Texas hero pursued gunman in high-speed chase after church massacre

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Johnnie Langendorff chased the suspect at 95mph after a shooting that killed 26 people in a small rural community.

The perpetrator of the worst shooting in Texas’ history was found dead after being pursued from the scene in a high-speed car chase, the man who followed him has revealed.

Johnnie Langendorff said he drove through traffic at 95mph in pursuit of suspect Devin Kelley after witnessing him exchange fire with an armed neighbour outside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Kelley had just murdered 26 worshippers in the Texas community of a few hundred people. His youngest victim was five years old.

Devin Kelley was found dead in his car after the  police shooting
Image:
Devin Kelley was found dead in his car after the police shooting

Mr Langendorff, who is being hailed as a hero, described acting quickly after pulling up at the intersection in the midst of the shootout.

The man who had just confronted the gunman approached Mr Langendorff’s truck and urged him to give chase as the gunman drove away.

“I never got a look at him, I never really saw him, I just saw the gunfire,” he said.

The pair pursued the suspect in Mr Langendorff’s truck for the length of the highway – as police headed in the opposite direction towards the church – before Kelley lost control of his getaway car and crashed into a ditch.

“The gentleman with me got out, rested his rifle on my hood and aimed at him, telling him to ‘get out, get out’,” Mr Langendorff said.

“There was no movement, the guy didn’t put up a fight or anything.”

Police at the scene of a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas
Image:
Police at the scene of a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs

Police arrived about five minutes later and Kelley was found dead in his car, although it is not clear if he killed himself or had died from shots fired by his pursuers.

It was reported that more weapons were found by police in the vehicle.

Authorities have yet to give a motive for the shooting. Kelley had previously served in the US Air Force, but was discharged in 2014 after charges of assaulting his spouse and child.

Mr Langendorff said in pursuing the killer he was “strictly just acting on what’s the right thing to do, adding: “He just hurt so many people and he just affected so many people’s lives, why wouldn’t you want to take him down?”

Devin Kelley was found dead in his car after the  police shooting

Police at the scene of a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas

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