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At least 26 dead in Texas church attack, gunman killed

RT / At least 26 people have been killed after a gunman opened fire inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The shooter has either been killed or shot himself. Texas Governor Gregg Abbot confirmed that at least 26 people had lost their lives in the shooting, and said the death toll could climb higher. At least 20 more were wounded in the attack.

Witnesses reported seeing the man walk into the Baptist Church in the town 30 miles from San Antonio at 11:30am local time Sunday, according to KSAT-12.

Neighbors say they heard shooter may have reloaded multiple times, around 50 people usually at service pic.twitter.com/tkAYMp2Y8A

— Max Massey (@MaxMasseyTV) November 5, 2017 The assailant first opened fire outside the church before proceeding on a shooting spree inside, DPS Regional Director Freeman Martin said at a news briefing. The suspect was engaged in a firefight by an armed local resident as he exited the building, forcing him to drop his automatic rifle and attempt to flee. As he escaped the scene in a vehicle, the resident proceeded to chase him.

The attacker was found dead in his car as it crashed down the road, Martin added, noting that it was not clear whether his death was self-inflicted or he was killed by the local resident.  “Multiple weapons” were found in the gunman’s car, the police said after inspecting it.

The suspect’s name has not been officially released yet. He is being described as a white man in his mid-20s. He was wearing all-black tactical gear and a ballistic vest at the time of the attack.

Unnamed sources within the investigation, cited by various US media, identified the shooter as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. Kelley was said to be a resident of New Braunfels, a city near San Antonio. Police have reportedly already raided his home. It appears from Kelley’s purported profile on LinkedIn that he served in the US Air Force until 2013 and briefly taught at a summer religious school.

Sutherland Springs shooter identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26 from Comal County Texas (New Braunfels) pic.twitter.com/Kqd5AbAY1r

— 500report 🇺🇸 (@500report) November 5, 2017 The victims’ names have not been released either, with Audrey Louis, Wilson County District Attorney, saying that officials want to first notify the families before telling the media the identities of those killed and injured.

Local pastor Frank Pomeroy’s daughter, Annabel, was killed in the shooting, her father confirmed to ABC News. Annabel, 14, “was one very beautiful, special child,” said the pastor, who was on his way from Oklahoma to Sutherland Springs when the tragedy unfolded.

An eyewitness told CBS News that there was a heavy police presence on the road to the church, adding that they had seen people being airlifted from the area.

Area of the church is now blocked off and taped off. Family and friends still waiting to hear if their loved ones are safe. pic.twitter.com/YsKz78i3Lg

— Max Massey (@MaxMasseyTV) November 5, 2017 Texas Governor Greg Abbott posted to Twitter shortly after the incident, saying: “Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response. More details from DPS soon.”

Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response. More details from DPS soon. https://t.co/KMCRmOPkiM

— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 5, 2017 President Donald Trump has confirmed he is aware of the situation and said he was monitoring it from Japan.

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.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017

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