A Sunday morning service at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, turned to chaos when a gunman opened fire on members of the congregation, killing two people.
However, according to the Dallas Morning News, the congregation fought back, with two members who are also part of the church’s security team, shooting back at the unidentified assailant, killing him.
Lt. Gov Dan Patrick who spoke at a Sunday evening news conference, touted changes to the state law that ensured that concealed weapons could be carried in churches and also nodded to the security team who protected the rest of the congregation.
“The heroism today is unparalleled,” Patrick said. “This team responded quickly, and within six seconds the shooting was over.”
“We lost two great men today, but it could have been a lot worse, and I am thankful our government has allowed us the opportunity to protect ourselves,” Britt Farmer, the church’s senior minister told the news site.
A livestream video from the church captured the shooting, but was removed from the church’s YouTube following the attack. Copies are still circulating online, however, showing the gunman getting up from the back of the room before the shooting begins.
Authorities have not released the names of the members killed by the gunman, but the daughter of one of the victims told NBC DFW that her father, Anton “Tony” Wallace, a deacon at the church, lost his life in the gunfire.
“You don’t think it’s going to hit home and the fact that it hit our home and someone that supports us and loves us and is our dad [is gone], that’s what hurts the most,” Tiffany Wallace told the news station.
“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 added.
Her father was rushed to the hospital, but could not be saved.
The FBI acknowledged that the gunman had been arrested in different jurisdictions prior, but declined to expound on the charges he’d faced.
Authorities have also not given any information about a possible motive.