A deadly shooting in Texas over the weekend left 26 people dead and dozens injured. The lone gunman entered First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs with a Ruger AR assault rifle, opening fire on the congregation – including women, children, and the elderly. Experts estimate that the shooting claimed the lives of as much as four percent of the tiny town’s population, touching everyone in the area.
Two local residents played an intimate role in stopping the shooting. The first, a congregation member, shot the suspect with his own rifle while still inside the church. Local resident Johnnie Langendorff chased the suspect down after he attempted to flee, eventually causing him to lose control of his vehicle and crash into the ditch. Police found the suspect deceased from a bullet wound in the vehicle a short time later.
- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is calling the event “the largest mass shooting” in Texas’ history.
- It appears the killer was known to at least some of the congregation; his in-laws attended the same church from time to time.
- The event was likely premeditated, as the shooter wore all-black tactical gear, including a ballistic vest, and carried an assault-type rifle.
- Fatalities included a visiting pastor, a five year old child, and a 72-year-old elder who was esteemed within the community. One family also lost a pregnant mother and all three of her children, while the church’s main pastor lost a daughter in the attack.
- President Donald Trump called the event a “mental health problem.” The POTUS also stated he did not believe lax gun laws were to blame.
This incident raises more questions than other shootings, because a local resident stepped in, using his own gun to potentially stop a shooting. While we certainly don’t encourage citizens to take risks like that, we want to know what you have to say about it. Does it change your thoughts on gun control? If the suspect died from a shot by the citizen, should that citizen be facing charges?