Jack Wilson, the volunteer security member, former reserve deputy sheriff, and firearms instructor who killed the gunman that opened fire in a Texas church Sunday, released a statement about his actions on Facebook and thanked those who have sent him prayers, CNN reports.
“The events at West Freeway Church of Christ put me in a position that I would hope no one would have to be in, but evil exists and I had to take out an active shooter in church,” he wrote. “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.”
The gunman was identified as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, of River Oaks, KIRO-TV reported. He opened fire at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement and killed two parishioners that were also members of the church security team — Tony Wallace, 64, and Richard Wright, 67. Wilson was able to fatally wound Kinnunen just six seconds after he brandished his gun.
Wilson, who has been a small business owner for more than 30 years, told reporters Monday that he doesn’t consider himself a hero.
“Did what I was trained to do,” he said.
Speaking to NBC News, Wilson revealed that he didn’t have a clear shot at Kinnunen after pulling out his gun. Wilson said he waited for a half-second or second for the parishioners to move and give him a clear line of sight at the gunman’s head, which he used to then take him down. Wilson also revealed that he did not feel like he killed a human being but an “evil.”
Jack Wilson recently participated in Wreaths Across America to honor those who gave their lives to defend our freedom pic.twitter.com/J0WbmR9dfh— Jack Posobiec ???????? (@JackPosobiec) December 30, 2019
According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Wilson had “significant training” during his time as a reserve deputy sheriff from 1980 to 1986. Wilson allegedly had his own shooting range where he taught others — including members of the church — how to be prepared for possible shooter situations. Paxton said that Wilson is responsible for both his actions as well as “training hundreds” in the church.
“You train, but you hope you never have to go to that extreme,” Wilson told reporters, adding that when the moment comes, the training “will kick in,” pointing to Sunday’s tragedy as an example.
As for the gunman, Kinnunen was reportedly homeless and religious. His sister, Amy Kinnunen, and their younger brother, Joel Kinnunen, had allegedly lived on the street before Joel committed suicide. According to Amy, the day of the shooting was Joel’s birthday. She told CNN that she last talked to Keith in November and did not believe that the incident was motivated by religion or revenge.