Stephen Willeford gets EOTech EXPS2-2 Courtesy of EOTech and Guns Save Life Members

Stephen Willeford gets EOTech sights, courtesy of EOTech and GSL members

At Guns Save Life, we defend your right to defend yourself. Our freedom-loving members show incredible activism, and at the same time we show great support for good causes. One of those causes is making sure Stephen Willeford has a replacement rifle following his heroic acts that put an end to the Texas church massacre in Sutherland Springs.

On November 5th, hearing gunfire from a church about a block from his home, Mr. Willeford accessed his AR and loaded a few rounds into a magazine as he hurried to the sound of gunfire – barefoot.

He told me how his daughter started to follow him out of the house. He sent her back to load a full magazine to keep her busy. “I didn’t want to see me fail if I did,” he told me. He knew that would keep her out of the way until things sorted themselves out. “I didn’t want her in the line of fire, especially if I failed.”

Moments later, at a range of about twenty yards, he engaged the bad guy with his AR-15 equipped with an EOTech. Seeing how the bad guy wore armor, our grey-haired good guy sighted for the unprotected sides of the suspect while using a neighbor’s pickup truck for cover. Of course, the killer fired a bunch of rounds back at Willeford, fortunately missing.

Once wounded, the loser fled in his SUV. A bystander in a pickup truck saw the entire gun battle between the black-clad bad guy and the barefoot good guy.  When Willeford asked the good Samaritan driver for help, the stranger didn’t hesitate.

The two pursued the killer while calling 9-1-1. As we now know, some of Mr. Willeford’s rounds found their mark. After a short car chase, the scumbag crashed his SUV and according to Willeford, he saw no further movement.

In an interview with Stephen Crowder, Mr. Willeford said the five to seven minutes the two men waited for law-enforcement to arrive after the crash seemed like an eternity.


Willeford said the first cop rolled up and over his PA system, ordered the driver out of the car with his hands up. Unsure of who the cop was talking to (and not wanting to get shot), Willeford put the gun down.  From there, he raised his hands and walked to the back of the truck.

Over the PA, the cop shouted, “NOT YOU!”  With that, Willeford went back and used his sample of America’s favorite rifle to cover the vehicle with the single officer until other cops arrived.

Interestingly, the police told him to stay put and provided cover for him to retreat from the truck before they knew the killer had expired and no longer posed a threat to innocent life.

As is common practice, the police seized Mr. Willeford’s rifle for evidence for the time being.

Guns Save Life contacted him a couple of weeks after the incident and offered him a membership in GSL, and we offered to provide a replacement for his rifle and the EOTech sight.  We also included the past two issues of GunNews.

He called about a week later. In that phone call, he told me that he read our publication and liked it. “We could use a Guns Save Life here in Texas,” he said. He’s now a member.

He also related how some good people had replaced his rifle but he surely missed his beloved EOTech. I told him our GSL family could probably help him with that.

At the suggestion of some of our members, I contacted EOTech and within 48 hours, the director of marketing and product development replied with a willingness to send Mr. Willeford a new EOTech model EXPS2-2.  Big kudos to them!

Stephen Willeford gets EOTech sights, courtesy of EOTech and GSL members

By this time, we had a dealer willing to provide the sight at wholesale cost.  In addition, we had already collected about two-thirds of the money necessary to purchase the unit.  Monies came from both online pledges and at the Peoria Guns Save Life meeting.

In our conversation, Willeford also indicated his near-term goal was to get rifles for his daughters.  In his interview with Crowder, he noted they both shot expert before age 10.  So, at the next GSL meeting in Rantoul, we passed the hat to collect the balance of the money necessary to purchase a second sight, with the idea he could put it on a rifle for one of his girls.

This incident proves to even cynical Americans that good guys with guns do indeed stop evil. Yes, even good guys using AR-15s.

Who only knows how many more people would have died if Mr. Willeford had not been there.

God bless you, Mr. Willeford. And God bless America!

As a side note, one of the survivors of the Sutherland Springs massacre has a Christmas wish.  Tough little 5-year-old Ryland Ward survived five gunshots, and will likely remain in the hospital through Christmas.  He’s asking for Christmas cards with photos of pets or a dollar bill.  Fox News has the story.

 

5-year-old Texas church shooting victim wishes for Christmas cards

One of the youngest survivors of last month’s Sutherland Springs church shooting is requesting holiday cards be sent to him this Christmas as he continues to recover from the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.

Ryland Ward, 5, does not yet know that his stepmother and two sisters were among the 26 killed in the Nov. 5 massacre at First Baptist Church, The Star-Telegram reported.

The boy was shot five times in the elbow, stomach and leg, and is having issues with his kidney and a shattered femur. Doctors are hopeful that he can head home in six to eight weeks, which means he’ll spend the holidays in the hospital. To help lift his spirits, he’s requested holiday cards be sent to him with photos of pets or a $1 inside.

