Texas Church Shooting Was Over in 6 Seconds

2 members of the church's security team took out the gunman
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2019 8:18 AM CST
Updated Dec 30, 2019 12:26 PM CST
Texas Church Shooting Was Over in 6 Seconds
In this still frame from livestreamed video provided by law enforcement, churchgoers take cover while a congregant armed with a handgun, top left, engages a man who opened fire, near top center just right of windows, during a service at West Freeway Church of Christ, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019.   (West Freeway Church of Christ/Courtesy of Law Enforcement via AP)

The gunman who shot and killed two people at a Texas church on Sunday as services were being broadcast live was stopped in just six seconds, according to Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. "Two of the parishioners who were volunteers of the [West Freeway Church of Christ's] security force drew their weapons and took out the killer immediately," he said per USA Today. "This thing would have been a massacre" if not for them, Jack Cummings, one of the church's ministers, tells the New York Times. Coverage:

  • The identity of the gunman has not been provided, nor has a motive been given, though an FBI agent did say the attacker was a "relatively transient" man with ties to the area. CNN adds the shooter had an arrest record but was not on a watch list, per the FBI agent.
  • Tiffany Wallace tells NBC News that one of the two male victims was her father, Anton "Tony" Wallace, who served as a deacon at the church and was handing out communion when he was shot. She said the gunman said "drop it" to her father before shooting at him. It's unclear what the shooter meant; Wallace says her father had a communion plate in his hands at the time. The 64-year-old registered nurse died at the hospital.

  • Nearly 250 people were in the church in White Settlement at the time of the attack. Isabel Arreola was one of them and tells CBS DFW that she was alarmed by the gunman before the shooting took place. "I see him sit in the pew behind us," she says, and "something was telling me something's not right," to the point where she said something to her husband. "I told him I don't feel comfortable. I feel he's like dressed in like a beard and that's a wig ... it looks so fake ... I just kind of kept looking back there."
  • Wallace echoes the part about the fake beard. She said he seemed to be wearing one, along with a trench coat, and that her daughter commented on his appearance after he arrived at the church. She shushed her daughter. "I was thinking, 'Hey, he's a visitor, probably looking for new church home,'" and thought they should welcome him.
  • USA Today reports that Texas enacted a law in September that permits weapons in places of worship; officials are pointing to the law as the reason why the shooter was taken down so rapidly.
  • Fox News reports one of the congregants who took the shooter down was ex-FBI agent Jack Wilson, who wrote on Facebook, "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."
(More church shootings stories.)

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