Deadly Mass Shooting Inside Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX

Celeste Fremon
Written by Celeste Fremon

Police announced that the man who opened fire inside a Baptist church in the small town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, has been killed.

A witness said the man, whom we now know as Devin P. Kelley, 26, dressed in black, walked toward the small white church at around 11:30 a.m. central time, and began shooting. Kelly continued firing inside the church.

When Kelly reemerged from the church, a neighbor who had heard the shooting, reportedly grabbed his own firearm, came out of his house, and fired at the gunman who then fled in his own vehicle.

Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed that at least 26 people were killed. According to NPR, a Texas Department of Public Safety official said the ages of the victims ranged from 5 to 72 years old, including a pregnant woman. The AP reports that the pastor’s 14-year-old daughter is among the dead.

At least 20 people were also injured, with conditions ranging from “minor to very severe,” according to law enforcement officials who spoke at a news conference on Sunday evening.

For any town, such a shooting would be devastating. For a town like Sutherland Spring, with a population in “the low hundreds,” the blow would be nearly unimaginable.


  • Kinda strange Witness la decided to go with this story after ignoring the latest Muslim massacre in New York. I wrote the New York massacre off to it not being in L.A., but then again here we are, why one and not the other?


    Oh, for crying out loud. I’d normally ignore this kind of nonsense, but really.

    Here are the plain, non-weaponized facts of the matter: There are many large important stories that we don’t cover at all, or we cover them in a tangential, value-added way after the first flood of breaking news. Then there are others we cover in small ways as they are breaking.

    When we do the former, it’s usually because either the topic doesn’t fall within our wheelhouse, or because it’s already being covered by nearly everyone and we don’t feel we have anything to add. Or we wait until the dust settles a little and call readers attention to related stories they might have missed.

    When we do the latter, meaning we write a story while the news is still breaking, it usually has more to do with whether I’m near my laptop or not, in the early stages of what has occurred.

    In the case of the Sutherland Springs shooting, I was already working and so happened to see some tweets about it minutes after the story broke. Thus I quickly put up a very short news story as a service to readers whom I thought might be ignoring the news on a nice fall Sunday.

    Regarding Tuesday’s horrific and heartbreaking terrorist attack in New York, the attack began a little after 3 pm eastern, when I was in meetings, and away from my laptop. By the time hours later when I was back at my office, the news was everywhere and I didn’t think we had anything to say that would be a meaningful addition. (Plus, if you must know, we had Dodgers watching plans.)

    As with Sutherland Springs, we did something comparably short on the Orlando shooting, because we saw it early. Similarly, we wrote a quick breaking news story about the Dec. 2, 2015, terrorist shooting in San Bernardino.

    And, as most readers know, we did much more on the mass shooting in Las Vegas. We did so most of all because so many Californians were involved, but also because the pure enormity of it made it hard, frankly, to think of anything else for those first 24 hours.

    Why so many events or stories inspire the need to bring out your trusty demonizer is genuinely beyond me. I hope you at least get some aerobic value out of it.

    Sincerely yours,


    • C: I understand your response but the question remains. For example; the Democrat party had in essence called Donna Brazile and liar and stupid. I met her once and she is a totally committed person to her beliefs. I believe that had Ms. Brazile been white she would have received more credibility. As for myself I believe everything she has said about how Hillary rigged the primary. Please don’t be upset but consider why are liberals mistreating her?

      • Your characterization is misleading. Neither Hillary nor the Russians rigged the primaries. Neither had the ability to, however there is a legitimate concern about undue influence within a party and within a gullible electorate.

  • Interesting reply, (the Dodgers really?) Does Witness La recognize it’s own bias? Does it care? I have to admit I enjoy pointing it out, hey someone’s gotta do it ,but sometimes it’s so blatant you have to wonder.

  • Maj. Kong, stop whining and start your own blog. You have this attitude that somehow you are entitled to have your point of view considered, validated. Just stop whining and start your own blog. is available. Maybe you can talk about this epidemic of white-on-white crime that we have been seeing.

    • Cf, I’m right where I’m needed most. It’s you who offer nothing but an echo chamber,playing the roll of witness la’s brown nosing conformist flack.

  • For me, this should instantly pose the question of the continuing defense of the value of assault rifles. Certainly the subject has been debated thoroughly & how much more carnage is necessary to say enough is enough. Ban the manufacturing, importing & possession. Create a fair buy back program coupled with increasing sanctions for possession; confiscation to infraction to crime. It fair to say that the vast percentage of assault weapon owners are perfectly law abiding & rational. The issue is the greater good, assault rifles give the ability to do what just happen in Las Vegas & Texas, kill a bunch of people very quickly. With some, this “new normal” seems acceptable because to restrict or forbid would collapse the absoluteness of the 2nd Amendment. Pure nonsense! Where are the adults, the ATF approved the bump-stocks which essentially makes assault weapons fully automatic yet will see that you go to Federal prison if you actually have a machine gun. Makes perfect sense right! The FBI recently rejected the State of Nevada’s attempt to have the FBI conduct weapon purchase background checks, saying by god states can’t tell us what to do. What a missed opportunity in light of the need to have a national standard & program. The last two decisions were under the Obama Administration, so who here would bet a change with the Trump team! Yep, the “new normal”, get used to it!

  • And the shrill call for more gun control, stronger back ground checks abound!! Just how are back ground checks supposed to work, if the data is NOT entered into the data base?? If the proper procedures had been followed, this knucklehead would never been able to purchase a gun in the first place! How about enforcing the laws on the books? This was a HUGE F’up on the part of the Government who is supposed to “protect us”. Sorry, I will depend on myself for protection! When seconds count, the police are minutes away………

    • @ Thanks A Lot, you offer sound advice but I don’t think it solves one of the obvious problems, rifles that allow enormous rapid killing power, bump-stocks notwithstanding. Let’s apply your standard that I acknowledge has merit & put it to the Las Vegas shooting. Your self reliance position would have every Annie Oakley & Lone Ranger at the concert armed & individually competent. How would that have changed the outcome other than having 22,000 people with their guns waving about?

      • You do know, Nevada is an “Open Carry” state, as well as CCW Holders, which make up a large segment of the population. So your scenario, should have already happened, should it not?

        • @Thanks A Lot, In Nevada, like most CCW states private venues have the right to prohibit firearms being carried on property & that is clearly the practice in Las Vegas. But, of course, that was not my point, had the crowd been allowed to carry weapons it would not have made a difference in outcome other than likely making the chaos even more threatening.

  • Hey Past, ask yourself how many that A-hole would have killed in Texas if about half a dozen of those church goers had been packing. (Or even how far that other A-hole would have been able to driv that truck in New York) Annie Oakley or not, the cat is out of the bag with 340 million guns in this country. A “buy back” program is a liberal pipe dream. There will ALWAYS be guns available for the no goodnicks. Your idea would only disarm the wrong folks.

  • @Just Say’n,

    I have no illusion that much will occur & as I wrote, the vast majority of gun owners are law abiding, rational folk. I do think though, that not all guns are equal. Seeing that I’m authorized to be CCW throughout the U.S. I’m hardly advocating the disarming of the public. There is no single answer, but a serious discussion is warranted without demonizing those with different views. Is there any change that you would endorse that might help prevent events such as the Vegas or Texas incidents?

  • I have difficulty believing gun control laws are worthless with the tired arguments always offered. With 340 million guns in circulation, will you be safer when we hit 400 million? According to the CDC, a firearm in the household increases the risk of a household member dying by 400%.

    The gun nut crowd has no problem with a Vehicle Code that runs 40,000 rules thick. Considering the operation of vehicles can be just as deadly, why the aversion to rules about guns? Not a single vehicle code section bans the right to drive I may add.

    • LATBG, you know better!! Driving a Vehicle is a “privilege”, the second amendment is a “right” written into the Constitution….Apples and Oranges. Dont like the Second Amendment? Repeal it. Good luck trying to get 2/3 of the states to go along with that!

      • So was the Vegas shooter merely exercising his 2nd amendment rights? What happens when rights conflict? I’m well aware of your distinction, but you missed the point entirely. Stop the mythical gun-grabbing histrionics. If you support the regulatory scheme that governs the operation of vehicles then you should be able to support one for firearms. They are both deadly in the wrong hands or used improperly. Note that a right and a privilege don’t affect that outcome.

        I own plenty of firearms and plan on keeping them. Bad guys get their guns from good guys, we owe it to the victims of gun violence to do more than claim there’s nothing that can be done but buy more guns….

        • You know as well as I do that Paddock was an illegal gun trafficker, and had NOTHING to do with the second amendment, come on! I dont trust the Government to regulate anything well. Enforce what is already on the books, even with those laws, the government still cant get it’s act together, and you want more??

  • I am not a “gun nut” and, although I could carry, I don’t – way too much hassle. But I see the idiocy in trying to control something when the genie is out of the bottle. It would be nice if we could keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them, but how? AND just who are they? It easy to say after-the-fact that someone should not have had access to guns. Maybe the shooter in Texas. But how about the POS in Vegas? I agree the bump-stock thing is stupid and should not have been on the market but what if he’d just had a semi-automatic. Maybe he’d have killed 25 instead of 58. Ban semi-autos? Limit the size of magazines? So he tapes them together and can change them out in a heart-beat. Ban long guns? Where do we stop? Turn in all guns? Great idea, I’ll swing by Willowbrook on my next trip to LAX and give some of the homies the address of Century Station. I’m sure the line will form at the left.

    Frankly, I wish we had a national license to POSSESS (note I didn’t say “own”) a gun. A license that required persons to apply and to submit to a background (computer) check. If you don’t want to possess a gun, don’t get a license. Yeah, gun enthusiasts would go nuts saying it infringed on their “rights” (black helicopter stuff “they are compiling a list for when they are going to confiscate our guns”) but it would then affirm them their “right” to possess a gun.

    But what would be the criteria for such a license? It’s easy to say after-the-fact who should and who should not have a gun. The Texas shooter (assuming the databases were accurate) perhaps not. The Vegas POS, probably would have been eligible for such a license – as far as I know. However you would run in to a bee hive of resistance beyond the black helo theory and would get bogged down in the debate on who should have access to guns. Who I think should have guns and who Celeste thinks should have guns is probably quite different. Hell, we can’t even agree if people who sneak in to this country should be able to stay in this country, let alone weather these illegals should be able to have guns (I’d like to think I was kidding).

    So, what are your answers Mr Past and Mr Alphabet Soup? I don’t have the answers. But I do know you can’t take guns away from folks who have a right to have them and have not done anything that should impinge on that right. The ball is in your court.

    • @ Just Say’n,
      In your pot of stew, slumgullion to be sure, you’ve added a bit of meat in the form of some type of national licensing & screening process for gun ownership. Awesome idea & a start. There is much raw truth in what you say & like the liberalization of “recreational”drugs, if the people want it that way, so be it, just don’t pretend there isn’t downside.

  • I like your illustration of “swinging by Willowbrook” where we all know that it’s easier to get a gun than it is to get an Uber. But the truth of the matter is that these latest murders amid shooting sprees originate from the right. The Las Vegas terrorist was definitely a “Right Wing” nut. So keep in mind that regardless of who has the guns, any gun holder is capable of killing at will.

  • Past, note I purposely did not say ownership. I said possess, the difference being possession includes ownership but not the other way around. I know it is a pipe dream, but , as you say, a discussion has to start some place.

    Here’s One, this is not a “right” or “left” issue. These assholes come from all sides and from under rocks of all colors and origin.

    I get sick of people wringing their hands and crying the sky is falling, neither of which gets us anywhere (homelessness is a similar issue). It would be nice to see the nation’s “leaders” actually moving forward with some affirmative actions that would get us moving toward some solutions that would help actually resolve pressing issues facing our society. But, unfortunately, they are too caught up in this right vs left mentality to get squat done. Sad.

    • Truly spoken. Left vs Right always pointing fingers and blaming each other while nothing gets done. No one can have a true arguement over your post as it rings so very true.

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