Devin Patrick Kelley (pictured) walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, dressed in full combat gear, and began shooting, according to local law enforcement sources
The mass shooter who opened fire inside a Texas church killing at least 27 – including a two-year-old child – has been identified as a 26-year-old US Air Force veteran and Bible study teacher.
Devin Patrick Kelley walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, dressed in full combat gear, and began shooting, according to local law enforcement sources.
Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels, a suburb of San Antonio, was killed after the brief foot chase into Guadalupe County, according Guadalupe County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Robert Murphy. But it’s still unclear if the gunman shot himself or was taken down by authorities.
San Antonio police raided Kelley’s home on Sunday evening, with K9 and bomb squad units.
Kelley, who was reportedly married, had recently posted a photo of an AR-15 style gun on his Facebook page with the caption: ‘She’s a bad b***h.’
A LinkedIn account which appears to be Kelley’s states that he joined the US Air Force after graduating New Braunfels High School in 2009. He worked in logistics and supply in the Air force until 2013, when he left and volunteered as a teacher for Bible studies at Kingsville First Baptist Church.
Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr told CNN that at least 27 people have been killed in the shooting, but the death toll is expected to climb.
‘My heart is broken,’ Gamez said. ‘We never think where it can happen, and it does happen. It doesn’t matter where you’re at. In a small community, real quiet and everything, and look at this, what can happen.’
At least 24 others were injured in the horrific shooting, including a six-year-old boy – named only as Rylan – who was shot four times and is currently undergoing emergency surgery in hospital.
It is believed to have been the worst shooting at a place of worship in American history.
Witnesses said a man ‘in full gear’ walked inside the church and opened fire just before 11.30am.
First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy told ABC that his 14-year-old daughter is among the dead. She ‘was one very beautiful, special child,’ the pastor said. His wife, Sherri Pomeroy, said her husband was out of town at the time of the shooting.
More than 20 people have been killed inside a Texas church – including a two-year-old child – after a gunman dressed in full combat gear opened fire during the morning service before cops shot him dead. First Baptist Church Pastor Frank Pomeroy’s (right with his wife Sherri) 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle (left), is among the dead
The shooting happened at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs (pictured), where around 50 people usually attend service, according to local reports
Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr said that at least 27 people have been killed in the shooting, but the death toll is expected to climb
Law enforcement officials stand next to a covered body at the scene of the fatal shooting
A young man standing outside the Brooke Army Medical Center told MySA.com that he had been wounded in the shooting and that this father had been killed. His mother was in another hospital.
Amanda Mosel’s 13-year-old goddaughter was gunned down in the shooting. With tears in her eyes, the 34-year-old stood outside the Sutherland Springs Community Building where citizens gathered following the shooting.
A woman wrote on Facebook that she saw the man flee the scene in his vehicle before crashing it not far from her daughter’s house. She said he then ran on foot and was pursued by police.
The suspect is dead and there is no longer an active shooter threat, according to police.
San Antonio Police Department reportedly sent in their bomb squad to investigate an SUV abandoned in Guadalupe County, near Sutherland Springs, which is believed to have belonged to the shooter, News 4 San Antonio reports.
The department is also sending a unit to the suspect’s home although it’s not yet clear where that is.
Police could not give an exact number of victims shot in the attack, but witnesses said they heard as many as 20 shots fired. It appears that almost everyone in the church during the service was shot.
Dana Fletcher, who owns a store in Sutherland Springs, told CNN: ‘It’s just awful…there were emergency responders everywhere.’
Neighbors in the area said they may have heard the shooter reload multiple times. Another witness at the scene said a two-year-old was also shot in the attack.