National News

Texas church shooting: How it happened

Posted November 5, 2017 7:40 p.m. EST

— At least 26 people are dead after a gunman opened fire during Sunday service at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, a small community east of San Antonio. Here's what we know so far about what happened, according to state and local officials.

Around 11:20 a.m., the suspect was spotted at a Valero Gas Station across the street from the church

He was dressed in black "tactical-type gear" and wearing a ballistic vest, officials said.

The suspect crossed the street in his car, got out and began firing.

He fired in front of the church, then moved to the right side of the building and kept shooting.

The suspect entered the church and continued shooting.

A local resident confronted the gunman as he left the church.

A man who lives next door to the church grabbed his own rifle and engaged the suspect, officials said. The gunman dropped his "Ruger AR assault-type rifle" and fled. The neighbor chased after the gunman.

A short time later, the suspect crashed his car.

The suspect was found dead in the vehicle.

Police don't know if the suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by resident who confronted him.

"We are dealing with the largest mass shooting in our state's history," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said.