Hero during Sutherland Springs church attack talks with local law enforcement


SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The man credited with stopping a massacre at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, spoke at a law enforcement training convention in San Marcos Tuesday.

Stephen Willeford spoke about how he and a neighbor, Jonny Langendorff, chased down the shooter in November of 2017.

Willeford lives across the street from First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. When he heard gunfire during services, he grabbed his rifle and headed for the church. He spotted the gunman and with help from Langendorff and his truck, chased the gunman away from the church.

26 people died and 20 others were hurt in the attack.

Willeford spoke about how the tragedies can be applied to law enforcement— to prepare and position officers properly.

“We have to deal with a new normal in our communities. El Paso is one of them now and Dayton is another, they can’t let fear get a hold of them and we can’t let evil win,” Willeford said.

Texas Senator John Cornyn introduced the Fix NICS Act following the Sutherland Springs shooting.

It compels federal and state authorities to comply with existing laws on background checks.

The Sutherland Springs shooter should have been denied the purchase of a rifle because of a 2012 domestic assault conviction.

However, the man was still able to purchase a rifle.

According to reports, the U.S. Air Force failed to enter the conviction into the national background check system —the National Instant Criminal Background Check System — making the purchase possible.

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