Texas Church Shooting Hero, Jack Wilson, Shares his Side of the Story

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- On 30 December, 2019, Jack Wilson, the congregant of the West Freeway Church of Christ, in White Settlement, Texas, who stopped the attack, gave a lengthy, on-camera interview of what happened from his point of view.

I first found the interview on the bigcountry.com website. A few hours later, it was posted on Youtube.com as from KETKnbc.  The video interview is 18 minutes and 44 seconds long, done at Jack's private range.

The video is professionally done. Peculiarly, I have not found who the interviewer is. She is an attractive, tall, well dressed black woman with an incredible voice.  I was unable to identify her in spite of my best efforts. Perhaps a knowledgeable reader will be able to aid in identification so proper attribution can be given.

The interview is in-depth. It covers Jack's training methods at his range, the church shooting, and the formation of the church volunteer security team.

Jack Wilson gives details about how he acclimates new shooters to gun handling. He shows the range layout and explains some of his policies on defensive tactics for the church security team.

The reader finds out, for example, the security team was formed about 18-19 months ago, when the church moved to its present location in White Settlement.

One of the reasons for the formation of the team was the high crime incidence in the immediate area.

Jack says there were five homicides committed in 2018 within five miles of the church location.

Details are given of the shooting. Jack tells us why he was suspicious of the individual who murdered Jacks two friends before Jack could stop him.

The attacker was wearing a fake beard and a fake wig, with a “toboggan” (knit cap?) on top.  He had on a long, 3/4 length coat. He was continually adjusting the fake beard.

The reason we have a good video of the attack and the armed congregants' response, is Jack Wilson talked to the Church Audio Video group and told them to keep a camera on the suspicious person before the attack started.

The attacker got up to talk to Tony Wallace twice, before the shooting. Tony Wallace was the deacon who was shot after Richard White was shot. The third time, after he talked to Wallace, the man in the long coat, with a prominent fake beard and wig, pulled out the shotgun and started shooting.

Both Jack and Richard White, the volunteer church security team member who was shot and killed, started to draw at the same time when the shotgun was pulled from under the attacker's jacket.

We learn that Jack took a little extra time because he could not get a clear shot. The headshot was the only clear shot presented.

When asked what he would tell people who say guns do not belong in churches, Jack says:

“You don't know when something bad is going to happen, or where it is going to happen.”

“You carry it anywhere and everywhere you legally can, because you don't know when you are going to have to use it.”

In the interview, Jack mentions there are 22 members of Jack's volunteer security team at his church. He is the organizer of the team. Team members regularly practice shooting, at least every couple of months, with many practicing more often.

I highly recommend watching this video interview to anyone who wishes to understand what happened at the West Freeway Church of Christ, on 29 December 2019, and the mindset of Jack Wilson, the longtime firearm instructor who stopped the killing.

Perhaps Jack Wilson will grant me an interview while I am in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

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HamRadio
HamRadio
6 months ago

What pistol and caliber ammo did Mr. Wilson use to stop the criminal?

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
6 months ago
Reply to  HamRadio

SIG P229 chambered in .357 Sig.

RoyD
RoyD
6 months ago

The 357 Sig is an awesome performer when loaded properly. In my G32 it can be a little “snappy” but the payoff is worth it. Powerful, accurate, dependable: hard to argue with that.

Ben S.
Ben S.
6 months ago

I’ve been trying to find out myself. How do you know this, please? Great caliber. Love it myself the more I shoot it.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
6 months ago
Reply to  Ben S.

Mr. Wilson posted that himself on his Facebook page.

HamRadio
HamRadio
5 months ago

Thank you.

3l120
3l120
6 months ago

To me, the 2nd important past was the number of other responders. If Jack had missed, there at least 5-6 others ready to take his place. Don’t get me wrong, what he did was outstanding and he should be applauded, but remember there were others ready to take the shooter oiut.

Core
Core
6 months ago

How many would have died in California due to unconstitutional gun law? Hold these autocrats responsible enforce Article VI! Prayers to the two who lost their lives, so sad.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
6 months ago
Reply to  Core

California? How about Texas? 26 people were killed in the Sutherlands Springs church shooting when church carry was illegal in Texas. That shooting resulted in changing the law to permit church carry.

