Official says 26 dead in shooting at Texas church

Reports are that the shooter has been taken down and that more than 20 people are dead

A sheriff says a man walked into a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and started shooting, leaving multiple people dead.
Photo via CNN


SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX (AP) —Officials say 26 people have been killed after a man walked into a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and started shooting.

The ages of the victims range from 5 to 72 years old

Two officials have identified the suspect in a mass shooting at a Texas church as Devin Kelley. The Pentagon has confirmed the suspect identified in the mass shooting at a Texas church previously served in the Air Force.

The officials – one a U.S. official and the other in law enforcement – spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation, which they were briefed on.

The U.S. official says Kelly lived in a suburb of San Antonio and that he doesn’t appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. The official says investigators are looking at social media posts Kelley may have made in the days before Sunday’s attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon.

Authorities say Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and opened fire, killing more than 20 people and wounding at least 10 others.

The pastor’s wife says she and her husband were out of town during the attack, but their teenage daughter is among the dead.

First responders converged on the church in the small town southeast of San Antonio. Sutherland Springs is a community of about 400 people 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio.

More than 100 people gathered after dark on a grassy street corner within sight of the church where the shooting occurred for a prayer vigil.

Attendees, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, lit candles while some wept and others hugged Sunday night. They could see the church sign lit up and emergency lights flashing.

The vigil across the street from a gas station convenience store where law enforcement officials say the shooter stopped before the attack.

Mike Gonzales, who does not attend the church but lives near says: “The people of this church are wonderful people.” Gonzales added, “We’re coming together to pray for them and show the world that now, in the midst of darkness, there is light.”

President Donald Trump has promised his administration’s full support to the investigation of a Texas church shooting that left 26 dead and about 20 wounded.

Speaking to U.S. and Japanese business leaders in Tokyo Monday morning during his Asian trip, Trump highlighted that this “act of evil” at a place of sacred worship.

Trump says: “Our hearts are broken but in dark times – and these are dark times – such as these, Americans do what they do best.” He says Americans will pull together to help those suffering.

Trump says he will continue monitoring the investigation during his 11-day tour.

 

Check back here for updates as this story continues to develop.

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