Local News

Watch the Shocking Video: Gunman Stopped by Armed Churchgoer

By  | 

Pulling a shotgun out at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a gunman opened fire and killed two people in the North Texas church on Sunday, December 29, 2019. According to authorities, had it not been for two congregants, the outcome could have been much worse. Two fatalities were confirmed by MedStar Mobile Healthcare, one at the scene and another on the way to the hospital. Both victims were male.

Two members of the security team for the church, both volunteers, drew their own weapons on the gunman, confronting him, and fatally shooting him. Their actions have saved an “untold number of lives” according to press reports. White Settlement is a North Texas town near Fort Worth with a population of approximately 17,000. The service was also being livestreamed into a number of parishioners’ homes. In the footage, the gunman can be seen talking to an individual at the back of the West Freeway Church of Christ after rising from a pew. He then pulls a gun and begins to open fire. Congregants can be heard screaming and witnessed taking cover. Britt Farmer, the Senior Minister of the church, told the USA Today, “We lost two great men today, but it could have been a lot worse.”

Warning: The Twitter video posted below includes graphic content.

Video: Twitter/@GrantB911

Shared by @GrantB911 on Twitter, the church shooting video is an eerie reminder of how things can go so wrong, but also, how hope can be found among us. The Texas Department of Public Safety has described the actions of the volunteer security team members as “heroic,” having brought the shooting to a quick end. Police have not yet provided details with respect to a possible motive for the attack which remained under investigation as of last night. The names of the victims have not been released. FBI Special Agent in Charge Matthew DeSarno has also noted that the gunman, whose identity has also not yet been released, had local roots, but was “relatively transient.”

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick told USA Today, “This team responded quickly and within six seconds, the shooting was over. Two of the parishioners who were volunteers of the security force drew their weapons and took out the killer immediately, saving untold number of lives.” Patrick also praised the state’s gun laws, which allow for licensed handgun owners to legally carry their weapons, loaded, into churches that haven’t posted signs banning them. This became a hotbed of debate in Texas in 2017 when a gunman fatally shot 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, and wounded 20 more. Governor Greg Abbott also issued a statement on the attack, condemning it as an “evil act of violence” in a place of worship. “I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life,” he said. “Cecilia and I ask all Texans to join us in praying for the White Settlement community and for all those affected by this horrible tragedy.”