The church security guard who stopped the shooting at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, thanked God for giving him the chance to defend himself and other worshipers from the “evil” gunman.
On Sunday, a gunman, identified as 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen, opened fire at the church, killing two people — security guard Richard White, 67, and grandfather Anton “Tony” Wallace, 64, who had just handed out communion — before being brought down by Jack Wilson, a 71-year-old firearms instructor who has also been a reserve sheriff’s deputy.
On Facebook, Wilson wrote, “I just want to thank all who have sent their prayers and comments on the events of today. The events at West Freeway Church of Christ put me in a position that I would hope no one would have to be in, but evil exists and I had to take out an active shooter in church.”
“I’m thankful to GOD that I have been blessed with the ability and desire to serve him in the role of head of security at the church. I am very sad in the loss of two dear friends and brothers in CHRIST, but evil does exist in this world and I and other members are not going to allow evil to succeed. Please pray for all the members and their families in this time. Thank you for your prayers and understanding.”
Kinnunen has a criminal past that involves arrests for theft and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. His motive for the Sunday shooting is still under investigation; however, his sister, Amy, told reporters she believes he was on a suicide mission.
Sunday was the anniversary of their brother Joel’s suicide, she said, and Keith may have been trying to kill himself in a shoot-out either with cops or other civilians.
The church had previously provided Kinnunen with food on multiple occasions, but when he asked for money he wasn’t given any, Britt Farmer, a senior minister for the congregation, told NBC.
“I had seen him,” Farmer said. “I had visited with him. I had given him food.”
Wilson told the AP “alarms” went off in his head when Kinnunen first entered the building wearing a fake beard, a wig, a hat and a long coat. By the time Kinnunen approached the communion server and pulled out a shotgun, Wilson and another security volunteer were already reaching for their own guns.
After shooting two victims, Kinnunen headed toward the front of the sanctuary as Wilson searched for a clear line of fire.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett