SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, San Antonio, Texas (DWDD) – Authorities have so far accounted 26 dead and 20 wounded after a black-clad gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a rural community of about 400 people located 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of San Antonio.
Authorities have so far not released the identity of the gunman, saying only that he was a “young white male, 26-year old” veteran.
According to US Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek, the suspect had faced a court-martial and was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force in 2014 where he served in the logistics readiness at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, from 2010 until his discharge
The gunman fired outside at the church before entering the building and continuing to spray bullets that hit victims whose age ranges from 5 to 72.
Law enforcement later discovered the gunman dead in his car, which crashed, on the Wilson-Guadalupe county line. There is still no conclusion if he had committed suicide or was shot by the resident who had confronted him. Multiple weapons were found in the car, which was processed by bomb technicians.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were immediately dispatched to the incident site in Sutherland Springs.
Exactly five weeks after the worst shooting in modern US history, the latest tragedy prompted an outpouring of condolences, led by US President Donald Trump. Local authorities formed a perimeter around the area. Tearful relatives and neighbors stood outside, nervously awaiting news.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump, who is traveling in Japan, said “our hearts are broken. This act of evil occurred as the victims and their families were in their place of worship.” The president also promised his administration’s “full support” to the investigation.
The shooting comes just over a month after a gunman in Las Vegas fired down from a hotel room onto an outdoor concert, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history. AES