West Freeway Church of Christ shooting after action report

Below is a link to the West Freeway Church of Christ near Fort Worth church shooting (12/29/2019), it has multiple zoom ins and replays so specific areas of the church can be seen during the shooting and immediately afterwards.

This is not Monday quarterbacking, just my analysis (as a church security team leader for 6 years) that will save lives at your church.

Important points that I noted:

Security knew there was an issue, that is why they had several people on that side if the sanctuary watching him. They knew he had a fake beard when he came in. They should have never let him have a seat, they should have politely and quietly pulled him off to the side and “touched” his sides discreetly and talked to him. There are ways to feel for weapons where the person does not know that is what you are doing.

Shooting Dissected

When he got up and asked the user for something presumably the restroom, the security guy sitting down (Richard White) should have stood up before then and not sat there like he was in control. The security guy waved for the shooter to come over but had no awareness.

When the Richard realized there was a problem and stood up, he was not serious about drawing his pistol. You must be deliberate when you draw your gun. Watch the video, he was slow and had no commitment.

One blast with a shotgun killed Richard. When a bad guy has a shotgun or rifle, one shot will take a person out almost immediately. A person can keep fighting with pistol rounds in them (unless they are head shots, more on that below).

When the usher (Anton “Tony” Wallace) is shot he tries to block the blast with what appears to be the offering plate. Again, no Monday quarterbacking. Ushers should be taught to tackle bad guys, security should be taught to grab the weapon or arms of the bad guy and direct the weapon up and away from the crowed while pushing the bad guy backwards.

You have to watch carefully, at 16 seconds in the video, the bad guy does get a 3rd shot off at the pastor, at the exact same time Jack Wilson shoots him in the head. The pastor must always hit the ground or run from the stage (see the video at 4:25). While it seems cowardly, if the pastor had been standing up staring at the shooter there is a great chance he would have been shot too.

The good guy (Jack) took a 50 foot or so (best I can tell by analyzing the height of the people in the video) shot and made it a head shot.

Remember bullets fail, pistols are carried because rifles are too heavy. 85% of the people shot with a pistol survive (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28173921) and the FBI recommends shooting a suspect 3 times to send their body into shock and neutralize them.

What this means is you MUST take head shots. I have reviewed the FBI statistics for about a decade now. Best I can tell, there is only one (in 10 years) instance of a pistol head shot not stopping the threat. In other words head shots stop the threat 100% of the time. It may not kill the person but they stop doing bad things. The one time was a .380 the report does not say more about the shot so there may be variables we don’t know.

Here is an interesting article on handgun stopping over a 10 year timeframe https://www.buckeyefirearms.org/alternate-look-handgun-stopping-power

After the shooting, the wife of the usher (watch the lady who is screaming and in hysterics 5:12) runs to him then panic and runs away. This is how family will react to those who are shot or they think are shot.

The best I can tell, almost every woman ducked, those that did not, immediately headed out of the sanctuary. Those with children  grabbed their children and exited the area.

EVERY man was looking around and several got up, and like moths to the flame, started going to where the other security guys were going. That is bad, if the bad guy was still alive they were making themselves targets or victims of negligent discharges. See the 2:34 mark for a obvious point where a wife is trying to pull a husband down and he is resisting.

Take away, women will duck, men will be stupid.

Next, a lot of guns were drawn after the shooter was down, this is good BUT (we know everything before “but” was a lie) If you watch the videos, only Jack did not point a gun at an innocent. All the others pointed their pistols in the general direction of the downed shooter.

They were literally point at other church members. At 5:29 top center a female draws her pistol (near the woman panicking). She immediately points the gun behind her, a deadly mistake if it went off. By 5:35 she is pointing the gun up.

If someone had a negligent discharge, the possibility of the other people with pistols reacting by pulling their triggers is almost 100%, no matter where they were pointing. I have seen this countless times at training facilities. It is an “involuntary” reflex.

I am surprised no one had a negligent discharge. We must be thankful they did not. It is difficult to tell but I cannot tell if they had their fingers off the trigger. Knowing 99.9% of the people immediately put their finger in the trigger guard the church was blessed with no one being shot by those with handguns drawn. Top of screen at 3:22 is a great example (guy in brown / maroon shirt and the guy following him by a few feet) of the wrong way to do it, you can see this throughout the video.

At 4:00 top center one security guy has his gun pointed in an “OK” position, down and away from him. This is only “OK” because, people hit the floor, if someone crawled away from the pew to that walkway he would have been pointing right at them. The pistols should have been pointed up, by the dominant hand ear.

Keeping the pistol up, in this instance, would keep negligent discharge aftermath minimal.

At 4:48 you see a security person dialing 9-1-1, exactly what he should have done once the scene was secure (bad guy down, disarmed and not moving). Notice the “moth” right behind him!

What I did not see was anyone in security looking for a 2nd shooter.

There is always a chance of multiple bad guys. This is why you must force yourself to scan 360 degrees once a bad guy is down. You then go back to concentrating on the bad guy. With multiple security members there, some should have been trained something to the effect “If you are not directly involved, look for other bad people”. We did that type of training, thought I must confess in one incident, our team failed and all became moths to the crisis.

My final point to notice, there was not one person prepared to do traumatic medical care. I ran in this at church, the “medical” team wanted to do blood pressures and coordinate the blood drives. Some took CPR and Basic First aid (that I provided at no charge) but not a one attended my trauma medical training, also put on for free. I am not sure if the usher would have survived (I am 100% sure the 1st security guy shot was dead).

Security Team AND Medical Team must be trained in and have on their person at all times a pocket trauma kit. I created one for my team. Here is a web site that sells similar to what I made.

Having a kit and being trained with its use are different things. Training must occur and I would recommend annual trauma training for both teams. The Red Cross basic 1st aid does not count.

FEMA offers “Stop the Bleed“, Student of the Gun offers “Beyond the Band-Aid” and the Wilderness 1st Aid I teach, has traumatic medical training.

Since the shooting, if found out that Jack Wilson was shooting a .357 Sig round. I cannot confirm that it was in a Sig Sauer P229 handgun, but that is what is rolling around the internet.

Below is the link to the video. It is almost 430 MB.

Here is an interview from the Monday following the event: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kciJclao2TM

You can search for “Jack Wilson” and see interviews of Jack and what they and he did and why.

Until we meet again, keep your booger hook off the bang switch until on target and ready to fire.