Man who shot church gunman gets highest Texas civilian honor

U.S. & World

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has presented the state’s 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 on Monday.

Wilson is a firearms instructor who trained the West Freeway Church of Christ’s volunteer security team. He shot the attacker once in the head after the gunman opened fire with a shotgun in the church’s sanctuary.

“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.

Two parishioners were killed in the attack.

Authorities later identified the attacker as 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen, who had a history of criminal and psychological trouble. 

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