SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — A man opened fire inside of a church in a small South Texas community on Sunday, killing multiple people and wounding others before being “taken down,” authorities said.
Authorities said a man walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and began shooting, killing multiple people and wounding others.
A law enforcement official says more than 20 people were killed. The official, who was briefed on the investigation, says the gunman fled the church in a vehicle after the shooting and was also killed, either by a self-inflicted wound or during a confrontation with police. The official was not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
The official says between 10 to 15 people were also injured but stressed the investigation was early and the figures could change. Authorities are still trying to determine a motive.
Video on KSAT television showed first responders taking a stretch from the church to a waiting AirLife helicopter. Some victims were taken by medical helicopter to the Brooke Army Medical Center, KSAT said.
Megan Posey, a spokeswoman for Connally Memorial Medical Center, which is in Floresville and about 10 miles from the church, said “multiple” victims were being treated for gunshot wounds. She declined to give a specific number but said it was less than a dozen.
A woman who lives about 10 minutes away from Sutherland Springs in Floresville and was monitoring the chaos on a police scanner and in Facebook community groups, said that everyone knows everyone in the sparsely populated county.
“This is horrific for our tiny little tight-knit town,” said Alena Berlanga.
“Everybody’s going to be affected and everybody knows someone who’s affected,” she said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is calling a reported shooting at a church in a small town outside San Antonio an “evil act.”
Abbott tweeted Sunday: “Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act.” He thanked law enforcement for their response.
The Republican governor has also promised “more details” from the state’s Department of Public Safety soon.
President Donald Trump tweeted from Japan, where is his on an Asian trip, that he was monitoring the situation following the shooting.
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
A spokeswoman says the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending special agents from field offices in Houston and San Antonio.
Sutherland Springs is 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.
Source:Chicago Sun – Times