10 victims in critical condition after Texas church shooting

Updated 2017-11-07 03:31:57 Xinhua

Ten people remained in critical condition after a gunman with an assault rifle killed at least 26 people during Sunday services in a church in the U.S. state of Texas, authorities said Monday.

The death toll could rise as 10 people were still in critical conditions in hospitals, Texas public safety officer Freeman Martin said at a press conference outside the church in Sutherland Springs, about 65 km east of San Antonio.

"The total wounded, the total number is 20," Martin said. "There are six in stable condition or have been released. There are four in serious condition and 10 that remain in critical condition."

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

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said on Sunday that at least 26 people were killed after the gunman opened fire at the church during Sunday services in Sutherland Springs of fewer than 400 residents.

"Unfortunately I'm sad to tell you that at this moment of time there are 26 lives that have been lost," Abbott said.

The 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 lone gunman, dressed in black tactical gear and a ballistic vest, drove up to the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs at around 11:30 a.m. (1730 GMT) on Sunday and started firing inside.

As he left the church, a local resident grabbed his rifle and engaged with the suspect, Martin said.

The gunman, identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, was later found dead nearby in his car, apparently of a gunshot wound, after he fled the scene.

It remained unclear if the suspect died of self-inflicted gunshot wound or was shot with gunfire 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.

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