First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas

While details still remain sketchy, from multiple reports, it’s obvious that a lone gunman murdered two dozen or more people in the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas earlier today. Various media outlets are quoting the number of dead anywhere from 20 to 27 with many more wounded.

According to the LA Times:

Law enforcement officials are still processing the scene of the shooting, but county commissioners have been told that more than 20 people were killed at the First Baptist Church on Sunday, County Commissioner Ernest “Skip” Hajek said in a telephone interview with the Los Angeles Times

Sheriff Joe Tackitt is reporting that the shooter has been “taken down,” the local Wilson County News reported.

“The details of this horrific act are still under investigation,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in a statement. “I want to thank law enforcement for their response and ask that all Texans pray for the Sutherland Springs community during this time of mourning and loss.”

The New York Times reported that,

Albert Gamez Jr., another Wilson County commissioner, told CNN that he was told by the police that the gunman was chased into the next county and was killed, but it was not clear whether the police shot him or he killed himself.

Mr. Gamez said he was told by an emergency medical technician that 27 people were dead and 24 others were injured.

He said the victims were still inside the church. Sutherland Springs is a small community where everyone knows one another, he said.

The shooter, who had left the scene, is reported dead. Whether he killed himself or was shot by law enforcement still isn’t yet clear.

A so-far unconfirmed report identifies the murderer as Chris Ward and claims that he killed his family before opening fire on the churchgoers.

Again, as in all of these situations, “facts” tend to change. Sometimes significantly. Watch this space.

UPDATE: The earlier report of the shooter’s name was incorrect. The shooter has since been identified as Devin Patrick Kelley of nearby Comal County.

32 COMMENTS

  1. I just did a little checking on handgunlaw.us and church carry is legal for licensed carriers if the church doesn’t have a 30.06 sign. I can’t tell whether the Southern Baptists of Texas have a blanket policy against guns, but I wonder if this church had such a sign. Certainly it seems as though not a SINGLE person had a concealed gun to combat this evil man.

    • Reports I have seen said the church averaged about 50 people at Sunday services. Figure most of those will be women, kids, and the elderly. I would guess most members belong to 3 or 4 extended families. This is speculation from my experiences growing up in small Southern Baptist churches.

      • Same here in Georgia, only with permission from the pastor can you carry. This is the major reason why I don’t attend any more. I avoid places that demand I disarm.

        • Rusty Chains,

          Go to your church pastor and explain your case. If your church pastor opposes the Bible and your right to be armed, then find a pastor and church that follows the Bible and supports your right to be armed.

  2. Does each writer for TTAG get to post a story about the same event or something? Dan and Nick have both gotten in theirs. Will Robert will be next?

  3. Southern Baptists churches are autonomous. There is not a hierarchy such as the Catholic Church has. The Southern Baptist Convention is more of a ‘gaggle’ of like-minded people with a definite focus on missions outreach.

      • Well, he’s white, apparently a member (are you a member if you show up occasionally) of this church, so…

        White-Yes
        Christian-At least in theory

        But his family is saying its not him, just that his wife and kids were killed there, on the weekend of their 5th wedding anniversary, so who actually knows. His parents are trying to find out from the hospital about the family, where’s he at?

        Sounds like all the typical family killer folks, I don’t get it. Fine, you get pissed at family/people because of x-factor, why kill them and a bunch of other people, shoot yourself in the face, you get the same outcome. But I like my family, even my in-laws,

  4. My God blumenthal is a political douchebag, yes he is from connecticut… hey db! what gun law would have stopped this carnage? Oh, that’s right you don’t want to take our guns…. just our liberties

  5. The USG should ban the media from reporting these ‘shooting instances’. Clearly trouble people are committing these horrible acts as way of acting out; knowing that they will be heard. 

    • Yep, let the government memory hole all these incidents. Thankfully the First Amendment keeps the government from doing as you advocate.

    • they shouldn’t do anything of the sort. However, they do need to stop putting out the names or at the very least the pictures of these bilge scum. They won’t though cause it’s ratings. Which is sad because people expected to google a picture of a monster and instead they get some homely loser who probably sniffed strangers staring back at them.

  6. The church leader ban lawfull carry ?? Should face felony charges and root in hell on same place as the shooter !!

  7. How the hell do you kill 27 people at church in a small Texas town?
    No armed ushers?
    No church security team?
    No on to rush the attacker?
    I don’t get it….
    I thought it was Texas…

      • I go to church every Sunday, and wherever I am, there is a security team. Little churches need only a couple of folks who consider themselves part of the security team and…you’ve got a security team. I’m angry that there wasn’t even one carrier at this church.

    • The ads don’t get served by TTAG, its based on your browsing history as mined by their ad providers.

      I had the intrusive ads, so Adblock Plus. When the option comes for a moderate subscription to lose the ads, I sign up. Lots of $3 charges, but worth it for my sanity.

  8. Per Breitbart New:

    “UPDATE 4:40 p.m.: KSAT reports from witnesses state the gunman wore a mask and full gear. The witnesses stated the gunman opened fire outside the church before going in. One of the witnesses reportedly returned fire on the gunman. The shots reportedly hit the gunman who then got back into his vehicle and left the scene.” [Emphasis Mine.]

    If true this little tidbit will have some anti panties in a knot.

  9. Yes I go to a small Baptist church of the same size in a more rural area.

    We have arm members that act as security.

    I suspect more members well be after this.

    I don’t think that some one returned fire and he left right away with that high of body count

    • I worship at the alter of football, so the last time I was at church was 28 years ago when I got married, but I went to a tiny church as a kid, and I just can’t believe that in a country as safe as ours this happens.

      So, don’t go to Vegas, church, walmart, ride a bike on a trail, walk in public. What happened to random 1-1 murder, it just seems that mass murder is getting more popular, and “normal” murder less.

  10. The murderer was identified by CBS News and the New York Times as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, and not Chris Ward.

    WTF?

  11. One article says he was dishonorably discharged in 2014. Got a LinkedIn Profile, but may not be him.

    BTW, Pastor is rotting in living Hell for the poster who wished it. His 14 year old daughter is reportedly dead.

    This is very small “don’t need to lock the door” community. One survivor reportedly left her keys in her car during the service.

  12. Gotta love the idiot talking heads on TV proclaiming the shooter was denied the right to own a gun so how could he have one. He was denied a permit to carry which means carrying concealed. He can only be denied owning weapons because of previous law problems such as prison, mental sickness, etc, Even then, if you are ok with killing 10 or 20 people, you might not care about breaking the gun law.

    I am waiting for the other shoe to drop that may well show him as an Antifa crazy. If so, Govt will hide it as long as possible to keep from riling up the good guys.

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