Mass shooting at Texas church kills 26, Trump doesn’t call it terror attack


A gunman has opened fire at a church in Texas during Sunday services causing several casualties. The attack took place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in Wilson County.

Local ABC affiliate KSAT 12 reported the gunman entered the church at around 11:30 local time and began shooting.

Police told the outlet there were “multiple victims” and the gunman had been killed in the aftermath. The number of casualties is not yet clear, reported BBC.

Agents from the FBI have also arrived on the scene, tweeted KSAT 12 journalist Max Massey.

Photos and video from the scene showed the area taped off by local law enforcement. In a video posted by a witness on KSAT’s Facebook page, a large police present can be seen near the church.

A number of helicopters have arrived to transport the wounded, KSAT 12 reporter Max Massey said. Texas Governor Greg Abbott shared his condolences to those affected in the incident on Twitter, writing: “Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response.”

A report by KENS5, the gunman has been “taken down by police”. Police said that the shooter was dead and there was no more active threat.

The suspect wearing all black started firing at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs just after the Sunday morning service began, officials said. He was armed with a Ruger military-style rifle.

The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72, and among the dead were several children, a pregnant woman and the pastor s 14-year-old daughter. It was the deadliest mass shooting in Texas history.

Authorities confirmed that the church shooter was a heavily armed white male, in his 20’s, but refused to name him. But the media identified the gunman as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, who was discharged from the US Air Force in 2014.

Police said the gunman crossed the street in his vehicle, got out and began firing using a Ruger AR assault-type rifle.

He then moved to the right side of the church, continuing to fire and then into the building.

As he left, he was confronted by a resident who grabbed his rifle and then began to fire at him as he fled. The resident then chased the shooter who left the scene in his vehicle before leaving the road at the border with Guadalupe County.

He was found dead inside the vehicle, although authorities are not sure if the shooter died from a self- inflicted wound, or whether it was from the resident.

“The exact circumstances of the gunman’s death are still under investigation. The wounded individuals were transported to San Antonio Medical Centre and University Hospital in San Antonio,” the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement said.

The San Antonio FBI branch said there was no indication of the gunman’s motive.

In a brief statement, the Pentagon said the suspect was an airman “at one point,” but additional details about his time in the Air Force were not immediately available.

President Donald Trump, who was in Japan on the first leg of a 12-day Asia tour, expressed condolences to the victims of the mass shooting and also called Governor Gerg Abbott.

He condemned the shooting as an “act of evil” and said Americans would pull together.

“And through the tears and through the sadness, we stand strong, oh so strong,” he was quoted by PTI. “In dark times, and these are dark times, such as these, Americans do what they do best and pull together,” Trump said, but dismissed the need for guns control.

Trump said the gunman had a “mental health problem” and that this “is not a guns situation”. “Preliminary reports show a very deranged individual who s been having a problem for a very long time,” he said.

Trump not calling it a terror attacks because the attacker is not a Muslim. In any attack by a Muslim individual, Trump and a section of media have wasted no time in linking it to imaginary terror groups.