The Heroes of Yesterday’s Church Shooting Were the First Responders in the Pews

Freeway Church shooting

Courtesy Freeway Church of Christ and Twitter

Watch the video in the tweet below. It zooms on the surveillance video from yesterday’s shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ and identifies seven people who were armed in the congregation (there were undoubtedly more there who were out of the camera’s field of view).

That includes Jack Wilson, the 71-year-old deacon who drew his pistol and shot the shooter in the head, ending the threat. He posted this on his Facebook page:

Freeway Church of Christ shooting

Courtesy Facebook

In other words, there was no shortage of good guys with guns in that church yesterday. Something that unquestionably saved lives and was acknowledged by responding law enforcement and politicians.

It cannot be overstated how important it is that everyone recognize what took place here today. The citizens who were inside that church undoubtedly saved 242 other parishioners.

And that might get swept aside in this whole conversation about active shooter response and God knows law enforcement has done a whole bunch of work to make our response better. We needed to do that.

But we’re starting to find out that, as the Lt. Governor mentioned, over half of these [mass shootings] are over before we get there. And I want to commend the chief and his department. Their response was…it’s never gonna get faster than that. It was miraculous.

So the true heroes in this are the people who were sitting in those pews today and responded — the immediate responders — that saved their fellow citizens. I just can’t overstate how critical that is for everyone to recognize.

It is truly heroic and the citizens of this community have a lot to be proud of for their response.

– Jeff Williams, Regional Director of the Texas Department of Public Safety

comments

  1. avatar TommyGNR says:

    Lets see how fast the mainstream media drops this one. Either that or tries to spin it somehow.

    1. avatar JJ says:

      It was out of the mainstream media by 8pm last night………..

      1. avatar enuf says:

        No, it wasn’t. Even CNN had a piece on the Texas law that restored the rights of citizens to be armed and able to defend themselves in church. That used to be illegal, because Texas used to be a very anti-gun rights state that talked a big loud game but was “all hat, no cattle”on the Second Amendment. Texas has been crawling back into the status of a Free State, and it is a very welcome sign of growth.

        I posted this to the previous TTAG on this topic, here it is again:

        https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/30/us/guns-legal-texas-church/index.html
        Armed parishioners saved ‘untold number of lives.’ This law made it legal to have guns in church
        Hollie Silverman
        By Hollie Silverman, CNN
        Updated 2:32 AM ET, Mon December 30, 2019

        (CNN) A shooter at a church in White Settlement, Texas, was taken down by parishioners with guns seconds after he began firing Sunday.
        Those parishioners, who were also volunteer members of the church’s security team, are able to carry guns into church due to a law passed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in response to another deadly church shooting that took the lives of 26 people in 2017.

        Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick referred to the law during a Sunday night press conference, saying that it was passed following the deadly shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. It took effect in September, Patrick said.

        Senate Bill 535 took effect in September and clarifies possession of firearms at places of worship. The bill allows licensed handgun owners to legally carry their weapons in churches, synagogues and other houses of worship.

        “We have learned many times over that there is no such thing as a gun-free zone. Those with evil intentions will violate the law and carry out their heinous acts no matter what,” state Sen. Donna Campbell, co-sponsor of the bill, said in a statement when the bill was passed in September. “It makes no sense to disarm the good guys and leave law-abiding citizens defenseless where violent offenders break the law to do great harm.”

        Lt. Gov. Patrick also mentioned a second law that was recently passed that waives the fees charged to private institutions that have their own security teams.

        He lauded the heroic actions of those volunteer security members. “They were well trained, well trained. The heroism today is unparalleled. This team responded quickly and within six seconds the shooting was over,” Patrick said. “Two of the parishioners who are volunteers on the security force drew their weapons and took out the killer immediately saving untold number of lives.”

        CNN’s Faith Karimi and Christina Maxouris contributed to this report.

        1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

          It’s been a while since I paid much attention to either, but it always used to seem that the CNN website was a semblance of an actual news site, whereas the cable network hasn’t been anything but a DNC mouthpiece for quite a while.

