UPDATE: During a press conference on Sunday evening, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said that 26 were killed during the shooting rampage at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small community about 40 miles southeast of San Antonio. Abbott called the massacre the largest mass shooting in Texas history.
As the Associated Press reported, victims ranged in age from five to 72 years old. A public safety officer told the AP that 23 were found dead in the church, two were outside the building, and one died while being transported to the hospital.
BREAKING: Texas public safety officer: 23 found dead in church, 2 outside, one transported and died later; ages of victims 5 to 72
— The Associated Press (@AP) November 5, 2017
UPDATE: Multiple news outlets are reporting that law enforcement sources have identified the shooter as 26-year-old Devin P. Kelley of New Braunfels, Texas.
JUST IN: Church shooting suspect identified as Devin Kelley, of New Braunfels, Texas, according to state and federal law enforcement sources
— ABC News (@ABC) November 5, 2017
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) told the New York Times that he was briefed by authorities who told him the gunman came from Comal County, which is northeast of San Antonio.
“He went there, he walked in, started shooting people and then took off,” Cuellar said of the gunman.
UPDATE: Annabelle Renee Pomeroy, the 14-year-old daughter of First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy, is confirmed to be among the dead in Sutherland Springs, Texas. She is the first victim to be named in the aftermath of what seems to be one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history.
“[She] was one very beautiful special child,” the pastor told ABC News.
The pastor said he was in Oklahoma at the time of the shooting and is on his way back to Sutherland Springs, which is a small community about 40 miles from San Antonio. Pomeroy said that all of the dead are “close friends,” and while an official count has not been released, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said “more than 20” people were killed.
UPDATE: Wilson County Commissioner Larry Wiley told Fox News that, according to an emergency responder, between 20 and 24 people are dead and around 20 were wounded when a man walked into the church around 11:30 a.m. on Sunday and opened fire. Children are reportedly among those killed.
The gunman was fatally shot by police about five miles away from the church, after a brief chase resulted in him being cornered by deputies.
Condolences have begun to pour in from local, state, and federal officials. President Donald Trump, who is currently in Japan as part of an ongoing Asian tour, tweeted that the FBI and law enforcement are on the scene in Sutherland Springs.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, meanwhile, praised first responders, while asking the public for their prayers.
“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,” Abbott said in a 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.”
Original story below:
A mass shooting has been reported in Sutherland Springs, Texas, at a First Baptist Church. Unconfirmed reports are coming in suggesting there could be a high number of fatalities. According to CNN:
Unfathomable. Local official tells CNN that 27 people are dead in this Texas church shooting. No formal announcement from authorities yet. pic.twitter.com/Zpl6cyKKQU
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) November 5, 2017
The shooter is confirmed dead by authorities after a brief pursuit. It’s unclear whether or not this was a self-inflicted gun wound or if deputies were able to take the suspect out.
Here’s what the scene looked like, according to ABC News:
— ABC News (@ABC) November 5, 2017
According to Fox News:
A gunman who reportedly shot and killed an unknown number of people at a Texas church on Sunday has been fatally shot by police, Fox News has confirmed.
The “mass shooting” was reported at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, which is about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. A witness told KSAT that a man walked into the church about 11:30 a.m. Sunday and opened fire at the crowd of people. The church holds morning worship services at 11 a.m., according to its website.
Constable Thomas Silvas from Precinct 1 in Wilson County confirmed to Fox News there was a “mass shooting” situation and that officials were working on removing the bodies from the church, but did not specify the number of people who were dead or wounded.
This is a developing news story. Faithwire will update as details become available.