Witnesses say the man who killed at least than 26 people inside a small Texas church only fled the scene after a local resident started shooting back at him.
The local resident, who a neighbor described as the "nicest man on the planet" and who authorities are calling a "Texas Hero" had grabbed his rifle and engaged the suspect as he exited First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, just 40 miles southeast of San Antonio.
According to state officials, during the confrontation, the Good Samaritan managed to hit the suspect, who then dropped his assault-type rifle and fled from the church. The local citizen waved down another man driving by and the two chased after the suspect.
During their pursuit, the suspect, identified as Devin Kelley of New Braunfels, used his cell phone to call his dad and told him he didn't believe he was going to make it. Kelley crashed a short time later.
Authorities found Kelley dead inside the vehicle and believe he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but the pathologist will confirm his cause of death.
Eyewitness Kevin Jordan lives less than 50 yards from the church and saw it all happen. He was outside changing his car's oil when the masked gunman started his deadly assault.
Jordan said his neighbor, who he described as a man who would do anything for anyone, ran over with a gun then shot at the suspect while taking cover behind a car.
"If it wasn't for him, the guy wouldn't have stopped," Jordan explained to KENS 5. He explained that his neighbor also shot through the suspect's car window as he sped off.
Before entering the church, the gunman also shot at Jordan's house and he said the bullet went through his window, narrowly missing his 2-year-old son and wife.
"When he saw me and I ran, he took a pop shot off at my house," Jordan described.
Later when the suspect left the area, Jordan, who is a medical assistant, went inside the church to try and help the victims, many of whom he has known for years.
But it quickly became clear that nothing could be done for many of them. "I can't even describe everything I saw."
Officials have yet to release the names of the 26 victims, but said they ranged in age from five to 72 years old.
Sherri Pomeroy, the wife of First Baptist Pastor Frank Pomeroy, told the Associated Press in a text message that their 14-year-old daughter was one of the victims.