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26 People Killed, 20 Wounded After Gunman Opens Fire at Church in Texas

CNN reports that Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire with a military-style rifle in the middle of a service at First Baptist Church at about 11:20 a.m. The victims ranged in age from 18 months to 77 years old, and included the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter. As Kelley fled the scene, he exchanged gunfire with an armed local resident. The citizen pursued the suspect as he fled in his vehicle. Authorities later found Kelley dead of a gunshot wound inside his car, though it is unclear at this time if the wound was self-inflicted or if he was shot by the resident.

Texas Shooting, First Baptist Church, Sutherland Springs
First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. KSAT via AP

The New York Times reports that Kelley served in the Air Force at a base in New Mexico but was court-martialed in 2012 on charges of assaulting his wife and their child. He was imprisoned for 12 months and received a “bad conduct” discharge in 2014, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told the newspaper.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting from Japan, where he is in the middle of a 12-day, five-country Asian trip. He wrote, “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.” Trump, 71, later claimed in a press conference that the shooting “isn’t a guns situation,” but instead “a mental health problem at the highest level.”

 

 

Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the church shooting, located in a rural town 30 miles southeast of San Antonio, an “evil act.”

Celebrities also reacted to the terrible news on social media. “No one should have to worry about loved ones in a house of worship, a nightclub, a school or at a concert. #SutherlandSprings you’re in my [heart],” Chelsea Clinton wrote.

“My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones. This is horrifying. Church is supposed to be a safe place,” Camilla Belle tweeted. Josh Gadwrote, “Another day. Another mass shooting. Will it ever end? Heartbroken for all those affected. #Texas.”

“Where’s the next mass shooting gonna be? Any guesses? Should we try to do anything we can to prevent it? No? Ok cool. Good luck out there!” Billy Eichner tweeted.

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