A gunman has killed one person and critically injured another inside a packed Texas church during a livestreamed service before he was shot dead by an armed member of the congregation.
MedStar Mobile Healthcare spokeswoman Macara Trusty said two people were fatally shot at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement.
Trusty said she was told by a supervisor at the scene that one of the people who died was the shooter.
A third person in critical condition and is being treated at a hospital. All of the victims are male, she said.
Two more people were treated for minor injuries at the scene, Trusty said.
The shooting was reported Sunday morning during the 10am service at the church. The service was being live-streamed at the time of the shooting.
Authorities have not released any details about what led to the shooting.
An elder at the church told the New York Times that one of those killed was a security guard who responded to the shooter, calling him a dear friend.
‘He was trying to do what he needed to do to protect the rest of us,’ said elder, Mike Tinius.
‘It’s extremely upsetting to see anyone committing violence,’ he added.
Tinius said he didn’t know the gunman and that the shooting appeared to be random.
A witness told CBS that the armed man walked up to a server during the communion and opened fire.
‘You feel like your life is flashing before you. I was so worried about my little one,’ witness Isabel Arreola said.
According to WFAA, in the video a person wearing a large coat can be seen standing up and pulling out either a rifle or a shotgun.
The shooter appears to fire twice before a member of the congregation shot back.
While the shots were being fired, people ducked under church pews and others rushed towards the shooter with handguns.
A church leader then tries to calm people down, while members of the congregation scream and cry.
In a statement, Texas Governor Greg Abbott said: ‘Our hearts go out to the victims and families of those killed in the evil act of violence that occurred at the West Freeway Church of Christ.
‘Places of worship are meant to be sacred and I am grateful for the church member who acted quickly to take down the shooter and help prevent further loss of life.’
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said he was ‘shocked and saddened’ to hear about the shooting.
‘As reports come in, please pray for any victims and their families, this congregation, and the law enforcement officials at the scene. My office will assist in any way needed,’ he added.
White Settlement police have not responded to requests for comment. White Settlement is about 8 miles west of Fort Worth.
It is not the first deadly shooting to take place at a church in Texas.
In November 2017, Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire on the congregation at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing more than two dozen worshippers, before taking his own life.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Valerie Edwards