The ex-FBI agent who jumped into action when a gunman opened fire on worshipers during a church service in Texas said Monday he was placed in a position he didn’t want to be in, but had to react because “evil exists.”
Two men were killed when the gunman opened fire at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement on Sunday morning, as more than 240 parishioners were inside. Within seconds, he was shot to death by two congregants who fired back.
Jack Wilson, a Hood County resident running for commissioner for the 3rd Precinct who is the head of the church’s security team, shared some details on his campaign’s Facebook page as he gave thanks to “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 wrote. “I’m thankful to GOD that I have been blessed with the ability and desire to serve him in the role of head of security at the church.”
At a news conference Sunday night, White Settlement Police Department Chief J.P. Bevering told reporters the gunman – who has yet to be identified – had sat down in a pew before getting up, taking out a shotgun and firing at a parishioner, who was killed.
A livestream of the church service shows the gunman getting up from a pew and talking to someone at the back of the church before pulling out a gun and opening fire. Parishioners can then be heard screaming and seen ducking under pews or running as papers fly to the floor.
Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick told reporters on Sunday the church’s 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 said.
In a briefing with reporters on Monday morning, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said it was his understanding that Wilson was the one who shot the gunman dead. Paxton added that after talking with members of the congregation, he found that Wilson had given training to others at the church because he had a shooting range.
“They did the right things and they are the model for what churches and other businesses need to focus on,” he told reporters.
On his Facebook page, Wilson lists his personal history as a small business owner for 30 years and who served in negotiating proposals and contracts for a major defense company. He said he also served as a Hood County Reserve Deputy Sheriff from 1980 to 1986. It was not immediately clear when he served as an FBI agent, but he said that he had taken the oath to support and defend the Constitution “multiple times” beginning in 1965, when he joined the National Guard, a reserve deputy for the Hood County Sheriff’s Department, and “multiple times” with the Department of Defense Security Clearances beginning in 1965 through 1995.
“I swore to the oath then and still live by the oath today,” he wrote.
In the Facebook post on his personal history, he added: “I continue to work with Federal, State and local levels of law enforcement.”
Wilson, who has previously posted on Facebook that he “totally” stands by President Trump, said his mission of running for the county office is to “be accessible to serve the public with honesty and integrity, to help provide essential services through an efficient and effective use of the County’s resources and to be accountable to the citizens of Precinct 3 and all citizens of Hood County.”
The commissioner candidate says his wife of 51 years has raised his family in Granbury/Hood County for the last 42 years, and are the proud parents of three daughters and the “blessed grandparents” of 10, and one great-grandchild.
While authorities have not yet identified those killed in the shooting, Tiffany Wallace told Dallas TV station KXAS that her father, Anton “Tony” Wallace, was one of the victims in the attack. She said her father was a deacon at the church and had just passed out communion when the gunman approached him.
“I ran toward my dad and the last thing I remember is him asking for oxygen and I was just holding him, telling him I loved him and that he was going to make it,” Wallace said.
Wallace said her father was rushed to a hospital but he did not survive.
The second parishioner who died in the shooting was identified to CBS News as Richard White.
“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 wrote early Monday. “Please pray for all the members and their families in this time. Thank you for your prayers and understanding.”
Gov. Greg Abbott asked the state to pray for the victims, their loved ones and the community of White Settlement, located about 8 miles west of Fort Worth.
“Places of worship are meant to be sacred, and I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life,” Abbott said in a tweeted statement.