Texas Church Shooting

Members of the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas held their first Sunday service following last Sunday's mass shooting there.

In an emotional sermon, Pastor Frank Pomeroy spoke of the 26 killed on Nov. 5., including his 14-year-old daughter, invoking a sense of both personal and communal loss.

"I know everyone who gave their life that day. Some of whom where my best friends and my daughter. I guarantee they are dancing with Jesus today," said Pomeroy, according to the Associated Press.

The pastor of the Texas church that was the site of a deadly shooting rampage this week says the bullet-riddled structure will be demolished because it is too stark of a reminder of the massacre.

Pastor Frank Pomeroy, whose 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle, was among the victims, told the Southern Baptist Convention on Thursday that he plans to have the church razed.

"There's too many that do not want to go back in there," Pomeroy told The Wall Street Journal.

The FBI's failure to unlock the cellphone of the Texas church shooter is reigniting the debate over encryption and government access to secured communications.

Earlier this week, FBI Special Agent Christopher Combs blamed the industry standard encryption for blocking investigators' ability to crack the PIN code on the gunman's device.

Software exists to thwart a passcode, but if forced, investigators run the risk of erasing all of the phone's data. The FBI sent the Texas gunman's phone to its lab in Quantico, Va., to try to determine another method.

When a shooter started spraying the inside of a Sutherland Springs, Texas church with bullets on Sunday, 30-year-old Joann Ward "threw her body over the little ones," according to her mother-in-law, Sandy Ward.

The "little ones" who were at church that day were Joann Ward's daughters Rhianna Garcia, 9, Emily Garcia, 7 and Brooke Ward, 5 and stepson Ryland Ward, 5.

Joann Ward, Emily and Brooke died; Ryland was shot several times and remains in critical condition, facing multiple surgeries.

Devin Kelley, the man we now know killed more than two dozen people at a Texas church on Sunday, escaped a mental health facility before the Air Force could try him on charges that he beat his wife and baby stepson back in 2012.

And President Trump, like many people before him, is pointing to mental health — not guns — as the cause of the church massacre.

President Trump says more thorough vetting for firearms purchases would have made "no difference" in the mass shooting at a Texas church despite reports that the suspect's past conviction on domestic assault charges should have disqualified him under federal law.

At a news conference in Seoul on the second leg of a five-nation Asian tour, Trump was asked by a journalist for NBC if he thought people wanting to purchase firearms should be subject to "extreme vetting."

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

In the wake of the massacre at a small-town Texas church on Sunday, many people are asking why.

A large portion of the mass shootings in the U.S. in recent years have roots in domestic violence against partners and family members. Depending on how you count, it could be upwards of 50 percent.

The Sutherland Springs, Texas, resident who exchanged gunfire with the suspect in Sunday's mass shooting at a church insists he is not a hero, saying that he was "scared to death" during the encounter.

"I think my God, my Lord protected me and gave me the skills to do what needed to be done," Stephen Willeford, a former National Rifle Association instructor, tells KHBS/KHOG television in Arkansas.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Sutherland Springs, Texas, is a small town.

"They say the population is 400 and that's if you count every dog, cat and armadillo," 75-year-old L.G. Moore told The Associated Press. "It's more like 200 people." He runs an RV park a quarter mile from the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs.

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

The Air Force says a mistake allowed Devin Patrick Kelley to buy guns. On Sunday Kelley opened fire on a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The former airman had an assault-style rifle and two handguns — all purchased by him, according to federal officials — when he shot and killed 26 people.

The Latest From Sutherland Springs, Texas

Nov 6, 2017

Officials in Texas say half of the 26 people killed in Sunday’s church shooting in Sutherland Springs were children. We’re also learning more about the deceased shooter, Devin Kelley, and what happened after Kelley fled the First Baptist Church.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti gets an update from KUT’s David Brown.

Sutherland Springs is a small South Texas town, about 45 minutes southeast of San Antonio. On Sunday morning, some of its residents went to services at the First Baptist Church downtown.

Then a gunman shattered the calm of the morning. Devin Patrick Kelley, a 26-year-old from New Braunfels, a city 35 miles north, arrived dressed in black, wearing body armor and firing an assault-style rifle. He shot at the church building itself. And then he went inside and fired on the worshippers. He killed at least 26 people and wounded some 20 others.

Updated at 10:55 p.m. ET

A "domestic situation" might lie behind the massacre that unfolded at a small South Texas church during Sunday services, authorities say. At a news conference Monday, law enforcement officials explained that the gunman — identified by police as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley — had sent threatening text messages to his mother-in-law, who is has attended the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

Currently, officials say they do not believe the attack was racially or religiously motivated.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

For more on the shooting, let's turn to Democratic congressman Vicente Gonzalez. He represents Texas's 15th congressional district, of which Sutherland Springs is a part. Good morning, Congressman.

Updated at 7:10 p.m. ET Monday

A few details are becoming known about the man who allegedly shot and killed at least 26 people and wounded 20 others Sunday at a rural community church in South Texas.

Texas Department of Public Safety Director Freeman Martin says Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, was found dead in a vehicle with two firearms a few miles from where the attack took place. Kelley had crashed his car in a neighboring county after being pursued by two civilians, one of whom had fired on him as Kelley attempted to escape the church.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Updated Monday at 5:10 a.m. ET

Federal authorities are investigating a shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a small community southeast of San Antonio.

In a news conference Sunday night, an official from the Texas Department of Public Safety described the scene: Around 11:20 a.m., a man dressed in black tactical gear approached the church and began firing an assault rifle. He then entered the church and continued firing.