At least 20 people have been shot dead in a Texas church

Police block a road in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 5, 2017, after a mass shooting a church nearby. Photo: Suzanne Cordeiro/ AFP/ Getty Images.

  • A mass shooting occurred on Sunday (local time) in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
  • At least 20 people were killed.
  • The suspect was “taken down,” according to a local sheriff said.

  • At least 20 people have been killed in a shooting at a Baptist church in Texas.

    Police and emergency services are attending the church in Sutherland Springs, a small town with a population under 1,000.

    Identities of the victims have not been released, but the church’s pastor Frank Pomeroy confirmed to ABC News that his 14-year-old daughter was among those who died.

    According to local news outlets, Wilson County sheriff Joe Tackitt said the gunman had been “taken down”.

    A witness told CBS News that she heard about 20 gunshots when the shooter opened fire around 11.30am local time (4.30am AEDT). According to the church’s website, Sunday services start at 11am.

    Early reports suggest the FBI is likely involved to investigate the case as a possible hate crime since it occurred at a church.

    US president Donald Trump has tweeted: “”May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan.”

    Mark Hamill, best known for playing Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars film series, also took to Twitter following the shooting, saying “thoughts and prayers and Port Arthur #ItCanBeDone”

    The reference is to the Port Arthur massacre in Tasmania in April 1996, where 35 people were killed and 23 wounded. The attack transformed gun control legislation in Australia.

    Now, all firearms must be registered or people risk 14 years in jail and a $280,000 fine. There are also limitations on the types of guns that can be purchased and the reasons for needing them — personal protection does not qualify.

    Additional reporting by Rebecca Harrington.

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