Jack Wilson’s campaign slogan on his Facebook page claims, “Your vote is on target.”
That was posted several weeks ago. On Sunday, the former Texas reserve deputy sheriff, who is running for a county commission seat in Hood County, was on target under extraordinary circumstances. When a man opened fire at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Wilson, the deacon of the church’s security team, was one of the men who returned fire, killing the gunman.
“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,” Wilson wrote on his Facebook campaign page.
“I don’t consider myself a hero.”— Caroline Vandergriff (@c_vandergriff) December 30, 2019
Jack Wilson describes how he stopped a shooter at a White Settlement church yesterday @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/dMRRoyS57u
The suspect was identified by two law enforcement officials as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, of River Oaks, KXAS reported.
“From the time he walked in the door, we had eyes on him,” Wilson told reporters Monday.
Two parishioners -- identified by fellow church members as Tony Wallace and Richard Wright -- were killed when the gunman opened fire, KTVT reported. But six seconds after the gunman displayed his weapon, the shooting was over and Kinnumen was fatally wounded, WFAA reported.
“He shot Richard (Wright), because Richard and I were both drawing our weapons at the same time,” Wilson told WFAA. "And he shot Tony Wallace.”
Wilson said he hesitated for a second because some parishioners were standing up, but then he fired.
Wilson said he couldn't shoot back right away because people were starting to stand up.
“About a second later, (I) had a clear shot, then I took the shot,” Wilson told WFAA.
Wilson told reporters Monday that after shooting Kinnunen, he made sure the suspect stayed down as others went to assist the victims, KTVT reported.
“Don’t consider myself a hero at all. Did what I was trained to do,” Wilson said.
Here are some things to know about Wilson:
According to the Facebook post introducing his campaign, Wilson said he has been a small-business owner for more than 30 years. He also worked for 18 years negotiating proposals and contracts for a major defense company.
Wilson served as a reserve deputy sheriff from 1980 to 1986. He currently is a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement instructor and also a license to carry 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,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton told reporters at a news conference Monday. “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.”
“You train, but you hope you never have to go to that extreme,” Wilson told reporters Monday. “But if you do, your training will kick in, and that was evident yesterday.”
“Two of the parishioners who are volunteers on the security force drew their weapons and took out the killer immediately, saving untold number of lives,” Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said in a news conference.
Wilson said he has been married for 51 years and has three daughters, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Wilson and his family have lived in Hood County and its county seat, Granbury, for 42 years.
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