Stephen Willeford says he ran barefoot across the street to find the gunman before jumping into another man’s car and giving chase

A former National Rifle Association instructor who grabbed his rifle and ran barefoot across the street to open fire on the gunman who slaughtered 26 people at a small-town Texas church was hailed as a hero Monday, along with the pickup truck driver who helped chase the killer down.

Stephen Willeford, 55, said he was at his Sutherland Springs home Sunday when his daughter alerted him that she’d heard gunfire at the First Baptist church nearby. Willeford said he immediately retrieved his rifle from his weapon safe.

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