Texas church security team member who shot gunman had ‘eyes’ on the man as soon as he walked into the room

Posted at 7:46 PM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 21:46:49-05

(CNN) — The volunteer security team member at a Texas church is being praised for his “heroic actions” after he shot and killed the gunman who opened fire Sunday.

Jack Wilson, head of security at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, told CNN affiliate KTVT that he had “eyes” on the shooter as soon as he entered the sanctuary.

“After he shot (the two victims), he went and started towards the front of the sanctuary and that’s when I was able to engage him, and I fired one round,” he told KTVT.

Wilson didn’t say why he was suspicious, but another parishioner told KTVT the man’s appearance made her uncomfortable because he appeared to be wearing a wig.

Wilson, who is running for county commissioner in Hood County, posted a statement on his campaign website thanking “all who have sent their prayers and comments on the events of today.”

“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 said. “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.”

Wilson shot the gunman just seconds after two parishioners were shot. The two victims were members of the church security team and were identified as Anton Wallace, 64, of Fort Worth and Richard White, 67, of River Oaks, according to a statement released by the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Officials had said Sunday night that multiple members of the church security team responded to the gunman. However, Wilson was the only person who shot him, and he fired only once, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Monday.

Paxton also revealed that Wilson is a former reserve deputy sheriff and a firearms instructor.

“My understanding is, he was a reserve deputy and had significant training, had his own shooting range, had taught other people how to shoot, had taught many people in this church how to be prepared,” Paxton told reporters at a news conference. “He’s not just responsible for his actions, which ultimately saved the lives of maybe hundreds of people, but he’s also responsible for training hundreds in that church.”