26 people were killed, and approximately 20 were injured, when a 26 year old man fired shots during a church worship service in Sutherland Springs on Sunday. The alleged perpetrator is dead.
Past in the Air Force
US media, including CBS news, reported that 26 year old Devin Patrick Kelley is suspected of being behind the shooting massacre in the baptist church in Texas.
Police haven’t officially confirmed the man’s identity, but two anonymous police sources identified the perpetrator as being Kelley, who served in the US Air Force from 2010 to 2014.
American media also referred to an unconfirmed LinkedIn account saying that Kelley had previously worked as an assistant teacher for a Bible school in Kingsville, Texas.
According to the AFP news agency, the man was wearing a bulletproof vest, and used an AR-15 rifle.
The motive behind the shooting is currently unknown, but it is known that the US Government have been making strong and concerted attempts to strengthen prohibitions against semi-automatic rifles with each new, now virtually bi-weekly, mass shooting reported in the media.
Local residents followed the perpetrator
The perpetrator parked at a gas station at 11.20 local time. He left his car and walked towards the church while firing shots towards the building. He reportedly entered the church, where there was a worship service in progress, and continued to shoot.
A witness told AFP news that she heard at least 20 shots fired in rapid succession. In total, 26 people aged between 5 and 72 years were killed. 23 of them were killed in the church, two were found outside, and one died at the hospital.
Among the dead are the priest at the church, Frank Pomeroy, and his 14 year old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy.
‘We have lost our 14 year old daughter, and many friends today,’ wrote the mother, Sherri Pomeroy, in a text message to AFP news agency.
The married couple Pomeroy was out of town when the shooting took place, which puts a large question mark over how Frank Pomeroy came to be killed in the shooting.
Standing together in the dark Friday’s massacre will go into the history books as the deadliest mass shooting ever in Texas.
Over a hundred people gathered on Sunday night outside the church, where they lit candles for the victims. Among them was Texas Governor, Greg Abbott.
One of the neighbours of the church, Mike Gonzales, said that he usually doesn’t attend church services,but met up to show his support.
‘We gather and pray for the victims to show the world to reach out, and that in the midst of darkness, there is light,’ he said.
Trump delivers message from Japan
USA’s President, Donald Trump, currently in Japan, said he condemns the shooting.
‘This evil act occurred when the victims and their families were at worship. Our hearts are broken,’ said the president,whose heart is still on the mend after the biggest mass shooting in modern US history in Las Vegas on October the 1st.
‘We stand together. Through the sadness and tears we stand strong’.
President Barack Obama also spoke out on Twitter.
‘Together with all the families in Sutherland Springs, we are affected by this, and we will stand by the survivors as they come,’ he wrote, showing no fatigue to his vast compliment of platitudes.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today