(6 Nov 2017) A man dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a church in a small South Texas community on Sunday, killing 26 people and wounding at least 16 others in what the governor called the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history.
Authorities didn’t identify the attacker during a news conference Sunday night, but two other officials _ one a U.S. official and one in law enforcement _ identified him as Devin Kelley. They spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the investigation.
The U.S. official said Kelley lived in a San Antonio suburb and didn’t appear to be linked to organized terrorist groups. Investigators were looking at social media posts Kelley made in the days before Sunday’s attack, including one that appeared to show an AR-15 semiautomatic weapon. In a brief statement, the Pentagon confirmed he had served in the Air Force “at one point,” but provided no other details.
At the news conference, the attacker was described only as a white man in his 20s who was wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest when he pulled into at a gas station across from the First Baptist Church around 11:20 a.m.
The gunman crossed the street and started firing a Ruger AR rifle at the church, said Freeman Martin, the regional director of the Texas Department of Safety, then continued firing after entering the white wood-frame building, which was filled with congregants attended an 11 a.m. service. As he left, he was confronted by an armed resident who chased him. A short time later, the suspect was found dead in his vehicle at the county line, Martin said.
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