Texas church shooting: at least 26 confirmed dead
An armor-clad gunman opened fire inside a rural Texas church on Sunday, killing more than two dozen people in the largest mass shooting in the state’s history, officials said.
Twenty-six people were killed during the shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said at a news conference Sunday evening.
“The tragedy, of course, is worsened by the fact that it occurred in a church, a place of worship, where these people were innocently gunned down. We mourn their loss, but we support their family members.” US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said on Twitter: “Keeping all harmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers and grateful for our brave first responders on the scene.”
The gunman was identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing. Mr. Kelley, who lived in New Braunfels, Tex., and had served in the Air Force at a base in New Mexico, died shortly after the attack.
The motive of the attack was unclear on Sunday, but the grisly nature of it could not have been clearer: families gathered in pews, clutching Bibles and praying to the Lord, were murdered in cold blood on the spot.
President Donald Trump, who is traveling in Asia, denounced the “horrific shooting.”
“This act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of worship. Our hearts are broken,” he said.
“We pull together, we join hands, we lock arms and through the tears and through the sadness, we stand strong.”
The president promised his administration`s “full support” to the investigation.