USCCB president decries massive shooting at Texas Baptist church

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
USCCB president decries massive shooting at Texas Baptist church
USCCB president decries massive shooting at Texas Baptist church


Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Catholic Church stands in unity with the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the larger community after a shooting during Sunday services took the lives of at least 26 people and injured at least 20 others.

Those who died ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old, and included 14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy. Her father, Frank Pomeroy, is pastor of the church but he was not at the service.

"We stand in unity with you in this time of terrible tragedy – as you stand on holy ground, ground marred today by horrific violence," said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

With San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, "I extend my prayers and the prayers of my brother bishops for the victims, the families, the first responders, our Baptist brothers and sisters, indeed the whole community of Sutherland Springs."

Law enforcement officials told CNN that a lone gunman entered the church at about 11:30 a.m. CST while 50 people were attending Sunday services. Almost everyone in the congregation was shot. Sutherland Springs is 30 to 40 miles southeast of San Antonio.

Two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press the suspect was Devin Kelley, described as a white male in his 20s. He parked at a gas station across the street from the church, crossed the street and allegedly began firing as he walked toward the church and then continued firing once inside. He was wearing black tactical-type gear and used an assault weapon, AP said.

After he left the church, he was confronted by a local resident who had a rifle "and engaged the suspect," AP said, quoting Freeman Martin, who is with the Texas department of Safety. The suspect was later found dead in his vehicle some distance away. It was not clear if he died from a self-inflicted gunshot or from wounds suffered when the resident shot him.

His motive was not immediately known. He had been in the Air Force but was discharged for bad conduct allegedly for domestic abuse and served a 12 month sentence in confinement after being court-martialed in 2012.

"We ask the Lord for healing of those injured, his loving care of those who have died and the consolation of their families," Cardinal DiNardo said. "This incomprehensibly tragic event joins an ever-growing list of mass shootings, some of which were also at churches while people were worshipping and at prayer,” he continued.

"We must come to the firm determination that there is a fundamental problem in our society. A culture of life cannot tolerate, and must prevent, senseless gun violence in all its forms. May the Lord, who himself is peace, send us his spirit of charity and nonviolence to nurture his peace among us all," the cardinal said.

[[In-content Ad]]

Related Stories

Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Catholic Church stands in unity with the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and the larger community after a shooting during Sunday services took the lives of at least 26 people and injured at least 20 others.

Those who died ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old, and included 14-year-old Annabelle Pomeroy. Her father, Frank Pomeroy, is pastor of the church but he was not at the service.

"We stand in unity with you in this time of terrible tragedy – as you stand on holy ground, ground marred today by horrific violence," said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

With San Antonio Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller, "I extend my prayers and the prayers of my brother bishops for the victims, the families, the first responders, our Baptist brothers and sisters, indeed the whole community of Sutherland Springs."

Law enforcement officials told CNN that a lone gunman entered the church at about 11:30 a.m. CST while 50 people were attending Sunday services. Almost everyone in the congregation was shot. Sutherland Springs is 30 to 40 miles southeast of San Antonio.

Two law enforcement officials told The Associated Press the suspect was Devin Kelley, described as a white male in his 20s. He parked at a gas station across the street from the church, crossed the street and allegedly began firing as he walked toward the church and then continued firing once inside. He was wearing black tactical-type gear and used an assault weapon, AP said.

After he left the church, he was confronted by a local resident who had a rifle "and engaged the suspect," AP said, quoting Freeman Martin, who is with the Texas department of Safety. The suspect was later found dead in his vehicle some distance away. It was not clear if he died from a self-inflicted gunshot or from wounds suffered when the resident shot him.

His motive was not immediately known. He had been in the Air Force but was discharged for bad conduct allegedly for domestic abuse and served a 12 month sentence in confinement after being court-martialed in 2012.

"We ask the Lord for healing of those injured, his loving care of those who have died and the consolation of their families," Cardinal DiNardo said. "This incomprehensibly tragic event joins an ever-growing list of mass shootings, some of which were also at churches while people were worshipping and at prayer,” he continued.

"We must come to the firm determination that there is a fundamental problem in our society. A culture of life cannot tolerate, and must prevent, senseless gun violence in all its forms. May the Lord, who himself is peace, send us his spirit of charity and nonviolence to nurture his peace among us all," the cardinal said.

[[In-content Ad]]
Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


Christian minister says nitrogen execution he witnessed is slow, 'spiritually violent' torture
As the Rev. Jeff Hood was leaving for work one day back in January...

As war enters third year, Ukrainians helped by church number in the millions
A group of women from a little village between Kharkiv ...

Pushing for peace pact, Mexican bishops open to ongoing dialogue with cartels
The news stunned Mexico: Four bishops from southern Guerrero...

Experts: Feds' crackdown on child labor violations highlights many children at risk
As child labor law restrictions continue to be loosened...

New telescope is changing ideas about how universe began, speakers say
Orbiting the sun nearly 1 million miles from Earth...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.