26 people have been killed and 20 injured in a gun attack on First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday. The suspect, who has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, tried to flee the site of the tragedy and was pursued by police; he was later found dead in his car.
According to witnesses, the gunman, who was dressed in black “tactical-type gear” and wearing a ballistic vest, was first spotted at 11:20 a.m. local time across the street from the First Baptist Church.
He crossed the street in his car, got out and started shooting outside. Then he entered the building and continued firing inside with his Ruger AR semi-automatic rifle.
The suspect then walked out but was chased by a local resident who lives next door and who was able to grab his rifle and run after the shooter, who tried to flee the site in his car.
The shooter was then pursued by police into a neighboring county until he crashed his car some 12 kilometers from the church. He was later found dead in his vehicle but it still remains unknown whether he shot himself or died of injuries sustained when the local resident counter-attacked.
The gunman was identified by police as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley. Air Force spokesperson Ann Stefanek later said in a statement that Kelley is a former US Air Force member who served from 2010 to 2014.
According to records, he served in logistics readiness in New Mexico until his discharge in 2014. The spokeswoman said that he was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of assault: on his spouse and on their child. He received a bad conduct discharge and was confined for 12 months.
Kelley killed 26 people and injured 20, which Texas Governor Greg Abbott has called “largest mass shooting in their state’s history.”
Officials have not released the names of the dead, but said they ranged from 5 to 72 years of age, including 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor.
President Trump, who is currently on his tour to Asia, has ordered the country’s flags to be flown at half-mast until Thursday, November 9, to mourn the victims.