Investigation continues into Texas church shooting

By: Preston Jones

Updated:

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas - Quick Facts:

  • A man killed 26 people in a shooting at a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church Sunday morning.
  • Officials identified the suspect as Devin Kelley.
  • The suspect wore black tactical gear and began shooting at the church before he got inside.
  • A nearby resident shot back at the suspect. The suspect fled and was later found dead in a wrecked vehicle.
  • Officials say the suspect's in-laws attended the church, but they were not there on the day of the shooting.
  • The investigation is ongoing.

 

A man shot and killed 26 people Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas. Around 20 people were wounded.

LIVE UPDATES: Mass shooting at Texas church

Governor Greg Abbott said in a news conference Sunday evening that an emergency medical task force from San Antonio was deployed to help coordinate efforts between trauma centers and hospitals. 

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Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt Jr. said an active investigation is still underway. FBI investigators are reportedly working to get into the suspect's cellphone.

The entire news conference was streamed live on FOX23.com and the FOX23 Facebook page:

Department of Public Safety Regional Director Freeman Martin said the suspect was first seen at a Valero gas station, where he then crossed the street and began shooting at the church.

The suspect reportedly continued to fire as he entered the church. Once he stepped back outside, a local resident grabbed a rifle and shot at the suspect, Martin said.

Authorities say they've collected hundreds of shell casings and 15 magazines that hold 30 rounds each from the church. They say the shooter used a semi-automatic Ruger AR-556 rifle. They say the gun was not equipped with a bump stock.

Officials said the suspect fled the scene in a vehicle. He was later found dead inside the wrecked vehicle. They say he was shot twice by other citizens, but died as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot.

The suspect was identified as Devin Kelley.

According to the Associated Press, an Air Force official said that Kelley was given a bad conduct discharge in 2014 after being court-martialed in 2012 for one count of assault against his spouse and another count of assault against their child.

The Air Force says it failed to report the Texas church shooter's domestic violence conviction to the FBI as required by Pentagon rules.

A 2012 police report says that the Texas church gunman had made death threats against his military superiors and had been caught trying to sneak firearms onto an Air Force base in New Mexico where he had been stationed.

Kelley had also reportedly escaped from a mental health facility in 2012, but the Air Force says federal privacy laws prohibit it from commenting on the information in the police report.

He was described as a white man in his early 20s and wearing black tactical gear. Multiple weapons were found inside the vehicle, officials said.

Officials found 23 people dead inside the church. Two more were found outside and one victim died at a hospital.

The victims range from an unborn baby to a 72-year-old.

People came together at a vigil to honor the victims Monday night.

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Oklahoma leaders addressed the shooting on social media Sunday:

Governor Mary Fallin shared her condolences Monday morning:


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