More than 20 people have been killed inside a Texas church – including a two-year-old child – after a gunman dressed in full combat gear opened fire during the morning service before cops shot him dead.
The shooting happened at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, where around 50 people usually attend service, according to local reports.
Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr told CNN that at least 27 people have been killed in the shooting, but the death toll is expected to climb.
‘My heart is broken,’ Gamez said. ‘We never think where it can happen, and it does happen. It doesn’t matter where you’re at. In a small community, real quiet and everything, and look at this, what can happen.’
At least 24 others were injured in the horrific shooting. Witnesses said a man ‘in full gear’ walked inside the church and opened fire just before 11.30am.
First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy told ABC that his 14-year-old daughter is among the dead. She ‘was one very beautiful, special child,’ the pastor said. His wife, Sherri Pomeroy, said her husband was out of town at the time of the shooting.
A young man standing outside the Brooke Army Medical Center told MySA.com that he had been wounded in the shooting and that this father had been killed. His mother was in another hospital.
Amanda Mosel’s 13-year-old goddaughter was gunned down in the shooting. With tears in her eyes, the 34-year-old stood outside the Sutherland Springs Community Building where citizens gathered following the shooting.
A woman wrote on Facebook that she saw the man flee the scene in his vehicle before crashing it not far from her daughter’s house. She said he then ran on foot and was pursued by police.
The shooter was killed after the brief foot chase into Guadalupe County, according Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Robert Murphy.
But it’s still unclear if the gunman shot himself or was taken down by authorities.
The suspect, who has not been identified, is dead and there is no longer an active shooter threat, according to police.
Police could not give an exact number of victims shot in the attack, but witnesses said they heard as many as 20 shots fired.
Dana Fletcher, who owns a store in Sutherland Springs, told CNN: ‘It’s just awful…there were emergency responders everywhere.’
Neighbors in the area said they may have heard the shooter reload multiple times. Another witness at the scene said a two-year-old was also shot in the attack.
Credit: Daily Mail