World

Gunman kills 26 in Texas church, dies of gunshot wound

SUTHERLAND SPRINGS:  TEXAS A neighbour's quick action may have prevented even more people from dying at the hands of a gunman with an assault rifle.

The killer left at least 26 people dead and 20 wounded in a rural Texas church during a Sunday morning service.

The neighbour, who has not been named, opened fire on the killer and chased him down in a stranger's truck, the New York Post reported.

The man has been hailed a hero after state officials described what he did.

One woman said the man teamed up with her boyfriend who owned the truck and they gave chase for several minutes before the alleged gunman, Devin Kelley, eventually crashed the car he was in, reported ABC affiliate KSAT.

He killed himself soon after, the local sheriff said.

Kelley was thrown out of the Air Force for assaulting his wife and child and this is likely to renew questions about why someone with a history of violence could have such a lethal weapon.

Kelley, dressed in black tactical gear and a ballistic vest, drove up to the white-steepled First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs and started firing inside.

He kept shooting once he entered, killing or wounding victims ranging in age from five to 72 years, police told a news conference.

President Donald Trump said the shooting was due to a "mental health problem" and was not "a guns situation".

He was speaking during an official visit to Japan.

Among the dead was the 14-year-old daughter of church Pastor Frank Pomeroy, the family told several television stations.

One couple, Mr and Mrs Joe Holcombe, told the Washington Post that they lost eight extended family members, including their pregnant granddaughter-in-law and three of her children.- REUTERS

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