        2. avatar Ed Schrade says:

          The law against not carrying a handgun is a left over from the so called reconstruction after the uncivil war. The carpetbaggers were scared of Texans with guns, imagine that. The carpetbaggers are still with us and are still scared of armed independent citizens. Now we need to pass Constitutional Carry.

        3. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Texas Governors do not get to “pass laws”. Just so you know.

      2. avatar Jennifer Perkins says:

        Very little coverage of the brave men who stepped up!

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          I’m hoping that will change. The first guy shot (and killed) was in the process of drawing, he should be recognized as a hero.

    2. avatar I Haz A Question says:

      It’s actually still on the front page of Foxnews.com.

      ‘Ol Joe Biden called the presence of guns in church “irrational”.

      https://www.dailywire.com/news/biden-attacked-texas-governor-for-signing-law-letting-churchgoers-carry-guns-totally-irrational

      1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

        “‘Ol Joe Biden called the presence of guns in church “irrational”.”

        Something tells me that little clip is gonna haunt ‘ole ‘Shotgun-Joe’ Biden in about 6 months.

        *snicker*… 😉

    3. avatar Tex300BLK says:

      Credit where it is due… a CNN article about how the law Greg Abbott passed in the wake of the Sunderland Springs shooting allowed for the armed volunteers in the church is still at the top of the “Headlines” page on Google News this morning.

      1. avatar Ing says:

        No credit whatsoever is due. They got *one* thing right, mostly by accident, and it’s not likely to happen again.

        Their credibility account is still in the red and will be until both organizations are dead.

      2. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Yeah, no. I was in a medical facility for around 3 hours this afternoon, waiting on my wife. Posted 30.06 and 30.07, nobody had changed the rules. If a shooter had come in, I would have engaged, because I WAS ARMED!! Fuck you and the horse you rode in on, 2A says “shall not be infringed”, and concealed is concealed. I would bet money that prior to the change in laws, the same man would have presented the same gun and shot the same mofo in the head. And been backed up by the same 5-6 buds. Then we can discuss what the laws are.

        1. avatar LazrBeam says:

          It’s the old, “I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6”.

        2. avatar The Crimson Pirate says:

          Even back in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s before I moved up nawth we carried all the time in violation of the law. Back then if you knew enough to say you were traveling, and if you weren’t committing another crime, cops wouldn’t bother you for simply carrying even though the CC permit had not been enacted yet.

    4. avatar Hannibal says:

      They will spin it based on the defensive shooter’s law enforcement and training experience. You, the pleb who only shoots once a month and works as a electrician (or whatever) will still not be considered qualified to defend yourself.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        Even the defensive shooter was merely lucky, he should not have risked the lives of the childreeeeen! The fruitcakes are Jason Bourne, we have no chance, surrender and beg for mercy!

        1. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “…we have no chance, surrender and beg for mercy!”

          Indeed. Honey catches more flies than vinegar. Be nice, and everyone will be nice to you.

  2. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    This video and the unedited version including the sound, needs to be incorporated into every Introduction to Handguns class. Whether you are going to carry a gun or not. If this film scares them away. Then so be it. They are not ready. In the military this would be called a Training Aid. I could see an artist rendition being used as well.

    Sadly videos like this are taken down but R rated scenes and total R rated films are allowed to stay on the internet.
    I’m not saying they should be taken down. They should stay up. But don’t tell me self defense video is taken down for the “children” or for the “community”.

    You can watch war time video of people being shot dead. Including the dead in extermination camps that are shown to school children.

    1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

      BTW
      The Defender is a Firearm Arms Instructor. Just as the defender in Sutherland Springs church is a firearms Instructor. Professionals at “work”.
      Thanks for the Link Lana.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1334667370067895&set=a.134679676733343&type=3&theater

  3. avatar former water walker says:

    I’m watching it RIGHT NOW on The 700Club. And a story about church security & training. So there is that…

    1. avatar Sian says:

      700 club is still a thing?

