A man walked into a small-town Baptist church today and opened fire on those attending service, killing at least 27 people and injuring several others, according to media reports.
The man, who has still not been identified by authorities, is thought to be dead. He shot up First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, which is about 30 miles southeast of San Antonio.
Witnesses say the man walked into the 50-person church service and began firing:
Police say there are “multiple victims,” but an exact number of injured or dead was not immediately available. Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez, Jr. says as many as 27 people could be dead and another 24 could be injured. Gamez said the number of dead and injured was preliminary and warned those figures could change.
Witnesses say as many 20 shots were fired, though police have not confirmed the exact number of gunshots that were fired.
There is no known motive at this time, but it’s worth noting the church has made some statements that may seem controversial to fundamentalists. In May of 2016, the church shared a post about Target and its bathrooms (since transgender individuals were allowed to use the appropriate ones in the retail stores) that’s far more accepting than other conservative Christians of what Target did. I’m not saying the shooting was linked to that, but this church wasn’t always in line with conservative dogma.
A number of political officials have chimed in on the shooting, with Donald Trump saying “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas.” It wasn’t the anger we saw when there was an attack by a Muslim, but it was something. I suppose his reaction could’ve been far worse.
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.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 5, 2017
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott also called in a divine favor, saying “Our prayers are with all who were harmed by this evil act.”
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. https://t.co/KMCRmOPkiM
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) November 5, 2017
Unfortunately, God couldn’t protect these people (despite the fact that they were in a place of worship) and God won’t protect other tragedies like this in the future. We don’t need prayers right now. We need a way to prevent weapons from getting into the hands of those who would commit such a disturbing act of violence. Unless we can resolve our own problem with guns, God’s not going to stop more mass shootings from occurring.
This post is still being updated.
(Screenshot via YouTube)