A Texas man who used an AR-15 to confront and stop an active shooter in 2017 responded recently to pro-gun control comments about the incident from former Vice President Joe Biden.
Stephen Willeford, a former NRA firearms instructor, wounded gunman Devin Patrick Kelley, who was in the midst of carrying out a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5, 2017.
Kelley killed 26 people and wounded 20 others before being confronted by Willeford and another local resident.
In an interview with Law Enforcement Today published on Sunday, Willeford credited the superior firepower he carried with helping him take down Kelley, who had dropped his rifle when the two men began to exchange shots.
Willeford said a police officer who arrived on the scene armed with a pistol encouraged him to continue assisting with the engagement.
“I guess [the officer] knew that 50 yards with a rifle, you got a better shot. Even with two rounds, I had a better tactical advantage than he did at 100 yards with a pistol,” Willeford said.
The week after the shooting, Biden responded to a “Today” show audience member who asked him to “justify” the Democratic party’s position on gun control in light of the fact the Sutherland Springs shooter “was stopped by a man who was legally licensed to carry a gun.”
“Well, first of all, the kind of gun being carried he shouldn’t be carrying,” Biden said. “Assault weapons are … I wrote the last serious gun control law that was written and was law for 10 years, and it outlawed assault weapons and it outlawed weapons with magazines that had a whole lot of bullets and so you can kill a whole lot of people a lot more quickly.”
More than two years after Biden made the remarks, Willeford has responded, telling Law Enforcement Today:
“I wonder if his family had been sitting in a pew if he would have said the same thing.”
- Stephen Willeford.: Screen grab