Johnnie Langendorff was at the right place at the right time. The 27-year-old told the Associated Press he was driving to Sutherland Springs, Tex. to pick up his girlfriend when a barefooted man who had been exchanging gunfire with First Baptist Church shooter Devin Kelley approached him before jumping into his truck Sunday.
“The gentleman with the rifle came to my truck as the shooter took off and he briefed me quickly on what had just happened and said we had to get him, so that’s what I did,” Langendorff said.
The good Samaritan who first confronted Kelley was identified as 55-year-old Stephen Willeford by the Dallas Morning News.
He and Langendorff then chased after Kelley, who authorities say opened fire with a rifle at churchgoers after 11 a.m., killing at least 26 people, including a dozen children, and wounding more than 20 others. It is believed the attack targeted his in-laws who sometimes attended the church. They were not in attendance Sunday
“We just take pursuit. We speed over (Highway) 87 through traffic. We hit about 95 down (Farm Road) 539 trying to catch this guy until he eventually lost control on his own and went off in the ditch,” Langendorff recalled.
“He just gave up. He went off in the ditch, hit a hay bale from what I could see, and then he just never moved after that. He didn’t get out. Didn’t try anything.”
The Texas Department of Public Service said at a Monday press conference that Kelley had called his father, telling him he wasn’t going to make it, before fatally shooting himself, the New York Daily News reports.
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