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Sutherland Springs Shooting

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed 26 are dead in the First Baptist Church shooting


Updated November 05, 2017 06:42 PM EST

What we know so far:

  • Deceased gunman identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, per affiliate Fox29
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed 26 dead following a shooting at First Baptist Church in South Texas
  • President Trump called Abbott from overseas
  • Suspect carried an assault-type rifle, stopped at a Valero gas station before walking to the church

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed during a press conference in Stockdale, Texas, that 26 people lost their lives when a gunman stormed a mid-morning prayer service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He added that it remains uncertain whether that number will rise.

Abbott described Sunday's violent incident as the "largest mass shooting in state history."

"We ask for God's comfort, for God's guides ,and for God's healing for all those who are suffering," he added, while urging the community to give their family members, friends, and neighbors an extra hug tonight.

The Texas governor hailed the heroic efforts of first responders and law enforcement officials who were quickly dispatched to the scene. He also personally thanked President Trump for his support overseas, saying that the 46th commander-in-chief called him to send his support and prayers.

Texas Department of Public Safety official Freeman Martin said, prior to the attack, the suspect, who donned all black and a ballistic vest, stopped at a Valero gas station before walking over to the church. He carried an assault-type weapon when he attacked the church.

Martin added that the 26 victims range in age from 5 to 72.

President Trump made his first public appearance since the deadly mass shooting in Texas from Tokyo, where he is in the middle of a 12-day, five-country trek. He sent his prayers and condolences to the victims and wounded, saying that it's nearly impossible to "begin to imagine the suffering."

But added that America's strength and unity will help the nation heal during these dark times.

He continued, "Americans will do what they do best: join together."

Here's a timeline of the deadliest US mass shootings in the last decade.

Here's a timeline of the deadliest US mass shootings in the last decade

Updated November 05, 2017 05:59 PM EST

The gunman who opened fire during a mid-morning prayer service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland, Springs, Texas, has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, according to affiliate Fox29.

Kelley, of neighboring Comal County, is a former U.S. Air Force Member who served from 2010 to 2014, CBS News reported.

According to a statement obtained by Circa's affiliates in San Antonio, the Wilson County Sheriff confirmed that it had received a call of a shooting around 11:20 a.m. local time. The shooter was described as a male wearing black clothing.

It continued, "According to preliminary information, the shooter entered the church and fired a rifle, killing 25 and wounding 20 before leaving the scene in a vehicle. The shooter was later found deceased in his vehicle in Guadalupe County. The exact circumstances of the gunman’s death are still under investigation. The wounded individuals were transported to San Antonio Medical Center and University Hospital in San Antonio."

A spokesperson for University Hospital in San Antonio confirmed that it was treating five adults and four children.

More than 20 people, including the shooter, have been killed after a shooting took place at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday. A spokeswoman confirmed that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has dispatched special agents from nearby field offices in Houston and San Antonio to the site of the church in South Texas.

The sheriff said that the unidentified male walked into the church mid-morning as worshipers were participating in an ongoing service. Witnesses have described a grim scene, saying as many as 20 shots have been fired. The San Antonio Bomb squad has been dispatched to the scene, according to affiliate Fox29.

The daughter of First Baptist Church's pastor has been identified as one of the victims. The pastor's wife added that she and her husband were out of town when violence rattled their church.

Multiple dead after a shooting at a Texas church outside of San Antonio

President Trump, who is currently in Asia for a 12-day, five-country tour, tweeted his condolences as the details of the shooting unfolded.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz also took a moment to send his prayers to the Sutherland Springs community.

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis also responded to the Texas shooting.

Sutherland Springs has been described as a close-knit community of about 400 people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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