Copy-Sheriff: More than 20 dead in Texas church shooting

(RNN) - A gunman is dead after opening fire at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX, outside San Antonio on Sunday.

Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt Jr confirmed to CNN more than 20 were killed.

Three county commissioners have put the death toll at at least 20. Two commissioners - Paul Phiel and Larry Wiley - confirmed that number to and another, Albert Gamez, told CNN he had been told that as well. Wilson County News editor Nannett Kilbey-Smith also confirmed that number to CNN.

Reports also say as many as 30 were wounded.

The shooter was confirmed dead by KSAT citing police ans sheriff sources.

Witnesses described a shooter opening fire during the church service followed by a brief vehicle chase by police. It is not known whether police shot the gunman or if he killed himself.

The shooting began around 11:30 a.m.

Carrie Matula, who works at a nearby store, told MSNBC the shooting is "devastating."

"We are hearing names of the victims, and it's devastating," Matula said. "It's asinine. There's no reason for it."

Helicopters were on scene to transport wounded to nearby hospitals. At least six people were transported to a hospital in San Antonio.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott tweeted that prayers are with the victims of the "evil act." Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) tweeted "keeping all harmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers."

President Donald Trump also tweeted from Japan where just began a lengthy trip to several Asian countries that he is monitoring the situation.

Sutherland Springs has a population of about 600 people and is located 34 miles east of San Antonio. The church records its services and posts the videos to YouTube. It is not known if the shooting was captured on camera.

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