Texas church shooting leaves 26 dead, including 8 members of one family

Madison Park, Dakin Andone and Kaylee Hartung, CNN | 11/6/2017, 7:31 a.m.
At least eight members of the same family were among the 26 people killed Sunday when a man armed with ...
Multiple people have been killed and many more injured in a shooting Sunday at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, authorities said. First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas

(CNN) -- At least eight members of the same family were among the 26 people killed Sunday when a man armed with a rifle burst into the sanctuary of a church in Texas and began firing.

The massacre left about 20 others wounded in the small town of Sutherland Springs, located about 30 miles east of San Antonio.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the slaughter "the largest mass shooting" in the state's history and ordered flags across the state to fly at half-staff Monday.

Latest developments

-- The victims ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old, said Freeman Martin, a regional director with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

-- At least eight of the people killed were members of one family, according to a relative and a community leader. A woman who was about five months pregnant and three of her children were killed. The pregnant woman's brother-in-law and his young child were also killed, according to the community leader. Three other members of the same family were wounded. CNN is not naming the victims at this time, as it isn't yet confirmed that their next-of-kin have been notified.

-- Among those killed included the 14-year-old daughter of the church's pastor, according to Sherri Pomeroy, the girl's mother. Her parents were traveling out of state when the shooting occurred.

--The gunman, dressed in all-black tactical gear -- including a ballistic vest, according to Martin -- fled the church and was later found dead in his vehicle, officials said.

-- Authorities said an armed resident confronted the gunman outside the church and shot him.

-- A witness told CNN affiliate KSAT that he and the armed resident pursued the gunman in a car chase for roughly 11 miles.

-- Speaking from Japan, President Donald Trump expressed condolences for the victims during a Monday news conference and said he believes the shooting was caused by a "mental health problem," not an issue with US gun laws.

Who is the shooter?

The gunman has been identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, according to two law enforcement sources who have been briefed on the investigation.

Police have not officially named Kelley as the shooter, but described the suspect as a white man in his 20s. Authorities have not said what may have motivated him.

Kelley was a member of the US Air Force and served at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico from 2010 until his discharge, according to Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek.

He was court-martialed in 2012 for assault on his spouse and assault on their child, according to Stefanek. He served a year in confinement, received a bad conduct discharge and had his rank reduced, she said.

In April 2016, Kelley purchased the Ruger AR-556 rifle he allegedly used in the shooting from a store in San Antonio, Texas, a law enforcement official said. There was no disqualifying information in the background check conducted as required for the purchase, a law enforcement official told CNN.