I was in White Settlement, Texas on Tuesday after the attack at West Freeway Church of Christ on Sunday 12/29/19.
This is only the 2nd time a church killer was stopped this way. There have been church killers stopped by responding law-enforcement. There have been some stopped by congregants, or off-duty officers not part of any intentional team. Some have been stopped before they killed by intentional teams.
New Life Church, on 12/9/2007, was the only time an intentional team of civilian volunteers stopped a killer after they had already killed at the church. It happened again on 12/29/2019 at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, TX. They have now joined the club nobody wants to be in.
It never goes down as we would have written it.
While not the first volunteer faith-based security operator to be killed in their service, this is the first time one was killed in a 2-way gun battle in the sanctuary. From the moment the shotgun was pulled to the 1st killing shot was 3.6 seconds.
This will go down in history as a vivid look at what happened and exactly how it happened. That 51 seconds of video has been and will be cussed and discussed in many circles for many years. In the first 20 seconds we see a church transition from an obscure normal service to the first steps of a public lifetime of recovery.
The two security volunteers most directly involved were model profiles of typical faith-based security operators.
Richard White (the volunteer killed while drawing his weapon) was 67 years old. He was a sales manager for a chemical tank head company who served his church when he could. He was the pastor’s best friend.
Jack Wilson who drew a model 229 SIG, chambered in .357 SIG (as currently reported), and stopped the killer; is 71 years old. While he had been a reserve county Sheriff’s deputy for 6 years in the early 1980’s, he was primarily a small business owner. Among unrelated entrepreneurial endeavors, he ran a firearms training operation for many years.
Think about it
Every one of us has a process time between recognizing peril and stopping it. Would my process time be .036, .36 or 3.6 seconds? What will yours be?
Richard Smith’s death was not in vain; he died not only that others may live, but that they may learn.