A gunman opened fired inside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday, killing as many as 26 people before being shot dead by police. At least 20 others were injured.
CBS and NBC, quoting law enforcement sources, have said the gunman is Devin Patrick Kelley, 26. He died in his vehicle in a neighbouring county, but it is unclear if he was shot by police or took his own life.Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said Kelley walked into the church and began shooting before fleeing in a vehicle. He was later found dead in the vehicle in Guadalupe County. The exact circumstances of his death have not been revealed.
A senior police officer at the scene, Albert Gamez Jr, said "details are sketchy" but confirmed at least 27 people had died. As many as 30 others have been injured. A neighbour said the shooting happened about 11.15am local time when there were about 50 people at the service - if that number is correct then almost the entire congregation would have been killed or injured.Another local officer, David Keen, said "there were kids involved" in the shooting, including two who were fighting for their lives.
US President Donald Trump tweeted from Japan, saying: "May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued a statement, describing the shooting as a "horrific act".
Sutherland Springs is in a rural corner of South Texas where communities are small and tight-knit. The area is known for its annual peanut festival in nearby Floresville, which was most recently held last month.
"We're shocked. Shocked and dismayed," said state senator Judith Zaffirini, a Laredo Democrat whose district includes Sutherland Springs.