As law enforcement continues their investigation into the Sutherland Springs mass shooting, many in the area are trying to figure out how to thank the two men who stopped the shooter.
Johnnie Langendorff is one of those heroes.
“I did what I did because it was the right thing to do,” he said.
The right thing to do. It seems so simple, but it was a terrifying situation that may not have been that easy for some.
“You don’t shoot up anywhere and get away with it,” said Langendorff, who was driving past the church on Sunday when he says the shooter and neighbor Stephen Willeford, who lives nearby, shooting at each other.
That’s when Willeford hopped in Langendorff’s car and drove after the suspect.
They followed him at 90 mph until the suspect’s car crashed and that’s when Langenforff says that Willeford jumped into action.
“The other gentleman jumped out immediately, drew his rifle on the gunman and told him to ‘get out, get out.’ There was no movement at that time,” he recalled.
Willeford lives just down the road from the church but wasn’t home on Monday. KENS 5 spoke to a member of Willeford’s extended family who said that Willeford is a nice and quiet man, a quiet hero whose actions speak loudly.
“I hope that the families and everyone affected in this community, I hope that they’re able to sleep a little better at night knowing that this man is dead and won’t hurt anyone else,” Langendorff said.
“It takes a lot of courage, and we’re thankful,” one Sutherland Springs resident said. “And something good will come of this, even though we don’t see it.”