LYNDA GONZALEZ / KUT
Multiple people are reported dead after a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 30 miles east of San Antonio.
Twenty-six people are dead after a mass shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 30 miles east of San Antonio.
Governor Greg Abbott says it’s “the largest mass shooting in our state’s history.”
The Associated Press, citing law enforcement sources, identified the suspected gunman as Devin Kelley. Sources told the AP Kelley lived in a San Antonio suburb and did not appear to have connections to any organized terrorist groups.
NPR has more on the gunman’s background:
The shooter has been identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, according to a law enforcement official. Kelley died shortly after the attack. Kelley previously served in the U.S. Air Force in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until he received a bad conduct discharge in 2014, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek confirmed in an email to NPR. He was court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his wife and child.
At a press briefing this evening, Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said 23 victims were found inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs. Two were killed outside and one died of their injuries while being transported to the hospital. He says the victims range in age from 5 to 72.
Martin says that at about 11:20 a.m. this morning, the suspected gunman was seen at a gas station across the street from the church, dressed in black tactical gear. He then walked across the street and began firing. He went inside the church and continued shooting. Martin says he was engaged by a private citizen with a gun, the suspect then dropped his weapon and fled. The suspect was found dead in his car some distance away. Martin says it is unclear if the suspect died from a self-inflicted gunshot or was shot by the private citizen.
EARLIER: The San Antonio Express-News quotes a Wilson County Commissioner as saying the death toll could be more than 20.
Local reports say a man walked into First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Wilson County and opened fired. The Wilson County News reports the county sheriff says the shooter has been “taken down”.
Federal agents are apparently on the way to the town to assist in the investigation.
Special agents from ATF’s Houston Field Division, San Antonio Field Office are responding to a shooting at a church in Sutherland Spring, TX pic.twitter.com/LCyt7EydbZ
— ATF HQ (@ATFHQ) November 5, 2017
“While the details of this horrific act are still under investigation, Cecilia and I want to send our sincerest thoughts and prayers to all those who have been affected by this evil act,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott in an emailed statement. “I want to thank law enforcement for their response and ask that all Texans pray for the Sutherland Springs community during this time of mourning and loss.”
— Matt Largey (@mattlargey) November 5, 2017
This is a developing story. We will update as new information becomes available