Two persons were killed after a gunman opened fire in a church in Texas, fatally shooting two parishioners before being killed by an armed member of the congregation.
The gunman stood up from a pew at West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, a suburb of Fort Worth, pulled out a shotgun and began firing.
White Settlement Police Chief, J. P. Bevering said the Police were still trying to determine the attacker’s motives, praising the heroic actions of those who confronted him.
The shooting took place at about 11:50 am on Sunday during the morning service. The service was being live-streamed on social media.
Video footage showed the gunman stand up from a pew and speak to a man nearby who gestured at another parishioner. The gunman then fired at the man he gestured toward.
The attacker then fired at the man he had spoken to earlier before a member of the congregation acting as a security guard returned fire with a handgun, immediately felling him.
Several other parishioners also produced handguns and aimed them on the attacker. It was not clear from the video footage whether any of the other armed parishioners fired shots.
Members of the congregation in the nearly full church were seen on the live stream ducking down behind pews as screaming filled the room.
Jack Cummings, a minister at the church, told the New York Times that the gunman had been “acting suspiciously” and drew the attention of the church’s security team.
Cummings also told reporters that the security team of the church is made up of volunteers from the church’s membership who are licensed to carry firearms.
“They saved a lot of lives today because this thing would have been a massacre otherwise,” he added.
Texas has witnessed a number of deadly shootings this year. In August, 22 people died and 24 were wounded at a Walmart store in El Paso. The same month, a gunman killed seven and wounded 20 at Odessa-Midland.