Texas Church Attack Leaves 26 Dead, Small Community Reeling

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say a gunman armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a small South Texas church, killing 26 people who ranged in age from 5 to 72.

The mass shooting occurred Sunday morning at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. About 20 others were wounded in the attack.

Two officials who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity identified the gunman as Devin Kelley. An Air Force spokeswoman said records confirm Kelley received a bad conduct discharge after being court-martialed in 2012 for assaulting his spouse and child.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr. described the scene inside the church as “terrible.”

The daughter of the church’s pastor was one of the victims killed in the shooting, her mother Sherri Pomeroy told CBS News via text message on Sunday.

“My husband and I were ironically out of town in two different states. We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends,” Pomeroy said Sunday.

She added, “Neither of us have made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation. I am at the Charlotte airport trying to get home as soon as I can.”

Investigators have not yet determined a motive for the attack.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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