‘He needed to be stopped,’ says local hero who pursued Texas gunman

Stephen Willeford, right, hugs Johnnie Langendorff during a vigil for the victims of the First Baptist Church shooting Monday, Nov. 6, 2017, in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Willeford shot suspect Devin Patrick Kelley and Langendorff drove the truck while they chased Kelley. Kelley opened fire inside the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing more than two dozen and injuring others. (AP/David J. Phillip)
Updated 07 November 2017
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‘He needed to be stopped,’ says local hero who pursued Texas gunman

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas: A Texas man who saw a local exchanging gunfire with the assailant who had just massacred 26 people at a small town church said he had no hesitation in pursuing the gunman because he needed to be stopped.
“That’s it. I mean that’s the bottom line, he needed to be stopped,” Johnnie Langendorff told Reuters TV. “He was stopped and he’s not going to hurt anyone else ever again.”
Langendorff was driving his pickup truck in Sutherland Springs on Sunday when he saw a local man, Stephen Willeford, trading rifle fire with a black-clad stranger who had just emerged from the First Baptist Church.
“He jumped in my truck and said ‘He just shot up the church, we got to get him’ and I said ‘OK, let’s go,’” Langendorff said of his rapid words with Willeford.
“And so from there we blew through this intersection and he started going about 90-95 (miles per hour) (145-153 km per hour) keeping up with this guy,” Langendorff said.
At the time, neither of them knew they were chasing Devin Kelley, 26, an Air Force veteran who police say put on tactical gear, a ballistic vest and skull-like mask to carry out the most deadly mass shooting in the modern history of Texas.
The pursuit lasted about 10-12 minutes, Langendorff said. Then Kelley lost control and crashed into a ditch. They stopped too and Willeford trained his rifle on the disabled vehicle, Langendorff added, but the gunman never emerged.
Willeford’s cousin Ken Leonard told CNN that Willeford shot Kelley where there was a gap in his vest.
“Stephen is the best shot that I know,” Leonard told CNN. “He without armor and barefooted ran into the fire and put his own life at risk, took return fire and fired accurately three times. That’s an amazing accomplishment, especially for a man who has, who was never in the military.”
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Freeman Martin, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, described Willeford as a good Samaritan and a “Texas hero.”
Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt also hailed Willeford for grabbing his gun and responding to the danger.
“He didn’t have to come out,” Tackitt told Reuters. “He could have stayed at his house.”


Man injures four people, shot dead after Marseille knife attack

Updated 10 min 35 sec ago
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Man injures four people, shot dead after Marseille knife attack

MARSEILLE: Officials in the French city of Marseille say a knife-wielding man has been shot dead after he allegedly attacked several people on a major street.

French media report at least two pedestrians were injured in the knife attack that took place late Tuesday afternoon, but none of their lives were considered to be in danger.

An official with the regional administration said there was no reason yet to think the attack was terror-related but information was sketchy.

The official could not confirm the identity of the attacker or the nature of the attack. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, citing department policy.