A gunman wearing all black armed with an assault rifle opened fire on a small-town Texas church during Sunday morning services, killing 26 people and wounding 20 more in the last mass shooting to shock the United States.
Here’s what we know so far about the attack.
Around 11.20am, the gunman fired outside at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a rural community of about 400 people located 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio.
He then entered the building and continued to spray bullets with a Ruger AR assault-type rifle.
A local resident grabbed the shooter’s weapon as he exited the church and gave chase.
Law enforcement later found the gunman dead in his car, which had crashed, on the Wilson-Guadalupe county line. It was not clear if he had committed suicide or was shot by the resident who had confronted him.
The victims ranged in age from five to 72. The dead included the 14-year-old daughter of pastor Frank Pomeroy.
Annabelle Renee Pomeroy “was one very beautiful, special child,” her father told ABC News.
Other victims included a six-year-old boy named Rylan who was in surgery after being shot four times, his uncle told CBS News. A two-year-old was also shot and wounded, The Dallas Morning News reported.
The gunman, widely identified as Devin Kelley, 26, was described by authorities as a “young white male” who was found dead in his vehicle after being confronted by a local resident.
The Air Force said Kelley served at an Air Force base in New Mexico starting in 2010 before being court-martialed in 2012 for allegedly assaulting his wife and child.
He was sentenced to 12 months in confinement and received a “bad conduct” discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told AFP. He was discharged in 2014.
Grim series of shootings
Sunday’s attack was one of the deadliest mass shootings in recent times.
It came just five weeks after the worst shooting in modern US history, when a gunman in Las Vegas fired down from a hotel room onto an outdoor concert, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds. – Agence France-Presse