Ten victims in critical condition after Texas church shooting

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-07 03:56:52|Editor: yan
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Roads are closed by local police near the church where 26 people were killed in Sutherland Springs in the U.S. state of Texas on Nov. 5, 2017. (Xinhua/Yan Bo)

HOUSTON, Nov. 6 (Xinhua) -- Ten people are still in critical conditions after they were shot by a gunman, who opened fire at a church during Sunday services in Sutherland Springs in the U.S. state of Texas, authorities said Monday.

During a press conference outside the church in Sutherland Springs, Texas public safety officer Freeman Martin said that the death toll of 26 could rise as 10 people are still in critical conditions in hospitals.

He said so far six injured victims are in stable condition or had been released from hospital.

Martin said that people, who were killed in the shooting, were aged between 18 months and 77 years old.

"There was a domestic situation going on for this family. The suspect's mother-in-law attended the church." He confirmed that the suspect sent threatening text to his mother-in-law in the morning before the shooting incident.

"The domestic situation will continue to be thoroughly investigated. This was not racially motivated," said Martin.

Law enforcement official told reporters there were three firearms that were discovered, one was the rifle that discovered in the church, two additional handguns were discovered from the vehicle of the deceased suspect.

"I can also confirm that all the three firearms were purchased by the deceased suspect," said the official.

Asking about if home terror involved in the shooting, law enforcement official responded that no investigation has been started so far.

Martin said they can't confirm the suspect did not have the license to carry a weapon. "The crime scene investigation will go on for days. All the bodies were moved from the church."

The alleged gunman was identified as Devin Kelley from New Braunfels, a city about 50 km north of Sutherland Springs, federal and state law enforcement sources confirmed.

Kelley received a bad-conduct discharge from the U.S. Air Force for allegedly assaulting his spouse and child, and was sentenced to 12 months' confinement after a 2012 court-martial. Kelly served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Based in the southwestern U.S. state of New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge, Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek told media.

Law enforcement official commented at the conference that "in general if an individual has a dishonorably discharge from military, they would be prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm."

At least 26 people were killed after a gunman opened fire at a church during Sunday services in Sutherland Springs in the U.S. state of Texas, Governor Greg Abbott said on Sunday.

"Unfortunately I'm sad to tell you that at this moment of time there are 26 lives that have been lost. We don't know that number will rise or not," Abbott said.

The shooting attack in the church was the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history, he added.

Most of the victims have not been identified although the deceased included the 14-year-old daughter of pastor Frank Pomeroy, the church leader told the press.

The shooting happened at the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, approximately 35 km southeast of San Antonio.

A man walked into the church at around 11:30 a.m. (1730 GMT) on Sunday and opened fire at the crowd of people.

As he left the church, a local resident grabbed his rifle and engaged with the suspect, Texas public safety officer Freeman Martin said.

The car of the suspect was found nearby later with the suspect dead inside. It remains unclear if the suspect had self-inflicted gunshot wound or was shot by local residents who engaged him.

Sutherland Springs is an unincorporated community located on the old Spanish land grant of Manuel Tarin in northern Wilson County. According to the Handbook of Texas, the population was 362 in 2000.