Daughter of Texas church shooting victim says she forgives her dad’s killer

Tiffany Wallace steps away from her father as he was gunned down inside of a Texas church, but now the victim’s daughter says she forgives the gunman.

West Freeway Church of Christ
In this still frame from livestreamed video provided by law enforcement, churchgoers take cover while a congregant armed with a handgun, top left, engages a man who opened fire, near top center just right of windows, during a service at West Freeway Church of Christ, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019, in White Settlement, Texas. The footage was broadcast online by the church according to a law enforcement official, who provided the image to The Associated Press on condition on anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. (West Freeway Church of Christ/Courtesy of Law Enforcement via AP)

She was steps away from her father as he was gunned down inside of a Texas church, but now the victim’s daughter says she forgives the gunman.

Tiffany Wallace, daughter of Anton “Tony” Wallace, was close by her dad at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement when a gunman started shooting, killing Tony and just steps away from her father at West Freeway Church of Christ on Sunday when a gunman identified as Keith Thomas Kinnunen opened fire, killing her dad and Richard White, a security volunteer, before he was fatally shot by the church’s head of security. White Settlement is a town located near Fort Worth.

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Tiffany Wallace told NBC Dallas-Fort Worth that she has already forgiven Kinnunen for taking her dad’s life. “I forgive him, and it’s the hardest thing to say because it’s like, somebody killed your dad, but I forgive him,” Wallace, 32, told the station. “I’ll never forgive what he did, but I forgive him.”

Anton Wallace, 64, worked as a registered nurse and he was also a deacon at the church, described by Tiffany as a “godly” man.

“Even when talking about heaven, he said he was always prepared, but I never thought this would happen. You think dad would get old and sick but never get murdered,” Wallace said.

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Wallace said it was her daughter who first noticed the gunman and commented on how strangely he was dressed. She said he wore a long trench coat and a fake beard but that she told her daughter to stop talking about the man.

“I was thinking, ‘Hey, he’s a visitor, probably looking for new church home,’” Wallace told the station.

However, during communion, Kinnunen approached Wallace as he helped to distribute the items to serve for communion. It was then that Kinnunen reportedly pulled out a gun and began to shoot. Wallace died later at a hospital.

White, 67, was also murdered. His daughter-in-law, Misty York White, called him a “true hero” in a Facebook post. 

Kinnunen was killed by Jack Wilson, 71, a firearms instructor and former reserve sheriff’s deputy who headed up security at the church.

The shooting is still under police investigation.