Navigation
Download the AMN app for your mobile device today - FREE!
  •  

Suspect identified in TX church shooting – extensive history of violence

Keith Thomas Kinnunen, suspect identified in White Settlement, TX church shooting, pictured in a prior arrest mugshot, June, 2015 (River Oaks Police Department/Released)
December 30, 2019

The gunman who shot and killed two parishioners at a church in White Settlement, Texas on Sunday has been identified as a 43-year-old man with prior violent criminal history.

Keith Thomas Kinnunen has been named as the suspect who was shot and killed to stop the shooting attack, according to KXAS-TV. Kinnunen reportedly had a criminal history in Tarrant County, Texas, that included charges for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2009 and 2013 property theft charges.

Kinnunen was also reportedly arrested on weapons charges in Linden, N.J. in Sept. 2016. He was found at the time, taking pictures outside of an oil refinery in at the time of the arrest. He reportedly said he was just taking pictures of “interesting sites.”

He reportedly said he was traveling from Texas and was homeless.

At the time of his 2016 New Jersey arrest, Kinnunen also had warrants out for aggravated assault charges in Oklahoma, according to mycentraljersey.com.

- ADVERTISEMENT -

Police in River Oaks, TX also arrested Kinnunen in 2009 and 2015 on warrants for unpaid traffic tickets, according to River Oaks, deputy police chief Charles Stewart.

Stewart said Texas Rangers and other law enforcement officers searched the man’s home after the shooting.

Kinnunen remained unidentified for about a day after the Sunday shooting.

The two victims of the shooting attack were also identified on Monday as Anton Wallace, and Richard White.

Kinnunen reportedly entered the church armed with a shotgun, and sat down before the 11 a.m. services Sunday morning. He then rose up and fired at parishioners towards the back of the church.

Isabel Arreola, 38, a parishioner at the church said Kinnunen sat behind to her and her 7-year-old daughter just before the attack began. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Arreola said she did not recognize him and his appearance, including what appeared to be a fake beard, made her feel uneasy.

The attack was stopped by Jack Wilson, the head of security at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, TX. Wilson, who has listed prior service in the Army National Guard and with the Hood County Sheriff’s Department, shot and killed the attacker within seconds of the first shot.