‘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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  • Rex Rhinesmith

    Stephen Willeford is a brother indeed. Well done, sir.

  • Paul

    A true hero is the one who will argue they are not a hero and doesn’t want any of the praise. They are the ones who display courage in the face of danger when no one is looking.

  • Olaf

    I just can imagine the “what if” questions he is asking himself. “What if I could have been there earlier”, “What if I acted earlier”, “What if I had aimed better and killed him earlier.” He is a hero, but I would not call him a good Samaritan.

  • Kathryn Rose MacDonald

    I can’t even begin to imagine the sort of things running through this poor man’s head as he tries to sleep at night. I am so very sorry you are having to experience this. It sucks. There’s no pretty way to say that, it just plain sucks.

    This is the part of the movie nobody makes…..after the heroics. No director ever shot footage of John Wayne’s character as he lay in bed crying over the life/lives he was forced to take. This the part that nobody wants to admit………the taking (or near taking) of another life—under whatever conditions–has life-altering effects.

  • Kathy Alexander Shoffner

    I’m so very sorry for the the hurt and the pain you must be going through. It’s unimaginable. No one knows what they will do in a situation as this. You were doing Gods work. The Lord was filling you up with the knowledge and adrenaline that you knew and had learned. God bless you. We will pray for you to have some peace with this horrific time you’re going through. Please talk to your doctor if you are not sleeping. Lean on your friends and family. God is holding you in his arms. Cry…scream, we will pray for you.

  • FW Ken

    God bless him.

  • Gitmo

    Praying now.

  • Pamela Wells

    Praying for him now, as well as the community and families.

  • Elise G. Cortez

    Praise rhe Lord for this god-fearing man…not even a hint of vindictiveness nor arrogant pride. God’s healing grace be upon you.

  • alyse webb

    This man did what he had to do. Bless him. I would feel this way if I ever had to shoot anyone, even for good cause. May the Lord heal his heart and bless him. He is in my prayers.

  • Virginia P. Banach

    He killed innocent people.You did it to save others.God knows what happened & he is a just God u did what was right.Look at David he sent him to conqueor many enemies.Look at the examples of many men of God who brought justice to the land.
    Amen

  • Robert Price Davidson

    I have an idea of what the man is going through. Though I have never shot and killed someone, my father and son have while in the military. My father’s was in combat, my son while on a security detail. My father would never talk about it, my son just told me that it changes you when you take another human’s life. It isn’t as easy as Charles Bronson makes it look in Death Wish.

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