‘At Least’ 25 People Have Been Killed In A Mass Shooting At A Texas Baptist Church

(Note: Please see our continuing updates at the bottom of this post.)

Multiple people are reported dead following a mass shooting at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. confirmed a single shooter walked into the church and opened fire Sunday. The identity of the shooter has not yet been provided, although police say the the man that committed the act (who was dressed “in full gear,” according to a witness who spoke with the Daily Beast) is now dead. No motive for the shooting has been given at this time.

“The details are kind of sketchy, but what I know right now, what they’re telling me, like 27 deceased and over 20, 25 injured,” Gamez Jr. told CBS News.

Carrie Matula works only 150 yards away from the First Baptist Church and she told MSNBC she heard “semiautomatic gunfire” before investigating what the sound was.

“It’s a small Baptist church. It’s an older building. I don’t know that they would have security cameras or anything high tech like that. And I know they didn’t have security in the parking lot,” she said. “I never thought it would happen here. This is something that happens in a big city. I would never have thought this would have taken place here. It’s just too tight a community. It doesn’t make sense.”

Texas Governor Greg Abbott offered his condolences on Twitter shortly after the shooting. President Donald Trump also tweeted a message following news of the tragedy, as did Sen. Ted Cruz.

“While the details of this horrific act are still under investigation, Cecilia and I want to send our sincerest thoughts and prayers to all those who have been affected by this evil act,” Gov. Abbott said in a statement. “I want to thank law enforcement for their response and ask that all Texans pray for the Sutherland Springs community during this time of mourning and loss.”

UPDATE #1 – 5:30pm EST: Pastor Frank Pomroy has revealed that his 14-year-old daughter was among those killed by the gunman.

UPDATE #2 – 6:40pm EST: Police have identified Devin Patrick Kelley as their suspect. You can read more about him here.

UPDATE #3 – 7:30pm EST: CBS News reports that Kelley used an “AR-15 style weapon” during the course of the massacre.

UPDATE #4 – 7:50pm EST: President Trump has issued a statement (calling upon Americans to be “strong”) from Japan:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and families of today’s murderous attack in Sutherland Springs, Texas. This horrible act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of sacred worship. We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel, and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they loved. Our hearts are broken.

“But in dark times such as these, Americans do what we do best: we pull together. We join hands. We lock arms. And through the tears and the sadness, we stand strong.

“My Administration is providing its full support to the state and local authorities investigating this horrible crime. I have spoken with Governor Abbott, and we offer our thanks to the first responders who ultimately stopped the suspect and rendered immediate and lifesaving aid to the victims of this shooting. I will continue to follow developments closely.

All of America is praying to God to help the wounded and the families — we will never leave their side.”

UPDATE #5 – 11:00pm EST: CNN reports that a local resident may have stopped Kelley when he “grabbed his own rifle and engaged the gunman,” according to Texas Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin: “The suspect dropped his rifle, which was a Ruger AR assault-type rifle and fled from the church.”

(Via KSAT, BBC News, NBC News & CNN)