‘Nearly everyone’ in church hurt or killed, Sheriff says in Monday update

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  • At least 26 people confirmed dead; dozens more injured. Twenty-three people were found dead inside the church, two outside and one person died at the hospital. | Read more about the victims
  • Alleged shooter identified as Devin Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels | Read more about his background
  • Shooting suspect was found dead inside a vehicle a few miles north of Sutherland Springs
  • University Hospital in San Antonio is treating at least nine patients from the shooting — four children and five adults

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX (KXAN) — About 20 people are recovering in the hospital after a deadly church shooting Sunday morning in Sutherland Springs, Texas, the Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt reported Monday morning. He said they were in stable condition. Not including the suspect, 26 people died.

“I think nearly everyone had some type of injury,” Tackitt said.

Between 12 and 14 children were hurt or killed, Tackitt said. They stick out to him most, and he’ll have a hard time getting the scene out of his head. Authorities say 23 people were found dead inside the church, two were found dead outside the church and one person died at the hospital.

“I guess it hasn’t really hit yet,” Tackitt said. “It will. They were good people.”

Tackitt said he knew several people in the First Baptist Church, but he did not know the gunman and doesn’t believe many people there knew him.

Tackitt confirmed that the visiting pastor was one of the victims. The church’s pastor was out of town with his wife when the shooting occurred, the Associated Press reported, but his 14-year-old daughter was one of those who died.

A neighbor’s daughter heard the gunfire, and that man grabbed his weapon and came forward to confront the shooter. He said the man who came forward doesn’t want to be called a hero — but the sheriff says he is one.

Investigators will begin working again at 8 a.m.

The Texas Department of Public Safety identified the shooting suspect as Devin Kelley, 26, of New Braunfels Monday morning. The gunman was wearing a ballistic vest and had a Ruger AR assault-type rifle. Other weapons were found in his car after he crashed following a chase. He had a gunshot wound and died but officials have not yet said if it was self-inflicted.

CNN reports he purchased a rifle in 2016 from an Academy Sports in San Antonio.

Gov. Greg Abbott told NBC Kelley was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force and should not have been allowed to purchase a gun. However, an Air Force spokeswoman confirmed Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of assault and served 12 months in confinement. He was given a Bad Conduct discharge — which is different from a dishonorable discharge and still allows someone to buy guns. KXAN is working to determine the exact type of discharge and whether Kelley would have been allowed to purchase a gun.

Tackitt said Kelley’s in-laws had attended the church at some point but were not locals. His wife may have also attended the church a few times.

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