SUTHERLAND SPRINGS, Texas — Witnesses say the gunman who killed at least 26 people inside a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, fled the scene after a resident began firing shots at him, CBS affiliate KENS-TV reports.
A neighbor described the resident as the “nicest man on the planet.” He said the resident grabbed his rifle then engaged the suspect as he exited the First Baptist Church on Sunday.
State officials said in a news conference Sunday night that the suspect dropped his AR-15 style rifle and fled the church as the resident chased him.
The suspect crashed his vehicle as law enforcement responded. Authorities found him dead inside the vehicle, but said it’s unclear whether he shot himself or was shot by the resident.
The shooting suspect has been identified as 26-year-old Devin Patrick Kelley, federal law enforcement sources told CBS News.
Kevin Jordan, a resident who lives near the church, told KENS-TV he witnessed the deadly shooting.
Jordan described the resident who confronted the gunman as someone who would do anything for anyone. He said he watched the resident shoot at the suspect while taking cover behind a vehicle.
“If it wasn’t for him, the guy wouldn’t have stopped,” Jordan told the station. He said the suspect also shot at his house, nearly missing his 2-year-old son and wife who were inside their home.
“When he saw me and I ran, he took a pop shot off at my house,” Jordan said.
Jordan said he works as a medical assistant. He said he waited for the suspect to leave and tried to help the victims. “I can’t even describe everything I saw,” he told the station.
Officials have not released all the names of the 26 people killed, but said they ranged from 5 to 72 years old.
One of the victims included the church pastor’s 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy.
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