In a very emotional interview with Stephen Willeford, the former NRA instructor details how he gave chase to the Texas church shooter and the gunfight that likely wounded him, ending his massacre.
Here’s how he described hunting down the church killer:
“He saw me and I saw him and I was standing behind the pickup truck for cover,” Willeford said. “And we exchanged, unlike, it was surreal to me, it couldn’t be happening, I couldn’t believe it.”
“And we exchanged gunfire, I know I hit him, I don’t know where I hit him, but I know I hit him,” he continued. “And he got into his vehicle and he fired another couple of rounds through his side window.”
“And I fired when the window dropped,” he added, “I fired another round at him again. And one as he was pulling away and he turned down 539, and he sped away.”
“And I noticed that there as a full wheel drive Dodge truck,” he said, “another truck, sitting at the stop sign and the guy had watched this whole thing take place. I ran over to his truck, and I said, ‘that guy just shot up the Baptist church. We need to stop him.’ He opened his door and I got in, and we pursued.”
After chasing him down, he described how he kept his gun ready until the police arrived. “I reached down to open the door, still with my rifle in hand, and he sped up and he hit a road sign and it flipped over, the truck, or his SUV,” he said, “he ran across up on the road about another 100 yards, down and down into the ditch.”
“And Johnny stopped the truck on the road and I told him I said, ‘get down, get down,’ he got down in the truck and I stepped out of the door and I put my rifle across the hood of the truck, and was yelling get out of the truck get out of the truck get out of the truck,” he said.
Willeford said he saw no movement from the killer’s direction, and waited there until the police arrived.
“I’m no hero, I am not,” he says in a latter part of the interview. “I think my God, my Lord protected me, and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done.”
“And I just wish I could have gotten there faster,” he says. “But I didn’t know. I didn’t know what was happening.”
Does his story make sense?
Authorities have since said that the killer sustained three gunshots, two from Willeford, and one from himself, meaning he probably ended his own life as the police arrived.