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At least 26 faithful killed in Texas church shooting

Texas, Monday

A total of 26 people were killed during a gunman’s shooting rampage at a Texas church during Sunday services, Governor Greg Abbott said, warning the toll may rise. The shooter was also found dead, Guadalupe County Sheriff’s spokesman Sergeant Robert Murphy told AFP, without providing further details about the circumstances of his death.

The worshippers were gunned down at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a small rural community about 50 kilometers southeast of San Antonio, reports said. Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr told AFP there were multiple fatalities and multiple people wounded, but he could not officially confirm the number.

With details rapidly unfolding, some unnamed officials were quoted as citing tolls as high as 27 dead and 20 or more wounded. The shooter reportedly walked into the church shortly before noon — at a morning service that witnesses said was normally attended by some 50 people — and opened fire.

A two-year-old was among the wounded, The Dallas Morning News reported. It was unclear how the shooter died. “There was no police chase,” Murphy said, denying earlier media reports that the gunman was killed after a pursuit.

“He was in his vehicle.” A spokeswoman for Connally Memorial Medical Center in nearby Floresville said the hospital received eight patients with gunshot wounds. Four had been transferred to San Antonio.

President Donald Trump, who is in Japan on the first stop of a tour of Asian countries, tweeted: “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene.” I am monitoring the situation from Japan.” — AFP

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