SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas – Over 100 residents of the Texas town of Sutherland Springs held a moment’s silence and vigil on Sunday night, just meters from the First Baptist Church, where the worst mass shooting in Texan history had unfolded only hours earlier.
The shooting, which killed at least 26 people, including the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor, and wounded around 20 others, has shocked the small town that around 500 people call home.
Jonny Mora, one of the residents of the town located 45 kilometers (28 miles) southeast of San Antonio in Texas, and friend to two people who were wounded in the attack, told EFE that the shooting had devastated the close-knit community.
Mora joined more than 100 other inhabitants at the Baptist church on Sunday evening to pray for the victims.
After a moment of silence, the church’s pastor led a vigil accompanied by hymns and prayers.
Among those present was Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who hours earlier had called the attack the “largest mass shooting in our state’s history.”
The shooting occurred around 11:30 am during a Sunday service.
The attacker, who has been identified in US media as Devin Kelley, a 26-year-old male, fled the scene of the shooting in his vehicle but died minutes later.
It was not immediately known if police shot him, if he committed suicide or if he died after crashing his vehicle.
Authorities have so far only confirmed that the attacker was dressed all in black and was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Police were still investigating his motives.