SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, TX — Many of them had known each other for years.That’s no surprise in a small town like Sutherland Springs, Texas, where lives intersect daily on the street, at the school and in the church.Another eight victims were taken to Connally Memorial Medical Center, located in Floresville about 10 miles from the church, including four who were later transferred to University Hospital in San Antonio for higher-level care, said spokeswoman Megan Posey.Alena Berlanga, a Floresville resident who was monitoring the chaos on a police scanner and in Facebook community groups, said everyone knows everyone else in the sparsely populated county.“This is horrific for our tiny little tight-knit town,” Berlanga said.“Our hearts are heavy at the anguish in this small town, but in time of tragedy, we see the very best of Texas.May God comfort those who’ve lost a loved one, and may God heal the hurt in our communities.”Among those killed was the church pastor’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy.The gunman crossed the street and started firing a Ruger AR rifle at the church, said Freeman Martin, a regional director of the Texas Department of Safety, then continued firing after entering the white wood-frame building, where an 11 a.m. As he left, he was confronted by an armed resident who chased him.
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 a gas station across from the First Baptist Church around a.m.He said 23 of the dead were found dead in the church, two were found outside and one died after being taken to a hospital. Greg Abbott called the attack the worst mass shooting in Texas history.“There are no words to describe the pure evil that we witnessed in Sutherland Springs today,” Abbott said.These rural areas, they are so beautiful and so loving.” Later Sunday, two sheriff’s vans were parked outside the gate of a cattle fence surrounding the address listed for Kelley on the rural, western outskirts of New Braunfels, north of San Antonio, preventing a group of waiting journalists from entering.Officials from the Comal County Sherriff’s Office and the Texas Rangers declined to comment or say if they had raided his home.
He had killed his wife and mother before heading to the tower, one victim died a week later and medical examiners eventually attributed a 17th death to Whitman in 2001. AP writers writers Sadie Gurman and Eric Tucker in Washington, Nomaan Merchant in Houston, Diana Heidgerd in Dallas, Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles and Paul J.