A gunman has killed at least 26 people in a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. This is the worst shooting incident in the history of Texas as confirmed by Texas Governor, Greg Abott in a press conference, Sunday.
“This will be a long, suffering mourning for those in pain,” he said. “We ask for God’s comfort…God’s guidance and God’s healing for all those who are suffering.”
The gunman, dressed in black and a bullet proof vest, is said to have just stormed into the remote church clutching a rifle. He opened fire at the congregation, instantly killing 26 people and injuring least 20 people, the Regional Director of the Department of Public Safety, Freeman Martin said.
The alleged gunman is said to be a 26 year old man, Devin Patrick Kelley, who is also dead now, making the total of the dead 27. Among those who died in the incident is a 14 year old daughter of the church’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy. It is not known what the motive behind the shooting was. He was only found dead in his vehicle after a brief chase by law authorities. He fled in his car and crashed, according to the Sheriff of Guadalupe County. It is not known whether he was shot by someone else.
Kelley is said to have bought a Ruger AR-556 gun that he had been using at the Academy Sports & Outdoors store in San Antonio, Texas.
The attack is said to have started at around 11.20 a.m., the Department of Public Safety said. The suspect was just seen near a petrol station, then suddenly stormed the church and started shooting.
US president Donald Trump tweeted from Japan:
“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”.
In a statement to the press, Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton said: “The thoughts and prayers of all Texans are with the people of Sutherland Springs as tragic reports come out of First Baptist Church”.
This incident recalls the memory of similar incidents of shooting in churches. In June 2015, a racist, Dylann Roof, killed 9 African Americans by shooting them in a church in South Carolina. Just this year, another gunman killed a woman in a shooting incident in Tennessee.