At least two dozen dead and more than a dozen injured is the provisional balance of the shooting in a Texas Baptist church started today by an unidentified person, which police have reported as dead, according to various sources.
The incident occurred at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, 45 kilometers southeast of San Antonio, Texas, where there is a strong police presence, including the FBI, as well as medical personnel who have transported several people to a hospital in the neighboring city of San Antonio.
Although Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. even pointed out to the MSNBC network that the death toll amounted to 27 people, shortly after County Sheriff Joe Tackitt said that the death toll amounts to at least 20, according to CNN.
The gunman was killed when he was being chased, but it is still unclear if he was killed by security forces or killed himself, said Guadalupe County Sheriff Robert Murphy.
The sheriff said, according to CNN, that the security forces and the perpetrator of the shooting, in the pursuit that followed the shooting, entered the county of Guadalupe, which is next to Wilson’s, to which Sutherland Springs belongs.
Local authorities have confirmed that the author of the shooting is a single person, whose identity has not yet been released, although Vicente Gonzalez, a representative from Texas, told Univision that the person who fired the shots “is not from community”.
Local police reported that there is no longer an “active threat” in the temple, where at the time of the event a mass was celebrated.
Several witnesses have stated that at around 11.30 local time (17.30 GMT) an armed man entered the church and opened fire on those who were in the small temple, apparently with a semiautomatic assault rifle.
A cashier at a gas station across the street from the temple told CNN that he heard about 20 shots “in rapid succession while a religious service was being performed.”
“We are in shock,” González told Univision when describing the area where the events took place.
According to the representative, Sutherland Springs is a “small rural town”, with a majority of Anglo-Saxon population, and where Latinos represent more than 20%.
“They are quiet and good people, who live in the countryside and livestock, or work in the oil and energy sector,” he said.
Shortly after the fact, the governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, wrote a message on his Twitter account condemning the events.
“Our prayers are with all those who were harmed by this evil act, and our thanks to the authorities for their response,” said the governor, who is on his way to town.