WILSON COUNTY TEXAS, Sun.Nov. 5, 2017 (BGM NEWS):- Twenty-six worshipers were killed at a church by a lone gunman shortly after the beginning of services here Sunday. Law enforcement personnel and first responders say another 20 worshipers were wounded in the latest mass shooting in the United States. Reports say the gunman entered First Baptist Church through the front door and opened fire randomly.
One source told CNN that the 14-year-old daughter of the pastor of the Church at Sutherland Spring — just outside San Antonio — was among those killed. The small community of just under 700 residents which is nestled in rural Wilson County was in shock over the incident.
Police engaged the suspected gunman in a running battle during which he died. It was not immediately known if he took his own life or if he was taken down by law enforcement.Local residents and law enforcement officials describe Sunderland Spring as a “quiet rural community, where everyone knows someone.” Congressman Vincente Gonzalez said in a TV interview that the shooting ” is not indicative of the area.” This is a “small rural and peaceful area,” he said.
One eyewitness told News outlets that children and elderly worshipers were among those killed in the onslaught.
President Trump who is in Asia on a visit expressed condolences to the families of the victims, and assured that he was “monitoring the situation while abroad.” In a news conference late Sunday evening Wilson County Sheriff Joseph Tackett, said the investigations were being assisted by the FBI, Homeland Security, the County Sheriff Department, Texas Rangers, ATF and other law enforcement agencies.
He said, “the names of the victims are not known at this time.” Speaking at the same press conference, Freeman Martin of the Texas Department of Public Safety said the gunman “is believed to have been in his 20s, white and was armed with an assault rifle.” Investigators say other firearms were later discovered in a car belonging to the suspect.
Texas governor Greg Abbott who also spoke at the news conference described the shooting as “the worst in Texas history.” He said it “will be a long-suffering period of mourning'” but assured that all is being done to come to grips with the tragedy.
Investigators could have access to some early clues about the suspect. The church is known to record its services and then post them online, and it is felt that the occurrences on Sunday would have been recorded.
Governor Abbott said that there is a lot that is not yet known and asked for patience as investigators continue to put the pieces together. Sunday’s shooting is the second in just over a month, resulting in the death of more than 20 people. Fifty-eight people were killed at a Las Vegas concert on October 2.