Following an attack on a church in the state of Texas on Sunday, Dec. 29, President Donald Trump expressed his condolences to the families affected by the attack via Twitter and praised the parishioners who took action to stop the shooting.
On Monday night the president wrote: “Our prayers are with the families of the victims and the congregation of yesterday’s church attack. It was over in 6 seconds thanks to the brave parishioners who acted to protect 242 fellow worshippers. Lives were saved by these heroes, and Texas laws allowing them to carry arms!”
The Washington Examiner reported that the incident was at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, where victims Anton Wallace, 64, and Richard White, 67, died along with the attacker, identified as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43.
Kinnunen was arrested by the church’s head of security, 71-year-old Jack Wilson, who managed to kill the attacker with one shot. Also, other parishioners were prepared to shoot if necessary.
Both Wilson and the others were allowed to carry weapons inside the church thanks to the new Texas law that went into effect in September. The law was passed after a 2017 shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, that killed 26 people, The Hill reported.
This law considers it legitimate for a licensed citizen to carry a weapon for the purpose of defense in a church or any place of worship.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton dedicated a few words to Wilson’s actions: “My understanding is, he was a reserve deputy and had significant training, had his own shooting range, had taught other people how to shoot, had taught many people in this church how to be prepared.” “He’s not just responsible for his actions, which ultimately saved the lives of maybe hundreds of people, but he’s also responsible for training hundreds in that church,” he said, as reported by the Washington Examiner.
“Had this law not been passed and allowed these people to be armed, I fear we could’ve lost hundreds,” Paxton told Fox News on Monday.
Finally, the Texas attorney general reflected that these reports and videos of the attack will send a message to other states to pass pro-gun laws, “I think it’ll end up saving lives for years and years and years,” he said. “I’m very hopeful that people can see the evidence and act accordingly,” he said.