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More than 25 people reported dead in mass shooting at Texas church

  • A mass shooting occurred Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
  • More than 25 people were killed in the shooting, The Associated Press reported.
  • The suspect was identified as Devin Kelley, and was also killed.
  • Governor says this is the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history

At least 26 people were killed Sunday when a man walked into the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and started shooting, officials said.

The Wilson County News reported that Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said the shooter has been “taken down.” It wasn’t immediately known how many people were killed and wounded or who carried out the attack.

Wilson County commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. told CNN and MSNBC that 27 people were dead and 24 people were injured. The Associated Press reported, citing an official, that at least 26 had been killed.

First responders converged on the church in the small town with a population under 1,000, and helicopters are taking victims to hospitals. Children seem to be among the victims.

Television stations KSAT and KENS reported a large police presence at the church in Sutherland Springs, which is 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. The Dallas Morning Newsreported that at least six helicopters evacuated victims to hospitals.

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“Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted Sunday afternoon. “Our thanks to law enforcement for their response. More details from DPS soon.”

First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy told ABC News that his 14-year-old daughter was among the dead, and said she “was one very beautiful, special child.”

A witness at the scene told KENS, a local CBS affiliate, that a 2-year-old was also among the victims shot.

Another witness told CBS News that she heard about 20 gunshots when the shooter opened fire around 11:30 a.m. local time. According to the church’s website, Sunday services start at 11 a.m.

“May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas,” President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. “The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.”

A law enforcement expert told CNN that the FBI, which is on the scene, is likely involved to investigate the case as a possible hate crime since it occurred at a church.

A woman who lives about 10 minutes away from Sutherland Springs in Floresville and was monitoring the chaos on a police scanner and in Facebook community groups, said that everyone knows everyone in the sparsely populated county.

“This is horrific for our tiny little tight-knit town,” Alena Berlanga told the AP. “Everybody’s going to be affected and everybody knows someone who’s affected.”

Sunday’s mass shooting happened to fall on the eight-year anniversary of the mass shooting at Fort Hood near Killeen, Texas, which left 13 people dead and more than 30 injured in 2009. Another shooting at the military base in 2014 left three people dead, excluding the gunman.

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