A gunman wearing all black and a ballistic vest opened fire with a rifle outside a small Baptist church in rural Texas and continued firing inside the building on Sunday, killing at least 26 people and turning a tiny town east of San Antonio into the scene of the country’s most recent mass horror.
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas confirmed the death toll, which has steadily increased throughout the day after the shooting at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs. A pregnant woman and children were among the dead.
At least 20 people were also injured. Their conditions ranged from “minor to very severe,” law enforcement officials said at a news conference on Sunday evening.
Among those killed, 23 people died inside the church, two outside the building and one person after being transported to a hospital. The ages of the wounded and dead ranged from 5 to 72, the authorities said.
Two law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the continuing investigation, identified the gunman as Devin P. Kelley, 26. The gunman parked at a gas station near the church, exited the vehicle and began shooting outside the church before entering the building’s right side, firing all the while, the authorities said.
Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas, who said he was briefed by law enforcement authorities, said 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,” he said.
Outside the church after the shooting, a resident shot at the man with a rifle, and the gunman dropped his rifle, a spokesman at the Texas Department of Public Safety, Freeman Martin, said at the news conference.
The person pursued the gunman, who fled north to Guadalupe County, where his car crashed. He was found dead in the car with a fatal gunshot wound, the authorities said. They said they did not know who fired the fatal shot. New York Times.