She watched as her father was shot just a few feet away from her.
Parishioners at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas were enjoying their regular Sunday service when a man stood up, pulled out a gun, and opened fire. Tiffany Wallace's daughter thought there was something strange about the man when he arrived. She told her mother that she believed the man was wearing a fake beard, but Tiffany told her daughter to stop and accept him as a person looking for a new church home.
Then, Tiffany watched as the man, 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen, shot her father, Anton "Tony" Wallace, and another victim to death just a few feet away from her. "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, that’s what hurts the most,” she told NBC DFW News.
The 64-year-old lifelong member of the church was a registered nurse who was also a deacon. He'd reportedly just completed helping pass out communion when he was murdered in his house of worship. “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,” Tiffany recalled.
The family continues to search for answers and ask why this would happen to them, but Tiffany remembers her father as a "loving," "humble" person. "He was amazing. He was a godly person, and even when we talked about going to heaven he always said, 'I’m always prepared,'" she added. “But you never thought this would happen."
Kinnunen was killed at the scene by a fellow church member who was armed with a firearm. Tiffany praised this person as a "hero" while adding that she has come to a difficult decision regarding the man who murdered her father. "I forgive him, and that’s the hardest thing to say."