A person stands near the scene of a church shooting at West Freeway Church of Christ on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019 in White Settlement, Texas. (Juan Figueroa/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

2 dead, 1 hurt in shooting at church near Fort Worth, Texas

Authorities have released scant details about the victims, the shooter and what led to the attack

Two people were killed in a shooting at a church in near Fort Worth, Texas, on Sunday morning and a third person has been taken to a hospital in critical condition, officials said.

MedStar Mobile Healthcare spokeswoman Macara Trusty told the Associated Press that two people were fatally shot at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement. A third person in critical condition is being treated at a hospital and all of the victims are male, she said. MedStar is an ambulance service.

Authorities have released scant details about the victims, the shooter and what led to the attack.

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 the elder, Mike Tinius.

“It’s extremely upsetting to see anyone committing violence,” he said.

Tinius said he didn’t know the gunman and that the shooting appeared to be random.

A woman who answered the phone at the West Freeway Church of Christ told the AP she could not answer any questions and that she was told to direct inquiries to authorities.

WFAA, a Dallas-based TV station, reported that the church live-streamed the service on YouTube and that the video showed a man wearing a long coat produce a rifle or a shotgun which he fired twice before someone shot back. Some members of the congregation ducked behind pews while others with handguns rushed the gunman, WFAA said. It said church members can be heard screaming and crying.

The AP hasn’t seen the video, which is marked as private on the video-sharing website.

Trusty said she was told by a supervisor at the scene that one of the people who died was the shooter. In an interview with Dallas TV station KTVT, Mike Drivdahl, the spokesman for the Fort Worth Fire Department, said he believes the gunman was among the three who were shot. White Settlement police have not responded to AP requests for comment.

Two people with minor injuries were treated at the scene, Trusty said.

Gov. Greg Abbott asked the state to pray for the victims, their loved ones and the community of White Settlement, about 8 miles (12 kilometres) west of Fort Worth.

“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 said in a tweeted statement.

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.

ALSO READ: 5 stabbed at New York rabbi’s house on Hannukah; suspect in custody

___

The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sylvan Lake and Eckville slowly climbing out of the deep freeze

The Weather Network says warmer, more moderate temperatures are on the way

Lacombe County, Clearwater County sign Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework

ICF specifies what and how services are funded and delivered

Sylvan Lake RCMP seek assistance in locating missing male

Mark Crier, 17, was last seen in Sylvan Lake on Jan. 13

Advance care planning helps you document your healthcare wishes

It’s important that your loved ones and your healthcare team understand your wishes for healthcare

Central Alberta farm home to Himalayan-natives

Shane Juuti at West Gimlet Farms grew from having two yaks to over 450 since 1996

Canada to bolster screening of central China passengers for virus at 3 airports

Additional measures will include messaging on arrivals screens in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

RCMP Major Crimes Unit lays charges in Stettler death

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 32, of Stettler is charged with second degree murder in the death of his father

Metis nations ask Ottawa to negotiate directly with them, not national body

Three provincial Metis nations will work through the national council until after the federal government releases its 2020 budget

Most Read