The details are sparse surrounding the shooting Sunday at a small church in rural Sutherland Texas but one fact has been made clear by police officials, the death count would be much higher if not for a local resident who engaged the shooter with a rifle of his own.
Police say the shooter has been identified as 26-year-old, Devin P. Kelley, who walked into a church and opened fire with a Ruger assault rifle killing 26 and injuring dozens more. The attack is the deadliest church shooting to date in America but thanks to a fast-acting gun owner it could have been worse.
Police Maj. Freeman Martin says, "At approximately 11:20 this morning a suspect was seen at a Valero gas station in Sutherland Springs, Texas. He was dressed in all black. That suspect crossed the street to the church, exited his vehicle and began firing at the church."
Martin went on, "That suspect then moved to the right side of the church and then continued to fire. That suspect entered the church and continued to fire. As he exited the church, a local resident grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect. The suspect dropped his rifle, which was a Ruger AR assault-type rifle and fled from the church."
"Our local citizen pursued the suspect at that time. A short time later law enforcement responded that [the] suspect [was] right at the Wilson/Guadalupe County line … and was found deceased in his vehicle. At this time we don’t know if it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by the local resident. We know he’s deceased in the vehicle."
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