Texas church shooting: Civilian engaged shooter by returning fire, pursuing him

As the Sutherland Springs community mourns the loss of 26 residents and prays for the speedy recovery of those who were injured in Sunday’s First Baptist Church shooting, new details about Texas’ deadliest mass shooting are being revealed. A civilian who was outside of the church at the time of shooting engaged the shooter after he exited the building. When the shooter fled the scene in his car, the civilian and another resident followed in pursuit.

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As the investigation into the deadly shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, continues, additional details about the horrific act are being revealed. According to the initial investigation, a civilian engaged the shooter by returning fire as he left the church. The shooter then fled the scene in a car as the armed civilian and another resident followed in pursuit.

Johnnie Langendorff was in the car that pursued the shooter. Langendorff told reporters that he witnessed the gunfight between the civilian and the shooter. “I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire, the other being a citizen of the community,” he said. “The shooter of the church had taken off, fled in his vehicle, and the other gentleman came and he said, ‘We need to pursue him,’ that he just shot up the church. So that’s what I did. I just acted.”

After the shooting and the shooter's car Photo Credit: Reuters/CNN/Channel 2 News

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump commented on the deadly shooting. Trump stressed that the mass shooting “isn’t a guns situation,” blaming the deadly act on the shooter’s mental health. During a joint press appearance with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump called the shooter a “very deranged individual.”

Shooter Devin Patrick Kelley Photo Credit: Twitter/Channel 2 News

The shooter, who was found dead in his car, has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, a former US Air Force member who served at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek confirmed that Kelley was court-martialed about five years ago for assault on his wife and their child, adding that he received a bad conduct discharge in 2014 after his rank was reduced.

At least 26 people were murdered and 20 more were injured in the mass shooting at First Baptist Church in the small Texas community, which is home to about 860 residents. About five percent of the small town’s population was murdered in the deadliest mass shooting in Texas’ history. Among those murdered was a five-year-old boy and the 14-year-old daughter of the church's pastor.



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