardless of what Democrats say, these parishioners are heroes, and their heroic acts show that only good people — not the government — can stop evil.