Grand jury clears volunteer church security guard in shooting death of gunman

TARRANT COUNTY, Texas — A grand jury in Texas decided Monday to take no action against a volunteer security guard who shot and killed a homicidal gunman inside his Fort Worth-area church last December.

Jack Wilson, head of the volunteer security team at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, killed a man who first opened fire among a more than 260-person congregation on Dec. 29, 2019.

Security camera footage and a live stream of the Sunday service showed the shooting suspect, Keith Thomas Kinnunen, enter the church wearing a disguise, including a wig and a fake beard, before standing up in his pew during communion and firing two fatal shots. He murdered 67-year-old Richard White, another security volunteer, and 64-year-old Anton “Tony” Wallace, a server, FOX News reported.

Kinnunen was then seen on video making his way toward the front of the congregation, before Wilson, securing a clear range of fire, fired a single shot from across the room, fatally striking him in the head.

“The events at West Freeway Church of Christ put me in a position that I would hope no one would have to be in, but evil exists and I had to take out an active shooter in church,” Law Officer reported at the time. “I’m thankful to GOD that I have been blessed with the ability and desire to serve him in the role of head of security at the church.”

armed church security
West Freeway Church of Christ. (Screenshot Fox 4)

A Tarrant County grand jury decided Monday not to indict Wilson on criminal charges, a decision that seemed obvious to any rational observer.

Texas law allows a person witnessing someone else placing others at risk of serious injury or death to act with deadly force to protect others, Tim Rodgers, a prosecutor with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, said in a statement Monday.

“Mr. Wilson did just that. He did it responsibly and, as a result, he was justified under the law in his actions,” Rodgers said. “Based upon the grand jury’s decision, the law enforcement investigation and our review of the case are complete. We believe the grand jury made the right decision.”

Gov. Greg Abbott awarded Wilson Texas’ highest civilian honor, the Governor’s Medal of Courage, in January. Wilson is currently running for Precinct 3 Hood County Commissioner, KXAS-TV reported.

“I did what God would want me to do — would have me do — in that situation,” Wilson said after receiving the medal in Austin, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “And understanding that had I not done what I did, the situation would have been extremely much more chaotic.”

 

Author information

Law Officer

Law Officer

Law Officer is the only major law enforcement publication and website owned and operated by law enforcement. This unique facet makes Law Officer much more than just a publishing company but is a true advocate for the profession.

Please Login to Comment.