By Ross Ibbetson For Mailonline
Published: 08:56 GMT, 31 December 2019 | Updated: 04:32 GMT, 2 January 2020
The Texas gunman was a homeless drug addict with two ex-wives who chose to shoot up the church ‘because he was very close to the Lord,’ his sister said.
Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, of River Oaks, had been denied money by the West Freeway Church of Christ after going there to receive food on multiple occasions before his deadly attack Sunday.
Two parishioners were shot dead within seconds – Anton Wallace, 64, and Richard White, 67 – before Kinnunen was killed by the church’s head of security, former FBI agent, Jack Wilson.
Britt Farmer, the senior minister at the West Freeway Church of Christ described having seen Kinnunen before and having given him food on various occasions.
Keith Thomas Kinnunen, 43, in two different mug shots from previous arrests was identified as the shooter who opened fire opened fire at the church during services. His motive remains unclear
Terrifying video captured the scene on Sunday including the brave parishioners who drew their own weapons on Kinnunen
Britt Farmer (pictured), the senior minister at the West Freeway Church of Christ described having seen the killer before and having given him food on various occasions – but said he got mad when they refused to give him money
‘I had seen him. I had visited with him. I had given him food. I had offered him food at other occasions that he had been to our building,’ he said.
Kinnunen’s sister Amy said that he had been in and out of homes but that he remained deeply religious and ‘that is why he chose the church.’
‘Any problem that you had, he could give you a Bible scripture. He was very close to the Lord. I believe that is why he chose the church,’ she told CNN.
His ex-wife Angela Holloway, who divorced Kinnunen in 2010 after eight years together told NBC, ‘We knew he was crazy but not like this. I don’t wish this on anybody. I feel sorry for the victims. I really do.’
She described him as having a bad drug habit and that he had touch with reality.
They had last spoken three years ago. ‘Mentally, I know he was mentally ill,’ Holloway said Monday, ‘The last time he spoke to us he just wasn’t in his right mind. I didn’t know how to go about talking to him about it.’
His first wife, Cindy Glasgow-Voegel, said that she had been contacted by Kinnunen following his divorce and she filed for a protective order from Grady County, Oklahoma in 2012.
In a statement she wrote: ‘Keith is a violent, paranoid person with a long line of assault and batteries with and without firearms. He is a religious fanatic, says he’s battling a demon … He is not nice to anyone.’
In the 2012 filing she alleged that Kinnunen had appeared at her home demanding to see their 15-year-old son. It said that the boy was ‘terrified’ of his father.
Former FBI agent-turned-volunteer security guard Jack Wilson took the shooter down within six seconds
Anton ‘Tony’ Wallace, 64, (left) and Richard White, 67 (right) were both killed in the shooting on Sunday
Kinnunen was a homeless man who’d had run-ins with the law on several occasions, in 2008 he was charged with felony aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, later lowered to misdemeanor deadly conduct.
In 2013, he was hauled in for misdemeanor theft.
His sister described how she, Keith and their younger brother Joel had all spent time living on the streets.
Joel had killed himself in 2009 and Sunday was his birthday, Amy said.
Kinnuen was wearing a wig and fake beard when he walked into the church service before opening fire with his shotgun, the hero shooter Wilson revealed.
One of his victims, Wallace, had been serving communion and was approached twice by the suspect in the moments before the gunfire rang out.
‘When he sat back down the second time, shortly after that, he stood up, turned, and produced a shotgun,’ Wilson told NBC News.
Wilson and White (the second victim) began ‘drawing our weapons. Richard did get his gun out of the holster. He was, I think, able to get a shot off, but it ended up going into the wall. The shooter had turned and shot him and then shot Tony and then started to turn to go towards the front of the auditorium,’ Wilson told NBC.
‘I fired one round. The subject went down.’
Kinnunen was not a regular at the church and raised suspicion when he walked in wearing the wig and fake beard that he kept adjusting, Wilson said.
The reason for Kinnunen’s actions are unclear. State Attorney General Ken Paxton told a news conference that the gunman may have been mentally ill.
The attack and response by armed civilians were likely to further inflame a nationwide debate over gun violence ahead of the 2020 presidential campaign.
‘Our prayers are with the families of the victims and the congregation of yesterday´s church attack,’ President Donald Trump said on Twitter.
‘It was over in 6 seconds thanks to the brave parishioners who acted to protect 242 fellow worshippers. Lives were saved by these heroes, and Texas laws allowing them to carry arms!,’ Trump said.
Texas allows concealed carry in places of worship under a law that took effect in September. It was passed following a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017 that killed 26 people.
Paxton encouraged other states to allow citizens to carry concealed weapons for defense in case of active shooters.
Wilson had previously trained other churchgoers to use firearms, and had his own shooting range, Paxton said.
But gun control advocates and some religious leaders have argued such laws have no place in houses of worship.
‘Instead of looking for a success story in a tragedy, lawmakers should be talking about how they can prevent gun violence in the first place,’ said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.
Texas gunman was homeless addict who chose to attack church ‘because he was very close to the Lord’
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