A shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas, has resulted in two deaths as well as the death of the shooter, according to the Dallas Morning News.
The shooting at the church, which is located in a suburb of Fort Worth, occurred before 11 am local time. The gunman reportedly pulled out a shotgun and fired at parishioners before being shot and killed by members of the church’s security team.
“Our hearts and prayers go out to all the families that were affected by this incident,” Fort Worth Fire Department spokesperson Mike Drivdahl said.
This is a developing story. Here’s what we know, and don’t, so far.
What we know
- According to WFAA, a live stream of the worship service showed a person pulling a shotgun out of their coat and firing it twice before another person shot back at them.
- White Settlement Police Chief J.P. Bevering said two church members fired back at the suspect, killing him. Police have identified the suspect as 43-year-old Keith Thomas Kinnunen.
- One parishioner was killed at the scene; a second worshipper was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and later succumbed to their wounds. A spokesperson for the ambulance service MedStar said two additional people were treated for their wounds at the church.
- A church official told the New York Times the parishioner who was killed at the scene was one of the church’s security guards.
- Britt Farmer, the church’s senior minister, said Sunday, “We lost two great men today. But it could’ve been a lot worse.”
- The victims have been identified as 64-year-old Tony Wallace and 67-year-old Richard White.
- Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton tweeted Sunday that he was “shocked and saddened” by the incident and called for people to “pray for any victims and their families, this congregation, and the law enforcement officials at the scene.”
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott praised the response of parishioners, saying, “Places of worship are meant to be sacred, and I am grateful for the church members who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life.”
- Abbott has been supportive of state gun laws that expand access to firearms, including a law that went into effect ahead of September’s mass shooting in Odessa, Texas that allows gun owners to carry their firearms in houses of worship.