At least 26 individuals have been killed and 20 others injured after a shooter opened fire at a Texas church amid Sunday service on November 5, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
The attack occurs at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small town in Wilson County. The casualties’ ages ranged from five to 72.
The speculated shooter was later discovered dead in his vehicle a few miles away.
Police distinguished him just as a “young, white male” however US media named him as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26.According to sources Kelley have been released from the US Air Force in 2014 after a court-martial for assaulting his wife and child. The motive for the killings is not yet clear.
According to Texas Department of Public Safety regional director Freeman Martin, “the attacker all in black, opened fire with an assault-style rifle outside the church at around 11:30 local time (17:30 GMT) and then moved inside”.
“As the gunman left the church, a local citizen grabbed his own rifle and began shooting at the suspect, who then dropped his weapon and fled in a vehicle. The citizen pursued the suspect, who eventually drove off the road and crashed his car at the Guadalupe County line”.
Police traced the man dead in his car, but it is indistinct if he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or from injuries received when fired on by the local citizen. The car contained several weapons.
Mr. Martin added: “We have multiple crime scenes. We have the church, outside the church. We have where the suspect’s vehicle was located.
“We have been following up on the suspect and where he’s from. We have Texas Rangers at all the hospitals locating those and interviewing those who were injured.”
Governor Greg Abbott, confirming the death toll, said it was the worst mass shooting in the history of Texas. “This will be a long, suffering mourning for those in pain,” he said at a news conference on Sunday.
President Donald Trump, on a tour of Asia, condemned the “act of evil” and said Americans would pull together.
“And through the tears and through the sadness, we stand strong, oh so strong,” he added.
The shooting incident comes just a month after a gunman in Las Vegas opened fire on an outdoor music festival, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds.