The ex-FBI agent who jumped into action when a gunman opened fire on worshipers during a church service in Texassaid 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 Precinct 3 who is the head of the church’s security team, shared some details on his campaign’s Facebookpage 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.”
Jack Wilson said he “had to take out an active shooter in church” in a Facebook post. (West Freeway Church of Christ/Courtesy of Law Enforcement via AP/Facebook)
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.
In this still frame from livestreamed video provided by law enforcement, churchgoers take cover while a congregant armed with a handgun, top left, engages a man who opened fire, near top center just right of windows, during a service at West Freeway Church of Christ, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in White Settlement, Texas. (West Freeway Church of Christ/Courtesy of Law Enforcement via AP)
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.
Police and fire departments surround the scene of a shooting at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019. (Yffy Yossifor/Star-Telegram via AP)
“I feel I have the knowledge and passion to move this growing county into a place all residents can be proud to call home,” he wrote.