From Hymns To Gunfire In A Country Church In Texas

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 7 months ago

The Washington Post continues with things we learn about the shooting in Sutherland Spring, Texas.

They ran outside, and that’s when they saw him: Kelley, dressed in all black, carrying a long rifle and standing across the street, beneath the tall, blue sign that reads “First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.”

A few houses away, Kevin Jordan was changing the oil on his Ford Focus when he heard the gunshots. He stood up and turned his head, spotting a man wearing body armor, a vest and a mask walking down the sidewalk toward the church.

Jordan, 30, ran into his house and grabbed his son as he screamed to his wife to take cover. As they all hid in the bathroom, Jordan dialed 911.

[ … ]

When he reached the church, Kelley began moving rapidly around the exterior in a crouch, like a “G.I. Joe” character. For about two minutes he quickly circled the building, firing through its walls, wielding his weapon just below his chest as the horrified worshipers inside began to scream and duck beneath pews as bullets burst through sanctuary windows.

Kelley’s body shook as he sprayed the outside of the church. Smith and Flores scrambled on all fours back into the gas station, screaming to the few customers there to find cover.

Then, for a moment, the shooting stopped. Kelley walked into First Baptist. Then the gunfire started anew.

[ … ]

A single, blood-covered man emerged near the side of the church and sprinted across a grassy lot to the gas station, desperately pounding on the glass door.

“He started killing everybody,” the man blurted out, collapsing to his knees. “My family’s in there.”

They all looked out the window. No one else was leaving the church.

“All I could think about was that my friend Joann was in there with her kids,” Smith recalled. “I knew everybody in there. They were all my customers and friends.”

Smith’s friend, Joann Ward, was among those killed. She’d shoved her eldest daughter away from the shooting before throwing herself on top of her three youngest children. Two of them died there with her. The third, her 5-year-old son Ryland, was shot in the stomach, groin and arm and remains hospitalized.

From other reports we know that “investigators collected at least 15 empty magazines that held 30 rounds each at the scene, suggesting the assailant fired at least 450 rounds.”  We also know from Stephen Willeford that he shot the shooter after the shooter had retreated to his vehicle to get a pistol.  The shooter was apparently intent on doing further carnage, either at that church or elsewhere.  Willeford ended the carnage by his heroic actions.

Now from The Washington Post we learn that some of the shooting was done from the outside through windows, and only about two minutes later did he enter the building.  With an armed congregation this would have been ample time to have returned fire through windows or position someone to fire upon his entry to the building.  Entering confined spaces is very dangerous if there is someone waiting for you to return fire.

We also learn that a man in the church retreated to the gas station to pound on glass.  No help was forthcoming, I’m certain.  Moreover, the police couldn’t have been closer than ten to fifteen minutes away.  We also learn that another man heard the shooting and apparently saw the shooter, retreated to his house, hid, and called 911.  He didn’t retrieve a gun and confront the shooter.  No help was forthcoming except for Willeford.  The police couldn’t have been closer than ten to fifteen minutes away.  Let me say this again: the police couldn’t have been closer than ten to fifteen minutes away.

Where the hell were the men (excepting Willeford)?  Do men not attend worship in Texas?  Do men not carry firearms in Texas?  As I’ve said before, the shooter should have been confronted by the barrels of fifty pistols as soon as he entered the building.

Does your church have a security plan?  No, I’m not talking about calling 911 or relying on the police.  Do men in your church carry weapons?  Have the men in your congregation met and worked together to discuss, train on and execute your security plan?  Does the security plan include men stationed throughout the property and physical plant?  No, I’m not talking about police.  I’m talking about the men in your congregation.  Do the men in your congregation meet on a regular basis and train with weapons?

The American church had better wake from its coma before it’s too late.  You’re a target.  Learn and understand that.  With a confined space, men, women and children sitting with people to the front of them and people to the back of them, limited means on ingress and egress, and all attention focused in one place, we’re sitting ducks.  Wise up, folks.  Do not run to call 911.  It will be too late for the police to do any good.  You are your own protector and the protector of your own congregants.  God expects it.  He demands it.

A quick word about the interview Stephen Willeford did over YouTube with Crowder.  I’m delighted that he chose to do it this way.  How much do you think the MSM wanted this interview, and how delightful is it that they didn’t get it?  I continue to learn little bits and pieces of the horrible event, and as I do I’ll pass them on, but the most you’ll ever learn about this will come straight from Mr. Willeford.  If you haven’t already watched his interview, do so now.

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  1. On November 10, 2017 at 3:15 am, Papa said:

    Amen to all that.
    1. Where were the armed men?
    2. Wake from the coma.
    3. Good Willeford engaged.
    4. Thumbs up to Crowder and Willeford for doing a great interview. Don’t let the major MSM screw the story up.
    This incident, and Mr. Willefird’s action, has woke me up and shaken me. I’ve done a major evaluation of my pathetic readiness.

  2. On November 10, 2017 at 3:45 am, Nosmo said:

    ….As they all hid in the bathroom, Jordan dialed 911….

    That’s almost certainly the typical response today. I’d suggest finding better neighbors, but that would be a fruitless search. It was too late for many, but thank goodness there was a Stephen Willeford and Johnnie Langedorff in the bunch.

    The American church had better wake from its coma before it’s too late.
    Well, actually, it’s not just churches, although there’s high probability they will undoubtedly be at, or near, the center of such activities, there’s no particular reason this event cannot be repeated at a grocery store, home improvement store, fast food restaurant, self-service gas station, or a myriad of other places.

