[Authorities said a civilian with a gun confronted the attacker and chased him away. (Photo: Jay Janner/Austin American Statesman via AP)]
Sutherland Springs (USA): A man opened fire inside of a church in a small community in south Texas on Sunday, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 others in the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history, the governor said.
Among those killed was the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy, and his wife, Sherri, according to Associated Press.
Sherri Pomeroy wrote in a text message to the AP that she and her husband were out of town in two different states when the attack occurred.
“We lost our 14 year old daughter today and many friends,” she wrote. “Neither of us have made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation. I am at the charlotte airport trying to get home as soon as i can.”
Other victims included a six-year-old boy named Rylan who was in surgery after being shot four times, his uncle told CBS News. A two-year-old was also shot and wounded, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Officials didn’t identify the attacker during a news conference Sunday night, but two other officials — one a US official and one in law enforcement — who were briefed on the investigation identified him as Devin Kelley.
Authorities said a civilian with a gun confronted the attacker and chased him away. The gunman was later found dead in his vehicle along with several weapons.
With details rapidly unfolding, some unnamed officials were quoted as citing tolls as high as 27 dead and 20 or more wounded.
The gunman reportedly walked into the church shortly before noon -- at a morning service that witnesses said was normally attended by some 50 people -- and opened fire, according to AFP.
Exactly five weeks after the worst shooting in modern US history, the latest tragedy prompted an outpouring of condolences, led by US President Donald Trump.