What we know:
- A gunman opened fire inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday
- At least 26 people were killed and 20 injured in the attack
- Information on the victims is emerging, including the pastor’s young daughter
- The suspect has been identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, who is deceased
- Trump says shooting a “mental health problem,” not a “guns situation,” but cops give no motive
A gunman opened fire inside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs on Sunday, killing 26 people and wounding 20 others, authorities said.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the attack the deadliest mass shooting in his state’s history. Officials said 23 people were found dead inside the church, two outside, one died after being rushed to a hospital.
The shooting suspect has been identified as 26-year-old, federal law enforcement sources told CBS News.
On Sunday night, authorities only identified the suspect as a young white male. They said he was seen dressed in all black and tactical gear — including a “ballistic vest” — at a local gas station at 11:20 a.m. He then exited his vehicle, crossed the street and began firing an AR-15 style weapon at the church, officials said. The suspect entered the church and continued to fire.
As he exited the church,and pursued the suspect, who dropped his weapon and fled the scene.
The suspect was later found dead inside his vehicle. Officials are unsure if he was shot by a resident or suffered a self inflicted gunshot wound, said Freeman Martin, regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Kevin Jordan, a resident who lives near the church, told CBS affiliate KENS-TV he witnessed the deadly shooting and saw a resident pursue the gunman. “If it wasn’t for him, the guy wouldn’t have stopped,” he said.
Jordan described the resident who confronted the suspect as someone who would do anything for anyone. He said he watched the resident shoot at the suspect while taking cover behind a vehicle.
Video from KENS-TV showed first responders at the scene, located about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.
Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek said in a statement that Kelley is a former U.S. Air Force member who served from 2010 to 2014. Records confirm Kelley previously served in logistics readiness in New Mexico until his discharge in 2014, Stefanek said.
Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of assault on his spouse and assault on their child, Stefanek said. He received a bad conduct discharge and confinement for 12 months.
Officials have not released all the names of the, but said they ranged from 5 to 72 years old.
Annabelle Pomeroy, the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, was one of the victim’s killed in the shooting, her mother, Sherri Pomeroy, told CBS News via text message.
“My husband and I were ironically out of town in two different states. We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends,” Pomeroy said Sunday.
She added, “Neither of us have made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation. I am at the Charlotte airport trying to get home as soon as I can.”
At least two other victims had been identified Monday morning, but there were still people whose condition and whereabouts were unclear.
Dana Fletcher, a business owner in the area, told CBS News she saw a “ton” of sheriff’s vehicles and ambulances racing down the road. She said she doesn’t know what happened but said there was heavy police presence and people were being airlifted from the scene.
Special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said they were responding to the shooting.
A law enforcement official said an FBI crisis response team is also at the scene assisting local police, CBS News senior investigative producer Pat Milton reports. She says officials are trying to determine a motive for the shooting.
President Trump, who is on his, addressed the situation from Tokyo, calling it a “ ” and an “act of evil.”
“Victims and their families were in their sacred place of worship. We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel,” Mr. Trump said in televised remarks. “In dark times such as these, Americans do we what do best and we pull together. We lock hands and we joins arms. Through the tears and through the sadness we stand strong.”
Mr. Trump pledged his full support to the state of Texas and the local communities affected by Sunday’s attack.
“We offer our thanks to the first responders, to the FBI, all of the many people involved. I will continue to follow the developments closely. All of America is praying to God.”
In remarks early Monday morning, alongside his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe, Mr.here. This was a very, based on preliminary reports, very deranged individual, a lot of problems over a long period of time.”
It was not clear what mental health issues Mr. Trump may have been referring to in the suspect’s past, as law enforcement officials had yet to offer any insight into Kelley’s suspected motive.
“But, this isn’t a guns situation, we could go into it, but it’s a little soon to go into it,” added Mr. Trump, without further clarification.
Late Sunday evening, around 100 people gathered near the church to remember the victims who were innocently gunned down earlier in the day.
Gov. Abbott attended the vigil and met with community members in the midst of the tragedy.
Above portion of story courtesy of CBS News. Read more from AP:
SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (AP) –
*UPDATE as of 7:30 pm local time*
Authorities say 26 people were killed and about 20 others wounded in the attack in Sutherland Springs.
A U.S. military official says the suspect identified in the mass shooting at a Texas church was a former Air Force member who was stationed in New Mexico at one time.
Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek says records confirm that Devin P. Kelley served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge. The date of his discharge and the circumstances under which he left the service were not immediately available.
The Pentagon also confirmed that Kelley was an airman “at one point,” but didn’t provide additional details.
More than 100 people gathered after dark on a grassy street corner within sight of the church where the shooting occurred for a prayer vigil.
Attendees, including Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, lit candles while some wept and others hugged Sunday night. They could see the church sign lit up and emergency lights flashing.
The vigil across the street from a gas station convenience store where law enforcement officials say the shooter stopped before the attack.
Mike Gonzales, who does not attend the church but lives near says: “The people of this church are wonderful people.” Gonzales added, “We’re coming together to pray for them and show the world that now, in the midst of darkness, there is light.”
*UPDATE as of 2:25 pm local time*
A spokeswoman say the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is sending special agents from field offices in Houston and San Antonio to the site of a church shooting in South Texas.
ATF spokeswoman Mary Markos did not immediately have further details.
A sheriff says that a man walked into the church and started firing. Authorities say the attacker is dead.
The number of fatalities or injuries hasn’t been confirmed by authorities, but a Wilson County commissioner, Albert Gamez, has told cable news outlets that he was told it was more than 20 killed and 20 wounded, though those figures aren’t confirmed.
One hospital about 10 miles from the shooting says there “multiple” victims with gunshot wounds are being treated.
Connally Memorial Medical Center spokeswoman Megan Posey declined to say how many patients were being treated at the hospital, but said the number was less than a dozen. The hospital is in Floresville, Texas.
*UPDATE as of 2:15 pm local time*
A County Commissioner in Texas says he’s been told that more than 20 people were killed and more than 20 were wounded in an attack at a church, though he says those figures haven’t been confirmed.
Albert Gamez, a Wilson County commissioner, made the comments to cable news outlets after the attack Sunday at a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, a small community 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.
*UPDATE as of 1:20 pm local time*
A sheriff says a man walked into a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and started shooting, leaving multiple people dead.
The Wilson County News reports that Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said the shooter has been taken down. It wasn’t immediately known how many people were killed and wounded or who carried out the attack.
First responders converged on the church in the small town southeast of San Antonio and helicopters are taking victims to hospitals.
Sutherland Springs is a community of about 400 people 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio.