Everything we know so far about the Texas church shooting
The state of Texas braved its deadliest mass shooting in modern history yesterday. At least 26 people were killed, and 20 others injured when a gunman opened fire during Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a remote town in Wilson County, South Texas.
The victims' ages ranged from five to 72, and as of yet, Sheriff Joe Tackitt has stated that authorities have not been able to confirm the names of any of the victims. It has been reported that 23 churchgoers died inside the church, two outside and one after being transported to hospital.
Speaking at a press conference on Sunday evening, Texas governor, Greg Abbott, said: "There are so many families who have lost family members, and it occurred in a church, in a place of worship [...] That’s where these people were mown down. We mourn their loss.”
The suspect was later found dead in his vehicle, a few miles away from the crime scene. While local police initially identified him as a "young, white male", the US media quickly determined that he was 26-year-old, Devin Patrick Kelley.
Appropriate authorities discovered that Kelley was purportedly discharged from the US air force in 2014 after serving for four years, following a court martial for assaulting his wife and child. Kelley resided in the town of New Braunfels, around 35 miles from Sutherland Springs.
The motive for the attack has not yet been established.
Freeman Martin, the regional director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, confirmed that the attacker, who was dressed in black and wearing a bulletproof vest, opened fire at around 11:30 local time, with a Ruger assault rifle. As the gunman proceeded to leave the church, a citizen grabbed his own firearm, and began shooting at the suspect who dropped his rifle and attempted to flee in his vehicle.
The courageous churchgoer pursued the suspect, who eventually drove of the road, and crashed his vehicle at the Guadalupe County line. It is not known whether the gunman, who was found dead in his car, committed suicide, or died as a result of injuries sustained.
The suspect's vehicle reportedly contained several other firearms.
In the wake of the tragedy, renewed focus has been placed on President Donald Trump, who has historically refused to discuss gun control policy.
When asked at a press conference in Tokyo about what policies he would put in place to tackle such mass shootings, the 45th President of the United States choose to focus on the mental health issues of the gunman, failing to consider that gun ownership may be at the root of the issue.
"We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries, but this isn’t a guns situation," Trump asserted. "Fortunately somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise it wouldn’t have been as bad as it was, it would have been much worse."
He added: "This is a mental health problem at the highest level. It’s a very sad event … these are great people at a very, very sad event, but that’s the way I view it."
Our thoughts lie with all those affected by the tragedy at Sutherland Springs.