People in the small town of Sutherland Springs, outside of San Antonio, were attending services at the First Baptist Church when a gunman walked in and murdered 25 parishioners and injured several more in the span of what witnesses said was about 15 seconds, according to the New York Times.
A law enforcement official who was briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press that more than 20 people were killed in the shooting. He did not know if the shooter died of a self-inflicted gunshot or was killed by deputies. Among those killed at the white clapboard church was a 14-year-old girl named Annabelle Renee Pomeroy, according to her father, Frank Pomeroy, who is a pastor at the church. The killer was fatally shot a short time later in a neighboring Texas county, the official said.
Police were responding to a "shots fired" call to the First Baptist Church late Sunday morning.
The shooting began around 11:30 a.m., about 30 minutes into the service.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbot said his thoughts and prayers were with the victims and that "the details of this horrific act are still under investigation".
Federal law enforcement swarmed the scene to offer assistance, including ATF investigators and members of the FBI's evidence collection team.More news: Don't forget to fall back when Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday
"We are hearing names of the victims, and it's devastating", Matula said.
President Trump tweeted from his trip to Asia: "May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas".
He tweeted: "May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas". The official toll has not yet been verified by law enforcement or local officials. "I am monitoring the situation from Japan", Trump said in a tweet. Connally Memorial Medical Center spokeswoman Megan Posey declined to say how many patients were being treated at the hospital, but said the number was less than a dozen.
Sutherland Springs is 48 kilometres southeast of San Antonio.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, tweeted: "Keeping all harmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers and grateful for our fearless first responders on the scene".