At least 26 people were killed and 20 injured when a man entered a Texas church and opened fired on the assembly. The First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles south of San Antonia is a small community of about 1000.
Police and FBI investigators have said the victims range in age from 5 to 72 years old. The injured have been hospitalized with wounds ranging from minor to severe.
The media has identified the shooter as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelly, who resided New Braunfels, Texas near San Antonio, and had no known connection to the community.
The incident began at about 11:20 am, he entered the church dressed in black tactical gear and a bulletproof vest. At one point Kelley was engaged and chase by a local resident with his own weapon, and apparently fled. He was found dead about five miles away but it is unclear at this time whether he killed himself, shot by the local resident or shot by authorities.
The shooting has been said to be the worst church shooting in American history and according to Governor Abbott, this is the worst shooting in Texas history.
Gov. Abbott said in a statement that “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.”
President Trump tweeted, “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.”
A local Air Force base confirmed that Kelley had been assigned there from 2010 to 2014. In 2012, he was court martialed for assaulting his wife and child. He was dishonorably discharged for “bad conduct” and confined for 12 months.
Editor’s note: Our deepest condolences to this community who lost a substantial part of their soul in this attack.