Ryland Ward
P.O. Box 174
Sutherland Springs, Texas, 78161

Got an extra Christmas card?  Help make this kid’s Christmas a little happier.

comments

  1. avatar Noishkel says:

    Umm… isn’t EOTech having a lot of problems with faulty optics as of late? Like problems with fogging and moisture build up? Of course maybe Texas being as dry as it generally is will help with that…

    Nice thought, but not that sure this is that good of a gift. >,,>

    1. avatar achmed says:

      It is not a perfect optic but dang way aren’t you a killjoy?

      1. avatar Noishkel says:

        Well someone has to be. Might as well be me.

    2. avatar Cloud says:

      Old news. They’ve remedied most of the issues.

    3. avatar coagula says:

      You say this as it is raining where I currently am…

  2. avatar ironicatbest says:

    5.56 , five 1/2 shot wounder ,it was worthless in Vietnam and hasn’t changed. The govs still looking for a bullet that will work in a caliber made for woodchucks. …….Support your local Law Enforcement

    1. avatar anonymoose says:

      Ironic shitposting is still shitposting.

    2. avatar strych9 says:

      There are a lot of dead people the world over that would disagree with this statement about 5.56 being “worthless”.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Maybe they would disagree if they if given the chance, but I don’t think they will disagree, though. What with the being dead and all.

    3. avatar Hank says:

      Yeah I’m sure you could take all kinds of 5.56 to your chest and just shrug it off like it were a BB gun.

  3. avatar strych9 says:

    Nice gesture. I’m not sure I’d have gone the EOTech route but hey, the guy is comfortable with what he’s comfortable with and it served him pretty darn well so I won’t second guess the man.

    Good for him and kudos to GSL for the charity.

  4. avatar John Boch says:

    The gun worked well enough to end the murderer’s rampage. The sight did its job. ANd frankly, as the owner of four EOTechs before my recent boat accident, I had no problem engaging out to 300 with them. Then again, I wasn’t engaging in 100-degree temperature changes.

    Stephen Willeford performed admirably – under fire while barefoot. That’s a win in my book, even if he used a pump-action .22 loaded with CB caps and using a piece of cardboard for his sighting system.

    Kudos to Willeford. And kudos to EOTech for stepping up.

    And GSL members for taking care of that second sight.

    If you’re in Dallas next year at the NRA convention, I’d just about bet you’ll have a chance to see Mr. Willeford. He’s a regular guy just like any one of us. Stop by, shake his hand and thank him.

    John

    1. avatar Nigel the Expat says:

      We seriously need to ban boats.

    2. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      When the songs are sung and the stories told, Steve Willeford will be remembered. Forevermore.

  5. avatar Ami Freetogo says:

    It’s significant that Willeford was smart enough to be afraid that the cops might shoot him but not smart enough to know it’s always a bad idea to talk to the cops.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      Not speaking to the police after a DGU in, a slave state, is the smartest thing to do.
      But in rural Texas I think Mr. Willefrod is safe.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        Arresting or charging him for ending a mass murder just might result in a lynching, either political or literal..

  6. avatar Lee says:

    Kudos, John! Great gesture. The gun community should always take care of our own.

  7. avatar Hank says:

    I like how in an article praising a true American hero there’s already comments just shit talking optics and calibers. For fucks sake people have a little decency. I know, I know, YOUR preferred caliber and optics are the bestest ever and you know this from how many Stalingrad level firefights you’ve been in. Sheesh.

    1. avatar GSL member says:

      Well said Hank and spot on!

  8. avatar BLoving says:

    I think I’d said a few weeks ago that maybe we could spring for a Magpul or two for him to keep stacked and at the ready from now on…

    ….good grief, that kid hasn’t been told about his stepmother and sisters yet? If any of y’all send a card to him, make damn sure you don’t mention that… I do not envy the one who has to break that news. Poor kid… God bless him.

  9. avatar anonymoose says:

    I feel bad for that kid. Maybe I’ll mail him a picture of my basset hound doing silly things. 🙁

  10. avatar AKM Sarah says:

    I’ll send the little boy a card 🙂

  11. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Gun people need to take care of gun people. Glad to see it happen.

  12. avatar John Fritz HMFIC says:

    Jeez. That kid’s getting a pic of my Himalayan and a Jackson in a card sent out tomorrow.

    He doesn’t know yet. Shit.

  13. avatar former water walker says:

    GOD bless you and GSL. Way to step up after a tragedy.

  14. avatar jwtaylor says:

    Texans should sleep a little better knowing Mr. Willeford has a working rifle.

  15. avatar Joe Brazil says:

    Thanks for posting this, and especially about cards and photos for Ryland. I’m sending him photos of our dogs and a few $1 bills today.

    1. avatar rick3 says:

      Yup, sending a card with a photo of our kitty, and some case. Also forwarded this request to other POTG I know at work…

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