By Isaac Kiti
A lone shooter stepped into a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on Sunday morning and opened fire, leaving at least 26 worshippers dead and many injured. Twenty-three worshippers died on the spot inside the church, two outside it and one after being rushed to hospital. Many more casualties were still being treated. The ages of those killed ranged from five to 72.
The number of the dead marks the worst mass shooting killing in modern Texas history. The shooter was found dead after he was chased by locals and police across county lines. Security officials at a press conference, denounced revealing the identity of the gunman, though sources reported him as Devin Patrick Kelley.
The Air Force said Kelley, 26, served from 2010 t0 2014 when he left following a court martial. He received a bad conduct discharge for assaulting his wife and child. Kelley lived in the town of New Braunfels, about 35 miles from Sunderland Springs. On Sunday night police were at the property.
A Sunday evening press conference, Texas governor Greg Abbot said: “There are so many families who have lost their family members and it occurred in a church, a place of worship. That’s where these people were killed. We mourn their loss.”
Freeman Martin of Texas department of public safety gave a brief of timeline events of the murderer Kelley. At around 11.20 am he said, the suspect was described as a white male in his early 20’s was spotted at a petrol station over the road from the church.
Dressed in black, he crossed the road and as he approached the church, he started shooting, went on with the shooting as he entered the place of worship. After mass killing, he left the church and was engaged by a local resident carrying a rifle. The shooter dropped his gun-a Ruger assault rifle-and fled.
He was pursued by police and just as he reached Guadalupe County his vehicle veered off the road. He was found in his car dead, it unclear whether he was shot by a local resident or by his own hand. The shooting comes barely after a gunman opened fire on an open-air concert in Las Vegas killing 58 and injuring 546.