  4. avatar billy-bob says:

    Wait, the left says there are no good guys with guns. Did they lie? Again? Still?

    1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

      And they’ll lie tomorrow too. They’re not journalists, they’re political propagandists.

    2. avatar Prndll says:

      Yeah, I understand

      They are also confused about what they see when standing naked in a mirror.

  5. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    This is the outcome when a shooter encounters a group where not even 3% of the intended victims are armed. Imagine if 10% or 20% of the population carried every day. Even if they were all carrying a 5 shot .38 special in their pockets it would be the end of ‘mass shootings’ (4+ victims as defined by the media).

    1. avatar Tony Gonzales says:

      You are correct, Governor. Churches and places of worship are soft targets and shooters know this. Hardening these and other soft targets with a large percentage of people with concealed carry will put an end or certainly reduce mass shooting dramatically.

      1. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

        To a wider point, perhaps it’s less important that others carry a weapon with 17+ rounds in a tactical holster and 3 spare magazines plus tactical training every weekend and more important that others simply carry.

        1. avatar LarryinTX says:

          Good place to address “smart guns”. If I am one of those with minimal experience and training, but carrying a 5-shot .38 revolver, then if I go down I want the guy next to me to be able to use my gun. I mean, the guy we’re fighting arrived with a gun, he doesn’t need mine! The whole idea of smart guns is really stupid.

      2. avatar LazrBeam says:

        Boy howdy, I betcha every congregation in every church in my little city will be a veritable armory this coming Sunday morning.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      If everyone were as good as the gentleman in this story they could be carrying flintlocks and still eliminate the threat…

    3. avatar Super Frustrated in VA says:

      I have to wonder if my Governor is watching this and thinking maybe Bloomberg’s and my gun control measures and going the wrong way….Maybe I should turn my back on Bloomberg and allow guns and especially allow them in gun free zones……I wonder?

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        When they begin noticing that Trump has created massive improvements in American life and economics, you can start hoping. Otherwise, none are so blind as those who will not see.

  6. avatar 007 says:

    It is very important to know among armed members who carry conceal in the house of worship in order to prevent “friendly” fire.

    1. avatar In for a penny, In for a pound says:

      It is not important to know who is armed, as the good guys only fire on the threat, who is actively shooting innocents, or since it was Texas you can shoot the fleeing threat as well.
      If a person can’t identify who the threat is, then they have no business carrying a gun around other people.

      1. avatar Prndll says:

        For new members of the church, perhaps.

        Part of the point in being there in the first place is a group of people coming together. Over time, people get to know each other. Various types of relationships get formed. A natural course of this is and should be those that carry, licensed to carry, and even those that are enthusiasts are going to become known. Especially as someone begins tithing and becomes a trustworthy church elder involved in church activities.

        Otherwise, it becomes an act of defiance in a personal decision to isolation. The body of the church never comes together and eventually becomes too weak to survive.

    2. avatar Phil says:

      Oh a concern troll. Seemed like they were able to identify the attacker without issue.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        As usual, as always, what a silly “concern”! Can somebody present a case where there was even a problem?

    3. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “It is very important to know among armed members who carry conceal…”

      That’s a risk one who carries willingly makes, that they might be mistaken for the problem and not the solution…

  7. avatar GunnyGene says:

    There was one more casualty in this. That casualty was the gun grabbers argument and credibility. They hate that, and will do anything to try and restore it. Watch out for them – desperate people do desperate things.

  8. avatar Tony Gonzales says:

    Having a gun “at the ready” is only part of the equation in taking down a shooter. The other very important part is hitting the target for take-down in the shortest time possible. The less time in hitting the target accurately, the better, in order to save lives. Target practice, practice and even more practice for absolute effectiveness.

  9. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Regional Director TDPS…..(State Troopers and Texas Rangers)

    Anyone seen anything from Ft. Worth or White Settlement police? Either Mayor? The Startle-Gram doesn’t report much on those two police forces.

  10. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    It looks like maybe one or two of the First Responders are ladies. If so good for them! There are plenty of videos out there of armed civilian women defending themselves and others.

