A concerned neighbor who heard the Texas church massacre unfolding on Sunday went and grabbed his rifle and tried to stop it — opening fire on the shooter and chasing him down in a stranger’s truck, a report says.
The man, who has not been publicly named, is being hailed online as a “hero” after state officials described his actions during a press conference.
A resident told the local ABC affiliate KSAT that he teamed up with her boyfriend and the two gave chase for several minutes inside his truck before the alleged gunman, Devin Kelley, eventually crashed the car he was in.
Authorities said the armed neighbor may have saved countless lives by opening fire on Kelley and forcing him to flee the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs during his 11:30 a.m. massacre.
The young man reportedly had several guns inside his vehicle and was found dead inside. It’s unclear, though, if he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound of if he was shot by the neighbor.
Summer Caddel told KSAT that her boyfriend, Johnnie Langendorff, watched the gunfight unfold between Kelley and the rifle-wielding resident. She said the neighbor then jumped into his truck and the pair gave chase.
Langendorff later described the dramatic events with local reporters.
“I pulled up to the intersection where the shooting happened and I saw two men exchanging gunfire, the other being a citizen of the community,” he said. “The shooter of the church had taken off, fled in his vehicle, and the other gentleman came and he said, ‘We need to pursue him,’ that he just shot up the church. So that’s what I did. I just acted.”
Langendorff said he hadn’t seen the concerned neighbor before, but knew he was from the area.
“I didn’t know him at all,” he explained. “He was just a member of the community, and whenever he came to my vehicle in distress with his weapon he explained very quickly what happened and he got in the truck and I knew it was just time [to go].”
Kelley reportedly had a head start, but that didn’t stop the pair from pursuing him.
“He got a little bit of a jump on us,” Langendorff said, noting how they called police as they were chasing him.
“So we were doing about 95mph, going around traffic and everything,” he added. “Eventually he came to kind of a slowdown and after that, we got within just a few feet of him and he got off the road…He just lost control and thats whenever i put the vehicle in park…The other gentleman jumped out and had his rifle drawn on him and he didn’t move after that.”
According to Langendorff, it took cops about five to seven minutes to arrive on the scene — and the neighbor kept his gun on Kelley the entire time.
“The police arrived and they pushed us back and they took care of the rest,” he said.
The cowboy hat-wearing citizen told KSAT he only had one thing on his mind while he was chasing Kelley with the armed neighbor: “Try and get him.”
“It was strictly just acting on what the right thing to do was,” Langendorff said.