A gunman opened fire inside a Baptist church in the US state of Texas, killing at least 27 people, including the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter, officials said on Monday.
The incident, which left at least 20 other people injured, occurred on Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs in Wilson County where a man in “full gear” barged into the church and began shooting parishioners.
The gunman was killed in the aftermath, the local media quoted police as saying, although it is not sure if the deputies killed the shooter or he took his own life.
“Upto 27 people are dead,” MSNBC quoted Wilson County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. as saying.
One of the victims of the mass shooting was the church’s pastor Frank Pomeroy’s daughter, Annabelle.
“I was not at the church when the shooting took place. My youngest daughter, Annabelle, was,” Pomeroy told ABC News.
Among the injured, 10 have been transported to nearby trauma hospital, one most severe was air lifted to San Antonio military center, while the others have been transferred to several close-by hospitals.
Meanwhile, hospital sources have not yet commented on the number of people being treated.
Unconfirmed early reports say that a child is also among the victims.
President Donald Trump, who is currently on a two-week tour of east Asia, expressed condolences to the victims of the mass shooting.
“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,” Trump said in a tweet.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott condemned the incident labelling it as an “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,” he wrote on Twitter.
A KSAT-TV reporter, in a live report on Facebook Live, said a man in full gear came into the church and unloaded several rounds, and then took off in a vehicle.
The FBI personnel at the scene said only one gunman was reported.