‘Good Samaritan’ Who Shot Texas Church Gunman Needs Prayers, Friend Says

By Nancy Flory Published on November 8, 2017

The Good Samaritan who shot the Texas church gunman needs prayers, said close friend John Wood.

Stephen Willeford, who confronted and shot Devin Kelley, then chased him down the highway, is distraught, said Wood. “I talked to him immediately after it happened, basically before any of the law enforcement arrived,” Wood told The Christian Chronicle. “He called me and said, ‘I just killed a man.’” Although Willeford, shot Kelley twice — once in the leg and once in the torso — police now believe Kelley died by a self-inflicted shot to the head.

Wood — a retired minister and Air Force chaplain — said that he’d just arrived home after church when Willeford called. Relying on his training in counseling, Wood said he did a lot of listening and encouraging. “He doesn’t want to be thought of as a hero — but just kind of like the Good Samaritan, somebody who was willing to step up when it had to be done.”

“I’m no hero, I am not,” Willeford told KHBS/KHOG-TV. Described by friends as a faithful Christian, Willeford gave credit to God. “I think my God, my Lord, protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done. I just wish I’d gotten there faster.”

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Willeford, clearly emotional, described hearing the shooting from his home nearby. “I didn’t have any time because I kept hearing the shots one after another — very rapid shots, just pop, pop, pop. And I knew every one of those shots represented someone, that it was aimed at someone, that they weren’t just random shots.”

“I was scared like you can’t even imagine, I was scared,” said Willeford. “But I knew something had to happen, because I love those people there, I love the people that are in there.” Willeford is asking for prayers for his community.

“He has the character of a man,” Wood said, about Willeford. “In everything he does, God is glorified.”

“That PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is going to be something that’s with him and the whole family for a while,” Wood said. “He is a blessing to many. They need lots of prayers and blessings to get through this situation themselves.”

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