In Sutherland Springs, Texas, a domestic situation turned into the deadliest mass shooting in modern state history — and it happened in church.
Investigators said prior to the massacre, Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people and injured 20 others at the First Baptist Church, sent threatening texts to his mother-in-law who attended the said church.
But his mother-in-law was not inside the church when he sprayed the congregation with an assault rifle, during a prayer service.
The youngest killed was a 17-month old girl. The oldest was 77 years old.
“But we want to get that out there that this was not racially motivated. There wasn’t over religious beliefs,” said Freeman Martin, spokesman for the Texas Dept. of Public Safety. “There was a domestic situation going on within the family.”
Authorities said the shooter was chased by armed bystanders and found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after crashing his car.
According to the 2011-2015 US Census Bureau, Sutherland Springs has a population of close to 700 people. It is about 30 miles east of San Antonio, where there are about 20,000 Filipinos.
These Filipinos expressed their outrage over the senseless tragedy.
“It was so close to home. And that’s scary,” said Angelica Meredith. “Whether or not you are situationally aware, I don’t believe that there is a safe place on earth because if somebody is out to harm you, they will find a way.”
“We extend our love and prayers to each family affected and church families as well as well as the community, and we are praying that everyone experiences god’s special love and care,” said resident Mrs. C.
A Filipino-American theater actress named Michelle Cabinian posted on Facebook that she lost her cousin Crystal, and her three children, during the church shooting.
BA is still trying to reach Cabinian as of this broadcast.