Breaking: Mass Shooting in Texas Church, At Least 27 Dead
(ZH) Update (3:30 pm ET): More details about the shooting are trickling in. A law enforcement source told CNN that a man walked into the church and began shooting about 11:30 a.m. local time. Agents from the San Antonio field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are en route to the scene, the source said. The FBI’s crisis management team is already there assisting investigators.
The Connally Memorial Medical Center in nearby Floresville, Texas, is “accepting and assessing victims” from the Sutherland Springs church shooting, according to hospital spokeswoman Megan Posey. The number of victims is unknown at this time.Several small children are reportedly among the dead.
The shooter was killed after a brief chase north into neighboring Guadalupe County, according Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Robert Murphy. It is unclear if the shooter was killed by police or took his own life, Murphy said. Witnesses say they heard about 20 shots being fired in quick succession while the church service was underway.
Sutherland Springs is in Wilson County, about 30 miles east of San Antonio.
Update (3:20 pm ET): President Donald Trump, who arrived in Japan earlier today for the first leg of an 11-day Asia tour, tweeted “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.”
New details about the police response to the shooting are starting to emerge: Police officials told the local NBC affiliate that the shooter was killed following a vehicle pursuit. US Marshalls and the ATF are also reportedly part of the response, which one source said suggests the shooter might have had warrants out for his arrest.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot tweeted that his prayers were with the victims and that an update from the Texas Department of Public Safety would be available soon.
Update: Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. spoke to NBC and said police have confirmed that a single shooter walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and opened fire. He added that, while details remain sketchy, the number of fatalities could be as high as 27.
Initial reports said as many as 15 people were shot. As many as 24 may have been wounded. The FBI’s crisis response team is helping local police with the investigation.
Update: Energy Secretary Rick Perry tweeted that he and his wife send their condolences and prayers to the victims.
Update: The area surrounding the Church has been blocked off by authorities. Family members of Church congregants are waiting to learn more about their loved ones.
Update: NBC News now reporting that several people have been killed in today’s shooting.
The FBI is also reportedly responding to the incident. Police haven’t said how many people have been shot, but the number could be more than 20. The shooter reportedly fired more than 20 rounds from a semiautomatic weapon. Witnesses say medical helicopters were called to airlift victims to safety.
In an incident that authorities are describing as a “mass casualty situation,” between 12 and 15 people have reportedly been shot at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a small community south east of San Antonio. The people were presumably attending a Sunday church service when a gunman opened fire. Few details are available. The gunman is still “active” according to the latest police reports.
Here’s a live feed from the scene courtesy of local ABC affiliate KSAT 12:
Unconfirmed reports on social media claim that more than a dozen people have been injured during the shooting, though it is not clear yet how serious their injuries are. Kens5 Eye Witness News claims that a two-year-old is among the shooting victims. Neighbors are reporting that a gunman entered the church and opened fire before taking off in a vehicle.
Police say the suspect is dead, and that children were reportedly among the victims.
Multiple agencies were responding and medical helicopters were dispatched. Check back for more details.