Brave congregant who stopped Texas church shooter says he’s not a hero

Texas authorities on Monday identified Anton Wallace, 64, and Richard White, 67, as the two members of the West Freeway Church of Christ shot and killed by a gunman who opened fire on a church service a day earlier.

The gunman, identified by the Texas Department of Public Safety as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, was killed by a member of the security team at the White Settlement church, the Dallas News reported.

Jack Wilson, who reportedly provided firearms training to members of the congregation, is widely credited as the man who fired the shot that killed Kinnunen. White Settlement Police Chief J.P. Bevering said two  members of the security team fired, the Fort Worth Star Telegram reported, but the name of the second man was unknown.

In a Facebook post late Sunday night, Wilson wrote that he grieves “the loss of two dear friends and brothers in CHRIST.”

“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,” wrote Wilson, who is a candidate for the Hood County Commission.

On Monday, Wilson told a reported he didn’t think he was a hero:

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Kinnunen, 43, reportedly wore a disguise that  that included a fake beard when he went to the church service before opening fire.

He reportedly sat near congregant Isabel Arreola, 38, and her 7-year-old daughter, according to the Star-Telegram, and Arreola said he made her uneasy.

“I should have listened to my gut,” she said. “While he was there, I couldn’t sing. I couldn’t pray. There was just something not right about him. But at the same time, I thought that maybe I was being too hard.”

Kinnunen has a criminal record that includes multiple arrests, some out of state. According to MyCentralJersey.com, Kinnunen was arrested in 2016 after he was reported to be behaving suspiciously at an oil refinery in Linden. A local resident reportedly called police to say that a man had been asking about taking photos of the refinery, and authorities responded to find him with a shotgun and ammunition in his possession. Police also found that he was in contempt of court at the time on an assault charge in Oklahoma.

At the time, Kinnunen reportedly said he was a homeless traveler and interested in taking photos of “interesting sites,” according to the local report.

The suspect also had criminal charges in Fort Worth: aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2008 and a 2013 theft charge.

Authorities have not yet commented on a possible motive for the shooting. Investigators reportedly began searching Kinnunen’s home in River Oaks following the deadly shooting.

CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.

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[Featured image: Screenshot from church video]