RoyD
RoyD
6 months ago

You are responsible for you and yours, live your life accordingly.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
6 months ago
Reply to  RoyD

I know.

Grigori
Grigori
6 months ago

Excellent interview!!!!

I wonder would Harold be concerned that Jack’s actions might have portrayed gun owners as being too aggressive towards potential active shooters in church settings.

peifoon
peifoon
6 months ago

Medals of Freedom for the whole team.

Levelhead
Levelhead
6 months ago

Well now we know for sure that bad stuff happens to good people at unpredictable times. And we know for sure that the good guy with a gun is what needs to be present in order to stop the bad guy with a gun. Too bad they didn’t act on the bad feelings they had a few seconds earlier. Wonder what all the democrats have to say about this happening?

ColdeadHands75
ColdeadHands75
6 months ago

Thank God there was a good guy with a gun!! God Bless you!!

Lee
Lee
6 months ago

Dean,

The woman reporter in the Jack Wilson interview is Mye Owens–a field reporter for KETK Fox-51 serving Tyler and Longview, Tx. She has a Master’s Degree and some D.C. political experience.

grim reaper
grim reaper
6 months ago

I must have missed the week long nightly news circus over good guy with a gun that surely run on ABC, NBC, CBS news. (tongue in cheek) You never see reporting on events like this.

coyotejoe
coyotejoe
6 months ago

I appears that Richard White, the first man shot, tried to “beat the drop”, drawing against a shotgun already pointed at him. Courageous but not real smart.

Jeffersonian
6 months ago
Reply to  coyotejoe

How is it not smart? He had absolutely nothing to lose. Do you think the attacker was going to let him go if he didn’t draw?

Finnky
Finnky
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeffersonian

@Jeffersonian – By drawing Richard White retained the attackers full focus for a moment. That may well have made a difference in the attacker not noticing Jack Wilson. Had the attacker focused on Jack instead of turning to run toward the pulpit – things could have gone differently. I’d say beyond not having anything to lose, Richard performed a heroic self sacrificial act. Given age and distance, it appears Richard would not have been successful had he attempted to grab the shotgun. Wallace was closer – any opinions on whether that could have been an option for him? White and… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
6 months ago
Reply to  coyotejoe

There will always be lessons learned from events like this. Being able to draw fast and getting off the X is one of them in this case!

JPM
JPM
6 months ago

The man is a true hero in a time when real heroes are few and far between. God Bless him. The only part of the article that bothers me, as it should anyone who loves the Constitution, is Jack’s quote where he states, “You carry it (handgun) anywhere and everywhere you legally can,…”. We have a right to be armed at all times, not just where the Democrats and liberals “permit” us to carry, and as such we should carry anywhere and everywhere, PERIOD. Yes, there are consequences for not obeying bad laws, but as the old cliche’ goes, “Better… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
6 months ago
Reply to  JPM

I guess you missed the “scare quotes” around the word “legally”.
If I’ve got a good bead on this Jack fellow I’, certain he used them.He knos true patriots would “read” him if he said it that way, also that he could not clearly advocate for violating “the law” by advocating carry where and when it is merely a malum prohibidum.

RoyD
RoyD
6 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

I gave you a thumbs up; but, Jack could have and should have said that very thing and damn the negative consequences.

Finnky
Finnky
6 months ago
Reply to  Tionico

@Tio – It seems that Jack Wilson is very familiar with legal restrictions. I don’t doubt that his time volunteering as auxiliary deputy was motivated by LEOSA which provides legal nationwide concealed carry license. In the interview he comments that before Texas law reform on church carry, church security teams had to have LTC-2c = commercial security guard license.
He is clearly the type of gun nut who gets into legal esoterica along with physical aspects of gun culture. Would be honored to know him and thrilled to get chance to learn from him.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
6 months ago

The detail I work with practices from 3, 5, 7, 10, 15 and 21 yards. These are timed events from concealment. Having a sidearm visible is legal in most places but it also makes you a priority target, so surprise the bad guy. There is a reload requirement. Legal requirements are 80% hit rate in the time allowed. Most of us clean the targets with A-zone hits, many times in 1/3 the time allowed. The question becomes; What would someone have to do to your spouse, children, friends, neighbors etc. that would force you to use deadly force? Those scenarios… Read more »

Ansel Hazen
Ansel Hazen
6 months ago

Sounds like Jack had the shooter pegged before he started. Just like you stated “If something doesn’t FEEL RIGHT it likely is not right or safe. Be aware of your surroundings. Spotting trouble before hand buys you time and lives.”

