Witnesses said the assailant wore a beard and wig, in addition to wearing a cap and a long coat, which attracted the attention of church security personnel.
The man who on Sunday shot at parishioners inside a church in Texas and killed two people before he was shot, he had visited the temple several times this year and they gave him food, but he was enraged when they refused to give him money, the minister said.
Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, arrived on Sunday service with a shotgun at the West Freeway Church of Christ in the town of White Settlement and began shooting. Parishioners Richard White and Anton “Tony” Wallace died in the attack, police said. Witnesses said the assailant wore a beard and wig, in addition to wearing a cap and a long coat, which attracted the attention of church security personnel.
Minister Britt Farmer told The Christian Chronicle that he recognized Kinnunen after seeing a picture of him without the disguise.
“We help him several times with food”Farmer said in the interview. “He got angry when we didn’t give him money.”
The authorities continue to investigate the motive of the attack. Jack Wilson, member of church security, shot Kinnunen shot seconds after the assault began.
“The only clear shot that I had was against his head, because there were still people on the benches who hadn’t crouched at all. That was my only shot“Wilson said Monday from his home in Granbury, adding that other parishioners also drew their weapons.
The response of Wilson and other people in the temple who were armed generated praise among some legislators and people in favor of the use of weapons in Texas, while local authorities applauded the current weapons laws.
President Donald Trump tweeted on the subject on Monday highlighting the role of armed civilians that stopped the attacker. “If it had not been for the fact that there were armed people inside the church and that they were so efficient using their weapons, the result would have been catastrophic. A huge THANK YOU to them! ”, the president tweeted on Tuesday.
But other lawmakers in Texas, while praising the actions of armed parishioners, called for a special session on gun violence in a devastating year that included killings in El Paso, Odessa and Midland.