Gov. Greg Abbott presents Texas’ highest civilian honor to man who shot church gunman
Jack Wilson, 71, fired the shot that killed the gunman
AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday gave Texas’ highest civilian honor to a 71-year-old man who shot and killed an armed attacker at a church in December.
Abbott gave Jack Wilson the Governor’s Medal of Courage during a ceremony in Austin, calling him a hero for stopping the shooter at a church in the small town of White Settlement.
Wilson, a 71-year-old firearms instructor who trained the West Freeway Church of Christ’s volunteer security team, shot the attacker once in head after he opened fire with a shotgun in the church’s sanctuary.
Wilson’s single shot quickly ended the attack in which two parishioners, killed 64-year-old Anton “Tony” Wallace and 67-year-old Richard White, were killed.
“When events arise, you’re going to do one of two things. You’re either going to step up and do what’s right or walk away. And I’m not one to walk away,” Wilson said in accepting the medal at the Texas Governor’s Mansion.
Authorities identified the attacker as Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, who had a history of criminal and psychological trouble.
Texas officials hailed the state’s gun laws, including a measure enacted in 2019 that affirmed the right of licensed handgun holders to carry a weapon inside places of worship unless a facility bans them.
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