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Texas governor: 26 dead, dozens wounded in Texas church massacre

Miami, Nov 5 (EFE).- Texas Governor Greg Abbott confirmed Sunday evening that 26 people died in the mass shooting by a lone gunman at a Baptist church in Texas, while dozens of people were wounded.

The massacre took place inside a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, when a gunman – identified by several media outlets as Devin Kelley, a 26 year old white male – opened fire, local media reported.

Local police told Channel KSAT12 that the shooter was dead but did not specify the cause of death or the exact number of victims inside the First Baptist Church.

Authorities told ABC News that the fatalities ranged from 5 to 72 years of age, with one of them being Annabel Pomeroy, the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, Frank Pomeroy.

Abbott called the incident the “largest mass shooting in our state’s history”

Authorities also said that Kelley – although they did not identify him by name – belonged to a criminal organization.

Freeman Martin, with the Texas Department of Public Safety, said at the press conference that the attacker was dressed all in black and was wearing a bulletproof vest.

Twenty-three people died inside the church, two outside the building and one more at a local hospital.

People gather outside the Sutherland Springs Community Building near the scene of a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, USA, 05 November 2017. Reports indicate that a single gunman entered the church and started shooting and was now dead along with reportedly more than 20 victims.EFE

After the shooting, the attacker encountered a local resident who had heard the shots. That resident had grabbed hisrifle and fired at Kelley, although authorities have not said how he died.

Sutherland Springs, a community of about 500, is located 45 kilometers (28 miles) southeast of San Antonio, and a heavy police presence at the crime scene – including FBI personnel – as well as medical personnel, was reported after the incident.

A police detective told Fox News that there was no longer an “active threat” at the church, which at the time of the shootings was celebrating Mass.

An eyewitness told KSAT12 TV news that about 11:30 am a man – apparently Kelley – armed with a semi-automatic assault rifle entered the small church and opened fire on worshippers.

Kelley was able to flee the scene of the shooting in his vehicle and was pursued by police some 17 km (11 mi.) until he was halted in a field, where he died, but it is still not clear if police shot him or he committed suicide, Guadalupe County Sheriff Robert Murphy said.

The sheriff added, CNN reported, that security forces pursued Kelley across the county line from Wilson County, where Sutherland Springs is located, into Guadalupe County after the massacre.

Congressmen Vicente Gonzalez (D-Tex.) told Univision that the shooter was not from Sutherland Springs, adding “We’re in shock.”

He added that the town is a “small rural” community with a mostly Anglo-Saxon population, although 20 percent of the population is Latino.

He said that most people make their living from raising cattle, farming or working in the energy sector.

President Donald Trump, who is on an official trip to Japan and other Asian nations, said that he was following the situation, adding on Twitter “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.”

Shortly after the incident, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Twitter that “Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act. Our thanks to law enforcement for their response. More details from DPS soon,” referring to the Department of Public Safety.

People attend a vigil near where a mass shooting took place at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, USA, 05 November 2017. According to media reports, a single gunman identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, approached the church and opened fire outside, then entered the church and continued to fire, killing at least 26 people. Kelley was found dead in his vehicle after a brief chase, however the cause of his death is unclear. EFE

Al menos dos docenas de muertos deja un tiroteo en una iglesia de Texas

Miami, 5 nov (EFE).- Al menos dos docenas de muertos y más de una decena de heridos es el saldo provisional del tiroteo en un iglesia baptista de Texas iniciado hoy por una persona sin identificar, que la Policía ha reportado como muerta, según diversas fuentes.

El incidente ocurrió en el templo First Baptist Church, en Sutherland Springs, a 45 kilómetros al sureste de San Antonio (Texas), en donde hay una fuerte presencia policial, incluido el FBI, así como personal médico que ha transportado a varias personas a un hospital en la vecina ciudad de San Antonio.

Aunque el comisionado del Condado Wilson, Albert Gamez Jr., llegó a señalar a la cadena MSNBC que la cifra de muertos ascendía a 27 personas, poco después el alguacil del Condado, Joe Tackitt, dijo que el número de muertos asciende a por los menos 20, según la cadena CNN.

El autor de los disparos murió cuando era perseguido, pero no está todavía claro si lo mataron las fuerzas de seguridad o se quitó la vida, dijo el alguacil del condado de Guadalupe, Robert Murphy.

El alguacil señaló, según recogió CNN, que las fuerzas de seguridad y el autor de los disparos, en la persecución que siguió al tiroteo, entraron en el condado de Guadalupe que es vecino al de Wilson, al que pertenece Sutherland Springs.

Las autoridades locales han confirmado que el autor de los disparos es una sola persona, cuya identidad aún no ha sido difundida, si bien Vicente González, representante demócrata por Texas, dijo a la cadena Univisión que la persona autora de los disparos “no es de la comunidad”.

La Policía local informó que ya no hay una “amenaza activa” en el templo, en donde a la hora del suceso se celebraba una misa.

Varios testigos han declarado que sobre las 11.30 hora local (17.30 GMT) un hombre armado ingresó a la iglesia y abrió fuego contra los que se hallaban en el pequeño templo, aparentemente con un rifle de asalto semiautomático.

Un cajero de una gasolinera al otro lado de la calle del templo señaló a CNN que escuchó unos 20 disparos “en rápida sucesión mientras se realizaba un servicio religioso”.

“Estamos en shock”, dijo González a Univision al describir la zona donde se produjeron los hechos.

De acuerdo con el representante, Sutherland Springs es una “pequeña localidad rural”, de mayoría de población anglosajona, y en donde los latinos representan más del 20 %.

“Es gente tranquila y buena, que vive del campo y la ganadería, o trabaja en el sector de petróleo y energía”, señaló.

Poco después del hecho, el gobernador de Texas, Greg Abbott, escribió un mensaje en su cuenta de Twitter en el que condena los hechos.

“Nuestras oraciones están con todos los que fueron perjudicados por este acto malvado. Nuestro agradecimiento a las autoridades por su respuesta”, manifestó el gobernador, quien se halla en camino al pueblo.

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