Texas Governor Greg Abbott has announced that Jack Wilson, the man who stopped the gunman in a fatal shooting at a White Settlement church last month, will receive the Governor’s Medal of Courage.
Abbott will present the award, which is given to civilians who undertake “great acts of heroism by risking their own safety to save another’s life,” to Wilson at the Governor’s Mansion on Monday, CBS affiliate KEYE reported.
On Dec. 29, a man wearing a wig and fake beard walked into West Freeway Church of Christ and opened fire with a shotgun, killing two people.
Wilson, the head of the security detail, fired a single shot that took down the gunman, who has been identified by authorities as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, of River Oaks.
The shooting was captured on video as the church service was apparently being streamed on YouTube, according to the New York Daily News.
The shooter can be seen opening fire, but within seconds, seven different churchgoers draw their weapons — and Wilson takes him down.
In the aftermath of the incident, Wilson was widely hailed as a “hero” for his actions.
But the shooting also prompted a fierce debate between proponents of gun control and advocates of the Second Amendment, who heralded Wilson as the prototypical “good guy with a gun.”
A pro-gun control Jesuit priest suggested he’d rather let his parishioners die than allow guns in his church.
And some will say that’s imprudent and foolish and I’ll say, but where are the fools for Christ? And who said the gospel was supposed to be easy?
— Jeremy Zipple (@jzipple) December 31, 2019
One Arizona journalist was accused of “smearing” the six other Texas churchgoers who drew their firearms on Kinnunen.
The ratioooooooooooq pic.twitter.com/LCWJTKoi2W
— Chunkyness (@ChunkyTWshngtn) January 1, 2020
Several Democrat politicians also reacted to the White Settlement shooting by pushing gun control.
Beto O’Rourke, a failed Democratic candidate for Senate and the presidency who has advocated national gun confiscation, said in a tweet that the shooting shows “what we are doing in Texas, what we are dong in this country, when it comes to guns is not working.”
So saddened to hear about another church shooting in Texas, this one in White Settlement near Fort Worth. Clearly what we are doing in Texas, what we are doing in this country, when it comes to guns is not working. https://t.co/krwcpL1lih
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) December 29, 2019
Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan joined Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas in demanding greater state and federal regulation of firearms.
The hate and violence won't stop until we demand it. We must stop this obsession with killing each other. https://t.co/LM3YVBpETN
— Rashida Tlaib (@RashidaTlaib) December 29, 2019
Shortly after the shooting, Britt Farmer, a minister for West Freeway, Abbott and law enforcement for their quick responses to the shooting and told reporters he was grateful “our government has allowed us the opportunity to protect ourselves.”
(Reuters contributed to this report.)