    1. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “It looks like maybe one or two of the First Responders are ladies.”

      The woman I noticed drew from her purse, not an ideal way to carry for rapid response…

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        A hell of a lot more *ideal* than drawing from a drawer at home. Step one is “have a gun”. Worry about carry method later.

      2. avatar Cowgirl says:

        I carry in my purse. I live way out in the country in a state that is cold and snowy. In the winter when I have coveralls on going to town, it’s too hard and slow getting to my gun. My purse is a lot better than not having one.

  11. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Quite the difference between this Texas church and the New York Synagogue….
    Kinda shows a marked difference in the laws and how they affect folks.

    1. avatar GaPharmD says:

      Spot on Tom. No better example of how guns save lives and laws take them.

    2. avatar Prndll says:

      Absolutely

    3. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

      There’s quite a bit to be taken away from the comparisons of two incidents in two different states. Not only are the laws different but the mindsets between the two victim demographics are different. We’re talking armed, self-reliant Texans as opposed to Hasidic Jews who tend to rely on police or unarmed security.

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        I gather the Jews involved are proud of the fact they are helpless, excited by the fact that they rely on non-jews to protect their wives and children. Might work for a while, aren’t we so WISE?

    4. avatar GS650G says:

      He picked the absolute wrong state for sure. He was in NJ before this, he would have met little to no opposition

  12. “The Heroes of Yesterday’s Church Shooting Were the First Responders in the Pews”

    Which is exactly what the men that framed our Constitution and Bill of Rights had intended:

    “[C]onceived it to be the privilege of every citizen, and one of his most essential rights, to bear arms, and to resist every attack upon his liberty or property, by whomsoever made. The particular states, like private citizens, have a right to be armed, and to defend, by force of arms, their rights, when invaded.”–Roger Sherman*, Debates on 1790 Militia Act; Debates in the House of Representatives, editor Linda Grand De Pauw, (Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1972), 92-3.

    (*Roger Sherman, (April 19, 1721 – July 23, 1793), was the only person to sign all four great state papers of the United States: Declaration of Independence, Articles of Association, Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution. Sherman served as Justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut from 1766 to 1789, then left to become a member of the U.S. Congress.)

  13. avatar ColoradoKid says:

    This just reinforces my resolve that NO politician with their unconstitutional 2A-related laws will tell me what I can or can’t do to protect myself, my family, friends, and others.

  14. avatar ROBERT Powell says:

    the number of on the ready guns in action was very reassuring,the few women were ready for action,not waving the guns around like a matures is very clear..DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS…

  15. avatar Erik in AZ says:

    21,000+ gun laws did not prevent or stop the deranged shooter. Police did not stop the shooter. A citizen with a gun did, thanks to the government not getting in his way. The entire incident was over in 6 seconds, from the shooter revealing his shotgun to being taken down.

    The church had a number of armed citizens, and there was no raging gun battle, crossfires, misidentifying threats, etc, like the left always fear mongers over. There was trigger discipline, and holding fire unless the threat was positively identified and the firing line and background was clear of innocent parties.

  16. avatar GS650G says:

    The left doesn’t care a whit about this outcome. They want everyone disarmed like the UK. Most of them hate church and don’t believe in God, calling religious beliefs “belief in a little friend”.
    A nightclub full of gays and trans people is worth more than any church to the progressive left.
    The Jews are starting to get the idea. NY left them open to attack. They need to come to grips with reality and tool up.

  17. avatar Joseph Quixote says:

    What can we learn from this? Texans are living up to their old time reputation..

  18. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    Has anyone told Jill Biden she really is married to an dunce? Which doesn’t reflect well on her.

  19. avatar Cowgirl says:

    Mr. Wilson is a true hero. He saved a lot of lives that day. I did see a lot of others come forward with their weapons……..after the threat was gone. I carry and I would hope that I’d be able to act like Mr. Wilson if the need should arise. He was right there, quick and smooth. God Bless you Mr. Wilson.

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