No one needs an AR-15. Anti-gunners love to tell us this. But I’m pretty sure retired plumber and former NRA instructor Stephen Willeford would disagree.
Willeford is the hero who confronted the crazed gunman who murdered at least 26 people Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX.
What did Willeford use to engage the active shooter, who was decked out in body armor? An AR-15.
In an interview with NRATV, Willeford spoke about his conscious decision to grab the modern sporting rifle from his gun safe.
“When my daughter ran in and said the man was in tactical gear with a helmet and body armor — when I opened up the safe I pulled out an AR-15,” Willeford explained. “AR-15 is much easier to handle and much easier to aim.”
In a separate interview with CRTV’s “Louder With Crowder, Willeford expounded why a rifle was the optimal choice.
“If I had run out of the house with a pistol and faced a bulletproof vest and kevlar and helmets, it might have been futile,” Willeford said. “I ran out with an AR-15 and that’s what he was shooting the place up with.”
“I hate to politicize that, but that’s reality,” he added.
After a brief gunfight outside the church, the shooter fled the scene. “I stopped his aggression and made him run,” told Willeford NRATV. “I turned his fight into flight, and I did what I had to do.”
Willeford, with the help of a motorist, would pursue the shooter in a vehicle until the perpetrator crashed his own SUV into a ditch.
While waiting for the police to arrive, Willeford held the suspect at gunpoint with his rifle. When the authorities came to the scene they approached the vehicle, only to find that the shooter was dead. He had been shot three times, including a self-inflicted wound to the head. He had given up.
Gun-grabbers like to paint ARs as “military style” rifles and “weapons of war” that have no business being in the hands of responsible citizens. But that’s an easy argument to make when a psychopath isn’t slaughtering your friends and your neighbors down at the local church.
“Those people were my friends,” said Willeford. “Those people have known my family. Those people have been here for generations. I kept hearing those shots and I knew every shot might be representing another person getting hit by a bullet.”