At least 26 people have been killed after a gunman opened fire inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The shooter has either been killed or shot himself.
Texas Governor Gregg Abbot confirmed that at least 26 people had lost their lives in the shooting, and said the death toll could climb higher. At least 20 more were wounded in the attack.
Witnesses reported seeing the man walk into the Baptist Church in the town 30 miles from San Antonio at 11:30am local time Sunday, according to KSAT-12.
Unnamed sources within the investigation, cited by various US media, identified the shooter as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. Kelley was said to be a resident of New Braunfels, a city near San Antonio. Police have reportedly already raided his home. It appears from Kelley’s purported profile on LinkedIn that he served in the US Air Force until 2013 and briefly taught at a summer religious school.
Following the shooting, the attacker escaped from the church in a vehicle and was later killed. It was not immediately clear if the police killed him or his injury was self-inflicted.
Sheriff Joe Tackitt confirmed to Wilson County News that there have been “multiple fatalities” and the shooter has been “taken down.”
Local pastor Frank Pomeroy’s daughter, Annabel, was killed in the shooting, her father confirmed to ABC News. Annabel, 14, “was one very beautiful, special child,” said the pastor, who was on his way from Oklahoma to Sutherland Springs when the tragedy unfolded.
An eyewitness told CBS News that there was a heavy police presence on the road to the church, adding that they had seen people being airlifted from the area.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott posted to Twitter shortly after the incident, saying: “Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response. More details from DPS soon.”
President Donald Trump has confirmed he is aware of the situation and said he was monitoring it from Japan.