It sure looks like it worked in this situation and I daresay should be a template for all to aspire to.

Finnky
Finnky
6 months ago
Reply to  Ansel Hazen

@AH – I’d say it only sort-of worked in this situation. Ideal would be no innocent deaths. Question is when is the security team justified in taking forceful pre-emptive action? Two or three of them well within arms length asking him to depart could well have worked – though they would probably have had a scuffle over shotgun when he produced it. Until he produced the shotgun, I don’t think putting a gun to his head and demanding surrender would have been acceptable – even though in hind sight it would have been an appropriate course of action. Things get… Read more »

3l120
3l120
6 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

The false beard is what is distressing too me. Overcoat and wig, yeah, you might be wary, but the false wig spells problem to me. It her had just been wearing the overcoat the security team would have been a lot more relaxed, unless his actions, which we don’t see before the shooting were serious enough that they were concerned!

3l120
3l120
6 months ago
Reply to  Ansel Hazen

But why would they et in a character wearing a trench coat and with a wig and false beard. I know churches want to be inclusive but this is insane!

Finnky
Finnky
6 months ago

@DB – For shotguns, do you use chokes or slugs? I’ve shot steel at 45 yards – with slugs I scored fairly consistent hits, but 18.5″ cylinder bore with 00-buck I had a spread approaching 6′ so that all 9 pellets sometimes missed even if I aimed right. With spread of buck, there WILL be pellets continuing on regardless of aim. With 9mm I got about 50% hits (wasn’t counting) so possibly safer to shoot pistol then shotgun under confined/crowded conditions. People in this Church had the worst luck in having this occur. Once it happened, they had good luck… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
6 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

Either use Federal buckshot with FLITECONTROL to get a tighter pattern or slugs at greater distances. A typical defensive shotgun setup has buckshot loaded in the tube and slugs on the side saddle. If you need slugs, you load them.

Deplorable Bill
Deplorable Bill
6 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

When overseas, I watched a bad guy take a 12 gage slug to the chest and did not fall. Only on the arrival of the second 12ga. slug to the chest did he cease to return fire and drop. I know it limits range but I use 7 1/2 bird shot, next #4 buck shot, then 00 buck shot and finally a slug. The issues with a shot gun is you have to keep it fed and your range is limited. Birdshot cause the very worst firearm wound I have yet seen. Not much further than the security guard was… Read more »

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
6 months ago

Take a look at this video here to see how ineffective birdshot is: https://youtu.be/_F_KuFzjOGA. The victim was not incapacitated and was released from the hospital a week later. 00 buck and #4 buck are excellent choices. I prefer #4 buckshot for home defense, because it creates more damage at home defense distances. 00 buck with FLITECONTROL is better for longer distances, as 00 buck doesn’t lose as much effectiveness at range and FLITECONTROL keeps the pattern tighter. Slugs are devastating at pretty much any reasonable shotgun range! I would like to hear more about that supposed bad guy taking a… Read more »

Finnky
Finnky
6 months ago

@CF – I too am curious about that case. Two questions would be range and time – how long until second slug? For most GSW incapacitation occurs due to blood loss, so takes time. Someone may receive fatal wounds yet continue functioning for a time.

Charlie Foxtrot
Charlie Foxtrot
6 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

Slugs are pretty devastating, but are recommended for distance shots or shots though barriers. I mentioned this before, a typical defensive shotgun setup has buckshot loaded in the tube and slugs on the side saddle. If you need slugs, you load them.

I like having #4 buckshot in the tube and a mix of #4 buckshot and slugs on the side saddle. Once you start using slugs, you will only need very few!