    In Texas the exalted beings of the legislature decided to prohibit armed self defense in churches, or at least complicate it greatly with a permission structure that has penalties for not following. Which is also true in most states.

    The bottom line is your rear end – and those of your family – belongs to you: You’re the one responsibie for taking care of it, and theirs, and the guy you voted for will be hundreds of miles away when something starts happening to it.

  3. On November 10, 2017 at 8:24 am, Carl B. said:

    “The American church had better wake from its coma before it’s too late.  You’re a target.  Learn and understand that.”

    They are trying to kill us. Take responsibility for your own defense or face the consequences. The “cattle cars” are waiting for you.

  4. On November 10, 2017 at 9:26 am, Fred said:

    Yes, it could happen anywhere but the reason that the American church better ‘wake up’ is because; it all starts with God, and God’s people, and His house. The church is the moral center of society and it, we Christians, are not doing our job which leads to other forces becoming a bigger influence. So, saying that the American gas station or restaurant better wake up is ridiculous.

    When Christian men read the Holy Bible and actually believe it is when we’ll turn this thing called America around and not before. There is no other way out. Period. Full Stop.

    When you get sideways with the LORD, only the LORD can get you straight.

    60 million dead babies and counting…tick tock…tick tock.

  5. On November 10, 2017 at 10:17 am, Nosmo said:

    @ Fred: I won’t contest that, for all the reasons you cited, plus a bunch more, churches are, and will be, at the epicenter. I do note, however, that the people who sit beside me in church are the same people in the supermarket checkout line with me, and at the gas station, and in the stands at Friday night high school football games, and at McDonald’s and Chik-Fil-A, and…..well, you get the picture.

    It matters not who is, or is not, a devout church-going Christian (church attendance is a handy marker, though, and does provide a convenient self-assembling group ripe for the attacking); anyone who resists, and especially actively resists and challenges the corruption and debasement advanced by our so-called “betters” constitutes a threat to their hegemony, whether they are in church or at Home Depot.

  6. On November 10, 2017 at 11:52 am, Andrew said:

    I figured churches were “by permission Only” with regard to “carry”.
    Just like Ohio.
    Not like you’re going to find a church with a sign on the door saying “concealed carriers welcome” and every time somebody in the legislature tries to change the statute it their proposal vanishes.

    Kind of discourages one from organized religion if one must either risk a Felony by going in without Permission or hoping for a Permission that one must wait for. Not likely to “permit” some random Joe walking through the door, after all, but if one is an established member, then maybe.

  7. On November 10, 2017 at 1:07 pm, Fred said:

    Agreed. I’m glad you didn’t take what I said personally. After I wrote it I was a little concerned about the word “ridiculous”. Obviously you figured, correctly, that you were not being called ridiculous but merely the notion. You’re greater point is well taken. America, and it’s so called church, has a spiritual problem not a gun problem.

    Men cowering in their bathtub or not having the means to return fire is a sickness on their soul, the cure for which is Christ Jesus. If a man refuses to go armed he admits to a Holy God and all of mankind that he is unfit for his duties in a fallen world. He is a stunted child that is unequal to the task of manhood. Additionally, he doesn’t love his family. A man, any man, will fight to the death to protect that which he loves. This is God’s natural order that they deny and therefor, they deny God himself.

  8. On November 11, 2017 at 9:51 am, joe said:


    they also made it harder even for LE to carry off duty with the permission structure…fekking libtards…

  9. On November 12, 2017 at 2:07 am, rumcrook said:

    I decided years ago that any large gathering or restaurant or store was a target of oportunity for bad guys and i was not going to aak permission to protect me and my family. I just carry and thats it. The only variables in my decisions are places i cant get into becuase of metal detectors and thats about it. Other variables on my carry are personal. If im with my children i carry one of my larger higher capacity semi autos for better site radius and higher capacity to stay in the fight longer to protect my family, if im alone i often opt for a smaller easier to carry gun like my ruger .380 or my snub nose .38 chiefs special. Which i call my get off me guns. But at church it is usually my cz 75. I beleive odds are it will never happen to me in my lifetime but after the mega church attempted mass shooting in my area several years ago (colorado springs) that was stopped by an armed parishioner acting as security its foolish to abrogate your responsibilities. In fact that particular situation is a good example of how many lives could have been saved if only one man in that church had a handgun.

  10. On November 12, 2017 at 9:06 am, Ned said:

    At least 5 are men and 2 women at our church are always armed. YMMV

  11. On November 12, 2017 at 8:51 pm, Jim Wiseman said:

    I’m convinced the biggest factor that resulted in all those deaths is that the people of the church didn’t think it could happen to them.

  12. On November 12, 2017 at 11:53 pm, Backwoods Engineer said:

    Ned, about the same number at my church. I am one of them. And oh yes, men AND women. My wife has almost as much firearms training as I do, which is quite a bit.

  13. On November 17, 2017 at 8:01 am, Snakepit Kansas said:

    I carry at church and have done so for a long time. If a building is not posted then me and my Glock are going in. There is at least one other guy there that carries also as he sometimes patterns while genuflecting. An organized plan by the author is a very good idea.

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You are currently reading "From Hymns To Gunfire In A Country Church In Texas", entry #18042 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Firearms,Guns and was published November 9th, 2017 by Herschel Smith.

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