After tragic events like what happened in a Texas church yesterday, there is always disagreement over what to do next.
Liberals call for more restrictive gun laws, conservatives call for prayer and remembrance.
But there is one thing both sides of the aisle should agree to do–and that is to celebrate the heroes who helped save lives on that tragic day.
Yesterday, Sunday, November 5th around 11:30 a.m., 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, stood outside the First Baptist Church and started his shooting spree.
He then moved inside and continued shooting the parishioners.
The victims–26 dead, 20 wounded–range in age from 5 to 72 years old.
As Kelley was leaving the church, according to CNN, “a local resident used their own rifle to engage him, Martin said. The shooter then fled the church, while the citizen pursued him.”
After a brief chase, law enforcement later found the suspect dead of a gunshot wound inside his vehicle. A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation said multiple weapons were found in Kelley’s car.
Authorities said they don’t know if the wound was self-inflicted or the result of the resident who fired on the suspect, Martin said.
The latest report reveals that there were two Texas men who helped run down Kelley, both of whom are now identified.
According to The Daily Caller:
Kelley stopped firing after an unidentified neighbor, described as a “very big Christian…the nicest man on the planet,” fired on him through the church window. Kelley apparently dropped his rifle, ran outside to his car parked, and used his pistol to exchange gunfire with the neighbor.
That’s around when Johnnie Langendorff happened to be driving by in his truck. “I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire,” Langendorff told local ABC affiliate KSAT.
As Kelley fled, the neighbor who had engaged him explained the situation to Langendorff, who agreed to help chase down the shooter. “The other gentleman said we needed to pursue him, because he shot up the church,” Langendorff said. “So that’s what I did. I just acted.”
“[I was] just trying to get him, to get him apprehended or whatever needed to happened. I mean it was just strictly acting on what the right thing to do was,” Langendorff said.
The pair chased Kelley down the road as police cars and emergency crews were driving the other direction, toward the church. Langendorff said at one point he was driving 95 MPH during the pursuit.
Kelley veered off the road suddenly during a curve, and Langendorff did not see him move after that. The other man, who had shot at Kelley, kept his gun trained on Kelley until police arrived.
So before Congress debates gun reform, mental health care, and domestic terrorism, let us take a few moments to celebrate and thank individuals like Johnnie Langendorff, who sprung into action at just the right moment.
He is a reminder that there are still very good people in the world. Though violence is what is highlighted in the news, Langerndorff’s bravery should receive the same, if not more, attention.
Would you share this today and make his brave acts known?