Man opens fire in Texas church, killing more than 20 people


Several people were shot Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a rural church outside San Antonio.

Local and national media outlets report at least 20 people dead at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

The number of people killed and injured has not been confirmed by authorities, but children are believed to be among the victims.

Sutherland Springs is in Wilson County, about 30 miles east of San Antonio.

Local ABC affiliate KSAT 12 reported the gunman entered the church at around 11:30 local time (6.30am NZDT). She declined to give a specific number but said it was less than a dozen. The gunman has been killed, he said.

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The shooter was reportedly killed after a brief chase north into neighbouring Guadalupe County, according to Guadalupe County Sheriff's Office spokesman Robert Murphy, reported CNN. Law enforcement sources confirm to TMZ there are multiple deaths.

Sutherland Springs is an unincorporated community located on the old Spanish land grant of Manuel Tarin in northern Wilson County.

In a statement posted on Twitter, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said: "Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act".

Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other law enforcement agencies were either on the scene or traveling there.

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".