At least 27 people are dead and another 24 people are injured after a gunman entered a church in Texas and opened fire during Sunday morning worship service.
The tragic attack took place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in Sutherland Springs, Texas, which sits just 40 miles southeast of San Antonio.
Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez, Jr. confirmed CBS News that at least 27 people had been killed and another 24 people could be injured from the attack. There is a possibility those numbers could rise. Games said, “The details are kind of sketchy but what I know right now, what they’re telling me, like 27 deceased and over 20, 25 injured.”
While witnesses claim 20 shots were fired, police do not yet have an exact number.
The gunman entered the church and began shooting at approximately 11:30 A.M. local time. After a brief chase, the gunman was killed. It is not clear whether he was killed by police or if he shot himself, according to police. The suspect’s name has not been released yet.
Texas Congressman Vicente Gonzalez said on MSNBC that “apparently the shooter was not from the area, he was from outside of that area.” He also added that he does not think the shooting is connected to terrorism, but “was some kind of other incident that has to do with the church or the community.”
State governor Greg Abbott said in a statement on Sunday: “While the details of this horrific act are still under investigation, Cecilia and I want to send our sincerest thoughts and prayers to all those who have been affected by this evil act. I want to thank law enforcement for their response and ask that all Texans pray for the Sutherland Springs community during this time of mourning and loss.”
Sherri Pomeroy, the wife of the church’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy said he was out of town when the shooting happened. However, their daughter was inside the church at the time. It is unclear whether she is safe or is one of the victims.
More information is expected to be released in the coming week by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Christians around the world are being asked to pray for this pastor and for this church family as well as for all of the extended family members and friends who are affected by this tragedy.