Bystander in Texas Church Massacre Hailed as a Hero After Chasing Shooter at 95 MPH

Johnnie Langendorff speaks to Good Morning America, Nov. 6, 2017.
ABC News

Johnnie Langendorff was headed to his girlfriend’s house on Sunday morning when he came upon a harrowing scene: A man exchanging fire with another man in front of a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Langendorff had no idea one of the men, Devin Kelley, 26, had allegedly killed 26 people inside the church until the other man, a neighbor of the church, hopped into Langendorff’s truck.

“The neighbor with the rifle came to my truck and he opened my door and said, ‘He just shot up the church,’ and got in,” Langendorff said today on “Good Morning America.” “He said, ‘Chase him’ so that’s what I did. I just chased him.”

Langendorff and the neighbor, who was not identified, followed the suspect at speeds reaching 95 miles per hour.

At the same time, Langendorff was on the phone with 911 dispatchers trying to alert police that Kelley, who authorities believe killed 26 people and injured at least 20 at the First Baptist Church, was on the move.

“It seemed everybody had headed up to the church,” he said. “I’m not sure if anybody really realized that he had left and gone that direction.”

Langendorff and the neighbor, who had his rifle in the truck, had no idea what the suspect would do next. Still, Langendorff said the situation was nothing to “freak out about.”

“It was an act now, ask questions later kind of deal,” he said. “It wasn’t something that I needed to freak out about. The situation was, in a sense, under control and as long as I’m behind the wheel, I’m perfectly fine.”

Langendorff soon began to see the suspect losing control of his getaway car, which Langendorff said he left running with the engine on while he was in the church.

“He kind of started veering all over the place,” Langendorff said. “He took out one road sign and from there he hit the guard rail and then hit the bar ditch.”

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SOURCE: ABC News, JJ Gallagher, Katie Kindelan and Jennifer Leong