Daughter of Deacon Murdered During Church Service Speaks Out: “How Can the Devil Step in the Church And Do This?”

west freeway church

The daughter of one of the two victims killed at West Freeway Church of Christ on Sunday has spoken out about the brutal murder.

During the service at about 11am on Sunday, a gunman opened fire and killed two parishioners. Members of the Texas church’s security team returned fire, ultimately killing the shooter, according to White Settlement Police Chief J.P. Bevering.

“You don’t think it’s going to hit home, and the fact that it hit our home and someone that supports us and loves us and is our dad [is gone], that’s what hurts the most,” said Tiffany Wallace, the daughter of Anton Wallace.

The 64-year-old deacon was murdered standing just feet away from his daughter in their place of worship.

“It just happened so fast,” said Tiffany.

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Anton, or “Tony,” as his loved ones call him, was a faithful husband, dad, grandpa, registered nurse, and deacon of West Freeway Church of Christ—where he was a lifelong member.

Tiffany recalled that her dad had just handed out communion toward the back of the church when she saw a strange man approach him.

“The guy just stood up from the pew, turned toward my dad and I guess he shot at the security guard,” she said.

As shots rang out inside the church, Tiffany realized her father had taken one of the bullets.

“I ran toward my dad and the last thing I remember is him asking for oxygen, and I was just holding him, telling him I loved him and that he was going to make it,” she explained.

Sadly, Tiffany’s hopeful attitude didn’t result in the miracle she was praying for.

“You just wonder why,” Tiffany questioned, grasping for answers. “How can someone so evil — the devil — step into the church and do this?”

Though the family is left reeling with grief and unanswered questions, they have chosen to press forward by remembering the great man who blessed their lives during his 64 years on earth.

“He was amazing. He was a godly person, and even when we talked about going to heaven he always said, ‘I’m always prepared,'” said Tiffany. “But you never thought this would happen.”

While Tony’s daughter is devastated by the loss of her sweet papa, she has made the courageous choice to forgive the man responsible for his death.

“I forgive him [the gunman], and that’s the hardest thing to say,” she shared.

The 32-year-old also expressed her gratitude to the armed parishioner who took down the gunman, thus saving everyone else from harm.

“He is a hero to me,” she said. “I’m just glad everybody’s OK. I know my dad is up there with his sister, his parents, in a wonderful place. Not in pain anymore … He’s just in peace now. I know he’s in good hands.”

Kelsey Straeter
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Kelsey is an editor at Outreach. She’s passionate about fear fighting, freedom writing, and the pursuit of excellence in the name of crucifying perfectionism. Glitter is her favorite color, 2nd only to pink, and 3rd only to pink glitter.