Sutherland Springs, United States | AFP | A black-clad gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire on a small-town Texas church during Sunday morning services, killing 26 people and wounding 20 in the last mass shooting to shock the United States.
Here’s what we know so far about the attack.
– What happened –
Around 11:20 am (1720 GMT), 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 rifle 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.
– Victims –
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 attacker –
Authorities declined to identify the gunman, saying only that he was a young white male in his early 20s, but he was widely reported by US media to be Devin Patrick Kelley.
US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek confirmed to AFP that Kelley had served in logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, from 2010 until he was dishonorably discharged in 2014.
He had been court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and their child, and was discharged after being jailed for 12 months.
– Grim series of shootings –
Sunday’s attack one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history.
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.