Stephen Willeford was at his home on the morning of Nov. 5 when his daughter informed him of gunshots being fired at nearby Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church. A man had opened fire on worshipers and was murdering them in droves. Willeford, disregarding his own safety, grabbed his AR-15 and ran barefoot toward the gunfire.
Willeford arrived at the church as the gunman was still executing victims. He engaged him, shooting him several times and causing him to flee the area while Willeford gave chase. Willeford and Johnnie Langendorff, the man he flagged down to drive after the gunman, stayed with the attacker until he drove off the road and police arrived to confirm he had died.